Cynthia Coffman’s campaign chair gave maximum donations to both Coffman and Democrat Donna Lynne

(Insurance – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

The chair of Republican Cynthia Coffman’s gubernatorial campaign donated the maximum allowable amount this election period not only to Coffman but also to Democratic Lt. Governor Donna Lynne, who’s also running for governor.

L. Roger Hutson, whose role in the Coffman campaign was announced just last week, has a history of donating mostly to Republicans but to Democrats as well.

“I’m a Republican, but I’m happy to work on both sides of the aisle,” said Hutson in a statement. “Cynthia is my first choice for governor, and I support her 100 percent. Donna Lynne is a friend, and of all of the Democratic candidates, in my opinion, she would be the best Democratic candidate. I hope she defeats Jared Polis for the Democratic nomination because Jared’s policies and lack of leadership skills are a huge threat to Colorado’s economy.”

Campaign-finance records show that, since 2010, Hutson has given to, among others, former GOP Attorney General John Suthers, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, former state Sen. Amy Stephens (R-Colorado Springs), State Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D-Denver), former Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler, GOP Treasurer Walker Stapleton, and the Democratic Party of Colorado.

Such a history of cross-party political donations isn’t uncommon for a businessman like Hutson, who runs runs a Denver oil-and-gas business and was appointed by Hickenlooper to the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission.

Political observers were surprised that the chair of a campaign would be a top donor to two campaigns, one from each dominant party, during the same primary election cycle, but noted that the donations would have been even more surprising if Hutson made them during the time he was Coffman’s campaign chair.

Hutson’s last donation to Lynne was reported Dec. 6, about a week after he last donated to Coffman’s gubernatorial effort. He’d also given to Coffman’s campaign for attorney general last year, before he first gave to her current campaign.

Lynne’s campaign declined comment.

The Colorado Times Recorder did not yet conduct a thorough investigation of the donation histories of the campaign chairs of all gubernatorial campaigns, but if relevant information is found, this blog post will be updated.

Barry Farah for Governor? Bring the Chaos

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Farah confirms his candidacy with Ernest Luning at the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman and John Frank at the Denver Post. Here’s what Farah said in an interview with the Post:

“I have not seen a genuine conservative that has a credible chance of winning in November being represented at the assembly…”

…”Conservatives don’t really want a non-conservative to win — that’s not accomplishing anything,” he added, referring to Coffman. “So that doesn’t make sense. And the rest of the field at the assembly doesn’t seem to really be gaining any traction.”

You heard it here first.


UPDATE: Judging by updates made to Farah’s YouTube account this afternoon, a campaign announcement would seem to be forthcoming:


Barry Farah

Colorado Springs Republican guy Barry Farah made a bit of noise last year when he appeared to be on the brink of joining the race for Governor. Farah never emerged from the shadows of those rumors as an actual candidate, but we’re hearing that an actual campaign announcement may now be imminent.

We know what you’re thinking — why now? Today is the deadline to submit petition signatures for ballot access, so Farah would have to get at least 30% of the vote through the caucus/assembly process in order to qualify for the June Primary. But it is the relative weakness of the Republican caucus/assembly field that may have convinced Farah that it isn’t too late to make a run for the GOP nomination.

The Republican Party’s state convention is on April 14 in Boulder, and while that doesn’t give Farah a lot of time to make his case, it’s plenty reasonable to think that he could attract at least 30% of the vote in a field where Cynthia Coffman and Steve Barlock seem to be at the front of the line. Republican turnout at county assemblies has been fairly weak, so Farah might already have a pretty good idea of where he stands with the GOP base.

Presumed Republican frontrunner Walker Stapleton may also have to make a major effort to qualify for the ballot through the state assembly because of concerns about his petition signatures. Stapleton submitted 21,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office for ballot access, but after Democrat Michael Johnston barely made the ballot with a 56% validity rate (and 1,500 more signatures than Stapleton), there is concern in Republican circles that Stapleton might need the convention process in order to get his name on the June Primary ballot. In this scenario, the GOP state convention could be an absolute free-for-all in the battle for delegates — which makes Farah’s potential late entry into the race all the more plausible.

These Conference Calls Could Get Confusing

“Roger, Roger”

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is seeking the Republican nomination for Governor, and she’s finally hired herself a campaign staff as she seeks to make it onto the June Primary through the caucus/assembly process. Coffman announced her new campaign team this morning, and we’re still rubbing our necks from the double-take it caused:


L. Roger Hutson, Campaign Chairman
Roger is the President/CEO of HRM Resources III, LLC, a private firm specializing in the acquisition, operation and development of producing oil and gas assets headquartered in Denver, Colorado. In March of 2004, Mr. Hutson was appointed by Gov. Bill Owens to the Colorado School of Mines Board of Trustees and was re-appointed in January 2009 by Gov. Bill Ritter. During his dual terms of service, he served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees as well as the Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee. Mr. Hutson is also the past President of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, and currently serves as an active member of the board. In 2011, Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Mr. Hutson to the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission which oversees Colorado’s casino operations, and he presently acts as the Chairman of the Commission…

Roger D. Hudson, Chief of Communications – Roger D. Hudson is the principal media consultant, political strategist, and legislative advocate for both The Hudson Firm, LLC and THE LOBBY, LLC. With more than 25 years as an award-winning journalist, Hudson has managed major market newsrooms in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Houston. As a Republican campaign strategist, Roger was chief of communications for Bob Beauprez’s gubernatorial primary win in 2014. He has also acted as spokesperson for the Colorado Republican Party in 2017. He has also acted as the chief of communications for high profile state agencies the Colorado Department of Corrections and the Department of Law under Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman.

If your name contains any variation of Roger and Hudson/Hutson, you should probably send in a job application on the double.

Aaaaand…Now Cynthia Coffman’s “Pro Life” Again!

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

Joey Bunch of the former Colorado Statesman put the capstone on floundering GOP gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman’s long series of flip-flops on the issue of abortion rights yesterday, and we wanted to be sure it got a mention. After repeatedly making it clear that she supports abortion rights, a novel (if risky) addition to the mix in the 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary, it would appear that Cynthia Coffman has belatedly realized that she is in…well, a GOP primary:

As a conservative Republican who represented the state’s case when it sought to withhold money from Planned Parenthood, Coffman create surprise and anxiety among would-be supporters when her campaign in November reportedly told CBS4’s Shaun Boyd that Coffman was pro-choice, That sent radio political talkers such as Corporon, Craig Silverman and Dan Caplis into orbit. Coffman’s spokeswoman at the time told Colorado Politics that Coffman has never said publicly how she feels personally on the wedge issue, but said the candidate would speak about it on the campaign trail.

“I am personally in favor of life,” Coffman said Saturday. “I would choose life.” [Pols emphasis]

It was Cynthia Coffman’s supposedly moderate views on social wedge issues that some Democratic strategists had worried might make her a formidable candidate in the event she survived the Republican primary. The biggest problem for Coffman, of course, is winning the primary with a public position on a critical issue that conservative primary voters find repellent. Thus before Coffman can put this angle to her advantage, she has to survive it being her greatest disadvantage.

But none of that matters now. With Coffman now backpedaling on an issue she has already backpedaled the other way, she has squandered her credibility on both sides. Nobody who opposes abortion is going to take seriously this obviously contrived flip back in the direction of GOP primary voters, and no one who supports abortion rights can trust Coffman either now. It’s like she is trying to take a page from Sen. Cory Gardner’s playbook, deliberately scrambling her image in hopes of confusing a winning coalition into either supporting her or disregarding abortion in this race entirely.

But in timing or the execution, Cynthia Coffman is no Cory Gardner.

Adams County Republicans Signal Change at Caucus

The Colorado Times Recorder took a look at some straw poll results from recent Republican caucuses, and the numbers are quite fascinating. We were particularly interested in the straw poll results from Adams County, which has traditionally been one of the swingier counties in Colorado.

Obviously, the big surprise is that Steve Barlock has the clear lead among Adams County Republicans in the race for Governor. Barlock is the heavy favorite (33%) among Republican candidates who are seeking access to the Primary ballot via the state assembly, followed by Greg Lopez (18%). Attorney General Cynthia Coffman checks in with a meager 4% of support among Republican caucus-goers.

The Coffman name in general is not especially well-liked according to these figures. Congressman Mike Coffman is a distant second to challenger Roger Edwards in this straw poll. These numbers are probably not indicative of the mood of all Republican caucus-goers, but they may not be too far off the mark; remember that in 2016, an unknown Republican named Kyle Bradell came this close to getting his name on the Primary ballot by winning 26.1% of delegates at the GOP CD-6 assembly.


On their Facebook page, the Adams County Republicans also included “votes” from online polls that were available on the County GOP website, but we’re not including those numbers here because…well, they’re online polls.

Walker Stapleton May Take Assembly Route After All

Walker Stapleton is thinking hard about going the assembly route for ballot access.

As Ernest Luning reported late Thursday for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor, has turned in petitions to qualify for the June primary but is considering also going through the assembly process — a move that could land him top-line designation on the ballot and potentially knock out the only other statewide elected official in the running, Colorado Politics has learned.

As results showing convincing Stapleton wins filter in from unofficial gubernatorial straw polls conducted in some counties at Tuesday night’s GOP precinct caucuses, his supporters have become increasingly convinced Stapleton could come out on top at the April 14 state assembly in Boulder and are urging him to take the plunge.

A source close to the Stapleton campaign said that the more the candidate is being encouraged to add the assembly route, the more he’s considering it.

Frankly, we’ve thought for a long time that this makes a lot of sense for Stapleton. It wouldn’t have been a good idea for Stapleton to contest the nomination at the assembly if Tom Tancredo were still a candidate for Republicans, but things are different now; the only other candidate with any name ID who is seeking to make the ballot through the assembly is Cynthia Coffman, and she is not well-liked among grassroots Republicans.

In fact, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Stapleton could keep Coffman off the ballot altogether with a strong assembly performance (unlike Stapleton, Coffman has abandoned the petition route and is “all in” with the GOP caucus). As Luning notes, this idea that is picking up traction among other Republicans:

“There’s virtually no risk of getting under 10 percent, and I think, based on the polling and what we’re hearing from the counties that conducted straw polls, Walker has strong delegate support,” said Ryan Lynch, who ran George Brauchler’s campaign until shortly before the Arapahoe County prosecutor switched to the attorney general’s race.

“There’s very little risk of not top-lining at assembly, based on the field. You have a lot to gain, too — you could keep Cynthia, the only other candidate with any level of name ID, off the ballot entirely by keeping her under 30 percent,” Lynch said. “This would enable Walker’s campaign to focus on his lesser-known primary opponents who are going the petition route and might even provide them with the ability to shift focus to the general election earlier than they’d anticipated.”

Stapleton has already submitted his petition signatures for ballot access and appears to have a solid lead among likely Republican primary voters. If he could do well enough among caucus-goers to keep Coffman off the ballot, it makes his path to the Republican nomination that much easier.

Online Conservative Group Turns on Republicans

(Whatever happened to… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Divisiveness among Colorado Republicans is a familiar challenge for the state party. Extreme social conservatives and gun rights advocates have challenged the more moderate establishment for years.

Over the past year, however, a previously ordinary Republican entity has launched surprisingly aggressive attacks against its own party. The reason? It’s under new management.

Advancing Colorado is a 501(c)4 entity that in past years has been essentially an online brand used by conservatives to promote “edgy” messages against progressive policies and -obliquely- Democratic candidates. From a 2015 Colorado Independent profile of its former executive director Jonathan Lockwood:


Court Documents Detail Cynthia Coffman’s Role in Defunding Planned Parenthood

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman doesn’t want to be labeled “pro-choice” but says abortion should be “rare” and “safe.” She’s personally opposed to Roe v. Wade but thinks the landmark abortion-protection law is “settled,” and she believes in the “libertarian view that a woman should have a right to an abortion.” Overall, she’s on neither “end of the political spectrum,” she says.

ColoradoPolitics reporter Joey Bunch is the latest journalist who’s tried to sort this out, and her campaign didn’t return get back to him last week.

With Coffman not talking, I wrote a post for Rewire today outlining her history as a leader of the successful effort, during the Owens Administration, to defund Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM).

The issue came up last month when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that our state constitution’s ban on direct or indirect funding of abortion doesn’t preclude the state from funding Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services. 

As the point person for the defunding effort in 2001, Coffman wrote that the decision to defund PPRM was a “common sense application of the facts.”

The Supreme Court took the opposite view, ruling that a ban on non-abortion services would lead to “absurd” results.

Coffman hasn’t said whether she stands behind her 2001 legal opinion, which was cited in plaintiff Jane Norton’s brief in the Supreme Court case.

But when asked about the case last week, she said it deserved a long conversation another time, indicating that she may have changed her view on it, even though her work on the defunding issue was featured in multiple court documents that I reviewed.

At the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), where she was hired by Norton to serve as the department’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Coffman apparently developed the anti-Planned Parenthood legal opinion and implemented the policy, according to court documents.

Among other things, she was featured in a 2001 CDPHE news release announcing the PPRM defunding, she informed PPRM of the decision, and she issued statements explaining it.

By distancing herself from anti-choice leaders, such as Denver talk-radio host Dan Caplis. Coffman is apparently trying to appeal to unaffiliated voters who can now participate in June’s primary election and to general-election voters, who will cast ballots in November, while wrapping herself in enough of a anti-abortion blanket to have a shot at winning the required 30 percent of votes at the Colorado Republican assembly in April and to anti-choice Republicans in the June primary–if she clears the assembly.

Her problem: nearly half Colorado GOP voters won’t even “consider” voting for a “pro-choice” candidate, according to a poll released yesterday by a Republican consulting firm in Colorado.

So, if you were Coffman, maybe you’d want to talk about about Planned Parenthood? Or maybe not.

Stapleton Tops Republican Field in New Poll

The Republican-leaning polling outfit Magellan Strategies is out with new numbers in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Unsurprisingly, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton leads the rest of the field by a comfortable margin:

Via Magellan Strategies

These are the first publicly-available polling numbers in the Republican Primary since a University of Colorado poll in late 2017 that showed former candidate Tom Tancredo leading the field with 25% (followed by Stapleton at 8% and Cynthia Coffman at 6%). With Tancredo out of the race, the Magellan poll of likely Republican primary voters shows Stapleton on top in every voter subgroup, with Coffman the only other GOP candidate in double digits.

But the Magellan poll also shows some troubling numbers for Coffman. While Stapleton has a 33/13 approval/disapproval rating among likely Republican primary voters, Coffman is already upside-down at 20/21. The Republican base has never been particularly fond of Coffman; this poll is just more evidence of the uphill battle she faces one day ahead of the party caucuses.

Inside Cynthia Coffman’s Lost Cause

The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews turned his attention to the struggling campaign of Attorney General Cynthia Coffman for governor, explaining the difficult road ahead for her after her abandonment of a petition process to reach the ballot she couldn’t afford for a caucus process she is ill-equipped to win:

If Cynthia Coffman is to become Colorado’s next governor, the current attorney general first must convince a small circle of Republican activists that she’s conservative enough to qualify for the GOP primary — let alone win it.

It won’t be an easy sell. To pull it off, Coffman is aligning herself with President Donald Trump and immigration hardliner Tom Tancredo to bolster her conservative bona fides even as she faces questions about her views on abortion and gay rights.

The strategy gets its first test March 6, when party diehards huddle at neighborhood caucus meetings across the state. She’ll need their support at the Republican Party assembly in April, where she must get at least 30 percent of the 4,206 delegates to qualify for the June primary.

Cynthia Coffman faces a range of circumstances that complicate her path to the ballot via an appeal to the Republican party faithful at the caucuses and assembly. Although Coffman has taken many high-profile actions as attorney general meant to shore up her conservative credentials ahead of the primary, her feints to the left on issues like LGBT rights and abortion are more than enough to estrange her from the GOP base.

But perhaps worse than having a view on these issues that doesn’t ingratiate the party faithful is her vacillation more recently in pursuit of the GOP nomination. Coffman’s recent inability (or just plain refusal) to reconcile her supposedly “pro choice” leanings with her proud support for “defunding Planned Parenthood” during the Owens administration leaves her in a position where she fails to appeal to either side–which in turn leads to her being distrusted by both sides.

The other issue that Matthews didn’t mention is Coffman’s role in the intraparty intrigue surrounding allegations of infidelity on the part of former Colorado GOP chairman Steve House. It would be a mistake to think that there is no latent desire for revenge over that episode, or at least a willingness to make an issue out of it if politically helpful. The combination of all of these factors makes the assembly route to the ballot by far the less desirable choice for Cynthia Coffman, made all the worse by the common knowledge that her lack of financial support is the only reason she is doing it.

At some point, Plan B–the real Plan B–starts to look pretty good.

The Petition Race for Second Place

Republican Walker Stapleton (left) and Democrat Michael Johnston.

Last week two candidates for Governor announced that they had submitted petitions for ballot access to the Colorado Secretary of State’s (SOS) office. Democrat Mike Johnston was the first to push his signatures across the finish line on Wednesday, with Republican Walker Stapleton following on Friday. Campaigns on both sides of the aisle are now under significant pressure to submit their own petition signatures; the longer you wait to turn in petitions, the more trouble you will likely have in qualifying for the ballot.

The SOS office still needs to check the signatures submitted by Johnston and Stapleton, so we won’t know for a week or two whether either candidate successfully met the 10,500 signature threshold (1,500 must come from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts). What we do know is that other candidates seeking to make the Primary ballot through the petition process are already at a disadvantage.

Valid signatures collected by a candidate cannot be counted twice, so anybody whose name gets counted on petitions for Johnston or Stapleton cannot be used toward the 10,500 threshold for other candidates — no matter when the signatures were collected. For example, registered Republicans who signed a petition for Stapleton to gain ballot access can no longer be counted toward the petition totals of other Republican candidates, such as Victor Mitchell or Mitt Romney’s Nephew. To put it another way, Mitchell and friends must now submit valid signatures from 10,500 registered Republicans who were not already on Stapleton’s list. Gubernatorial candidates Jared Polis and Donna Lynne face the same challenge on the Democratic side (although Polis will also likely participate in the caucus/assembly process, giving him another option for ballot access).

Trouble with petition signatures have been major issues for statewide campaigns (particularly Republicans) in recent years. During the 2016 U.S. Senate race, Republicans Jon Keyser and Ryan Frazier nearly failed to make the ballot because of a dearth of valid signatures compounded by the inability to double-count voters who had already signed petitions for Republican Jack Graham. Both Keyser and Frazier ultimately got their names on the Primary ballot after protracted legal challenges, but the uncertainty surrounding both campaigns torpedoed fundraising and organizing efforts and effectively crippled their chances of winning the June Primary. In 2006, Republican Marc Holtzman failed to make the ballot in the Republican gubernatorial primary, which left an open road for Bob Beauprez to become the GOP nominee.

The deadline to submit petitions to the SOS for ballot access is March 20.

Cynthia Coffman apparently doesn’t want to talk about Planned Parenthood anymore

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman

Republican gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman, who’s also Colorado’s attorney general, spent a substantial chunk of time during her early career helping Colorado Republicans develop legal arguments to defund Planned Parenthood.

She became widely known as an expert on the arcane topic, and last year, anti-abortion activists repeatedly cited Coffman’s 2001 legal opinion as evidence in a lawsuit (footnote 3 here) claiming that Colorado’s ban on using tax dollars for abortion precludes the state from funding Planned Parenthood at all, even for the women’s health organization’s non-abortion services for low income people, such as breast cancer screening.

Colorado’s Supreme Court disagreed, ruling last month that the state can provide funds for Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services, despite the constitutional abortion-funding ban.

You’d think this would be a major disappointment for Coffman, who once boasted about her role in defunding Planned Parenthood, “We went through the legal process, since I was [Jane Norton’s] attorney, and we defunded Planned Parenthood in that case, because they were using public funds to subsidize abortion.”

Coffman’s campaign did not respond to my request for comment after the Colorado Supreme Court decision last month.

But during a brief interview Wednesday, prior to a debate, Coffman indicated that her hard stance against Planned Parenthood may have softened.

Asked whether she still opposes public funding for Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services, Coffman declined comment, saying, “That’s a longer conversation we should have another time.”

If Coffman were still opposed to funding for Planned Parenthood, a quick “yes” would have ended my interview.


ICYMI: George Brauchler Gives Up on Maketa Trial

The squinty eyes of justice.

You may have missed this story that was announced late Friday afternoon ahead of a three-day weekend, which is exactly why it was announced late on a Friday afternoon before the start of a three-day weekend: Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler dropped all remaining charges against former El Paso County Sheriff Terry “The Shirtless Sheriff” Maketa.

As Blair Miller reports for Denver7:

Prosecutors on Friday filed to dismiss the two remaining charges against former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, signaling a possible close to the alleged extortion case.

Earlier this month, jurors in Maketa’s second trial acquitted Maketa of two counts of official misconduct and deadlocked on the two remaining counts: extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion, both felonies…

…Maketa was originally indicted by an El Paso County grand jury in May 2016 on nine counts relating to the allegation that he threatened to terminate a $5.2 million contract between the sheriff’s office and Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc., which was the jail’s health care provider at the time.

Colorado Springs residents briefly attempted a recall campaign to rid themselves of Maketa after multiple charges of sexual misconduct and cronyism that led to some $4 million dollars in legal claims from former employees (click here for more details on the allegations). Maketa ended up serving most of his final term in office while then-District Attorney Dan May twiddled his thumbs in response to the many, many claims of impropriety against Maketa, and in 2016 the case was kicked over to District Attorney George Brauchler in the 18th Judicial District.

That’s Terry Maketa front and center in 2013 on the cover of “America’s First Freedom,” the National Rifle Association’s magazine.

Brauchler’s office failed miserably in its first attempt at prosecuting Maketa last summer; the “Shirtless Sheriff” was found not guilty on three charges while a jury deadlocked on four other charges in what was called a “media disaster” by political analysts. Brauchler signed off on a re-trial attempt that concluded earlier this month with two more not guilty verdicts on official misconduct charges and yet another deadlocked jury on extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion charges. As we wrote at the time:

Brauchler has already earned a reputation as someone who is more than willing to play loose with the facts in order to make himself look good, and he’s opened himself up to critics who say that he’s just not a very good prosecutor and should not be elected as the chief law enforcement officer of Colorado (not to mention critics from his own party who worry about his ability to effectively do his job while running for statewide office).

Brauchler’s complete failure to hold Maketa accountable is another black mark on his time as Arapahoe County District Attorney, which includes his failure to get the death penalty for Aurora Theater shooter James Holmes and Brauchler’s litany of excuses in the aftermath of that trial.

Following a disastrous attempt at running for Governor, Brauchler is now seeking the office of Attorney General. It probably goes without saying that he’s going to have a difficult time explaining to voters why he should be named the top law enforcement officer in Colorado despite his many high-profile prosecutorial failures.

Cynthia Coffman Campaign Death Watch Continues

Cynthia Coffman rumbling down the tracks.

Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman updates the story of Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s struggling gubernatorial campaign, as the slow realization that Coffman lacks the resources to mount a successful petition drive to make the primary ballot sets in:

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is gathering petition signatures in hopes of landing a spot on the Republican primary ballot for governor, but she’s also considering going through the caucus and assembly process, a campaign spokeswoman told Colorado Politics Wednesday.

“The campaign is still weighing all options,” Coffman aide Keeley Hanlon wrote in an email.

A week earlier, Hanlon said Coffman, one of nine declared GOP candidates for governor, “remains committed to petitioning onto the ballot,” but Coffman raised the possibility she might switch course in a radio interview on Saturday in the wake of Tom Tancredo’s sudden withdrawal from the primary race…

Asked Saturday by 710KNUS host Craig Silverman whether she might switch gears, Coffman insisted she was gathering signatures but said she was considering also going through caucuses and assembly and would decide within days.

Last week, the Statesman quoted former Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams accurately in assessing the cost of a successful petition drive–a cost more than double what AG Coffman has on hand for her gubernatorial campaign. The tremendous difficulty and scandal Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in 2016 faced with their own paid signature gathering campaigns has upped the ante all the more for 2018 for any candidate actually hoping to succeed, and Coffman’s far better-funded opponents have the resources to carry it off where she arithmetically does not.

That leaves Coffman with one other path to the ballot, via the Republican Party’s caucus and assembly process. With Tancredo’s departure from the gubernatorial race, the traditional first-choice option for candidates of going through the caucus is seemingly left wide open. The problem for Coffman is that she is arguably the least popular candidate in the entire field with Republican base voters after her role in a disastrous failed “palace coup” attempt against then-GOP chairman Steve House involving salacious allegations against House and blackmail charges against Coffman. Coffman’s insistence that “all is forgotten” now is not shared by many of the party members she will be asking for support from at the assembly.

With all of this in mind, it’s likely that any of the other Republicans in the race could easily knock her down, or even out, with a pro forma presence in the assembly process. Frankly, going assembly isn’t more of a risk than trying to petition on the ballot without any money. The point is that it’s Coffman’s record that makes the caucus route by far the less desirable option for her. And without the coin to wage a real petition drive, it’s her only option.

Or, as may become apparent to everybody soon, she has no options.

Coffman implies that Bunch is in the tank for Anschutz’s partisan agenda

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Phil Anschutz.

During a KNUS radio interview Saturday, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman implied that ColoradoPolitics reporter Joey Bunch is writing unflattering articles about her gubernatorial campaign at the behest of Republican mega-donor Phil Anschutz, who owns ColoradoPolitics and the Colorado Springs Gazette through Clarity Media.

KNUS 710-AM HOST CRAIG SILVERMAN: [at 12 minutes] I don’t know if your ears were burning last night, but on “Colorado Inside Out”, Joey Bunch — veteran political reporter — said, “What’s up with Cynthia Coffman? She doesn’t really have a campaign.” I know you have a website now. But, do you have a full- blown campaign? Do you have a campaign manager? Are you ready to really participate in this race?

COFFMAN: You know, I’m going to say, “Baloney!” to Joey. Joey Bunch works for the Colorado Springs Gazette, owned by Phil Anschutz, who has already put out an editorial saying everyone in the Republican primary field should just clear the way for [Colorado Treasurer] Walker Stapleton, because that’s who [Anschutz] supports. So, I think you need to consider the source. Yes, I have a campaign. As I told you, I won Attorney General statewide by a higher percentage than anyone else. I know how to run a statewide campaign and I think people need to stop worrying about the girl in the race.

In fact, the Gazette published a finger-wagging editorial last month stating that Coffman and the other GOP gubernatorial candidates, except Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton, “would do themselves and their party a favor by selflessly clearing the field and helping [Stapleton] win against the odds.”

And, in fact, Bunch appeared on Colorado Inside Out Friday, saying, “You know what is holding up? The fact that Cynthia Coffman doesn’t have a campaign or a message or any momentum at all. And she also doesn’t have any money.”