DENVER -- An aide to state House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, helped a liberal political group sneak a portrait of Vladimir Putin into the state Capitol to hang it in a spot reserved for President Donald Trump.
The incident caused an uproar last month, and now Republicans are demanding a public apology for the political prank.
On Friday, state Senate President Kevin J. Grantham, R-Canon City, said the hanging of the Putin portrait violated a longstanding tradition of not using public spaces in the statehouse for partisan protests or displays.
“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,” Grantham said in a news release. “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.”
At the time the Putin portrait was placed, Colorado Citizens for Culture — the group that gathers donations for the portraits — told Denver media they had not received any contributions to hang the president's portrait. Putin's portrait was removed by a tour guide, but not before state Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, tweeted a picture.
Less than a week after the prank, Graham led the effort to collect the $10,000 needed for the presidential portrait through a GoFundMe campaign that met its goal in one day.
Read more from our partners at The Denver Post.