So Long, Dan McMinimee

Soon to be ex-Jeffco Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee.

Denver7’s Blair Miller reports on another endnote in the long battle to wrest control of Jefferson County Public Schools back from a conservative majority elected in 2013 and ousted in an historic 2015 recall election–the departure of conservative superintendent Dan McMinimee:

Jeffco Public Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee is out of his job early, as the district announced Thursday he was stepping down immediately.

The district announced in December that his three-year contract would not be renewed, and he was set to be out of a job as of June 30.

But the district said Thursday that McMinimee and the school board agreed to McMinimee’s early ouster.

He will remain with the district through June 30, Jeffco Public Schools Communications Office Diana Wilson said, but will not have day-to-day operations responsibilities.

Wilson said McMinimee will “be available to the board in an advisory capacity and will assist as needed in the transition to a new superintendent.”

Dan McMinimee was hired by the conservative majority Jeffco school board in 2014, a pick that was fraught with controversy–McMinimee was formerly an assistant superintendent at arch-conservative Douglas County Schools, whose right-wing board and perceived anti-teacher bias resulted in an exodus of qualified teachers from the district.

As the battles between the new board and the district’s parents and teachers heated up, McMinimee drew fire for not intervening in the board alleged “bullying” of students who showed up to testify at board meetings, as well as his participation in intra-board intrigue on behalf of the majority.

After the recall election that sent the conservative board majority packing, McMinimee was the career equivalent of a dead man walking. Immediately after the recall election we predicted his swift departure, but the new board made the magnanimous (and fiscally prudent) decision to allow McMinimee to serve out his contract. We suppose it’s even hypothetically possible that he might have lived up to the expectations of the new board and had his contract renewed.

But it didn’t happen, and now McMinimee’s departure marks the final stages of a housecleaning three years in the making.

Deep Jeffco Bench Ready For Perlmutter’s Next Move

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County)

Ernest Luning at the Colorado Statesman reports on the next generation of Colorado Democrats in Jefferson County, waiting to move up in the event Rep. Ed Perlmutter makes the decision to run for Governor in 2018:

Two Lakewood Democrats say they’re likely to run next year for the 7th Congressional District seat represented by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter if the six-term incumbent Democrat jumps in the race for governor.

State Rep. Brittany Pettersen told The Colorado Statesman this week that she will run for the suburban congressional seat if Perlmutter seeks the gubernatorial nomination in 2018, and state Sen. Andy Kerr told The Statesman he’s “very seriously looking at it.”

The two legislators share many of the same constituents — Kerr held Pettersen’s House District 28 seat for three terms before winning an open seat in the upper chamber in 2012 — and both say their ability to win in their own swing districts means they’d be contenders for Perlmutter’s suburban swing seat.

Although Rep. Perlmutter’s seat is on-paper competitive, his strong leadership and deep ties to his Jefferson County constituents have made CD-7 completely unwinnable for the GOP since defeating Rick O’Donnell for Bob Beauprez’s open seat in 2006. The last real attempt at the seat was in 2012, when the late Joe Coors lost to Perlmutter 53-41%. Since then Perlmutter has faced only B-List opposition.

With that said, we do expect that Perlmutter giving up the CD-7 seat to run for Governor would embolden Republicans to make another attempt. Either Sen. Andy Kerr or Rep. Brittany Pettersen would make for excellent general election candidates against any Republican we could think of who might run–especially in potential matchups against Tim Neville, Lang SiasLibby Szabo, and other early names that have been floated.

With the biggest variable everyone is waiting on being Rep. Perlmutter’s next move, we don’t expect to see any major updates in this race until he makes his decision–a decision that reportedly depends on whether former Sen. Ken Salazar decides to run for Governor. But if Perlmutter does jump, there is a deep bench in Jefferson County waiting to fill resulting vacancies all the way down the ticket.

“Draft Ed” Movement Pushing Perlmutter for Governor

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County)

UPDATE: The Gazette has corrected their story with the appropriate Facebook link. We have adjusted the excerpt below to reflect the change.

—–

As Peter Marcus reports for the Colorado Springs Gazette, an online campaign to convince Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) to run for Governor is growing quickly:

There seems to be more of a buzz surrounding the Jefferson County Democrat these days, though Perlmutter has been playing things close to the vest.

A Facebook page has been created, “Draft Ed Perlmutter for Governor.”

“Run, Ed, Run! Ed Perlmutter’s always a true congressman with character. Now a whole lot of us want him to be a governor with guts. Draft Ed for Gov!” the page states.

“Ed’s district has always been a top target for House Republicans. And he’s always won it, and BIG! If nominated, Ed Perlmutter will keep the Governor’s Mansion blue — and he’ll stand up to Donald Trump like few others can,” a post on the page states.

Backers of the page are even paying for Facebook sponsorship status, though who the backers are has been a mystery to many in the Jefferson County Democratic community.

The link provided in the story above directs readers to Perlmutter’s congressional campaign website; we’re assuming this is a mistake and is meant to point to this “Draft Ed Perlmutter for Governor” Facebook page instead.

 

You Won’t Believe Who Tim Leonard Hired As His Legislative Aide

State Rep. Tim Leonard (R-Evergreen) in his off-season attire.

State Rep. Tim Leonard (R-Evergreen) is at the State Capitol today as the legislature officially convenes for the 2017 session. The accommodations under the Gold Dome are (probably) considerably more comfortable than where Leonard was biding his time three weeks ago, when he was finishing up a 14-day jail sentence in Jefferson County.

From everything we hear, a majority of Republicans at the state legislature would like Leonard to resign — nobody really wants to be associated with the first sitting legislator in at least 40 years to spend time in jail — but Leonard has no plans to give up his seat in the near future. House Minority Leader Patrick Neville is a personal friend of Leonard, so there is no immediate pressure from GOP leadership, either. Since Leonard is likely stay right where he is for the time being, you might think he would be eager to keep his head down and do a little reputation cleansing.

Former Jeffco School Board member John Newkirk

Or not.

Leonard’s paid legislative aide at the State Capitol is a name you may recognize: John Newkirk.

Yes, this is the same John Newkirk who was booted off the Jefferson County School Board in a 2015 recall election.

In short, a state lawmaker who just spent time in jail has hired a legislative aide who was recently kicked out of a different office by essentially the same group of constituents that Leonard represents. This seems like a bad idea.

Newkirk is independently wealthy and doesn’t really need the $12.50 per hour wage paid to legislative aides, so it would make sense that this is being orchestrated so that Newkirk can eventually try to take over Leonard’s seat in HD-25. Leonard isn’t likely to resign from the legislature, but that doesn’t mean he plans to run for re-election in 2018 (not that we would blame him — this video alone would run on a loop for months).

Keep an eye out for this pairing as the legislative session grinds along. Leonard-Newkirk is Colorado’s bizarro Batman and Robin.

Westminster City Councilman: Rapists, Immigrants, Whatever

Westminster City Councillor Bruce Baker, who briefly ran for Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s CD-7 last year before losing the primary to George Athanasopoulos, has a reputation as a far-out anti-immigrant firebrand–so much so that he has drawn the ire of moderate Republicans for “embarrassing the party.”

But since the election of Donald Trump, Baker has been on an empowered tear against immigrants, and (especially) the response of his fellow councillors to Trump’s immigration proposals–which culminated yesterday evening in a bizarre recorded statement played back by Baker into his own microphone during a council meeting. Apparently, it was easier for Baker to record his little diatribe in advance than, you know, say it live. Excerpts:

The plain fact is that American culture has poorly dealt with sexual assault…addressing these crimes after the fact is too little too late. It was a mere forty years ago that marital rape was finally recognized as a crime in the United States. Old attitudes die slowly…we all must obey the law. Support the law. Be smart about situations, intervene if possible, and encourage everyone in society to do the same…

It is only by obeying the law that we will keep full value of the wonderful place we are. Sexual assault laws are not weapons that hurt Americans, sexual assault laws are a shield that protects Americans…and that’s true with robbery, and fraud, and embezzlement, and being unlawfully present in the United States. [Pols emphasis]

My colleagues are afraid to approach the crime of being unlawfully present in the United States. Part of that fear stems from the fact that for the crime of being unlawfully present in the United States, there is no sympathetic victim to which we can point. If there was a distinct individual victim, that victim and their injuries would provide a point of focus we all could grasp. But the victims of people that are unlawfully present in the United States, while many in number, have no obvious injuries which the media can showcase. Their stories of loss and displacement are difficult to quantify. Their hurting is minimized and ignored…

Instead of talking about the real harm to victims of people unlawfully in the United States, my colleagues chose to talk about being a ‘welcoming community.’ How odd. I do not think for a second that my colleagues would be welcoming to perpetrators of sexual assault. [Pols emphasis]

So, there’s a lot wrong with this. First of all, the simple act of being present in the United States without documentation is not a crime. It’s a civil offense under federal law. The act of entering the U.S. illegally is a misdemeanor offense, but not simply being here. That means the whole premise of Baker’s diatribe, that illegal immigration is a “crime” on par with sexual assault, is nonsense.

From there, we can explain that in addition to being nonsense, likening undocumented immigrants to perpetrators of sexual assault is extremely offensive. It’s interesting how Baker concedes there is no “distinct individual victim” of illegal immigration, in effect admitting that scaring Americans about this supposed imminent threat has no factual basis.

Yes, comparing undocumented immigrants to rapists worked for the President-elect of the United States. But–and we mean it in every possible way except this lowest common denominator–Bruce Baker is no Donald Trump.

Former Jeffco DA Busted For DUI

Scott Storey.

Former Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey, who returned to the ranks as a deputy DA after being termed out of the top job, had a little too much to drink on New Year’s Eve as FOX 31 reports:

Former First Judicial District Attorney Scott Storey was arrested on New Year’s Eve on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to court records.

Storey, who served two terms as district attorney for Jefferson and Gilpin counties, was cited for a misdemeanor charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol early Saturday morning by the Littleton Police Department, according to court records.

There isn’t much more being reported as of now, except that there was reportedly an accident that preceded Storey’s arrest. One interesting sidenote to this case is that Storey’s prosecution will presumably be handled by the office of his former subordinate, Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler. It’s widely rumored that there is no love lost between these two prosecutors, and Brauchler likely hasn’t forgotten his former boss’s conspicuous failure to endorse him in his own run for elective office in 2012.

Also, don’t drink and drive.

Jeffco School Board Considers New Direction for Superintendent

Jeffco Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee.

As Yesenia Robles reports for Chalkbeat, the Jefferson County School Board is pondering what to do about its Superintendent as the end of Dan McMinimee’s contract approaches:

Jeffco school board members held an executive session last week during a conference in Colorado Springs in which they started discussions on the superintendent’s contract, a district spokeswoman said. The board is scheduled to go into executive session again Thursday to continue the discussion.

“You don’t wait until the contract expires,” Ron Mitchell, the Jeffco school board president, told Chalkbeat. “Should the board be thinking we want to go in another direction, that requires a fair amount of prior planning. That’s the rationale for the timing — the only reason we’re beginning those discussions.”

McMinimee is a former assistant superintendent from Douglas County whose controversial hiring came at the hands of a now-ousted conservative school board (McMinimee was curiously the sole finalist for the job in 2014). When a new board majority was elected last November, McMinimee was given a chance to prove his mettle under a different regime. In September of this year, the board finalized an evaluation related to $40,000 worth of bonuses in McMinimee’s contract, determining that he qualified for only about half that amount:

McMinimee received the lowest scores of partially effective on three out of the 12 goals including one related to creating a new charter school application process, and for mixed results increasing the number of third-graders meeting or exceeding expectations in reading.

Based on the review, McMinimee received $20,000 in performance pay.

After that evaluation, the board started the work of setting the superintendent goals for next year. McMinimee presented a draft of his suggested goals at a meeting two weeks ago.

During that discussion, board members pushed back on the draft, suggesting that some of the goals McMinimee had set should be expectations of his job, not additional goals for bonuses. They asked for more goals that can be tied to reliable data. [Pols emphasis]

Given his fairly lackluster performance and $220,000 salary, it was pretty balsy of McMinimee to push for more money in “performance pay” for, you know, doing your job.

McMinimee’s contract expires on June 30, 2017.

Jeffco’s Ken Witt Stumps For Donald Trump: Yes, Really

jeffco-recalled-boe_1446610908934_26204529_ver1-0_640_480We took note a few weeks ago of the gobsmacking announcement by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that Ken Witt, the recalled ex-president of the Jefferson County Board of Education, has been selected as an “education co-chair.” Less than a year ago, as everyone with any knowledge of Colorado politics is well aware, Witt and his two fellow conservative activists comprising a majority were thrown off the Jeffco school board by an overwhelming majority of voters. The Jeffco school board recall was a national story over the course of months in mid-to-late 2015, and the crushing defeat for these three conservative “reformers” has been interpreted as a major setback for the larger right-wing “Separation of School and State” education agenda.

Politically, Trump taking on the baggage of this recall by elevating Witt goes beyond whether or not it makes political sense, which is of course does not. It invites very basic questions about the wisdom of the Trump campaign–at least in Colorado. Jefferson County is considered a bellwether for the state as a whole, with a large politically diverse suburban middle-class population that often proves decisive in statewide elections. In is not an exaggeration to state that the Trump campaign has chosen one of the most demonstrably unpopular political figures in recent Colorado political history, certainly in Jeffco history, to front for them with the voters.

Donald Trump (R-IDGAF).

Donald Trump (R-IDGAF).

Witt is the Trump campaign’s official surrogate in a guest op-ed in the Denver Post today:

I was encouraged to hear Donald Trump unveil his school choice policy earlier this month, because school choice made made such a difference for my family. Trump committed to provide $20 billion in existing federal spending to states in the form of block grants, so more at-risk families can find the best educational fit for each student, allowing every child to realize their full academic potential…

I am hopeful to once again have a president in office who understands that one size does not fit all, and that our students best succeed when they can each find their own best academic setting in which to thrive.

Witt’s forgettable anecdotes about school choice helping his family, an issue which hasn’t really come up on either side as a campaign issue, won’t distract Jeffco voters from the fact that Ken Witt is the author of the pro-Trump op-ed in today’s Denver Post head-to-head. The pro-Hillary Clinton side was represented by former Colorado Governor and Los Angeles Public Schools superintendent Roy Romer, whose relative credentials to speak about education policy…for pity’s sake, do we even need to say it? This “matchup” is an insult to Gov. Romer, and your intelligence too. And politically, it’s so incredibly foolish it leaves us at a loss for words.

In a perfect world, Witt re-emerging from his disastrous recall as Trump’s education spokesman would be nationally lampooned–at least earning the attention that last year’s recall of Witt and the right-wing school board majority itself did. At the very least, it’s an incredible mistake to make in Colorado’s most-watched suburban battleground, and it will cost the Trump campaign dearly with voters in Jefferson County.

And to whoever thought this was a good idea…seriously, get your head examined.

Will Former Jeffco School Board Member Williams Help Sink Woods?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Recalled Jeffco school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Recalled Jeffco school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Last year’s recall of Jefferson County school board member Julie Williams is widely considered a huge factor in this year’s Arvada/Westminster state senate race that will likely determine whether Republicans retain control of the state senate.

Jefferson Country voters threw out Tea Party conservatives on their school board, with special ire directed at Williams, who was denounced by both sides. Even Dave Kopel, a researcher at the conservative Independence Institute, said Williams had a lot of “foolish” ideas.

The Jeffco vote was overwhelming, with 60 percent favoring the recall, and analysts believe the voters’ anger may carry over to Jeffco candidates aligned with Williams.

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Williams has ties to Republican State Senator Laura Woods, who’s defending the Arvada/Westminster Senate District 19 seat against Democratic challenger Rachel Zenzinger.

State Sen. Tim Neville is Williams’ brother-in-law, and Neville is connected to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which heavily backed Woods’ upset victory in 2014. Woods backed Neville’s failed U.S. Senate bide earlier this year. And Woods and Neville have overlapping connections to other Republican operatives.

Williams makes no secret of her support for Woods, and Woods, who doesn’t return my calls, has apparently accepted Williams’ backing, which makes sense since Woods and Williams align in their support for Trump and guns, among other links.

Here’s Williams’ Sept. 17 Facebook post, obtained from a source, endorsing Woods:

(more…)

Donald Trump and the recalled Jeffco school board: you won’t believe this

In 2015, I was proud to join my Jefferson County neighbors as we reclaimed our school board from far-right radicals who took control two years before. We literally made #JeffcoSchoolBoardHistory. After watching the school board attack the teachers and schools that make Jeffco one of the best places to raise a family in America, by an overwhelming 65% margin, we ended the ability of Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams to play ideological games with Colorado’s finest public schools–recalling them and replacing them with a clean slate that restored dignity and community respect to the Jeffco school board.

Unfortunately, Ken Witt, president of the recalled board, isn’t finished trying to harm public education in Colorado just yet. Last week, Donald Trump announced that Witt is the Trump campaign’s state “education coalition co-chair.”

Sign our petition: tell Trump to dump Ken Witt right now.

If there was anyone left in Jefferson County undecided about Donald Trump, choosing Ken Witt as his education co-chair in Colorado should settle the question. Trump couldn’t pick a more divisive figure of his campaign for our state if he tried. Witt’s disastrous tenure as president of the Jefferson County school board was beset with allegations of bullying students, hostility to teachers, breaking promises to voters on spending tax dollars, and dubious “reviews” of history curriculum to ensure what’s taught in the classroom doesn’t offend conservatives.

Tell Donald Trump to cut ties with Ken Witt for the sake of every child in Colorado.

(more…)

Trump Campaign’s Colorado Education Co-Chair…Wait, What?!

Recalled Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt.

Recalled Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt.

Denver7’s Deb Stanley reports, get ready for a spit take:

The Trump-Pence Colorado campaign is creating numerous coalitions in Colorado to target various group of voters.

The coalitions include African Americans for Trump, Women for Trump, the Education/School choice coalition, the Sportsmen coalition, the Agricultural coalition and the Faith coalition…

“These leaders are contributing valuable time and energy in order to advance Mr. Trump’s conservative message to a range of important groups and organizations throughout the state,” said Colorado State Director Patrick Davis. “With their help, Coloradans will reject the third Obama term that Hillary Clinton represents and will vote for change in November.”

Plenty of B-List names you’ll nonetheless recognize if you’re familiar with Republican politics on this list, including Jerry Natividad and and Derrick Wilburn representing Hispanics for Trump and African-Americans for Trump respectively. Former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel is heading up Women for Trump along with RNC member Lilly Nunez.

But the aforementioned spit take will come when you get to the choice of Trump’s education co-chair:

The Education/School choice coalition will be led by Dr. Jim Geddes, Colorado’s 6th Congressional District on the CU Board of Regents and businessman and consultant Ken Witt. [Pols emphasis]

Note how Ken Witt’s biggest qualification to serve as the campaign’s education “expert,” being elected to the Jefferson County, Colorado Board of Education, isn’t listed? That’s probably because Ken Witt, along with his fellow right-wing board members Julie Williams and John Newkirk, were recalled last year by a lopsided 65% of the vote. “WNW” were recalled after spending two years outraging Jeffco students and parents with their open hostility to teachers and bizarre ideological flights of fancy–such as the proposal to “review” the district’s AP history course for politically objectionable content, and Williams calling on Jeffco parents to keep their kids out of school on a day when bullying against LGBT students was being protested.

[NOTE: As Marianne Goodland of the Colorado Independent points out in the comments below, Jim Geddes hasn’t been a CU Regent since 2004 and is currently a member of the Douglas County School Board.]

We can’t claim to be shocked by much that comes out of the Trump campaign at this point, but the selection of Witt as Trump’s education co-chair in Colorado is really shockingly tone-deaf. To the extent that voters in Jefferson County ever learn that Witt is affiliated with Trump’s campaign, it’s going to motivate them even more to turn out against Trump on Election Day. Jefferson County is widely considered a bellwether for the entire state, and we would be hard pressed to imagine a more self-injurious pick for winning over Jeffco voters.

If anything, this baffling choice might keep alive the persistent rumors that Trump is trying to lose.

Woods’ Anti-Buckpedal Dance Deserves Media Scrutiny

Woods shares video opposing abortion for incest

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

State Sen. Laura Woods continues to differentiate herself from Colorado Republicans, like U.S. Senator Cory Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman, who’ve tried to disavow their extreme anti-choice records–or dodge questions about abortion.

Woods, on the other hand, has embraced a personhood abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape and incestthroughout her political career, starting in the 2014 primary and general election and continuing at the Capitol, where she not only sponsored a abortion-ban legislation but also a bill requiring women to be offered an ultrasound prior to having an abortion (and also to wait 24 hours before having the procedure).

Today, as in July 21, 2016, the stakes are higher than ever. Woods’ district will likely determine control of Colorado state government, and Woods isn’t doing the Buckpedal–or whatever you want to call the dance senatorial candidate Ken Buck, Gardner and Coffman have performed as they tried to distance themselves from right-wing positions they’d taken during their careers.

Woods, a Republican from Westminster/Arvada, isn’t trying to hide her opposition to all abortion, even for incest, even though political observers say it will hurt her in November.

Take, for example, the video Woods shared on Facebook this week from LiveAction, a anti-choice group.

It shows a woman who’s asked the question, “Do you support aborting the child if it was a case of incest?” (at 2:55 here)

“Yeah,” she replies.

Then the woman is pictured watching a video of an abortion, which convinces her that abortion should not be allowed in cases of incest.

Woods does not return my calls, so I can’t talk to her about the video or whether she thinks her no-compromise stance against abortion, even for incest, will help her hold back a challenge from pro-choice Democrat Rachel Zenzinger in November.

But, judging from other interviews, it appears that Woods thinks she need not take middle-of-the-road positions to win in her swingiest of swing districts, where she won by 650 votes in the Republican wave year of 2014. She’s vowed to stand by her conservative principles.

Woods’ anti-Buckpedal dance, which you could call a form of political chest thumping, deserves more media scrutiny than it’s getting.

Pants on Fire: Politifact Shreds GOP SD-19 Mailer

chinagirlA new fact-check from Politifact Colorado’s Alan Gathright posted at Denver7 is most unkind to new mailers hitting in the pivotal SD-19 race in Arvada and Westminster, where an old and already proven false allegation against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger has apparently been recycled for the current election cycle:

For the second straight election, a conservative group has attacked a Democratic Colorado state Senate candidate with the same claim: “Rachel Zenzinger voted to use tax dollars to take a taxpayer-funded junket to China.”

In late June, political mailers started arriving at homes in the northwest Denver suburbs of Senate District 19. They featured a photoshopped image of a smiling Zenzinger wearing sunglasses with dollar signs on the lenses and an ornamental Asian bridge in the background…

The same group attacked Zenzinger for a taxpayer-backed junket to China in 2014. But just as before, there are key problems with these attacks.

“I’ve never been to China,” Zenzinger told PolitiFact. “I was joking to friends, believe me if I had been to China, I would have had so many pictures on Facebook they wouldn’t have to Photoshop my picture in the ads.” [Pols emphasis]

politifact%2Fphotos%2Ftom_ruling_pof_6Even better, and again this is all well-reported common knowledge after fact-checkers tore the claim apart in 2014:

Also, while on the Arvada City Council in 2013, Zenzinger made — and then voted for — a successful motion explicitly prohibiting use of taxpayer funds for a proposed sister-city delegation to China.

In short, not only is there zero truth to the allegation that Zenzinger “voted to use taxpayer funds to visit China,” everyone knew there was no truth to it two years ago. To reuse this debunked story in new attack mailers against Zenzinger strongly points to a conscious disregard for the truth in the state’s most important legislative race. It’s one thing to make stuff up, it’s another to keep using made-up stuff after it has been debunked.

That takes an additional degree of chutzpah.

It’s against the law in Colorado to make false statements in political communications, but the statute has proven notoriously difficult as a means of bringing actual charges–mostly because prosecutors are reluctant to criminalize such speech-related “political questions.” With that said, it’s pretty hard to argue that this lie was not knowing and deliberate, because it’s not a new lie. We’ll be interested in seeing if that makes a difference.

Ethics or Karma Catch up to Kevin McCasky

Former Jeffco Commissioner Kevin McCasky "resigns" from Jeffco EDC.

Former Jeffco Commissioner Kevin McCasky “resigns” from Jeffco EDC.

You might remember former Jefferson County Commissioner Kevin McCasky, who resigned midway through his second term in the Commissioner’s office in order to take a high-paying job with the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

McCasky had an ethically-questionable tenure in Jefferson County government. His departure from the Board of Commissioners was quintessential McCasky: On the way out the door, he left Jefferson County with (another) ethics complaint over his role in convincing the county to write a big check to the organization that he was leaving to direct (that ethics complaint was ultimately confirmed several years later).

As the Columbine Courier reports, McCasky’s shady past may have finally caught up to him:

An executive board member of the Jeffco Economic Development Corp. said simultaneous resignations of three high-level staffers were part of a restructuring.

Rob Osborn, a past chair of the EDC’s board of directors, said the departures of president and CEO Kevin McCasky, executive vice president Doug Bene and investor relations manager Lilly Daniels mark the first step in a downsizing of the Golden-based organization.

There’s another story here — the one you can easily read between the lines:

When asked whether funding partners were concerned about the changes, Osborn said most wanted to know how the EDC will move forward.

“Folks just understood that this was the best decision for Kevin (McCasky) at this time,” he said. [Pols emphasis]

The Jeffco EDC, a nonprofit that formerly was called the Jefferson Economic Council, received $300,000 in funding from Jefferson County in 2015, and a $5,000 membership fee from Jeffco Public Schools, according to the school district’s accountability website. It also receives funds from municipal governments in the county….

…McCasky resigned from Jeffco’s county commission in January 2011 to accept the top job at the EDC. The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission later ruled that McCasky violated state ethics laws by voting to approve $400,000 in county funding for the EDC while he was a candidate to become its president.

McCasky did not return calls for comment on this story.

Well, at least Jefferson County was able to continue to pay McCasky’s salary long after he left the government offices. That was nice.

“Tea Party” Tim Leonard Wins HD-25 Seat

That’s the word from Jefferson County’s Taj Majal this afternoon, where the political machine of U.S. Senate candidate and GOP grassroots leader Tim Neville has succeeding in winning the Colorado House seat of retiring Rep. Jon Keyser–Keyser, of course, resigning to take on Neville in the 2016 GOP U.S. Senate primary.

The appointment of Tim Leonard to succeed Jon Keyser, overwhelmingly and in the first round of balloting, is a huge win for the Jefferson County Neville political coalition. Leonard, a co-founder of the whackjob-friendly American Constitution Party willingly hijacked by Tom Tancredo in 2010, was far enough to the right to lose in SD-16 to Democrat Jeanne Nicholson in the Tea Party year that year but the party’s recent shift rightward under Neville’s influence has, if you will, brought Republicans to him.

In addition to Rep. Leonard making the Colorado General Assembly a very colorful place in the coming months, something Democrats will be happy to record for posterity, this win shows how the Neville machine is in full control of the party in the state’s most important suburban battleground.

And that is a story much bigger than Colorado House District 25.