Conservative CU Regent and Congressional candidate for the 4th District Tom Lucero has taken his campaign onto the internets. Looking to win the chance to run against Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey, Lucero has posted a YouTube ad, a medium well matched with his budget so far. In the ad Lucero says he cleaned up the Ward Churchill mess here in Colorado and he wants to “lead the fight to clean up Washington, which as you know is making an even bigger mess of our great country!”
It’s an unabashedly stiff media product. It’s digital low-fi. It makes reference to Bill Ayers! And it will likely go over well with his supporters, who see Lucero as a dark-horse non establishment true conservative figure in the primary against state Rep. Cory Gardner, who has received national party support.
Lucero was perhaps the chief motivator among University of Colorado regents working to have controversial ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill fired based on a case stemming from an essay Churchill drafted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Churchill wrote that, although horrible, the attacks were not without reason. He said they were a reaction to an exploitative U.S. imperialist foreign policy. Fox News and Lynne Cheney’s academic watch-dog group American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) targeted Churchill as a symbol of left-wing anti-American domination of U.S. higher education. Lucero is a member of ACTA.
Chuchill singled out Lucero in discussing his case with the Boulder Weekly, saying that the case against him was about a new kind of political correctness and censorship hovering over the academy.
Ward Churchill: The larger framing was articulated by one of the regents, Tom Lucero, at the regents meeting the other night: I want a justification for the existence of whole departments. I want to review the tenure system altogether. I want every course justified to my satisfaction.
Boulder Weekly: That’s not academic freedom. That’s a dictatorial response—
WC: —from someone who could not possibly have the competence to assess the validity of these things. How could Tom Lucero possibly have assimilated the knowledge to pass scholarly judgment on the individual courses and their content and the scholarship that attends them in all these different areas?
This is transparently clear: Anything that he doesn’t like, whether he knows anything about it or not, is to be gone. He has announced—telegraphed—the fact that he doesn’t like anything having to do with cultural studies, ethnic studies, dissident political studies, gay rights. None of that has anything to do with proper scholarship in his mind, not that he knows a goddamned thing about any of it. And it’s not that he’s a particularly malevolent individual. He’s representative of the whole. That’s the mentality that goes into this. This is a book-burning exercise. It’s a stifling of political discourse.