Beauprez Campaign Over The Hill

A Western Slope Republican commented on the recent “Beauprez-gate” developments: “I feel like General Lee looking at the mass of Union soldiers coming over the horizon at Gettysburg.”

The Continental Divide usually separates Front Range issues, politics and problems from the issues, politics and problems on the West Slope. It is not often when a Front Range hot topic survives the altitude and distance, so to speak, to end up in street talk and on the front pages of newspapers in the West.One exception this political season is the growing scandal surrounding Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez’s campaign over the illegal use of confidential information from a federal law enforcement data base in a TV ad against Beauprez’s opponent, Bill Ritter.

Just as the major newspapers on the Front Range are digging into this story on their main news pages to Thursday’s editorial in the Denver Post, a couple of hundred miles away, “Beauprez-gate” was also landing on the front page of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

Heard in coffee shop conversations and chit chat between friends, West Slopers are just as interested in where this storyline is going as anyone on the Front Range.

That can’t be a good sign for Beauprez or Republican candidates anywhere in the state, let alone on the Western Slope where there are several tight state house and senate races.

For instance, in House District 55 where Democratic incumbent, Bernie Buescher is defending his seat against Bob Caskey, there was a full page advertisement costing around $3500 in Thursday’s Daily Sentinel touting Caskey’s support from other Republican politicians. But it is on page 7A, well behind the front page story of Beauprez’s campaign fiasco and the ad is right across the jump of the Beauprez story on page 6A.

The only saving grace in the probably wasted Caskey ad was that Beauprez’s name wasn’t on the list of Republican supporters.