The opposition research outfit Colorado Rising Action says the campaign Twitter account for the Democratic nominee for attorney general made fun of the appearance of one of Rising's video trackers in a series of tweets.
Phil Weiser, a former dean of the University of Colorado Law School, won the Democratic nomination for the AG contest in one of the closest primary votes in the state this June, winning by just 5,000 votes.
Weiser tweeted a picture of the Republican video tracker from his personal account on Wednesday, nicknaming him "Pat."
This is "Pat." We are not sure that's his real name, but we are sure he's following me around Colorado. The Republican AG Association is desperate to find attack lines and has so much dark money, they're paying him to tape me so they can later misrepresent my words. pic.twitter.com/vpVgBPraQx
— Phil Weiser (@pweiser) August 15, 2018
The tracker was not employed by the Republican Attorney General Association, as Weiser suggested, but is employed through Colorado Rising Action, a state-based spinoff of the national opposition research organization, America Rising.
The Weiser Twitter campaign account later joined in, authoring tweets that have since been deleted.
"It is Pat's right to attend Phil's public events. We do like the idea of having a walking event to help Pat's health," one of the tweets from @PhilForColorado said.
Another supporter chimed in, "Well, christ, Phil, just go for a light jog. I am sure you will lose him," to which the campaign account replied, "Yes. Team Phil just fell off its chair laughing. Fact."
When someone tweeted that a tracker had been spotted, the @PhilForColorado account replied, "Pat's rather hard to miss."
The campaign account later deleted their tweets, and said, "Team Phil sincerely apologizes to anyone who was offended for our earlier tweets. These tweets were written in error, and we have taken steps to prevent actions like this from happening in the future."
KUSA news anchor Kyle Clark, who boasts a Twitter following of over 77,000, questioned the apology.
I've tweeted dumb things and apologized. But I don't know what "written in error" means. https://t.co/hfatVjBnCN
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) August 16, 2018
"I've tweeted dumb things and apologized. But I don't know what ‘written in error' means," Clark tweeted.
Weiser issued a different apology through his personal account.
"I am strongly against mocking someone's appearance. I also oppose the intimidation of someone hovering and filming when having a conversation with citizens in Alamosa or Ordway. That happened. But what's worse is that the filming is to generate misleading attack ads."
Michael Fields, the director of Colorado Rising Action replied to Weiser that Pat deserved a direct apology, adding, "And you want to be AG, but can't handle a basic tracker? Come on…"
Video tracking is nothing new in Colorado politics. Then-chairman of the Colorado GOP Dick Wadhams told the Associated Press in 2010, "What I tell candidates is, anytime they're in front of a group – anytime, anywhere – they should assume it's something that can be recorded."
Weiser faces Republican George Brauchler who serves as the district attorney for the state's 18th Judicial District. Brauchler is well known for his prosecution of James Holmes, the Aurora Theater shooter in the 2012 massacre who killed 12 and injured dozens of others.
The Weiser campaign did not respond to a request for comment.