NRCC Young Gun contender Gardner’s website blunders mount

Fourth District Congressional candidate Cory Gardner published the names of his email list today, all 4920 names, demonstrating again a lack of attention to detail that has characterized his campaign. It was only his latest online blunder. In fact the one that preceded it came just hours earlier.

Gardner Monday unveiled a new site meant to attack his opponent, incumbent Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey. Gardner’s “eBetsy.com” is a mock eBay auction-style site meant to suggest Markey sold her initial stand against health reform legislation to the highest bidder special interests when she voted for its passage this spring. Except that the site is only an idea; there is no substance to it, no research or links to back up the accusation.

The site at least for now is slapdash. It misspelled Gardner’s name and the only special interests listed at the site, as Bob Moore at the Fort Collins Coloradoan points out, are ActBlue and Emily’s List, groups that round-up individual small donations from progressive voters and voters who want to support women candidates who support abortion rights. These two “groups” are as benign as any “special interest” group you will find anywhere across the U.S. political landscape. Just because the Americans donating through the organizations won’t be supporting Gardner for policy reasons– including for his stance on health care– doesn’t make them corrupt or even corrupting. They’re simply individual voters pooling their money to favored candidates. If that’s a corrupting special interest to be targeted for exposure, Gardner will have a lot of explaining to do about his own backers.

Markey’s campaign sent out a response to the “eBesty” site looking for donations: “One of the Republican men challenging Betsy for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District launched a website this morning accusing YOU of being a special interest,” the campaign wrote to its citizen-donors.

Earlier this spring, the Colorado independent reported on the “Gardner 2010 Plan,” which the candidate touted for months on the stump before it emerged riddled with errors. More than that, the plan, presented as a policy primer, was unsubstantial even by the standards set by most politicians. There was nothing about topics of interest to his likely voters. Nothing, for example, on immigration, abortion, tax cuts, bank bailouts.

Gardner tweeted the plan as the “1010 Plan” — a revealing typo even in the grammar challenged world of Twitter. Indeed, he sent people to his website where the plan was not yet even posted.

In December the '2010 Plan' was the '1010 Plan'?

The first version of the plan included big government-supported nuclear power, which he stripped out after the Colorado Independent posted a critique. Gardner staffers also cleaned up a series of howling grammatical errors, including these:

National Defense

I believe as our great president Ronald Reagan believed, “Peace through Strength.” Our country’s most important Constitution duty is to protect and preserve the United States by providing for it common defense…

We must be vigilant, steadfast, and must win the War on Terror by eliminating the terrorist threat wherever they may be.

In the Gardner household, we know we have to watch how much money we spend to make sure that we can cover our bills. Its time Congress start living within its means and do the same thing.

Government does not need to spend every dime but every dime that is spent should be transparent.

Gardner took down the names of the subscribers to his email list today after the gaffe was blogged by Colorado Pols. He edited the “eBetsy” site to include his name properly spelled after Bob Moore blogged the error. He corrected the grammatical errors and removed the anti-fiscal conservative nuclear power support from his 2010 Plan after the Colorado Independent critiqued it. At this rate, Gardner will never make it beyond “contender” status in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program, which has been apparently looking upon his organizational skills with a gimlet eye, refusing to move him to top tier status and rain down its full support until he proves he can get organized enough to hire communications staffers to critique his websites before they go live instead of relying on the blogosphere to do the work after they go live.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic
jtomasic@coloradoindependent.com | 720-432-2128 |

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