When Pam Anderson won the Republican nomination for secretary of state, Jena Griswold was caught flat-footed. As soon as it became clear that Anderson had crushed Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters — whose name alone helped Griswold generate more than $2 million in campaign contributions — Griswold had no clue what to do.
She wasn’t going to face Peters. Even more, Peters decisively lost.
Yet, Griswold still had to find some way to maintain her status as the Great “Big Lie” Heroine. So, when reality doesn’t suit your narrative, why not spin a false one?
Within minutes of Anderson’s projected victory, the go-to gal for the national liberal media did exactly that.
“BREAKING: Pam Anderson is officially my Republican opponent,” Griswold tweeted after the project results were revealed. “Anderson pandered to extremists to win the Republican primary and her party’s platform opposes vote by mail. Help us protect our elections with a $5 donation!”
Anderson “pandered to extremists?” If you call vouching for Colorado’s elections, “Pamsplaining” the innerworkings of the system in detail and encouraging active voter participation “pandering to extremists,” then you should probably recheck the dictionary definitions for “pander” and “extremist.”
The problem for Griswold is simple: Pam Anderson is not Tina Peters. Griswold can no longer exploit Peters’ name to drain millions in Democrat donations.
For months, Peters was an easy target: Indicted in an alleged election security breach centered on an elaborate identity theft scheme, she became the poster child for bogus claims of widespread fraud in Colorado’s elections.
The corrupt clerk Peters gave the self-aggrandizing Secretary Griswold all she needed to go on cable news, warn of “election deniers” who would attempt to thwart Colorado’s elections, and raise massive donations.
In an instant on primary night, that was all gone. Colorado Republicans resoundingly rejected Peters’ brand of petulance and flagrant falsehoods. Anderson decisively quashed her by some 15 percentage points. That’s no small margin.
Griswold — herself a hyper-partisan par excellence — now faces a candidate in Anderson who has forged relationships across the political spectrum, is trusted by many Democrats, and vigorously defends the integrity of Colorado’s election system.
Anderson views the secretary of state as a professional. Though she rightly believes there is room for improvement — such as statewide signature verification audits and tightening ballot harvesting rules — she accepts the 2020 presidential results and touts Colorado’s system for its reliability and success.
Importantly, unlike Griswold, Anderson didn’t endorse the federal legislation that would have undermined Colorado’s longstanding election protections.
Until now, Griswold has successfully manipulated national media into promoting her bogus brand as the chief opponent of election misinformation and disinformation. That argument is far less salient without Peters in the race, but somehow, Griswold insists on acting like election conspiracy theorists are barnstorming through the gates of democracy.
In a stunning interview with The Guardian, Griswold painted a horrifying picture of a nation on the precipice of losing the right to vote “in less than three months” if Republicans win this November.
“What we can expect from the extreme Republicans running across this country is to undermine free and fair elections for the American people, strip Americans of the right to vote, refuse to address security breaches and, unfortunately, be more beholden to Mar-a-Lago than the American people,” she declared. “For us, we are trying to save democracy.”
As The Gazette editorialized Tuesday, “You at first might think Griswold has lost her grip on reality altogether. But it’s a safe bet it’s merely part of her act. There’s nothing like divisive, partisan melodrama to earn more media coverage and stoke campaign contributions.”
The incumbent secretary’s comments were so ludicrous that even her campaign realized they had to backtrack. “To clarify,” they wrote in a statement to 9News, “the right to vote is at risk for many Americans.”
For her part, Anderson wasn’t having it. “At a time of faltering voter confidence and mistrust in the system, this kind of polarizing rhetoric from our election referee further alienates our voters,” she countered. “(Griswold) will only safeguard our democracy if it is to her partisan advantage.”
I’ve documented before how Griswold personifies shameless ambition, feckless leadership and raw partisanship — playing host to a historic revolving door of senior staff and jumping at every opportunity to make a political mountain out of a molehill.
Griswold knows as well as anyone that it is time to set aside partisan politics when it comes to elections, letting temperatures cool, but she can’t help herself. She is desperate.
Pam Anderson is actually bringing a real race to her opponent — one based on substantive issues and rooted in facts and reality. Jena Griswold has no idea how to complete on this playing field. She needs an existential threat — even if that means fabricating one out of whole cloth.
Jimmy Sengenberger is host of “The Jimmy Sengenberger Show” Saturdays from 6-9am on News/Talk 710 KNUS. He also hosts “Jimmy at the Crossroads,” a webshow and podcast in partnership with The Washington Examiner.