Cryptic election rhetoric has long been the bi-partisan norm for generations.
What’s coming from the Republican team running for Colorado governor is not anything like that.
The nation’s political system has been stricken by a growing number of politicians who flat-out lie to deceive the public. When called out by the media, they blame the messenger for being unfair and partisan. They then pump out propaganda on social media or point to dubious media reports that don’t push back on their lies, disinformation or non-answers to critical questions.
Donald Trump, a proven and convicted serial liar, impeached con and likely felon, has paved the way to a cavalcade of political deception.
Voters need look no further for proof than the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Heidi Ganahl.
Two weeks ago, Ganahl’s campaign jumped the tracks when it announced the Centennial Camp Bow Wow creator turned CU regent would tab a southeast Colorado Hispanic man as her choice for lieutenant governor, only to take it back almost the same day, and blame the media.
The following week, the Ganahl campaign jumped the shark and switched to Aurora businessman and veteran Danny Moore as a running mate.
Minutes after the announcement, it was a media dog pile to point out it was the same Danny Moore booted as chairperson of the state’s 2021 redistricting committee because he’d made repeated social media posts indicating he was an unequivocal Trump election denier.
Despite nearly every media outlet in the state pointing it out, both Ganahl and Moore refused to talk with reporters to address it.
Instead, a few days later, they appeared at an Aurora bar to introduce Moore to the public, never mentioning the denier-conundrum. They then refused to take questions from reporters, saying they were too busy.
Days later, Moore penned an essay for the Colorado Springs Gazette, accusing the media of “liberal bias” in focusing on the flap, which he dismisses as a non-story.
The local media “continuously ask questions meant to divide and distract us, like gratuitous questions about whether the last election was stolen.”
“Stolen” was almost the word Moore used in a Facebook post last year.
On Jan. 29, 2021, Moore said about Biden, “This is the guy elected by the Democrat steal,” according to 9News.
Words matter, especially when you repeat them, even if you erase and later deny them or try to explain them away from the public’s attention.
Rather than step forward and take the messages back as a moment of instability or astounding folly, Moore goes on in his essay to say maybe he doesn’t think the election was stolen, but maybe he does.
Moore said Facebook helped liberals during the election, even though he ignores a tsunami of lies and disinformation Trump allies pumped through hundreds of millions of Facebook feeds.
“And the judicial system allowing Democratic operatives to make massive last-minute changes to voting laws in various key states that were not prepared to handle mail-in balloting,” Moore writes.
Only election deniers peddle this debunked disinformation.
Moore says he’s not really an election denier, but then he trots out one of the most often shared and repeatedly debunked election denier tropes on Facebook. It’s a lie regularly performed during the traveling Trump shows and still repeatedly retold among those still supporting the Trump-Giuliani exploits.
And, Moore says in his Gazette column, he will continue to refuse to answer media questions about his worrisome election-denier problem.
Partisan operatives defend Moore’s vacuous obstinance and go on to say, no one cares about a lieutenant governor anyway because they just while away four years in obscurity.
That wasn’t the case when GOP Colorado Lt. Gov. John Vanderhoof was elevated to governor after then Gov. John Love was handed a cabinet position in the Nixon administration.
More important is why Ganahl would choose and then defend a running mate with such a debilitating stain on his political credibility.
Ganahl may or may not have some compelling policy points and differences with the current Polis administration that the public would benefit from exploring. But with a campaign that can’t get past its shadowy alliance and worrisome allegiance to dark, criminal forces from Trumpers, leading the once-solid Republican Party off the edge of insanity, these two only self-cancel their legitimacy.
Ganahl and Moore behave like amateur liars who underestimate Colorado voters’ ability to get that.
Being an election denier isn’t like embracing some kind of quirky party philosophy.
As elected or appointed government officials, they are fatal to American democracy and the rule of law. These deniers are as toxic to the most fundamental parts of American government as fascists were to democracies that were destroyed in Europe.
Despite what Moore insists, there were no legitimate questions about the credibility of the 2020 election held here in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia or any other state that Trump’s sordid nightmare earnestly tried to run coups.
That verifiable fact is acknowledged and regularly repeated by courts and officials Trump himself appointed and once trusted until they refused to lie for him.
The problem is not a partisan press, soft on liberals. The Sentinel, among many others, have taken great exception to positions, statements and ambiguities from Gov. Jared Polis and his administration since elected. Most recently, Polis and fellow Colorado Democrats were clobbered with media criticism for hyping state tax refunds made possible by a state anti-tax system they have for decades been harshly critical of.
The questions of Ganahl and Moore being election deniers, or slyly winking at them, is not a “gratuitous” query that all but complicit Colorado media are obsessed with.
It’s a deal breaker, just as the tenants of European fascism were in the 1930s, which voters there tragically ignored.
Until Ganahl and Moore quit ignoring or sidestepping this fatal flaw, voters would be wise to ignore them as credible candidates for this or any office.