Posted on October 18, 2004

Tancredo Now In Cross Hairs Of Attack Ads

Gabrielle Crist, Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 14

The group attacking U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave in television ads is now on the hunt for Rep. Tom Tancredo — with a radio ad that began airing Wednesday.

In the ad, a woman is typing a letter to Tancredo. Then the narrator says:

“My husband and I work hard to teach our children the values of acceptance and the evils of racism, which is why we’re so disappointed in your conduct.

“You make a career of trying to punish immigrant workers, then turn around and use cheap, illegal labor to remodel your home. It’s insulting to us all.”

The reference to illegal labor is based on a 2002 allegation that Tancredo’s remodeling contractor hired illegal immigrants to complete work on Tancredo’s home.

The contractor denied the allegation.

The woman then gives her name and notes she is from Greenwood Village.

Tancredo’s campaign manager, Dave Pearson, said there are several problems with the ad. For starters, he said, there is no such woman in Greenwood Village and no active voter registration for anyone under that name.

Beyond that, he said, Tancredo is not a racist.

“The congressman is in favor of strengthening our borders and eliminating illegal immigration,” Pearson said. “There is nothing racist or biased in that.”

The ads were paid for by a 527 committee, an independent political group that raises money to promote candidates or issues. The committee, called Coloradans for Plain Talk, used to operate under the name Colorado Families First.

It is led by three wealthy Democrats: Jared Polis, Tim Gilland and Pat Stryker.

Last month, the group began airing two controversial anti-Musgrave television ads. The first showed a Musgrave look-alike stealing a watch from a corpse and referred to the Republican congresswoman’s vote against barring nursing homes from charging fees after a patient has died.

The second ad featured a Musgrave look-alike picking the pocket of a soldier and referred to her vote to cut veterans’ benefits in a preliminary vote in March. Full benefits and a significant funding increase were added in the final budget bill in July, which Musgrave supported.

Some politicos predicted that the Musgrave ads were so harsh they would hurt her Democratic opponent, Stan Matsunaka.