Search Results for: neville recall

Neville: “Establishment Republicans” Oppose Recalls Because They’re Not Profiting from Them

(You’re not supposed to say that part out loud — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock thinks “establishment Republicans” don’t support efforts to recall Democrats from office because the establishment Republicans aren’t “profiting from it.”

While Neville said his organization, RecallColorado.com, is “willing to work with anyone and spend money on any of these recalls” in Colorado, “there’s a lot of different establishment Republicans out there trying to discourage that, because they’re not profiting on it.”

Neville made the comments during an interview on KLZ AM-560’s Rush to Reason show Thursday.

It’s not news that Colorado Republican Party leaders are bitterly divided on whether Democrats, including state legislators and Gov. Jared Polis, should be recalled from office.

What’s new is Neville’s accusation that opposition from establishment Republicans stems from their not making money from the recalls.

So-called establishment Republicans who’ve come out against the recalls include Ryan Call, who’s a former leader of the Republican Party; Cole Wist, a former state lawmaker; State Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale); and Tyler Sandberg, a prominent GOP political operative.

Sandberg did not immediately return a call seeking to know whether he opposed the recall efforts because he was not profiting on them.

But some folks who could arguably be called “establishment Republicans,” such as state GOP vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, appear to support recalls, so the division between establishment and grassroots Republicans on the recall question may not be so stark.

In addition to Neville, recall campaigns have been supported by non-establishment Republicans such as pro-gun activist Dudley Brown.

Journalists have raised questions about whether Neville’s family members and their allies are themselves profiting from the recall campaigns.

9News’ Marshall Zelinger questioned GOP state leader Ken Buck on the topic in April:

Zelinger: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville has come out supporting recalls. His family could benefit from recalls because that’s their business. Should it be appropriate for elected officials and their families to profit off of recalls and elections? By being hired for election purposes–this is an added election outside of a cycle–perhaps this is being done in a way that benefits the family business?

Buck understood the logic behind the question but didn’t answer it.

Buck: So, Patrick’s brother is a consultant in the business and certainly there were some resources from the House fund that were used in the last cycle and his brother ran some of that political operation. I think that is something that Patrick and the elected Republicans in the state House will have to decide. It’s not something the state party will intervene in in any way

9News anchor Kyle Clark raised the profit issue after Brown and allied Republicans, like Burton, dropped their plans to recall Aurora Democratic lawmaker Tom Sullivan in July.

KYLE CLARK: The failed attempt to recall Democratic State Rep. Tom Sullivan did not raise one dollar and it did not spend a dollar. We learned that from some financial filings. Now that sounds funny unless you heard us saying weeks ago that this recall was really about a gun rights group called Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. The head of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners says, they funded the entire recall and guess what? They don’t have to disclose their donors. So we are left to take that special interest group at its word that this was not just a fundraiser designed as a recall that was never going to succeed. We are left to take them at their word that they took in $30,000 and spent more than that $45,000 on a failed signature-gathering effort. If those happen to be your dollars, and your trust, my condolences.

Following Corporate Donors’ Surprise At Funding Recalls, Patrick Neville Forms Separate Committee

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Following the Colorado Times Recorder’s reporting that corporate donors Xcel and Noble Energy were surprised to learn that money they donated to Colorado House Republicans was possibly being spent on recalls, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s Recall Colorado entity has formed a new independent group, presumably to collect and spend money on recall campaigns.

On May 30 the Colorado Secretary of State approved paperwork filed by Patrick’s brother, Joe Neville, to create “Recall Colorado,” a 527 political committee. Despite its name, the stated purpose makes no mention of recalls, nor of elected officials currently in office. Rather, it says it will “educate and inform Colorado voters regarding candidates for the Colorado legislature, primarily supporting Republicans and opposing Democrats.”

The Recall Colorado website and brand was created and funded by another 527 committee, Values First Colorado (VFC), which serves as the House GOP caucus fund.

As previous reporting by the Colorado Times Recorder has indicated, at least two prominent corporate donors have publicly stated that they did not expect money from their 2018 election cycle donations to be spent on recalls. As of election day last year, Values First Colorado and other Neville-controlled independent expenditure committees still had approximately $300,000 — or about one-fourth of its total amount raised during the election cycle — still in the bank.

VFC has since published the “Recall Colorado” website, paid for legal support for the recalls, and solicited donations under the Recall Colorado brand, listing Patrick Neville as “Director.”

Until its collapse earlier this week, VFC was supporting the campaign to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial). Republican Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown, who initially filed the recall petition, announced Tuesday that she shutting down the recall and “refocusing” her efforts on Senate Democrats who aren’t up for reelection next year. Brown has worked closely with VFC: she served as the group’s registered agent for the 2018 cycle.

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Clan Neville Goes Low In Sullivan Recall Ad

Here’s a Facebook ad that started running last Friday from Values First Colorado, the House GOP “independent” message group operated by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s family political consulting group Rearden Strategic:

Let’s briefly go over the problems with this ad beyond the distasteful fake mug shot–the allegation that Rep. Tom Sullivan supports “spending tax dollars on heroin” stems from a silly-season amendment proposed to the budget by Rep. Dave Williams as a “gotcha” political gimmick. Although various policies to address the opioid crisis were debated this year, nothing even remotely close to “supporting heroin” was ever even introduced let alone voted on.

In other words, it’s complete bullshit.

But the far more significant development this ad represents is direct spending by the Neville political operation on the Sullivan recall. Although Rocky Mountain Gun Owners headed by longtime single-issue gadfly Dudley Brown has received the majority of the press since the launch of the Sullivan recall two weeks ago, this ad is paid for by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s in-house organization. This isn’t an unexpected development, given that Colorado Republican Party vice-chair Kristi Burton Brown who filed the Sullivan recall is also the registered agent for a number of Neville-linked committees.

But this just reinforces a fact that needs restating as many times as necessary until it’s driven home: the Sullivan recall is not just about Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. The Sullivan recall campaign is sanctioned by and operated from the highest levels of the Colorado Republican Party. Kristi Burton Brown’s absurd attempt to distance her actions from her position as vice chair of the Colorado GOP is undermined even further by the GOP House Minority Leader’s political machine directly engaging in the recall against Sullivan.

No more scapegoating Dudley Brown, Republicans with a conscience. You have to own this.

Ken Buck on Nevilles Profiting From Recalls: “That’s for Patrick & House GOP to Decide”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Local broadcast news faces a challenge when covering politics–how to distill complex topics into brief segments that rarely run longer than four minutes?

Last week 9News’ Marshall Zelinger sat down with Congressman Ken Buck, the newly elected chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. The wide-ranging interview only lasted 3 minutes 30 seconds on air, which is why 9News’ decision to post the entire raw footage of the interview is so important.

Inquiring minds need only visit the Next on 9News Youtube channel to find the full 17-minute interview, “Head of Colorado GOP Ken Buck on recalls, oil and gas, Nazi question.”

At 9:45 Zelinger asks Buck if it’s appropriate for elected officials and their families to profit from recalls they’re promoting publicly.

Zelinger: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville has come out supporting recalls. His family could benefit from recalls because that’s their business. Should it be appropriate for elected officials and their families to profit off of recalls and elections? By being hired for election purposes–this is an added election outside of a cycle–perhaps this is being done in a way that benefits the family business?

Buck initially says he doesn’t understand, but then gives a response that indicates he does understand, but that he doesn’t want to get involved.

Buck: So, Patrick’s brother is a consultant in the business and certainly there were some resources from the House fund that were used in the last cycle and his brother ran some of that political operation. I think that is something that Patrick and the elected Republicans in the state House will have to decide. It’s not something the state party will intervene in in any way. Ken Buck, Next on 9News, 4/5/19

Zelinger’s question about the Neville’s family financial stake in the House GOP political machinery was just the latest reporting on the issue, the most prominent of which was Marianne Goodland’s pair of feature-length articles for Colorado Politics, particularly the second one titled “A hard look at 2018’s GOP ‘soft money’.” Goodland reported that other Republicans expressed concerns with the Nevilles’ performance and tactics:

One Republican insider told Colorado Politics he didn’t mind if Joe Neville and his companies make money off their political activities. But, he said, the lack of results in terms of election wins for the GOP is another matter… Another concern among Republicans who talked with Colorado Politics: what appears to be a large amount of unspent money left over after the election.

By early March, it was clear where at least some of that unspent money was headed- paying for recalls. House Minority Leader Patrick Neville launched a website to support recalling his own colleagues in the legislature. At least one corporate donor, Xcel Energy, expressed surprise that some of its 2018 contribution to the GOP House caucus fund was now being used for recalls.

More recently, 9News’ Kyle Clark noted that both former Secretary of State Scott Gessler and also the conservative Independence Institute are both generating revenue from another proposed Colorado recall, the moonshot that is the attempt to remove Governor Jared Polis. State law dictates that petition gathering for a gubernatorial recall can’t begin until at least six months into the governor’s term, but there are no restrictions on when political operatives can start gathering checks from naive donors.

Neville Clan: Still Recall Central

There’s been some confusion in the last few days as recall efforts against freshman Rep. Rochelle Galindo of Greeley have received publicity over two groups working on the effort: with a few wealthy Weld County landowners pledging big bucks for the campaign and the Recall Colorado organization led by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville working with local pastor Steve Grant firing up hater grassroots opposition.

In an interview Wednesday on AM600 talk radio, Joe Neville of Rearden Strategic tried to sort out the current state of play, while still portraying themselves in a management role over the effort:

LAKEY: Now, the House District 50 – there was a different gentleman who – I guess – pulled the [recall] petitions. Not all of these recalls are connected. I mean, everybody is kind of teaming up where possible, but it’s not all coming from, like, one central organization. And House District 50 fits that description, does it not? It’s put on by some local folks, that they are pulling the petitions and hoping to team a bunch of people together. But not everything flows through Joe Neville.

NEVILLE: That’s correct. That’s absolutely correct. What our goal is with ‘recallcolorado[.com], is we’re working to help out the grassroots. So, we have run recalls before, we have the ability to raise resources, and we’ll put volunteers out there. But these recalls – it’s the people’s district. And they sense, too – because the legislators work for the people, and so the people, they’re the ones who are putting these recalls together, the citizens in these districts. And we’re just there to help support them and get them the resources they need, to help them with getting ballot signatures and get this on the ballot – get the recalls on the ballot. And then when it comes time for the election, we’ll be there to help with that part, too. But really, it’s helping them be effective and give them the best chance possible to make sure the recall is successful.

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock).

From there the conversation turned more specifically to Pastor Grant, who the Nevilles originally connected with to organize the HD-50 recall after he vowed to bring down his “homosexual pervert” representative:

NEVILLE: And, you know, we need to stand up, not only to the press, but the fact of the matter is, you know, whether it was with Trump or [what] we’ve seen just over the past few months, people aren’t going to put up with it anymore and they’re going to start focusing on holding these politicians accountable. And that’s what we’re doing with the recalls. And you know, the guy that stood up – the pastor that stood up, good for him! Good for all these people that are involved in this, because it’s not just one issue. It’s several issues that are affecting these people in this district, and they have a right to hold their politicians accountable. [Pols emphasis]

LAKEY: Yeah. The [recall] petitions are not approved yet. Where are we at in that process? Because I know my listeners are chomping at the bit, and the people all across Colorado are chomping at the bit, to get their hands on a petition. The Galindo petition, particularly – it’s in the approval process? Is that what we say?

NEVILLE: Yep, it’s in the approval process. There are several different stakeholders. I mean, this was such a polarizing effort that several people had started entering petitions. So we had to put – you know, pause it, bring everybody to the table, try to figure out what petition we’re going to move forward, because the last thing we want is multiple petitions out there, splitting up the effort. We’ve come to that conclusion, I believe. [Pols emphasis] And within the next few days we should have a final one turned in and approved. And so I’m guessing within the week, here, is when things should start moving forward. And we’ll definitely be reaching out to everybody that signs up at recallcolorado.com and telling them where to go and pushing them to the main center of the first — what looks like it’s going to be the first recall in Colorado this year.

To whatever extent there is an attempt to put daylight between less-savory organizers of this recall effort and the money men funding the petition campaign, consider it scrambled! After the jump, we’ve reprinted for posterity the original March 26 press release from the Nevilles praising Pastor Grant and celebrating his participation in the Galindo recall. It looks like, barring a specific indication to the contrary, the House Minority Leader and his family business are going to be the glue that sticks all the disparate –and unpleasant–pieces of this operation together.

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Neville Family & Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Working On Recalls

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Patrick Neville and Dudley Brown talk recalls

Thursday night, House Republican leader Patrick Neville stood before a room of Rocky Mountain Gun Owner members and pledged to support their efforts to recall his colleagues, not just with a public statement, but by providing the campaign’s “infrastructure.”

Neville: I’m already getting pushback on this, but there are grassroots folks out there initiating recalls. It’s not something we asked them to do. It’s you the grassroots voter out there doing it. In 2013, the same thing happened and people in my position actually tried to prevent the grassroots from doing it. I’m not going to take that same position. I’m here to support you. We’ve actually started up a website called join.recallcolorado.org. We will provide infrastructure for those who are actually pushing recalls. If you want to recall your legislator you can email [us]. We’ve got to do something to stand up right now.” [CTR emphasis]

The website the House Minority leader is referring to was created and paid for by Values First Colorado, the House Republicans’ 527 political committee. That entity is run by Patrick’s brother Joe Neville, who previously worked as Political Director for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO).

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners organized Thursday’s event, enticing RMGO members to the Centennial Gun Club with the promise of a free hour of range time. RMGO staff broadcast the entire event on Facebook live.

Director Dudley Brown spoke largely about two topics: the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, or “red flag” measure, which would allow judges to allow the confiscation of guns from dangerous people, and “the R-word” as he called it: recalls.

Brown mentioned the two state legislators, Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Rep. Meg Froelich (D-Englewood) who are already named on the recall website created by Patrick Neville and his brother Joe (who also attended the briefing).

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Neville Family Launches Recall Effort Against Minority Leader’s Colleagues

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s threats to recall his own colleagues aren’t just words anymore. He’s endorsed his caucus’ fundraising committee, run by his brother Joe, which has launched recall efforts against at least two Democrats.

Late Wednesday Minority Leader Patrick Neville shared a link to “Recall Colorado,” a website built and paid for by Values First Colorado, the Republican House Independent expenditure committee run by his older brother Joe’s consulting firm, Rearden Strategic. The link was also shared by “Advancing Colorado,” an online attack brand also run by Rearden.

The site lists four bills it claims are examples of “overreach,” all of which have been covered extensively in the press. They include the National Popular Vote, Comprehensive Sex Education, Extreme Risk Protection Order firearm removal, and the Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations bill, which enhances health and safety regulations on the oil & gas industry. The list also includes two immigration-related items: a floor amendment to a bipartisan juvenile justice bill, and a “pending bill” that doesn’t actually exist yet, but which the site says has been “announced by Democrats.”

The site makes no mention of another “announced” bill that initially prompted Neville to publicly threaten to recall his fellow legislators: the safe injection site bill to address the opioid crisis. Neville purported to be so upset by that bipartisan proposal he told 9News he would recall the bill’s Democratic sponsor, though not the Republican one. That bill was eventually dropped, but House Minority Leader Neville apparently never dropped his threatened response.

The site confirms the recalls, reported by Colorado Politics earlier in the day, against Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Rep. Meg Froelich (D-Englewood). It also teases additional targets with the tagline “Who’s Next?”

The family connections between Patrick Neville’s leadership role and his brother’s consulting company was explored in a twopart series by Colorado Politics reporter Marianne Goodland. From the first story:

Several Republicans who spoke with Colorado Politics said they believe the Nevilles’ key objective in 2018 was to ensure that Republicans elected to the House would vote for Patrick Neville as minority leader for another term, which, in turn, would keep donor dollars flowing into various committees and companies controlled by Joe Neville. According to campaign finance filings with the state, Joe Neville and his firm Rearden Strategic were paid $194,360 in fees for consulting with political committees and candidates during the 2018 election cycle, including $114,716 from Republican caucus funds and the rest from candidates.

In the second story, titled “A hard look at 2018 GOP’s soft money,” Goodland laid out a complex trail of money moving between various Neville-controlled groups, the end result of which was a lot of unspent cash and un-won races.

Values First Colorado routed additional money to at least two other IECs run by Joe Neville: Coloradans for Secure Borders and the Colorado Liberty PAC. Out of the total of $416,150 raised by the Colorado Liberty PAC, $393,000 came from Values First Colorado. The committee spent $264,580, leaving an ending balance of $152,009 after the final reports for the 2018 election cycle were filed on Dec. 6. Rearden Strategic and its employees, Joe Neville and Yates, got $11,416 for consultant services from the Liberty PAC and another $239,886 to do advertising on behalf of a dozen Republican House candidates. Of those dozen candidates, 11 lost their races.After raising $1.214 million, the Values First Colorado caucus-fund committee and its related IECs left ending balances of $305,961, just over a quarter of what the GOP House caucus raised for the 2018 election.

The disclosure on the website reads “Recall Colorado is an entity operated by Values First Colorado. Paid for and authorized by Values First Colorado.”

Joe Neville during the 2013 recall effort against Sen. Evie Hudak

It’s unclear whether Values First Colorado is using the leftover funds from 2018 to pay for this recall effort, but it certainly has enough in the bank to do so. Calls to Minority Leader Neville and to Values First Colorado inquiring about the funding for the recall effort were not immediately returned. This piece will be updated with any response.

Neville Blames GOP Consultants for Demise of Colorado Republican Party

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R).

In announcing his decision not to seek re-election as the leader of Colorado’s House Republicans, state Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) issued an unvarnished critique of the Colorado Republican Party.

His primary target: Republican consultants, who, says Neville, make millions of dollars and attack Republicans while going soft on Democrats.

RELATED: How Conservatives Lost Colorado.

Neville told KNUS morning-show host Peter Boyles Friday that won’t seek his leadership post so he can “get back, get closer to the grassroots, work with the grassroots; I think they’ve been ignored far too long.”

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Pat Neville Can’t Win, Won’t Play

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville is taking his ball and going home.

As The Colorado Times Recorder reports, Neville waited until Friday to announce that he would no longer attempt to lead the Republican caucus in the state legislature:

This is sorta like when an executive gets fired from a company and the HR department sends out an email explaining that the person left “in order to pursue other interests and spend more time with his/her family.” Neville isn’t announcing his plans on the day that ballots go out in Colorado because he suddenly found a new hobby; Neville is backing down from a fight that he knows he can no longer win.

House Minority Leader Pat Neville

That Neville has served as House Minority Leader since January 2017 is more of a knock on his leadership than an example of his staying power. If Neville were better at leading his caucus, perhaps House Republicans wouldn’t still be stuck in the minority. Neville can be elected once more in House District 45 (Douglas County) before he is term-limited, but there is no chance that Republicans can pick up enough seats in 2020 to give Neville a final term as part of the majority party. Neville is thus stepping back behind the curtain before whatever is left of the GOP caucus rejects his leadership after the election. It would surprise nobody if Neville ends up walking away from his House seat entirely before 2022.

You could see this coming following the June 30 Primary Election, when Neville-backed Republican candidates — who were also supported by longtime partner Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) — were wiped out by more moderate less crazy Republican candidates. As we wrote in this space on July 5:

Rumors are growing that House Minority Leader Patrick Neville could be in danger of losing control of the GOP caucus after another poor showing at the polls last week. State Rep. Hugh McKean is now in a strong position to challenge Neville for Minority Leader after victories on Tuesday by Colin Larsen (HD-22), Tonya Van Beber (HD-48), Mike Lynch (HD-49), and Dan Woog (HD-63) — all of whom defeated candidates backed by the Neville Clan and their close friends at Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO). The Nevilles and RMGO also lost badly in SD-23, where their support of Rupert Parchment wasn’t enough to stop Barbara Kirkmeyer from cruising to a double-digit victory.

Our back-of-the-napkin math shows Neville with only seven remaining supporters among House Republicans, equal to the seven GOP House members who would likely side with McKean. Depending on how the General Election shakes out, that leaves about 8 Republican Representatives to determine the 2021-22 leadership battle. This could be a significant moment for Colorado Republicans, because a good number of their recent failures can be attributed directly to decisions made by the Neville Clan.

Back in 2013, the Nevilles appeared to be a budding political dynasty in Colorado, with  Tim “Pa” Neville taking control of the State Senate, Pat Neville running for the State House, and brother Joe Neville directing campaign strategy for legislative Republicans. But there was an inverse reaction to the Neville Clan’s success; as the Nevilles gained more influence, the fortunes of the Republican Party went in the toilet.

Tim Neville ran for U.S. Senate in 2016 and got embarrassed at the state GOP assembly; two years later, Democrat Tammy Story pummeled Neville by 14 points and booted him out of the State Senate. Over in the House, Pat Neville surrounded himself with loyal but useless idiots who had their own electoral problems. Republicans were thoroughly trounced in the 2018 election, thanks to half-assed strategic efforts and dubious campaign spending from Pat and Joe. In 2019, the Nevilles turned to straight-up grifting with their support of several dubious recall attempts of Democratic lawmakers; the embarrassing failures of these silly efforts probably marked the beginning of the end for the Neville Clan.

Pat Neville remained the voice of the House GOP in the 2020 legislative session. By last Spring, he had resorted to blowing dog whistles and positioning himself as the king of the anti-masker movement. His attempt at restocking his caucus with friendly faces was fully exposed in the 2020 Primary Election — losses that probably also led to the departure of RMGO founder Dudley Brown. Pat Neville’s latest grift is raising money for a lawsuit against Gov. Jared Polis for making people wear masks; this “lawsuit” is going nowhere, but the Nevilles will milk small donors over their misplaced anger for at least another few months.

We can only hope that Neville’s political impotence will allow Colorado Republicans to start taking more rational positions on issues such as gun safety, but that’s a discussion for another time. Today, and for the next month or so, the focus is on the end of a ridiculous era for Republicans in Colorado.

Pat Neville’s Mask Lawsuit All About The Benjamins

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R).

As we we discussed last week and Colorado Public Radio reported, Republican House Minority Leader Patrick Neville threatened a lawsuit on Thursday in response to the statewide face mask executive order issued by Gov. Jared Polis, which came after weeks of pleading by public health authorities to take this additional step as COVID-19 cases grow in the state:

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville tweeted that Polis was “on a power trip,” and said he had hired attorneys with “the intent to sue” for an alleged violation of civil liberties, though he didn’t give any further details about the potential lawsuit.

In a separate written statement that didn’t mention legal action, Neville asserted that the order is unnecessary because Colorado’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths are still lower than their April peak.

Although Neville “didn’t give any further details” about his impending lawsuit against Gov. Polis’ mask order, yesterday on Facebook what’s probably the most important component of the whole operation went live.

The fundraising page!

You knew this was coming: “lawsuits aren’t cheap,” and in this case as unlikely to be successful as any of the Neville political clans other recent failed stunts (see: recall of Rep. Tom Sullivan, et al)–but as the organizers of the stillborn recall attempt against Gov. Polis last year can tell you and P.T. Barnum can tell you, there’s a sucker born every minute! The Nevilles have figured out that win or lose, usually the latter, there’s cash to be raised by slapping Polis’ picture on an ad with the words “stop this guy.”

Democrats should of course celebrate Neville’s anti-mask crusade, since it further divorces the Republican brand from the mainstream majority of Coloradans who support masks and any other measure needed to slow the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Given the money spent by fellow Republicans during the recently-concluded primary to take out Neville’s favored House candidates, and a significant reduction in money flowing into the House GOP’s Neville-owned “independent” messaging group Values First Colorado, we don’t doubt that the Neville clan needs to get creative to make payroll.

As always, it is our sincere hope that nobody sends Pat Neville their welfare check.

The End Is Near for the Neville Clan

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s collar grows ever tighter.

Last week’s Primary Election was an anti-climactic affair at the top of the ticket, but the rest of the ballot told a very interesting story. As we wrote last week, significant Republican Primary losses portend another GOP wipeout in Colorado come November, and the fallout could lead to the last gasps of the Neville Clan.

Rumors are growing that House Minority Leader Patrick Neville could be in danger of losing control of the GOP caucus after another poor showing at the polls last week. State Rep. Hugh McKean is now in a strong position to challenge Neville for Minority Leader after victories on Tuesday by Colin Larsen (HD-22), Tonya Van Beber (HD-48), Mike Lynch (Hd-49), and Dan Woog (HD-63) — all of whom defeated candidates backed by the Neville Clan and their close friends at Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO). The Nevilles and RMGO also lost badly in SD-23, where their support of Rupert Parchment wasn’t enough to stop Barbara Kirkmeyer from cruising to a double-digit victory.

Our back-of-the-napkin math shows Neville with only seven remaining supporters among House Republicans, equal to the seven GOP House members who would likely side with McKean. Depending on how the General Election shakes out, that leaves about 8 Republican Representatives to determine the 2021-22 leadership battle. This could be a significant moment for Colorado Republicans, because a good number of their recent failures can be attributed directly to decisions made by the Neville Clan.

The Neville family have been fixtures in Colorado Republican politics for much of the last decade, beginning with State Sen. Tim “Pa” Neville’s narrow victory in Jefferson County in 2014. Tim Neville is the father of Pat Neville and GOP political consultant Joe Neville, whose consulting firm Rearden Strategic has overseen many Republican races in recent years (Tim Neville is also the brother-in-law of former Jefferson County School Board Member Julie Williams, whose brief run in Jeffco was a disaster all its own).

Sen. Cory Gardner and former state Sen. Tim Neville, circa 2015.

Tim Neville quickly rose to the top of the Republican food chain in Colorado as a conservative social issue warrior, becoming the de-facto leader of the Senate Republican caucus in the state legislature (Neville was basically the Senate President at one point) and a bonafide contender for statewide office. He looked to be on his way to becoming the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 2015, and by Spring 2016 he seemed to be accumulating enough support to take the top line at the State GOP Convention.

But Tim Neville’s political demise was as swift as his ascent. Colorado Republicans held their state assembly in April 2016, and Neville completely bombed, losing to little-known Darryl Glenn by a 4-to-1 margin. Neville then turned his attention toward running for re-election to the State Senate in 2018, where he was out-worked by Democrat Tammy Story en route to a 14-point loss that contributed to Republicans losing majority control of the state senate. Neville later blamed his defeat on poor campaign strategies enacted by outside groups, which was ironic considering how his son’s strategic blunders torpedoed GOP chances around the state in that same cycle.

Tim Neville was actually preceded in the state legislature by Patrick, who was elected to the State House in 2014 and became House Minority Leader following the 2016 election. Together the Nevilles championed the causes of anti-abortion activists, gun lovers, anti-vaxxers and opponents of a functioning government. With Joe Neville overseeing the outside political operations for many Republican candidates — and with financial support from RMGO head honcho Dudley Brown — the Neville Clan kept the State Capitol stocked with loyal but questionable characters such as former State Reps. Justin Everett and Tim Leonard. You might remember Leonard as the only person in recent history to serve time in jail while a sitting member of the legislature; the Leonard debacle paved the way for Democrats to take control of what had long been a safe Republican seat in 2018.

The 2018 election cycle was a pivotal year for Colorado Republicans who were TROUNCED in races across the board — many of which were overseen by the Nevilles and/or Rearden Strategic. One particularly pathetic effort in Jefferson County exemplified the poor return on investment that 2018 candidates received from Rearden Strategic.

Pat Neville has been driving the COVID-19 Stupidity Train in recent months.

Despite those heavy losses, Neville retained enough caucus support to keep his post as Minority Leader, but the cracks were starting to show. A few months later, Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman reported on grumblings about the Neville’s dubious political strategy and a generous payout structure for Rearden Strategic.

Last year, the Neville Clan followed up their poor 2018 by directing misguided efforts to raise money from gullible donors in a feeble attempt to recall multiple Democratic elected officials. Warning signs should have been apparent to the GOP after a questionable decision to go after Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan left the Nevilles and RMGO with mostly egg on their sad faces.

This time last year, we wondered again how Neville still managed to remain House Minority Leader despite a consistent record of incompetence. The 2020 legislative session didn’t help Neville’s cause, and the June Primary exposed yet another rift between Neville and Colorado Republicans — many of whom were tired of a heavy-handed approach that included Neville’s Chief of Staff, Jim Pfaff, regularly threatening other Republicans.

Colorado Republicans aren’t going to take control of the State House in 2020, and it is also unlikely that they will wrestle away the State Senate from Democrats. But if this is the year that the GOP finally rejects the influence of the Neville Clan, then perhaps Republicans can start to creep back toward relevance in 2022.

Neville to Push Bill Limiting Governor’s Authority to Issue Public-Health Orders

(#COVID4Colorado – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R).

Colorado Republicans plan to push for legislation limiting Gov. Jared Polis’ authority to issue public-health orders to 15 days, after which time Polis or a future governor would need to get the green light from the state legislature to extend orders any longer.

State House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock said at a news conference and on KCOL radio that he and fellow Republicans plan next week, when the legislative session resumes, to begin “pushing back on the governor’s authority, making sure that after 15 days he actually has legislative approval to continue on with his emergency powers.”

When Arapahoe County area District Attorney George Brauchler called on lawmakers earlier this month to push this type of legislation, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine called it a “sad” illustration of how the response to the pandemic is being converted into a “partisan issue.”

Brauchler called for a “liberty-loving legislator” to offer a “bill to claw back the massive authority given to the governor.”

Brauchler appears to have found his lawmaker in Neville, who’s one of the highest-ranking Republicans in Colorado.

Neville, who’s falsely alleged that masks “don’t accomplish anything,” said on air that the GOP plans to run a bill that “essentially says ‘the governor can only have emergency authority for 15 days. After 15 days, he has to go back and seek legislative approval.'”

Neville acknowledged his proposed legislation probably won’t move forward this year, because it will be considered a late bill that can’t advance without the approval of the Democratic majority, which, he says, will not allow it.

Republicans Target November Election

In light of the likely paralysis of his proposal to strip Polis of his authority to issue pubic-health orders, Neville tried to turn Republicans’ attention to the upcoming election.

Neville said he saw this situation coming, and that’s why he was involved in the failed recall campaigns last year in Colorado

“This is a big reason we were active in the recall elections a year ago and why we were trying to push back, because we saw a lot of this happening,” said Neville on air. “We never thought it would actually get to this point.”

“We really need people to be on the ground fighting for Republicans in elections,” he continued. “If we don’t at least close the gap on Democrat control, then we will probably never solve this.”

In Fundraising Email to “Fight Leftist Propaganda,” Patrick Neville Understates COVID Hospitalizations by Half

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a political fundraising email sent yesterday, statehouse Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) underreported the number of Coloradans hospitalized with coronavirus by half. He claims “fewer than 900 people” have had hospital stays, but publicly available state data put the total at over 2,000.

Total COVID-19 hospitalizations as of April 21.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updates and publishes COVID-19 related data daily online.

Neville’s email asks for donations to fight “the Polis Police State and his leftist propaganda media.”

“Nearly 300,000 Colorado residents are out of work and struggling to provide for their families, while less than 900 people statewide have been hospitalized with Coronavirus.

…Take Back Colorado is fighting to reopen Colorado and get people back to work, but we’re up against the Polis Police State and his leftist media propaganda machine that wants every Colorado resident to be entirely beholden to the Government.

I know times are tough, but your DONATION right now will help us take our fight to reopen Colorado directly to every resident who is fed up with the Polis lockdown and wants to get back to work….

Sincerely, 

Rep. Pat Neville” [emphasis added]

Neville sent the email just after midday Tuesday, so it’s possible the totals on the state’s COVID-19 website weren’t yet updated. Even if that was the case, the previous day’s total listed 1,880 hospitalizations.

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Republicans Now Threatening to Recall…Republicans

We’re gonna need more Budweiser boxes.

One of the big political stories of 2019 in Colorado centered around the completely disastrous attempts by right-wing Republicans to “recall” Democratic lawmakers from office. Angry Facebook groups morphed into angry recall “organizations” that did a decent job of stealing people’s money but had more trouble accomplishing their stated goals; various recall groups tried and failed six separate times to gather enough petition signatures to force a recall election for Democratic members of the State House, State Senate, and even Gov. Jared Polis.

The punctuation mark to this nonsense came in October, when organizers attempting to oust Senate President Leroy Garcia turned in FOUR petition signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. Not four complete petitions, mind you, but four signatures in total. Needless to say, that was quite a bit short of the 13,506 that were required to force a recall election.

At this point, threatening to recall a lawmaker in Colorado is kinda like promising to use a magical spell to turn someone into a newt. But apparently “failing miserably” is no reason for angry Republicans on social media to think a new recall effort won’t work this time — especially if these Republicans target one of their own.

As the right-wing website Colorado Citizen Press explains:

Sen. Kevin Priola (?-Henderson) can’t seem to get it together, and many in the Republican party base are getting fed up with his liberal voting record. So angry that a “Recall Priola” Facebook Group popped up recently. [Pols emphasis]

the Party faithful has “put up” with Priola for years because of his strong work ethic on the campaign trail, knocking on tens of thousands of doors and winning in tough swing-districts. Not that support is becoming lesser every day [SIC: We assume they meant to write “now” instead of “not” and something more grammatically-correct than “lesser.”]

With his voting record all over the board, Republicans are starting to get fed up. For example, Priola came out in support of creating government-funded heroin injection centers last year. This year, he is working to ban several types of tobacco products.

We aren’t sure what his play is, but banning nicotine products while legalizing the public use of heroin looks hypocritical.

State Sen. Kevin Priola (R-Adams County)

Colorado Citizen Press — believed to be directly connected to House Minority Leader Patrick Neville — notes later that Sen. Kevin Priola “is continually threatening to switch parties.” We’d say that irony is not the strong suit of whoever wrote this blog post, but it is clear that the ultimate goal here is to get rid of Priola somehow:

Of course, a recall would be a tad crazy when they could pop up a primary challenger for a fraction of the cost. Given Priola’s voting record, it wouldn’t be challenging to convince the delegates to vote the challenger onto the ballot…

…This begs the question, will those angry activists standup a credible primary opponent before the filing deadline?

The Adams County Republican Party will gather for its county assembly on March 21, which means the anti-Priola club has less than two weeks to come up with a potential Primary opponent.

For Republicans also hoping to re-take majority control in the State Senate in 2020, this presents a bit of a problem. It was Priola, after all, who saved Republicans from losing their majority in 2016; Senate District 25 is again expected to be among the most competitive State Senate races in 2020, and there’s not much of a path forward if the GOP fails to keep Priola’s seat.

This would not be the first time that Colorado Republicans have tried to shank Priola. We haven’t heard substantial rumors that Priola might really be interested in switching political parties, but with friends like these…

Forget “Recall Polis,” Let’s “Make CO Red Again”–With Nazis!

After the failure of last year’s half-baked recall attempt against Gov. Jared Polis, which limped across the finish line with at most half the required number of signatures need even without factoring for error, one of the two groups nominally dedicated to the recall effort became a headline-making controversy after doling out thousands of dollars in unspent donations to a few original organizers and “friends.” This was particularly offensive to donors since the committee in question, the “Official” Recall Polis committee, publicly disparaged the petition campaign to recall Polis and spent no money on the effort.

When we last heard from the registered agent for the “Official” Recall Polis committee Juli-Andra Feuntes, she was facing potential legal action from the Donald Trump presidential campaign after renaming the committee “Colorado For Trump”–to which Fuentes responded by making an acronym of T-R-U-M-P, which now stands for “Truth will Restore the republic and Unbiased Media gives Power to the people.”

That bizarre report from last October was the last word we’ve had about the “Official” Recall Polis campaign and the recipients of that moribund committee’s loose change, until this week when a budding conflict on a new-ish conservative Facebook group named “Make CO Red Again” was brought to our attention:

Readers will recall that Renee McGill, the Weld County lead organizer for the “Official” Recall Polis Committee, pulled down a $3,000 check from the unspent donations to the committee. McGill is now the administrator of the Make CO Red Again Facebook group. Obviously, given the failure of the Polis recall and the controversy over the money McGill was “gifted,” she should expect to have hurdles to overcome in future political organizing roles.

And she’s not the only one!

The moderator of the Make CO Red Again Facebook is a man our longtime readers know very well: Nate Marshall, a one-time Republican state house candidate whose 2014 run for office against Democratic Rep. Max Tyler imploded after Marshall’s not-so secret online life as an unabashed neo-Nazi became public. Marshall had been allegedly recruited to run against Rep. Tyler by former state Sen. Tim Neville, and was backed by the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) at the party assembly. When it came out in remarkably similar fashion to the recent outing of a neo-Nazi working at local AM radio station 710 KNUS that Marshall was steeling himself for an “Aryan Revolution” that “begins in just over 40 hours,” the chair of the Jefferson County GOP demanded Marshall pull out of the race.

So if by this point you’re thinking that this is not a Facebook group respectable Republicans should ever want to be a member of, we’d say that’s an astute observation. It is therefore a bit perplexing to understand why…so many…Colorado Republicans…are members of Nate Marshall’s Facebook group:

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Recallers Rebrand: Meet Colorado Freedom Force

(The Force will not necessarily be with you – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado’s recall leaders aren’t calling it quits, they’re just rebranding and expanding.

Today, the Resist Polis PAC, which claimed to have collected hundreds of thousands of signatures but didn’t turn in any, re-launched as Colorado Freedom Force, with renamed Facebook groups and a new website complete with a new donation page. Divisions between the various recall entities, however, are presenting challenges for the new group’s organizing and fundraising plans.

On October 4, Korry Lewis, spokesperson and filing agent for Resist Polis PAC’s failed gubernatorial recall group and daughter of state Rep. Kimmie Lewis (R-Kim), filed articles of incorporation for a new 501(c)(4) nonprofit, the “Colorado Freedom Force.”

Resist Polis PAC has rebranded its regional chapter Facebook groups and shared the new website on each page, encouraging supporters to join the new email list and donate anonymously:

“Today, the most important step you can take is to join our force by adding your name. Join the Force – Click Here. This is the very best way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Colorado.

The second most important step would be to chip in to our cause. As a 501(c)4 organization, your contribution will remain anonymous, and there is no limit as to how much you can give.”


In the statewide Facebook group, several commenters expressed skepticism, questioning the group’s purpose and noting that they felt like their previous donations had been wasted. Lewis pushed back, asking to which of the two Polis recall groups the commenters had contributed money and specifying CFF’s anticipated activities.

According to Lewis, the CFF will organize in a variety of ways:

“Colorado Freedom Force is essentially a grassroots army of people throughout Colorado who are willing to take action to protect their freedoms. That may be through signature-gathering efforts (initiatives, referendums, or recalls), testifying at the Capitol, or educating voters about candidates and ballot measures.”

In addition to serving as the filing agent for Resist Polis PAC, Lewis coordinated the group’s half-hearted recall efforts against Colorado state senators. She solicited donations on behalf of all three recalls: Governor Polis, Sen. Brittany Pettersen, (D-Lakewood) and Sen. Pete Lee (D-Colorado Springs).

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Colorado GOP Runs From Recalls They Once Hyped

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley).

A week after the spectacular failure of the last of the recall campaigns from Colorado Republicans, launched against several individual Democratic legislators and Gov. Jared Polis over the summer, the Denver Post’s Alex Burness circled back with Republican leaders for a post-mortem look at what went wrong–Republicans who were willing to return his calls, that is, because evidently many were not.

It’s not easy to capture to full magnitude of the failure for Colorado Republicans without resorting to language that seems hyperbolic, but objectively is not an exaggeration of any kind. After the 2018 elections resulted in an historic bloodbath for the Colorado GOP–destroying their gubernatorial candidate, wiping out the GOP’s hold on the attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer’s office ,and losing their only remaining legislative majority–Republicans in this state faced a hard choice: to learn the lessons dwindling moderates in their midst were begging them to learn and fundamentally change course, or embrace a future where all the elections look like 2018.

As we now know, Colorado Republicans chose the latter.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

This infamous clip of now-state GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck promising to make Democrats “learn how to spell R-E-C-A-L-L,” cheered on by the state’s highest ranking Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, has become a major embarrassment for the party leadership now that the recalls have failed. The recalls did not fail narrowly, but failed calamitously with juicy attendant details like the conservative operative class in the state glomming on to the cash flow and “gifts” of thousands of dollars to individuals after the campaign had already failed. Any way you look at what happened–from building donor confidence to mobilizing the base to credibility with the media–this summer was another unprecedented disaster for Colorado Republicans on par with their electoral defeats last November.

So we can’t claim to be surprised to see, as the Post’s Alex Burness reports today, Colorado Republicans making absurd excuses to deflect responsibility. Defeat, as they say, is an orphan:

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, the Colorado GOP chair, told The Denver Post on Friday that the recall failures don’t fall on him in any way. [Pols emphasis]

“I didn’t cast any net,” he said. “There’s a lot of people in the grassroots … who went after legislators. I didn’t direct any recall effort.”

When he was elected to lead the state party on the fourth ballot in March, Buck promised to teach Democrats “how to spell R-E-C-A-L-L.” Now, though, he claims he did not endorse the concept of mass recalls in Colorado.

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock).

Buck’s cowardly denial of any responsibility for recalls he ran for the chair of the state party promising to support is an indicator of just how thoroughly weak and disorganized Republicans are as the last days of October 2019 come to a close. Practically from the moment Democrats visited historic destruction on Republicans in last November’s elections, Republicans had threatened retaliation via recalls. House Minority Leader Patrick Neville openly threatened his Democratic colleagues with recalls during this year’s legislative session. Republican operatives criss-crossed the state spreading the gospel of recalls as a way to “reweight the electorate,” and score victories that are now out of reach in general elections.

History will likely record that the attempted recall of Rep. Tom Sullivan, a freshman Democrat whose advocacy for gun safety is rooted in his son’s tragic murder in the July 2012 Aurora theater shooting, is the moment where the GOP’s recall strategy went off the rails for good. Ironically, this is the recall attempt that Colorado Republicans are most obliged to take ownership of, since it was initiated by Colorado Republican Party vice-chair Kristi Burton Brown personally. Attempts to recast Brown’s action as “personal” after the Sullivan recall was clearly doing more harm than good simply have no credibility.

Cole Wist, a Republican who lost his house seat to Sullivan in 2018 — and who publicly bashed the Sullivan recall effort — said there is an important distinction to be made between staying out of recalls and actively condemning them.

“I didn’t see one elected Republican speak out against it,” he said. “The state party needs to own this failure. [Pols emphasis] They stirred the pot, and when they could see that the strategy wasn’t going to work, they didn’t speak up. They retreated and disappeared while rank-and-file members of the party floundered and were exploited by political consultants.”

When exactly high-ranking Republicans belatedly realized that the recalls were going to fail is irrelevant. The fact is that top Republicans kept up appearances of support for the recalls very late in the game, such as when Sen. Cory Gardner told recall organizers in Pueblo at the end of August that “I’ve never said I was against recalls” about sixty seconds after telling Senate President Leroy Garcia “I’m kind of sorry that this is happening.” For rank-and-file Republicans, any emotional (not to mention financial) investment made in these recalls has been a tremendously demoralizing experience.

And above all, while Democrats have been organizing like it’s an election year to oppose the recalls, the GOP spun its wheels throughout this whole critical off-year when they should have been preparing for the 2020 general election. When all is said and done this could be the most damning of the many indictments against Rep. Ken Buck’s absentee leadership of the party while still trying to serve in Congress, and with the greatest long-term impact. Here we are a year after the 2018 Democratic wave, and Colorado Republicans have totally squandered the backlash they hoped to foment as Democrats carried out the agenda they promised voters. There are many mistakes to point out, but there are no excuses. This was the strategy Republicans chose.

Cory Gardner, Ken Buck, House Minority Leader Pat Neville, the Colorado GOP as an organization.

For Colorado Republicans who really want this nightmare to end, the housecleaning starts there.

Beware of Unverified Claims by Credibility-Challenged Recall Campaigns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Here was The Denver Post headline about the campaign to recall Colo Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) last Tuesday: “Effort to recall Colorado Senate president on track as deadline nears, organizer says

And this was the newspaper’s headline three days later: “Organizers needed 13,506 signatures to force recall vote of Colorado Senate president. They handed in 4.”

So what happened? On Tuesday, the news story, if any, should have been about the approaching deadline, not about the anti-Garcia activists’ claim that they were on track.

That’s how Colorado Public Radio presented the story on Tuesday: “Campaign To Recall Senate President Leroy Garcia Plans To Turn In Signatures.”

If The Post had information Tuesday to confirm the claim of the recall campaign’s likely success (trusted sources, evidence of signatures gathered), then you could justify a story about imminent success. That would be good journalism. But such information did not exist.

Instead, The Post apparently simply regurgitated the claim, which lead CO PeakPolitics, a conservative blog, to gloat that Garcia had “arrogantly predicted” that voters had “no appetite” for a recall election. Oops.

PeakPolitics Post

The blog removed its post after the four-signature truth came out Friday, saying that no amount of correcting could have salvaged its story.

The Post left its piece in place, which was the right thing to do, and it now serves as a reminder that the shrill and unverified utterances or screams of small numbers of credibility-challenged discontents and their backers, while deserving of respect, shouldn’t dominate the news or certainly a news cycle, whether it’s at the beginning of a failed recall campaign or at the end of one.

This is especially true given that recall proponents demonstrated repeatedly that they weren’t credible.

House Republican Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock announced with gun extremist Dudley Brown that recalls against state Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and state Rep. Meg Froelich (D-Englewood) were coming. They weren’t.

Backed by Brown and Neville, Colorado Republican Party Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown launched a recall of state Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Aurora) on May 13. She dropped it less than a month later. The Colorado Politics story reporting on the Sullivan recall included this line:

Republicans and their conservative allies have said they plan to launch a dozen or so recalls against Democrats.

This also did not happen.

Organizers of the statewide recall efforts aimed at Colorado Gov. Jared Polis were similarly factually challenged. One group, calling itself the “Official” Polis Recall, never even pulled recall petitions. Donors were furious and demanded refunds. Rather than return the tens of thousands of dollars, however, leaders simply moved donors’ money from account to account before giving it… to themselves.

Patrick Neville, House GOP Tripped Up Badly By Prop DD

Rep. Matt Soper (R).

THURSDAY UPDATE: The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports:

“Typical front ranger way of looking at things … you come up with something that is fake with the idea of defeating West Slope water projects so we are forced to send more water to the Front Range,” wrote Soper, who later deleted his own comment. “You people make me sick! You want to steal our water by denying us the ability to store water and use it.”

In an interview, Soper blamed his “late-night” response on anger, saying he also dislikes conservation easements.

“That got under my skin because not a dime will go to conservation easements,” Soper said. “The conservation are things like evaporation, like capping canals to prevent that evaporation, (or) getting rid of tamarisk trees. That’s conservation. We have 400,000 acre feet of water we’re trying to recover or save, and we have to come up with creative ways to do that. That’s called conservation.”

If you’re amused to see a Republican representative angry about misinformation after the outrageous falsehoods that drove this summer’s spate of failed recall attempts against Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis, from fiction over Senate Bill 19-181 to just plain offensive nonsense about this year’s relatively minor update to the state’s sex-ed laws…well, we’re sympathetic to Rep. Matt Soper’s plight–but not sympathetic enough to forget that basically every Republican in Colorado has this coming.

With that said, thanks for correcting the record on Proposition DD.

—–

Most of the attention on the 2019 Colorado ballot now arriving in mailboxes across the state is focused on Proposition CC, the referred measure to allow the state to keep and spend tax money collected in excess of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights arbitrary revenue growth cap–a provision in the law blamed for the state’s inability to, among other things, benefit from economic good times and planning ahead for fiscal “rainy days.”

But a second ballot measure, Proposition DD, implementing a 10% tax on newly legalized sports betting, nominally enjoys broad bipartisan support as a new revenue stream directed at Colorado’s substantial backlog of water conservation and storage projects. One of the chief Republican proponents of Proposition DD is none other than hard-right House Minority Leader Patrick Neville–and unfortunately for Neville, GOP legislative support for DD is causing him big headaches with both the rightmost nether reaches of the Republican base:

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Reporter Should be “Sent Packing” To Venezuela, Says Conservative Operative & GOP Matriarch Barb Neville

(The Nevilles are very fine people – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Angered by a news story about her son, prominent conservative activist Barb Neville launched a one-women social media assault on Colorado Politics reporter Marianne Goodland.

Barb Neville

Neville, mother of House Republican Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) and wife of former State Senator Tim Neville of Littleton, shared Goodland’s article about Patrick Neville directing financial support to the Recall Polis effort, along with the following commentary to her Facebook page on Sept. 7:

“Why is this even news??? This reporter will report anything to give the appearance that Republicans are evil. I’ll bet if this were a demonrat she would be holding them out as heroes. Republicans and unaffiliates that support our country and constitution should be proud that we have leaders who are principled enough to stand and fight for it. MG and her socialist pervert democrat cronies are the ones who are evil. Tell the Gazette to send her packing to a country like Cuba or Venezuela where they will be more amicable to her Commie leanings. I am sick of these commie women haters I’ma a different kinda .#MeToo

Neville also shared the post with numerous Republican and conservative Facebook pages and groups, including GOP pages for Denver, Arapahoe, Pueblo, Weld, Jefferson, Elbert and Fremont counties. Other groups include the National Asian Indian Republican Association, GetErDoneRightColorado, Arapahoe Tea Party, and OGRE Exposed.

Asked by a commenter on her post if any part of Goodland’s article was false, Neville didn’t dispute any of its accuracy. Instead, she complained that the decision to report the story itself was showing Republicans in a negative light.

Colorado Press Association CEO Jill Farschman expressed concern over Neville’s post:

“While sharing opinions is certainly a First Amendment right, attacks on journalism as a profession undermine our free press which is the only profession enshrined in our nation’s Constitution due to its criticality to a functioning democracy. In this instance, the accuracy of the journalist’s work isn’t being questioned and suggesting she should be sent to other countries openly hostile to free press is extremely offensive. Such personal threats debase our political discourse and put the safety of journalists at risk.”

Barb Neville isn’t just related to politicians. She’s a former candidate-turned-operative herself. She briefly ran for state Senate in 2006, and later ran her sister-in-law Julie Williams’ successful 2013 campaign for Jefferson County School Board. The Denver Post’s profile of the Neville family that year described them as a “political dynasty.”

Reached by email for a response to Neville’s insults and calls for Goodland’s banishment, Mark Harden, managing editor of Colorado Politics, stated:

“Marianne Goodland is an outstanding reporter on state politics whose work is widely respected by Republicans, Democrats and independents alike. We stand by her reporting.”

Barb Neville did not return a Facebook message requesting comment.

Colorado GOP In Chaos After Recalls Crash And Burn

Yesterday afternoon, the recall campaigns targeting state Sens. Pete Lee of Colorado Springs and Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood announced the failure of their efforts after having collected an unknown number of signatures short of the requirement in both districts. This news yesterday afternoon came following Friday’s announcement that the “Dismiss Polis” recall petition campaign gathered less than half the required signatures to qualify a recall question against Gov. Jared Polis for the ballot. Back in June, the recall petition campaign targeting Rep. Tom Sullivan failed after intense national news coverage highlighted the offense of trying to recall the father of an Aurora theater massacre victim for passing gun control legislation.

 

The Recall Polis “creeper van.”

Last March, Rep. Ken Buck was elected chairman of the Colorado Republican Party on a promise to teach Democrats “how to spell R-E-C-A-L-L.” The ill-fated recall attempt against Rep. Tom Sullivan was filed by Colorado Republican Party vice-chair Kristi Burton Brown, who subsequently tried to distance the party from her actions as it became clear to all parties that a serious political and moral error had been made in attempting to recall Rep. Sullivan.

The recall campaign against Gov. Polis kicked off, as readers know well, over the strenuous objections of the “Official” Recall Polis committee who (as it turns out correctly) predicted the effort would fail. Two competing fundraising operations nominally dedicated to the same extremely unlikely goal of recalling Gov. Polis confusingly solicited Republicans for funds, and laid out opposing but always unrealistic visions for how the recall would proceed. In the end the “official” committee denounced the petition drive managed by GOP attorney Korry Lewis, and wrote a big check to Colorado For Trump in hope of deflecting allegations of defrauding its donors–in spirit if not in legal point of fact.

The Polis recall petition campaign claimed to have collected around 300,000 signatures, less than half the required total let alone the 30%+ margin required to cover invalid signatures during the verification process. Because these signatures will never be turned in, no one will ever know if even these claimed numbers are accurate. Likewise with the now-dead recall petition drives targeting Sens. Lee and Pettersen–those campaigns did not disclose even an estimate of signatures they had collected, and it would be impossible to verify any number they provided. On the other hand, Democrats used these petition drives to mobilize large canvass operations in the targeted districts, giving them a jump on the next cycle.

“Herbie The Hate Bug.”

The collapse in just the space of a few days of recall campaigns that have dominated political news coverage in Colorado for most of 2019 has been so stunning that the magnitude of the defeat for Republicans risks not being fully digested by the relentless news cycle. There’s an understandable desire in the wake of this defeat to lay blame on the recall organizers, from the freaks and ghouls of the Polis recall to Nancy Pallozzi, the silly-season caricature who ran the recall campaign against Sen. Pettersen in SD-22 after losing to Pettersen by 20 points in her House race three years ago. In retrospect, yes, these were fringe types who did not deserve the attention they were paid–but the responsibility for what they did goes right back to GOP chairman Ken Buck, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, and every other high-placed Republican who led the party to this state of ruin instead of preparing for the next general election in 2020.

The red-on-red recriminations are already starting. Buck’s absentee leadership of the Colorado Republican Party while radical subordinates like Kristi Burton Brown run amok, the chokehold of the Neville clan and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) on the GOP House caucus as well as county sheriffs and party organizations across the state, occurring against the backdrop of the Republican Party’s massive losses in Colorado in the 2018 elections–all of this is now a burning issue for every Colorado Republican who wants to avoid another wholesale disaster in November of 2020.

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock).

Over the years as Republicans have faced ever-greater defeats in Colorado both in accordance with and opposed to national trends, voices within the party have made half-hearted and in many cases disingenuous calls for a fundamental shift in direction. After sweeping losses in 2012, Republican strategists Josh Penry and Rob Witwer said flatly that Republicans “must improve or die”–and then Penry in particular got rich as a grifting “consultant” for losing Republican campaigns. In 2016, two-time gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez, himself no stranger to fringy self-destructive politics, tried unsuccessfully to purge the GOP’s slate of legislative candidates, incumbents and fresh faces alike, whom he believed were doing more harm than good for the party in the long term.

Today, Colorado Republicans find themselves at another such crossroads. Almost a year has been wasted in foolish pursuit of revenge for the losses of 2018 instead of getting ready to minimize what’s shaping up to be yet another Democratic wave in 2020. The state party is in the hands of unserious radicals who do not possess elementary political sense based on their own actions, and still tightly bound to RMGO and the Nevilles even as it costs them their last vestiges of relevance.

In 2010, Dan Maes led the Colorado GOP to an 11% finish in the governor’s race.

The hole they’re in today is every bit as deep, with no one but themselves to blame.

Recall Donations Have a Funny Way of Disappearing

You could donate to a Neville recall campaign…or keep warm for a few minutes.

As we’ve discussed in this space on numerous occasions, various efforts to recall Democratic elected officials in Colorado are about two things: 1) Figuring out a way to get around the fact that pesky Colorado voters won’t support Republican candidates, and 2) Raising money by any means possible.

The fundraising aspect has become so intense, in fact, that it has sparked some nasty infighting among right-wing groups scrapping for loose change. One of the main financial beneficiaries of Recallpalooza is the Neville Clan, led by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville and his political consultant brother, Joe Neville. This isn’t just speculation on our part. The Nevilles openly admit that they are promoting recalls in order to profit financially, which is perhaps somewhat more honorable than pretending otherwise but no less disgusting in general.

As Marianne Goodland reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman…well, let’s just say you can color us unsurprised:

A political fund controlled by state House Minority Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock and his brother, Joe Neville, has been attempting for months to raise money for the effort to recall Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

But groups involved in the recall effort say they haven’t seen any of that money yet. [Pols emphasis]

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock)

The most recent fundraising email was sent Aug. 5 under the name of Take Back Colorado, asking respondents to reply to a survey on whether the governor should be recalled. It included a link to a donation site, operated by Values First Colorado, the 527 campaign committee run by Joe Neville that primarily supports Republican candidates for the Colorado state House.

Under tax law, 527 committees can raise unlimited funds to influence an election or issue but can’t coordinate with a campaign.

Joe Neville told Colorado Politics that any money received through that Aug. 5 fundraising email would go to the Resist Polis PAC, one of two groups involved in the petition effort to recall the governor. He did not respond to a request on how much money was raised by the Polis-recall emails.

But Resist Polis PAC spokeswoman Korry Lewis said the group’s dealings with the Nevilles have been frustrating, because while “we’ve been talking to them since April” about the fundraising emails, it hasn’t seen any money yet.

As we’ve already seen with failed recall attempts targeting Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan, you had better hold on to your receipts if you decide to write a check to one of these grifting operations. Some recall donors have in fact figured this out and are asking for their money back, which is sort of like waiting for a check from Bernie Madoff.

This is not the first time that the Nevilles and their friends at Rocky Mountain Gun Owners have made campaign donations disappear. Since Republican donors don’t seem to be learning anything from these mistakes, it surely won’t be the last time, either.

Colorado House Republicans Fundraising to Recall Polis

(Everybody on the gravy boat — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Patrick Neville "Take Back Colorado"
House Republican Leader Patrick Neville is using the statehouse GOP caucus fund to promote another recall effort, this time of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. Neville didn’t pull any punches in his email soliciting donations:
Take Back Colorado logo
Governor Polis has unleashed the most radical and overreaching agenda in Colorado’s history. Chip in now to support a recall of Jared Polis and help us take back Colorado!
Neville sent the email via Values First Colorado (VFC), which also operates “Recall Colorado,” an entity dedicated to recalling Neville’s Democratic colleagues in the state legislature. Take Back Colorado appears to be an “entity” in name only; there is neither a political committee nor a business of that name registered with the Colorado Secretary of State. VFC’s enthusiastic support of statehouse recalls caused some concern among corporate donors earlier this year. Both Xcel Energy and Noble Energy issued statements saying they intended their 2018 donations to VCF to be used to elect Republicans in November’s general election, not recalling Democrats from office. Following those statements, Neville created a new political committee, “Recall Colorado,” presumably to separate recall funds from VFC’s regular election work. The committee’s lone campaign finance report filed on July 15 shows no money raised or spent over its first 30 days. VFC also filed a campaign finance report on July 15. Top donors include the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association ($10,000 on June 12) Farmers Insurance Group ($5,000 on June 13), Ralph Nagel of Top Rock Investments ($5,000 on May 9), and United Health Group, which also gave $5,000 on May 9. The report also revealed VFC’s largest expenditure: $18,000 to Rearden Strategic for “Digital Marketing.” Rearden is owned by Patrick Neville’s brother Joe. That family connection has already raised eyebrows among Colorado press, leading 9News’ Marshall Zelinger to ask party chair Ken Buck if he thought it appropriate for the Neville family to profit from recalls. It’s unclear how much money VFC has spent on Take Back Colorado so far, but at the very least it has created a logo, built a donation page on its fundraising site, and generated an email.
The email promoting Take Back Colorado is very similar in format and wording “Recall Colorado” emails sent by VCF. The logo is identical except for the addition of the words “Take Back.” The same disclosure, that “Take Back Colorado is an entity operated by Values First Colorado and is “Paid for and authorized by Values First Colorado,” appears at the bottom of the message. A phone call to VFC’s registered agent Joe Neville requesting comment was not immediately returned.

Please, Please Don’t Throw Me Into the Recall Thicket!

“Everywhere you look, people are circulating petitions to recall elected officials throughout the state. And yes, it’s all a little silly.”

The Pueblo Chieftain (July 18, 2019)

As you may have heard, there are a lot of nonsense recall campaigns being instituted by a handful of disgruntled Republicans still steaming over big election losses in 2018. Most, if not all, of these recall efforts appear doomed to fail because of disunity, disorganization, and a general lack of sense.

On Thursday, Republican Nancy “Don’t Call Me Pelosi” Pallozzi received official approval to restart her recall of State Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood), apparently after the group realized that they were basing their complaints in part on legislation that Pettersen never even had a chance to vote on (not to mention that the group was trying to collect petition signatures well outside of Pettersen’s actual Senate district).

Newspaper editorial boards across the state have been calling out these recall efforts for months. On Thursday, the editorial board of the Pueblo Chieftain took its turn at the piñata:

If you support the brand of democracy that our country’s founders intended, then you should be worried by all this…

Absent some scandals or demonstrations of monumental incompetence, these recall efforts have to be viewed as what they really are — attempts to undo the will of the voters. The recall supporters are like those kids on the playground who always insisted on a “do-over” every time they lost a game. [Pols emphasis]

Do you want to make this summer a little less silly? Then don’t sign a frivolous recall petition.

The Chieftain makes a very succinct point in this regard by using the example of the various convoluted recall efforts targeting Gov. Jared Polis:

There’s been no indication he’s done anything illegal or improper during his first six months-plus on the job. To the contrary, he’s shown himself to be pretty much the person he advertised himself to be on the campaign trail last year. [Pols emphasis]

Are there people who disagree with some of his initiatives? Sure. Those were, in large part, the same people who voted against him last November. But guess what? Polis won that election, with the support of the majority of the state’s voters.

From The Durango Herald (April 12, 2019)

The Greeley Tribune made a similar argument in March about recall efforts targeting then-Rep. Rochelle Galindo:

The best advice we can offer recall backers is put your money into electing a better candidate in 2020. [Pols emphasis] In 2018, 22,783 people cast ballots, with more than 12,000 voting for Galindo. Republican candidate Michael Thuener received more than 10,000 votes, but still lost by 7 percentage points.

Recall elections are costly, especially considering the two-year timeline of elections for the District 50 seat. Instead, it’s fine to oppose Galindo, but let her do her job. Then if she’s not working for this community, elect a new candidate, but do it in 2020.

The Galindo recall was the first such effort of 2019…and also the first to acknowledge that its actions were strictly an attempt to re-do the November election. Back in April, former Weld County GOP Chairwoman Stacey Kjeldgaard candidly (or accidentally) admitted that that Galindo recall effort was mostly about the fact that she was a Democrat and not because of any of her actions or votes at the State Capitol.

“Recall is a tool voters should use only to remove people from office who are seriously negligent in performing their duties or are engaged in official misconduct.”

The Grand Junction Sentinel (June 18, 2019)

A few months later, the Grand Junction Sentinel hit on the same points:

Some Coloradans don’t like recent legislative outcomes, so they’re interested in either changing them or punishing lawmakers for taking certain positions…

…Throughout its history, The Sentinel has taken the position that recalls are only appropriate in cases of malfeasance or incapacity. Competence is in the eye of beholder. One voter’s anger over a legislator’s record is another’s joy. There’s a huge difference between recalling someone because they are corrupt and trying to remove them from office because you disagree with their policies.

Ditto Aurora Sentinel editor Dave Perry from May 14:

There’s a handful of loosely related far-right extremists trying to undermine Colorado’s election system to serve their own political purposes. Among them is Joe Neville, who runs a political action committee called Values First Colorado. He’s the brother of GOP state Rep. Patrick Neville, a champion for snuffing bills like Colorado’s red flag law in favor of arming teachers with guns in schools. Joe Neville wants to recall a few Democratic state lawmakers because they voted for bills focusing on things like protecting children from sexual abuse by providing better sex ed at school, and a bill making sure local cops aren’t tools of national immigration police.

We’re not talking about extreme measures like making kids get their vaccines or making bikers wear motorcycle helmets, we’re talking about no-brainer legislation that real people in Colorado have repeatedly said they want.

These recalls are beyond Colorado crazy. This is Trump crazy.

About a month earlier, the editorial board of the Durango Herald explained how previous recall efforts merely proved that organizers were the ones who were out-of-touch with Colorado voters:

Colorado in this respect has been spooked by 2013, when two Democratic members of the state Senate were recalled, including the Senate president, after they supported gun-control measures. (Durango Rep. Mike McLachlan, another Democrat, also was targeted.) Republicans were elected in their stead, and then, in the 2014 election, they were defeated by Democrats. It was a circular exercise.

Last year, an effort to recall La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt, one of two Democrats on the three-seat board, fell just short of the number of petition signatures needed. Then, in November, voters put a third Democrat on the commission.

“Oh, please don’t try to recall me.”

And here’s the editorial board of the Denver Post from April 10:

Some of the folks who are spinning this web of outrage, especially state House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, should know better. His vocal support of the recall efforts of Sen. Jeff Bridges, Rep. Meg Froelich and Rep. Rochelle Galindo is painting him and the caucus he leads as political operatives rather than thoughtful lawmakers doing the work of the people at the Capitol.

Colorado Republicans aren’t really pretending that these recall efforts are anything other than an attempt to line the pockets of consultants and sidestep Colorado voters in order to sneak in a few more Republican lawmakers. As these editorials show, the folly of these recalls look the same anywhere you travel in Colorado.

We’ve thought for awhile now that the idiocy of these recall efforts is backfiring on Colorado Republicans by giving Democrats new reasons to organize and reach out to voters a year ahead of the next election. Ol’ Brer Rabbit would be mighty proud.

Gardner Pours Cold Water on Polis Recall

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner, former state Sen. Tim Neville.

Cory Gardner thinks Colorado Republicans should focus on winning the next election, not recalling Democratic Gov. Jared Polis from office.

Asked about the Polis recall, Gardner recently told El Paso Republicans, as first reported by The Denver Post:

GARDNER: “You know what, we gotta focus all we can on winning in 2020; getting our congressional seats back, getting our state legislature back … . “That’s where I’m at. You may agree or disagree, but boy I think we gotta get our nuts and bolts together so that we can win.”

Gardner’s comment aligns with the views of establishment figures within the Colorado Republican Party, who’ve said repeatedly that recall organizers will never collect enough signatures to get the recall measure on the ballot–and the effort itself makes the Republican Party look petty, whiny, and chaotic in the eyes of swing voters. 

But the organizers of the Polis recall have the loud backing of conservative talk radio hosts and many party activists, who are livid at the governor for signing laws this year addressing gun-safety, the presidential popular vote, and comprehensive sex-ed, among other alleged transgressions.

Recall backers also say their organizing efforts will help them win next year’s election, bolstering their voter lists and identifying more volunteers and activists.

Gardner’s decision to publicly throw water on the Polis recall came as a surprise to some political analysts, who’ve noted that Gardner has already angered Republican activists to the point where they have given him a chilly reception at the state’s largest gathering of conservatives, the Centennial Institute’s Western Conservative Summit.

KNUS radio host Randy Corporon has speculated that Gardner was considering skipping this year’s Summit, in part, because he didn’t get a fully “warm reception” there last year. Gardner has decided to attend the gathering this weekend.

On the other hand, Gardner has pleased Republican activists by, among other things, endorsing Trump and approving Trump’s declaration of a national emergency for the purpose of funding a border wall.