Fourth-term Republican Rep. Scott Tipton, facing a tough re-election in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, has launched a new broadside against his Democratic opponent Diane Mitsch Bush — falsely accusing her of socialism because she once subscribed to a non-profit magazine that was originally founded by a socialist historian.
Though she is not a socialist, in an attack ad posted on Wednesday, Tipton first warns that the Democratic Socialists of America (an organization with which Mitsch Bush has no affiliation) “openly propose to do away with capitalism” — which is sort of the point of socialism. The narrator then claims that Diane Mitsch Bush “helped fund a leading socialist magazine.” In text on the screen, the ad cites three issues of the award-winning monthly magazine In These Times — a progressive publication that has not identified as an “Independent Socialist Newspaper” since 1989.
The Tipton campaign has been peddling this attack for weeks, but this is the first time they’ve used it for a campaign ad. The magazine issues they reference acknowledged hundreds of other supporters and contributors, including Noam Chomsky, Matt Groening, Studds Terkel, Kurt Vonnegut, and Howard Zinn.
A spokesperson for the Mitsch Bush campaign told ThinkProgress that she was a subscriber and believes she made an “insignificant” small additional contribution to support the publication. The campaign also provided a list of other publications she has “helped fund” by subscribing, including Time, Newsweek, Ms., The Nation, the High Country News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Colorado Politics, and the Denver Post.
Tipton himself landed in hot water in 2011 when it was discovered that he paid thousands of taxpayer dollars from his office operating account to vendors that contracted with his nephew’s company.