Politics

Simulated bull semen: Clever political symbol or possible security threat?

Execs at the liberal ProgressNow Colorado organization wanted to ridicule Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis for, in their view, sticking it to the middle class rather than eliminating tax loopholes for fat cats. So they assembled what they referred to as a McLobbyist Happy Meal for delivery to the Capitol, complete with items representing products whose exemptions McInnis would like to keep.

For instance, a can of Raid represented pesticides, and a wax mustache -- which might come in handy for the now bare-lipped McInnis -- stood for candy. But what to do about bull semen, another item set to lose its exemption?

That's where things got a bit sticky.

"The person who pulled this together had little vials with cream rinse in them," says ProgressNow Colorado executive director Bobby Clark. "But I wasn't sure if we could get any of this through security, and we were afraid the vials might really alarm the security folks. We weren't sure how they'd react to it. So we wound up taking that out."

Hence, no one at the Capitol had to try to figure out whether the Happy Meal semen was real or an incredible simulation. But Clark hopes the group got its message across anyhow.

"This was a fun little thing in the ProgressNow style," he says. "But the point of it was that Scott McInnis to this day hasn't proposed anything specific about how he would balance the budget. The only thing he's done is stood with corporate interests and said, 'Don't take away our loopholes.' He's truly earned the name 'McLobbyist.'"

Better that from his perspective than ProgressNow dubbing him "Semen Lover." Unless he's hoping to appeal to a new demographic.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts