Media should ignore Caldara’s latest stunt

I liked Denver Post Reporter Lynn Bartels article about Jon Caldara’s alleged intention to vote against John Morse because Bartels framed the story as one of the many antics that Caldara is known for.

Bartels began the piece by labeling Caldara a “political stunt man,” and later she reminded us of some of Caldara’s media events:

He is known for his antics — whether it’s  setting up Dominos or  trotting out out a huge swine made from a propane tank and papier-mâché — to highlight his position on issues.

Bartels didn’t dismiss Caldara’s latest voting antic as meaningless, because Caldara, like any citizen, has the right to move into a new district and vote there.

But if his intentions prove to be fake, and he votes, he’ll face felony charges for vote fruad, as Bartels pointed out. But threatening to move into a new district and vote is no felony. It’s a good stunt, if you’re Jon Caldara, and you want to get media attention. Good enough to raise questions and get Bartels’ attention.

Caldara’s stunt reminds me of a story from book about manipulating the media: A guy puts out a news release saying he’s going to burn a puppy in one week. Animal rights activists and the media go nuts.

No one can do anything because there’s no law against threatening to burn a puppy. After a week, the guy holds a news conference and emerges with a blow torch and a puppy, and he decries common-sense gun-safety laws or something, manipulating the media into covering his pet issue.  And the puppy lives!

Caldara’s stunt is similar. In the end, he may say his intention changed, he won’t move to CO Springs to vote against Morse, and he wanted to make a point. He may actually move to CO  Springs. He may vote and “change his intention” after casting his ballot against Morse, and accept the possible consequences as an act of civil disobedience.

In any case, it’s a stunt, and the media should mostly ignore Caldara at this point.  Like any citizen, Caldara will face charges if he votes in a district where he has no intention, or fake intentions, of living.

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