In a Denver mayoral campaign that was supposed to be so clean, the dirtiest deed yet is tied to a man who does not even live in Denver and has not actually talked to either candidate.
"That's what you get for going to lunch with Peter Boyles," says Tom Tancredo.
I was at that lunch last week where, in a wide-ranging conversation that touched on everything from Tancredo's job at Elitch Gardens to the state of the newspaper and radio business, Peter Boyles talked about why he liked Michael Hancock and would be voting for him -- and told Tancredo that he'd like him to do so as well. "If I lived in Denver, I would vote for the guy," Tancredo says now.
Tancredo has never talked to the Hancock campaign; he has never endorsed Hancock. But even so, that lunchtime conversation -- repeated on Boyles's radio show the next day -- has now set off a series of dirty tricks. They include an e-mail from Romer deputy campaign manager Crisanta Duran in which she writes, "It's not surprising that Tom Tancredo endorsed Michael Hancock" -- although it certainly is, since he didn't -- and urging recipients to instead vote for Romer.
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And then there's this robocall that two residents of southwest Denver got last week: "Chris Romer was being endorsed by former mayor Federico Peña. His opponent was being endorsed by Tom Tancredo. We all know that Tancredo has repeatedly attacked our community... Tancredo has supported devastating policies that lead to racial profiling and policies that make it more difficult for our children to receive affordable health-care coverage and access to quality education. We can't afford to have someone in the mayor's office who doesn't understand the issues we face. There is a clear difference in the candidates in this race. Please vote for Chris Romer for Denver Mayor."
For the record, the Romer campaign denies being involved in these dirty tricks. But so far, it hasn't denounced them.
For more, much more, on this, look for my complete column when the new issue is posted later today. And in the meantime, you might want to take a shower. This clean campaign is getting dirty.
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Police brutality is killing us, says ACLU of Colorado."