Looper, R-Calhan, is locked in a contentious Republican primary for House District 19, against House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, R-Monument. Tancredo, a national leader in the fight against illegal immigration, endorsed Looper in January, and has been trying to help boost her conservative bona fides.
But a new nonprofit called Colorado Liberty Alliance has been sending mailers to El Paso County residents that say in dramatic red and green lettering that Looper “green-lighted illegal immigration,” and that Colorado “can’t afford Looper’s amnesty scheme.” It sports a photo of a yellow street sign that says “Caution,” above a black outline of a three-member family running.
Click on the image of the mailer to see a larger version.
The group was founded by local political consultant Patrick Davis, and was set up on Jan. 17.
The bill in question was controversial 2008 measure to streamline a federal program to keep track of non-citizen farm workers. Many Republicans opposed the bill and called it an amnesty program.
Davis also set up a Web site, www.looperforamnesty.com, which even tries to use Tancredo himself against Looper, by quoting him blasting guest worker programs as amnesty.
But Tancredo isn’t having any of it.
“Stephens’s supporters have clearly crossed the line in their attempt to falsely accuse and mislead voters about Marsha’s tough stand on immigration,” Tancredo said in a statement.
“The big-government special interest lobbyist attacking Looper, would prefer to have a pawn in office who sponsors liberal big-government programs and could care less about the families paying the bills.”
Tancredo said Looper has a “proven conservative record.”
Stephens campaign consultant Dustin Olson said they had nothing to do with the mailer, but he condemned both Looper and Tancredo anyway, for the immigrant bill at the center of the debate.
“Tancredo owes Looper since she supported him first for governor,” Olson said. “It’d be wrong for him not to support her, even with Looper’s liberal illegal immigration bill.”
“More relevant are the amazing lengths Marsha will go to to mislead. Looper’s guest worker program with Mexico that lacks enforcement does open the door to illegal immigration. Tancredo himself has said that is basically the same as ‘amnesty.’”
This isn’t the first time a controversial political mailer has appeared in the Looper-Stephens race. Looper’s campaign paid for one last month, attacking Stephens for running a bill last year that created health care exchanges, and suggesting Stephens supports President Barack Obama’s health care reforms. Looper and many other conservatives call the program “Amycare.”