The Denver mayor's race has grown unexpectedly nasty, with frontrunner Michael Hancock being targeted with false claims that Tom Tancredo endorsed him and more. The latest? A Complete Colorado report that attempts to link Hancock to the Denver Players prostitution ring that spelled doom for Judge Edward Nottingham. Hancock's campaign manager sees the report as utterly false and reprehensible.
Complete Colorado builds its story on a document on view below and accessible by clicking here. It's basically a log sheet that lists a "John" referred to as "Mike Handcock," a payment amount of $275 and the notation "Wrks4City." Prior to launching his mayoral bid, Hancock was a city councilman.
Campaign manager Evan Dreyer confirms that the number listed on the document is the same as Hancock's personal cell -- a topic of conversation this morning on Peter Boyles's KHOW talk show. Nonetheless, he stresses that the report is "categorically untrue," adding, "Michael and the campaign have endured negative, false, deceptive attack after attack for months, so nobody should really be surprised at this. The thing that's different about this one is just the personal nature of it, and how shameful it is."
Is this latest blitzkrieg of ugliness capable of putting a dent in Hancock's lead in the mayoral race over Chris Romer, estimated at 10 percent in a recent poll?
"The voters in Denver are very smart," Dreyer says, "and I'm confident they will see this as a last-minute, untrue attack on Michael's character. This is absolutely the worst smear that we've seen to date."
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Dreyer declines to speculate about who's behind this salvo or what their motives might be. And while he concedes that voters probably won't ignore the story, "I think they'll see through it -- see it for what it is."
Here's the document, courtesy of Complete Colorado.
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Crisanta Duran donated to Michael Hancock before she endorsed Chris Romer."