COLO. SPRINGS – Fighting the recall of Democrat Senate President John Morse, a liberal 527 committee is airing a TV ad that falsely claims Republican Bernie Herpin supports the Personhood Amendment and a “ban on common forms of birth control.”
Herpin is pro-life, but he has never supported the Personhood Amendment or signed a petition to put the measure on the ballot.
Colorado statutes prohibit ads with false statements – but the Colorado Springs-Pueblo TV stations have refused to yank the ads paid for by the We Can Do Better Committee.
The TV ad contains “false and reckless statements” said KVOR talk radio host Jeff Crank and Laura Carno of I Am Created Equal. Crank and Carno support the recall of Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo).
Crank and Carno sent a written notice to the TV stations – KRDO, KKTV, KOAA and KXRM – and cited Colorado Revised Statute section 1-13-109 which prohibits dissemination and broadcasting of knowingly false statements in ads, letter and mailers to influence electors.
“Under the law, these ads must be taken off the air and I call on John Morse and (Sen.) Angela Giron to have the guts to condemn these untruthful, despicable, exploitative ads,” said Crank in a statement.
“Our decision is to keep running the advertisement,” responded Tim Larson, general manager of KRDO. “You should contact Josette Jamillo, Registered Agent of We Can Do Better Colorado.”
The TV stations have been informed of the 527 committee’s false statements – but that might not be news to them.
Matthew Warner, attorney with Alpern Myers Stuart, noted that the TV ad cites a story in which Herpin declared he has never supported the Personhood Amendment. In essence, the ad documents that its content is dishonest.
Crank said that We Can Do Better Colorado knew the ad was dishonest and that “there is no evidence that Bernie Herpin supported the Personhood Amendment yet they tied him with another candidate who does.”
The 527 committee’s ad attacks Herpin, who is running to replace Morse in Colorado Springs, and George Rivera, who is campaigning to replace Giron in Pueblo.
“I make no apologies for my belief in the sanctity of life. Senator Giron, no more shell games. Stay on the issues. Debate me!” tweeted Rivera, who supports the Personhood Amendment and signed a petition to place the initiative on the ballot.
Herpin stated his pro-life stance in a Pikes Peak Citizens for Life survey – but he did not declare support for the Personhood Amendment.
The 527 committee’s ad omits that Herpin stated his support for embryonic stem cell research in the survey – a position that “directly contradicts the Personhood Amendment,” said Crank.
“I’ve fought untruthful ads from both political parties for many years now but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such an absolute lie in a political ad,” said Crank. “People have little faith in politicians because of untrue, dishonest ads like this one.”
“They lied and they knew they lied,” said Crank.
In conjunction with the TV ad, the 527 committee sent mailers replaying the Democrats’ strategy to use abortion as a wedge issue to defeat Republican candidates.
“There have been two consistent and central tenets of the Democratic playbook for most of the last two decades: 1) Energize female voters and maximize the gender gap; 2) Use perceived Republican extremism around various social issues to accomplish goal number one,” said political analyst Eric Sondermann.
The TV ad to fight the recall of Morse and Giron portrays Herpin and Rivera as extremists who support “a ban on common forms of birth control,” a common attack leveled by opponents of the proposed Personhood Amendment, which Colorado voters soundly rejected in 2008 and 2010.
“Senator Morse is trying to distract voters from his agenda of gun laws that he known won’t make us safer, and his refusal to listen to constituents,” Carno told KDVR political news reporter Eli Stokols.