Denver Post rips Tancredo just before editor joins Hickenlooper PR firm

Greg Campbell Contributor
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Less than a week after The Denver Post ripped Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo in an editorial, the newspaper announced editorial page editor Curtis Hubbard would be leaving to join OnSight Public Affairs, a PR firm that worked on Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s first gubernatorial campaign.

“Coincidence? I don’t think so,” Tancredo told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I can’t recall an editorial of this nature, telling a political party not to nominate an individual. I’ve never seen anything like that.”

In an email, Hubbard said he didn’t author the editorial, which was titled “GOP can do better than Tom Tancredo.”

“Like all of the editorials published in The Denver Post, the Tancredo piece was discussed and voted on by our editorial board,” he wrote. “In this case, the vote was unanimous.”

“As our editorials represent the views of the board, we don’t disclose who the author is, but I can tell you that I did not write it,” Hubbard continued. “I would add that none of the comments made in the editorial would come as a surprise to regular readers of our editorial page.”

Hubbard also noted that the paper allowed Tancredo to write a rebuttal to the editorial.

The editorial pointed out that Tancredo — who ran in 2010 as a third-party candidate after he publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the two candidates vying for the Republican nomination — came in second place behind Hickenlooper, but still lost by 15 points.

“Tancredo represents qualities that Republicans would do well to avoid in the 2014 statewide races if they want to have a shot at success,” the editorial read. “He’s right-wing as opposed to conservative, obsessive on immigration at a time when the GOP needs to cultivate more Latino voters and prone to colorful but divisive statements.”

The paper concluded, “To have a vibrant two-party system in Colorado, Republicans need to field candidates with broader appeal than Tancredo.”

While some Republicans might agree with that sentiment — Tancredo’s 2010 third-party candidacy deeply divided the Republican Party — the candidate finds it hard to believe the Post would care about the GOP having strong candidates.

“The really bizarre and idiotic part is that they think somebody might believe that their interests are only for the betterment of the Republican Party,” Tancredo said. “That’s what’s ludicrous. What could they possibly gain by helping their longtime avowed enemy? The whole thing is just goofy.”

Although Hubbard didn’t write the editorial, Tancredo still sees it as a conflict of interest.

“Even if he didn’t — quote — write it himself — end quote — he is the [editorial page] editor,” Tancredo said. “And recognizing that he was going to be announcing his departure within a week of this publication, within days of the publication, one would have thought he would have said, ‘you know, this might look bad.’”

When asked if he expected to work on a Hickenlooper reelection campaign, Hubbard wrote in the email, “I expect to work with all of OnSight’s clients.”

Hickenlooper’s campaign for governor is OnSight’s most high profile case study listed on its website, along with campaigns for Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Albus Brooks’ campaign for Denver City Council. Brooks served as Hickenlooper’s Outreach and Political Director during his run for governor.

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