Videos: Maria Ciano, Colorado ex-Republican, sparks non-controversy controversy at DNC

Last night, a number of folks with Colorado ties spoke at the Democratic National Convention, including Representative Jared Polis and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. But the one to arguably get the most attention was Colorado's Maria Ciano, who conservative media outlets like this one have dubbed a "fake Republican" who's now touting President Barack Obama; see videos below. But this alleged controversy doesn't have much steam.

Ciano first came to the attention of the blogosphere when she appeared in a video dubbed "Republican Women for Obama." Here it is:

Late last month, shortly after the clip went live, BuzzFeed revealed that Ciano has actually been a registered Democrat since 2006. Powerline followed up with a visit to Ciano's Facebook page, noting that her "likes" include Democracy For Action, Amy Goodman, MoveOn.org and "Bernie Sanders Tells You a Secret the GOP Would Rather You Didn't Know."

But while folks on both sides of the ideological fence can agree the title of the video is a bit misleading, Ciano never claims she's a current Republican in the clip. Instead, she says, "I was raised in a very conservative Republican family." In her DNC speech (the text appears below), she uses much the same verbiage. Moreover, she tells 7News that she was registered as a Republican throughout much of her twenties before changing her party affiliation.

Nonetheless, NewsBusters, a site dedicated to "exposing and combating liberal media bias," castigates MSNBC for airing Ciano's remarks but declining to broadcast the Republican National Convention appearance of Representative Artur Davis, a previous Obama campaign co-chair who now opposes the Dems.

By the way, NewsBusters concedes that Ciano's Facebook likes also include Chick-Fil-A, focus of a recent gay-marriage hullabaloo. But in the site's view, "having a jones for tasty 'hate chicken'" doesn't count as showing she's still got Republican leanings.

Yes, this is what qualifies as a controversy after day one of the 2012 DNC. Here's a clip of Ciano's remarks last night, followed by the aforementioned transcript.

Ciano's DNC transcript:

My name is Maria Ciano. I grew up in a conservative Republican family in Aurora, Colorado. Many of my relatives can't believe I'm doing this. I guess I can't either. I still believe in small government, but I no longer believe in the Republican Party...

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want the government to have a say in my family planning. They want employers to decide what kind of birth control coverage I have -- or if I can have it at all. They want to put insurance companies in charge of my health care. They want to deny me the power to make the most personal decisions about my life. That's not small government. That's not the America I love...

The America I love respects the dignity of women. The America I love is a place where, when we say, 'freedom,' we mean my freedom to make decisions about my life, not someone else's freedom to make them for me. And that's the America President Obama is fighting for....

When women's rights are threatened, President Obama doesn't hide. He stands up -- not just for women, but with women, amplifying our voices and defending our rights...

Give him four more years, and our right to make our own most personal decisions will be safe for another generation. Give him four more years, and he will protect the freedoms and the America we all love.

More from our Politics archive: "'We Built It:' Government support behind Mitt Romney's business examples in Colorado."

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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