Michael Hancock, an African-American business executive who’s running for mayor in Denver, wants to make sure nobody gets his message twisted. He has launched a new page on his campaign Web site called “Clear the Air” to rebut negative attacks from his Republican rival Chris Romer and others. The two candidates are in a runoff race that ends June 7, and, according to Hancock, during the past few weeks, the campaign has grown increasingly negative.
“Chris Romer and his allies have reached a new low, using dirty tactics never before seen in Denver. Chris and his supporters have launched a secret campaign that is being run by a ‘527,’which is not accountable to the public,” Hancock wrote on the “Clear the Air” page. “You’ve probably seen the work of Chris’ shadow campaign in mailers or heard their deceptive automated phone calls.”
He’s referring to an email written by Romer’s deputy campaign manager and a robocall that say Hancock has been endorsed by a divisive local political figure named Tom Tancredo, who voted against the Voting Rights Act while a member of Congress and launched a failed gubernatorial campaign last year.
“We all know that Tancredo has repeatedly attacked our community. Tancredo has supported devastating policies that lead to racial profiling and policies that make it more difficult for our children to receive affordable health-care coverage and access to quality education,” the robocall tells listeners. “We can’t afford to have someone in the mayor’s office who doesn't understand the issues we face. There is a clear difference in the candidates in this race. Please vote for Chris Romer for Denver mayor.”
Hancock says that if Tancredo had endorsed him, he would reject it. Local reporter Chris Calhoun writes in the Denver Westwood, that Romer’s campaign denies responsibility for the robocall, but doesn’t denounce its message.