SALIDA, CO – The Colorado Republican Party was left reeling Thursday night when it was discovered a flyer for one of their candidates featured neither a bald eagle nor the United States flag.
The discovery was made by the party’s Assistant Deputy Treasurer, Benjamin Story, who was on a fishing trip in Salida at the time. Story was purchasing worms and a bright red bobber when he noticed the “disgraceful” flyer hanging by the register at J.R.’s Fishing & Tackle Shop.
“I was just about to walk out the door and there it was,” Story recounted. “The flyer read ‘Vote Gary Russell, Republican for House District 60.’ It seemed okay at first. It pictured a man with wife and kids leaning against a split-rail fence in front of an open field and vast blue sky. But then it hit me and I had to do a double-take. It said ‘Republican,’ but where was the American flag? Where was the bald eagle? My knees buckled in shock.”
According to Story, he ripped the advertisement from the wall and took off. “I know an emergency when I see one, and I instinctively knew what to do.” He canceled the remainder of his trip and called Colorado Republican Party headquarters in Denver to let them know he would deliver the flyer in person as soon as possible. “I’ll tell you what. By sheer will and patriotic spirit I kept my bladder at bay those two and a half hours. It was worth the gallstones.”
Doug Wilkinson, the party’s Vice Secretary, was responsible for assembling a team to be ready for Story’s arrival. “I was manning the phones when Benji first called. He was hysterical and understandably so. We were all trying to process what could’ve happened. It just didn’t make sense. Was Benji confused about what he saw? Are Commies trying to infiltrate the party? I mean, can you imagine? No eagles? No flags? That ain’t Republican,” remarked Wilkinson.
The Oyster caught up with Gary Russell, the candidate at the center of the controversy. “I’ve been a Republican all my life and a Salida resident for about half of it,” Gary assured us. “I am eager to represent the good people of House District 60. The flyer was just an honest oversight. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal compared to the Republican values I stand for.”
The Colorado GOP, however, didn’t see it that way. Shortly after we spoke with Russell, word came down from headquarters that Russell’s campaign and party membership was to be suspended until he finished one week shackled in solitary confinement listening to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” on continuous loop.