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Vail Daily column: About as dumb as it can get

Don Rogers
My View
Don Rogers
Laura Mahaffy/lmahaffy@theunion.com | The Union

We slipped and let one of those utterly BS election ads into the paper the other day.

Doh! I’m kicking myself. Fortunately, it was too stupid to be taken seriously while reminding us that partisans cannot ever be trusted with precious things like the truth.

This ad came from the Democratic Party, ostensibly to help state Senate candidate Kerry Donovan in her campaign vs. Republican Don Suppes.

Like most of these, the ad is petty and just really, really dumb.

It offers a video recording of Donovan and Suppes speaking during their part of a recent candidate forum at the Eagle County commissioners chambers a few weeks ago and adds this zinger: “Why did Eagle County Republicans demand the debate be destroyed?” Oooooh! Juicy. Conspiracy. Those meanies! What are they trying to hide? Hmmm. Have to watch that video.

The county videoed the debate but took it down from their website because Libertarian candidates for the state Senate and state House districts representing Eagle County were not invited to the debate. Turns out that violates a county policy to invite every candidate for an office. No matter how fringe.

Sounds silly to me, but I don’t run the county.

County officials don’t want to be in the position of deciding who is fringe, no matter how obvious.

So common sense gets nudged aside in favor of policies and rules and such to eliminate exercises in judgment where possible. This policy has been in place since 2007, I understand, although the video needed to come to the county attorney’s attention a day later before this was remembered.

The county wound up giving copies of the video to the Republicans and the Democrats. You can find it on You Tube, and we should have it up on our website.

Now, I enjoy candidate forums, but my interest is not widely shared. Whittle down the true believers, functionaries, advocates, family and friends, the neutral voters usually can be counted on one hand. Maybe two dozen people showed up for this one.

The discussions in these things are predictable and fit as quaint Americana. Everyone loves their family and is honored to answer to call to give back to the greatest community, state, nation in the whole wide world.

If they are incumbents, things could be better but on balance are going pretty well. If they are challengers, well, everything has gone to hell in a handbasket and thank god they are here to fix it all.

The issues pretty much are the same from election to election, along with the solutions or need to give it further study.

It’s all earnest and honest and delivered with no apparent knowledge that it’s all been said over and over and over again. Only the people uttering the words have changed.

Still I love it. I tend to genuinely like and appreciate the people signing themselves in for what you and I would consider the most boring reading possible, more homework than AP calculus, hours of meetings about mostly dull topics, and then criticism for not doing enough or reaching out enough or whatever enough from people who don’t participate until their own ox gets gored and have zero idea of what they are talking about.

The operatives, mostly bush leaguers, bring in their nasty brand of campaigning for whatever reason. This qualifies as among the dumbest parts of American politics today.

A reporter asked them where their nonsense came from. The head of the Democrats’ state Senate campaign committee claimed that the Republicans had threatened to sue the county if the debate continued to be aired.

That was news to County Attorney Bryan Treu. Nope, nothing like that was threatened, he said. It was news to the Republicans, too.

The funny thing is that nothing remotely spectacular happened at the candidate forum attended by the public, covered by the press and available online.

Both parties are cursed with operatives who seem to live for putting out BS intended only to demonize the opponent and other party. The Suppes campaign has some rank BS fliers out castigate Donovan inaccurately and unfairly while doing nothing to show why he should earn our vote. If you think about it, much like the Democratic crap these messages argue the candidate they presume to support.

The goofball ad in the paper was far from the worst. Just the dumbest I’ve seen so far. I feel sorry for anyone suckered into viewing this “hot” video. They’ll only be very disappointed to see nothing there.

Just like the suits running some of these campaigns.

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at drogers@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2920. He welcomes your comments.


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