What is it with Colorado politicians and their mountains? No, Mount McKinley isn’t Pikes Peak, and the Canadian Rockies are nowhere to be found in the Centennial State.
Hours after launching his campaign Web site to much fanfare, official Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis yanked from the site a prominent graphic featuring a vista of Lake Louise, a resort nestled in the Canadian Rockies. The Canadian terrain appeared behind the question, “What do you want for the future of Colorado?”
Soon after bloggers uncovered the geographic blooper, lovely Lake Louise vanished from the McInnis site, replaced with background shots of the Boulder Flatirons.
A McInnis campaign spokesman didn’t return a phone call or e-mail seeking comment.
Intrepid contributors to the political blog Colorado Pols uncovered the McInnis campaign’s graphic mixup Thursday afternoon. After speculating the range might be the result of creative Photoshopping, and then discarding the possibility it portrayed a seldom-seen view of Mount of the Holy Cross or Maroon Bells, a blogger using the name johnpauljones found images of the mountain range McInnis used:
Found it – Lake Louise – Alberta Canada
Look to the far left of the photo. Maroon Bell looking moutain with a large mountain behind. The notch on the right side of the bell shape is a dead ringer. The glacier valley leads right into Lake Louise.
Classic. Schaferish but wrong country.
“This is worse than Shaffer,” another blogger replied. “This is not even inside the United States.”
McInnis’ misplaced mountain echoes a famous snafu from a little over a year ago when Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer had to pull his inaugural campaign commercial when bloggers discovered it featured Alaska’s Mount McKinley rather than Pikes Peak. Schaffer campaign manager Dick Wadhams blamed the mistake on a Washington, D.C.-based media consulting firm.
McInnis made waves right before the election last fall when he told The Colorado Independent he would have done a better job than Schaffer did in the U.S. Senate contest against the eventual winner, Democrat Mark Udall. “I would have beat Udall, that wasn’t the issue,” McInnis said.
After forming a fundraising committee Wedneday, McInnis unveiled his Web site Thursday morning, officially launching his campaign to unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter. Evergreen businessman Dan Maes is also seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Ritter. State Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, also a Republican, is expected to announce his intentions any day now.
McInnis is no newcomer to Colorado or to politics. The former Glenwood Springs policeman served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives after many years in the state legislature. He has worked as an attorney for a multinational law firm since retiring from Congress in 2004.