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A LOOK BACK | ‘Red Smear’ attack in U.S. Senate race condemned | News


Sixty Years Ago This Week: Democratic Party leadership expressed their displeasure over what they deemed had been an “ill-advised” attack against Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. John Carroll.

Yale-trained lawyer, Army Air Corps WWII veteran and founding partner of Holland and Hart law firm, Peter Dominick was challenging Carroll, a former Denver District Attorney and WWII veteran himself, in the general election.

Earlier in the month, Carroll had been accused by the GOP of being a “closet communist” as an advocate for China’s entry into the United Nations.

Reporters learned that Victor Johnston, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee’s expert on “the Red Smear technique,” had been in Colorado to consult with Republican Party leaders just weeks previously.

Dominick had reportedly told strategists he planned to “take control” of “Mr. Johnston’s well established techniques in the use of ‘the big lie.’”

Previously in 1954, Johnston had written an attack ad that read: “John Carroll was a member of that high-taxing, free spending Communist coddling clique that took our nation far down the road toward socialism and corruption. Vote for a real American. Send Gordon Allott to the Senate.”

“It is quite disappointing to me,” said Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Fred Betz, “that Republican Chairman Jean Tool … is using the same old line of innuendo to convince the public that certain individuals, members and candidates of the Democratic Party are something less than good American citizens.”

Betz told The Colorado Democrat that Tool’s continued claims of Communist sympathies in the Democratic Party was a smokescreen as to “his party’s failure to present and discuss any real issues in this campaign.”

In other news, Denver District Attorney Bert Keating argued at a Denver Democratic Club meeting that the current approach to criminal behavior and sentencing was not working and more drastic penalties were needed.

“Statutes now on the books give sufficient protection to an offender’s civil rights and liberties,” Keating said. “Sometimes they are over-protected. What is needed is greater protection for the rights and liberties of law abiding citizens.”

Keating laid out a list of stiffer penalties for burglaries, robberies, and successive offenses as recommended by the District Attorneys Association.

“Crime costs every family in the United states more than $600 a year,” Keating said. “Compare this figure with what is being spent now on fighting crime.”

The Denver Police force, Keating argued, should swell to 800 officers to cope with the city’s crime levels.

“The criminal element is reported to have called Denver a sucker town,” Keating said. “But I don’t believe it is.”

Keating also argued for greater transparency regarding bail bonds and the improvement of the definition of criminal insanity.

Thirty-Five Years Ago: A motorcade of beaming government officials drove through a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new western section of highway C-470.

The $21 million 3.7 mile extension finally connected the Centennial Parkway to the 12.2. miles of C-470 that was already open to the public and had hosted more than double its anticipated traffic.

With the combined efforts of Colorado’s congressional delegation, local citizens lobbying in Washington D.C., and the Colorado C-470 Inter-Chamber Task Force, the state had received nearly $250 million in earmarked funds for the Centennial Parkway.

“The new stretch will provide a vitally needed transportation link in the south metro area,” said Jim Allred, chairman of the task force.

With more than 2,200 homes in the Ken-Caryl Ranch and the proposal of several hundred more, Allred said, “Transportation is essential for build out. We need this for the area to start developing fully.”

Larry Glasser of the Colorado Department of Highways said that the designers of the highway were instructed to ensure the preservation of the beauty and wildlife of the delicate area, and, thus, the color of the bridges and man-made slopes were meant to blend in with the foothills. A cut in the natural rock outcropping at the entrance to Ken Caryl Ranch had even been stained to give it a more weathered look.

Rachael Wright is the author of the Captain Savva Mystery series, with degrees in Political Science and History from Colorado Mesa University and is a contributing writer to Colorado Politics and The Gazette.



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