Grantham Seeks Apology for Putin Portrait Incident

DENVER -- Colorado Senate President Kevin J. Grantham (R-Canon City) today said he believes a public apology to all Coloradans is in order from perpetrators of a July 26 incident in which a portrait of Vladimir Putin was placed under the Capitol rotunda, in a spot where President Trump's portrait is slated to hang. While some dismissed the episode as a "prank," it violated longstanding Statehouse tradition of not using public spaces in the building for partisan protests or displays.

Grantham expressed additional dismay at the fact that a staff person in the office of House Speaker Crisanta Duran was reportedly involved in helping to sneak the portrait into the building, by using her staff swipe card to bypass security screening checkpoints -- actions that prompted the Colorado State Patrol to revoke the staffer's access. The details of the "inside job" were revealed today in a news report by Kyle Clark of 9News Denver.

Grantham issued the following statement in response to the story:

"Political pranks are one thing, but it crosses a line, in my opinion, when public spaces in the Capitol are misused and abused the way they were in this case. This building belongs to all the people of Colorado and I’m frankly shocked that anyone who works on staff here -- and works for the top Democrat in the House, no less -- would be a party to something as inappropriate and over the line as this. Having her swipe card privileges revoked doesn’t strike me as punishment enough, frankly, and I think that staffer, and any of her colleagues or superiors who were aware of this, also owe the people of Colorado a public apology for treating this building like a partisan playpen, rather than the special symbol of Democracy it is. I would expect a similar apology from any outside individuals or groups who this staff person was assisting."

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