What has happened to the vaunted Democratic “Blueprint” machine? It really wasn’t so long ago that the Democrats were running circles around the GOP in state legislative races. To their credit, legislative Republicans finally pulled their act together and ended the Democrats six-year monopoly on the State House of Representatives. But what’s happening in Democratic campaigns now would have been unthinkable during the time of liberal middleman Al Yates and former House Majority Leader and noted ball-buster, Democrat Alice Madden.
The Big Blue Machine appears to have lost its mojo under current Democratic leadership. To be fair, House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino is no Alice Madden. He is a budget wonk (Medicaid expansion won’t cost “very much dollars“), has very little, if any, real campaign experience and has already had trouble managing his own caucus. Senate Majority Leader John “Per Diem” Morse has more experience in competitive races given his own personal experiences in El Paso County, but even he has seemed to drop the ball in the 2012 home stretch.
Ferrandino is in an awkward position in many of his races because of incumbent voting records that are out of step for newly redrawn districts and the fact that certain candidates (yes, you Max Tyler) vote less than 50 days before the election against outlawing DUI for illegal drug users. We’re guessing that none is more awkward than his situation in HD3 where incumbent Democrat and U.K. “textile tycoon” Dan Kagan is running for re-election against challenger businessman Brian Watson. We’ll set aside for a moment the awesome irony of Ferrandino defending Kagan, a wealthy, entrenched white guy with untold family riches stashed in offshore accounts, as a “turnaround expert,” and look at how a liberal independent expenditure committee has ineptly undermined their own, and so far only, attack on Watson.
Democrat “fact”-checkers incorrectly listed a tax lien on a property in California as Watson’s. Watson rightly pointed out that the lien was filed after he had sold the property and couldn’t possibly have been assigned to him. Because Ferrandino’s crowd didn’t do their homework, or worse, purposefully lied on the piece, they have given the GOP and Watson the perfect boomerang opportunity. The Democrats lied once, what’s to say they’re not lying on this piece, or that piece. The cycle continues and Ferrandino and his Democrat allies in the independent expenditure world see their credibility evaporate as they chase a faltering attack.
More importantly, what grates especially hard on voters is hypocritical politicians. Cue Democratic state Rep. Cherylin Peniston locked in a race with Republican challenger Brian Vande Krol. In our earlier post we exposed Peniston’s use of an out-of-state firm to produce and mail a piece touting her support for, wait for it, IN-STATE PREFERENCES!
Now, why would a politician like Peniston make the boneheaded mistake of using an out-of-state firm to produce and mail a piece on the centerpiece of the Democrats agenda—in-state preferences? Better question, why didn’t someone in the Democrat campaign inner-circle think to address this before mail and postcards started flying? Why? BECAUSE NO ONE ON THE INSIDE IS PAYING ATTENTION. There is no doubt that the GOP sees this piece as the gift that will keep on giving, and Democrats cannot afford these types of unforced errors.
There’s little time left in the campaign to right the ship before ballots start dropping in less than three weeks. The most immediate problem they seem to have is that there is no one with the interest AND experience to help them do it. For the GOP’s part, they can’t assume that the Democrats are in complete dissaray, though we’re pretty sure they enjoy the sight of the wheels finally coming off of Colorado Democrats’ Big Blue Machine.