The GOP in Colorado wants to bring the Republican National Convention to Denver in 2016 -- an interesting move, considering the acute political and social divisions in the state.
Colorado, which for many years had settled comfortably into red-state territory, now swings the other way.
And today, it's known more for recreational pot sales and civil unions than as Dick Cheney's favorite place to go fly fishing.
That is, unless you live in Weldistan, one of the ten counties that voted on proposals to secede from Colorado last fall. Then again, local Republicans may feel emboldened by the successful ouster of three Democrats who voted in favor of gun-control laws last year. Even Governor John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock, both Democrats, are already supporting the effort to bring the national GOP confab here -- because of the promotional and economic benefits that would come with it.
Now, all the host committee -- led by former U.S. representative Bob Beauprez, former governor Bill Owens, former U.S. senator Hank Brown, and others -- needs to do (besides raising tens of millions of dollars) is put together a slick swag bag for the movers and shakers in the Republican National Committee who'll make the decision.
Here are six suggestions for what those bags should include:
One part fracking fluid; one part Colorado-made gin. Hickenlooper has agreed to serve as a co-chair of the committee, but that's not the only favor he's done for Republicans over the years. One of his most famous stunts was when he reportedly drank fracking fluid to show how safe the stuff is. Colorado is currently at the center of the debate over fracking, and since Republicans love their martinis and their environmental havoc, this potent drink would show off both.
Local Republican operatives may have subverted Jaxine Bubis's attempt to run for the El Paso County seat of former Democratic Senate president John Morse when they revealed that she writes erotic fiction. But that's no reason not to stuff the bags with copies of her book Beantown Heat and treat their national counterparts to some purple prose from the self-proclaimed "erotic grammy," including this: "He dragged the rose down her chin, her neck, and tortured her, dragging it down between her breasts, her belly and across the top of her panties. She moved, arched, ached for more."
A love of guns and a fear of government are two characteristics that make up a good part of the Republican voting bloc in this country, so an effort by a group in Deer Trail to create drone-hunting licenses could have a certain attraction for top GOPs. The town won't vote on the issue until at least April, but in the meantime, it could certainly issue a few honorary laminated licenses for the conservative brain trust in Washington, D.C. Pro tip: If you do plan to shoot down drones, make sure the clip in your automatic weapon fires fewer than fifteen rounds, as required by our new state law.
Spirit of 76
It turns out that Republicans smoke pot, too, and while the legalization of marijuana may not be popular among the most reactionary members of their constituency, certain members of the dancing-elephant party seem to be coming around. Besides, when in Rome.... Westword pot critic William Breathes named the Spirit of 76 as one of his favorite strains from 2013, and judging by his description, it might keep a few cranky old conservatives from yelling at empty chairs again: "The potent little buds had a sweet, earthy taste and were great for mellowing out and easing anxiety after a stressful day. I also was struck with a mean case of the munchies soon after puffing a bowl, despite the fact that I had just finished a meal."
Papa John's coupons
As Breathes points out, if you're going to be smoking some Spirit of 76, you're going to want some munchies. And while the Papa John's pizza joint isn't based in Colorado, its number-one spokesman -- and the owner of 21 local franchises -- is currently the state's biggest celebrity. Peyton Manning is a longtime supporter of the GOP, as is company owner John Schnatter, who has made his feelings clear on Obamacare. Why not return the favor by directing traffic to one of Manning's stores?
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A hipster disguise
While Republicans outnumber Democrats on the state's voting lists, Denver -- the only place in Colorado with large-enough facilities to host the convention -- is solidly Democrat. To help GOP delegates sneak in and out of the city, include a paste-on beard, paste-on tattoo and flannel shirt. Red, white and blue, of course.