DENVER – In the wake of Wikileaks’ release of thousands of Democratic Party officials’ emails, much of the public’s attention has been focused on the national implications of the unearthed messages. 

But there is a Colorado twist to these leaks, and this twist explains a great deal in terms of liberals’ political strategy in the Centennial State.

In July of 2010, Michael Huttner, founder of ProgressNow, sent an email to his liberal and progressive allies, entitled “how we just changed an entire Governor’s race in 48 hours—without any fingerprints.” The email goes on to describe how ProgressNow “carefully passed on information to the mainstream media” regarding a Republican candidate for Colorado Governor, and that upon the information’s dissemination, both the candidate “and the entire Republican party of Colorado are in free-fall.”

While such political muckraking would normally be standard operating procedure, what makes this episode noteworthy is that ProgressNow pushed to get the story out during the Republican primary season as a means of influencing the opposing party’s candidate selection process. 

Kelly Maher, Executive Director of Compass Colorado, suggested that ProgressNow’s sabotage of their adversaries’ primary process illuminates a strategy rooted less in promoting progressive policies, and instead geared toward simply attempting to disqualify anyone who stands in their way:

“The takeaway from ProgressNow’s ‘at-all-cost’ strategy to singularly inflict harm on political adversaries is revealing. Notice that liberal advocacy groups rarely promote their own preferred candidates and policies. Why? Because their candidates and policies run counter to the ideology of a vast majority of Coloradans.

“One need only look back to 2014, when ProgressNow and other liberal organizations spent untold sums of energy – and even more money – trying to paint Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner as an extremist. Incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Udall had nothing on which to run, so liberals were reduced to throwing the entirety of their weight into attacks that Coloradans simply didn’t find believable. The result? Senator Cory Gardner.

“There’s enough negativity in politics as it is, but for progressives, it’s quite literally all they have. Coloradans should reject their tiresome bellyaching at every opportunity.”