DENVER – Republican Joe Coors responded Wednesday to a recent barrage of labor union-funded negative attack ads with a TV ad of his own.
The Coors spot, dubbed “Extreme Ed,” which will run interchangeably with a previous ad as part of a larger $1.8 million ad reserve, takes aim at incumbent Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Lakewood) for two outside-the-mainstream votes cast by the Democrat during his eight-year career in the Colorado legislature.
The ad hammers Perlmutter for his opposition to a 1996 Democrat-sponsored law allowing child victims of sexual assault to testify via closed circuit television against their attacker if “the presence of the defendant would result in the child suffering serious emotional distress or trauma such that the child would not be able to reasonably communicate.”
At the time, Perlmutter said he opposed the proposal — which passed by an overwhelming bipartisan 32-3 margin — because he believed it violated the Colorado state constitution.
The Perlmutter campaign reiterated that explanation in a press release Wednesday, saying that the lawmaker opposed the proposal because “he felt the bill was unconstitutional.”
But critics say a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court six years earlier upheld the constitutionality of allowing child sex abuse victims to testify via closed-circuit television — a ruling they say then-State Senator Perlmutter was well aware of at the time of the controversial vote.
The Coors campaign has released tapes showing Perlmutter was informed of the constitutionality of the bill on two separate occasions.
”The real insult is that Ed Perlmutter thought he knew more about the Constitution than the Supreme Court of the United States and the Colorado Supreme Court,” Coors campaign spokeswoman Michelle Yi told Fox31. “Unfortunately for Ed Perlmutter, there is no statute of limitations on extreme votes.“
The ad also hits Perlmutter’s 2001 vote against removing the statute of limitations on most sexual assault crimes (thus allowing prosecutors to utilize DNA evidence to solve years-old crimes) as evidence that the three-term incumbent is out of touch with Colorado voters.
“Ed Perlmutter voted against the law that protects victims of child abuse from having to face their abusers in court. And Extreme Ed Perlmutter voted against Colorado’s law allowing the use of DNA evidence to convict sexual predators years later,” says the Coors ad’s female announcer before concluding, “Extreme? That’s Ed Perlmutter.”
Perlmutter cited legalistic concerns once again to defend himself, arguing that he opposed the 2001 bill because “it was poorly written and unconstitutional.”
The ad represents the second time in a month that Perlmutter has been taken to task on the topic, with conservative advocacy group Compass Colorado slamming the embattled lawmaker for his controversial votes in August.
“Ed Perlmutter is officially Colorado’s version of Todd Akin,” T. Q. Houlton, president of Compass Colorado, said at the time. “This reckless disregard for rape victims is reprehensible and offensive to every Coloradan.”
The ads are the latest bad news for Perlmutter, who trailed Mr. Coors by a significant margin in at least one recent poll.
Prior to the release of the poll, Perlmutter was harshly criticized for appearing on Face the Nation in the immediate wake of the Aurora theater massacre to campaign for stricter gun controls. Perlmutter came under fire again for politicizing the shootings just days later, when the Lakewood Democrat cited the slayings as a justification for his vote in favor of ObamaCare during an online forum.
The Coors campaign also launched a new campaign website in conjunction with the new ads, www.Extreme-Ed.com.
The new Coors ad can be viewed below.