The Colorado Republican Party has been working hard to stir up a bigger story about some dumbass comments made recently by former State Rep. Steve Lebsock, who is apparently not content to ride off into the sunset as the first state lawmaker in 100 years to be kicked out of the legislature. In case you’ve already purged this story from your memory, Lebsock is the former Thornton Democrat who switched his party affiliation to Republican just before being formally expelled from the legislature in March as a result of multiple accusations of sexual harassment and attempted retaliation for said accusations.
Other than a bizarre trip to Las Vegas in late April for a stay at a Trump Hotel — where Lebsock symbolically “toasted” President Trump — we hadn’t heard much from the disgraced former lawmaker since he was escorted out of the State Capitol on March 2. But earlier this month, Lebsock reappeared for an interview with Karen Kataline on 600 KCOL, which is apparently a real radio station or something. The Colorado Republican Party latched onto some of Lebsock’s comments and even sent out a press release on Wednesday calling attention to the matter in hopes of turning Lebsock’s sad narcissism into a broader controversy involving Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County).
As Anna Staver writes for the Denver Post:
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, flatly denied he ever offered a job to a former state representative in exchange for the man’s resignation…
…Months before the expulsion vote, Lebsock told reporters that a prominent Democrat offered him a job if he’d resign.
The former Democrat from Thornton never said who called him with that offer until earlier this month during a radio interview with Karen Kataline on 600 KCOL.
Lebsock told Kataline that Perlmutter called him twice within 48 hours after sexual harassment allegations first surfaced in early November, and then he went a step further:
“He even went so far as saying, ‘Look, Steve, if you resign you know we will make sure that you land well and get a job and all that,’” Lebsock said. “I couldn’t believe it, and I said, ‘Ed, there is no way I’m going to resign because I didn’t do anything wrong.’”
We’ll get to this first part of this quote in a minute, but first, notice how Lebsock continues to claim that he “didn’t do anything wrong” in relation to sexual harassment allegations. Lebsock initially apologized for his behavior before abruptly reversing course; he protested his innocence by concocting a silly conspiracy theory about Democrats trying to prevent him from running for State Senate, which made little sense given that he was already at the time a declared candidate for State Treasurer. Of course, Lebsock was most certainly NOT innocent, as anyone who followed this story could attest. The day-long hearing on March 2 that resulted in Lebsock’s expulsion clearly indicated that a majority of lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle believed that Lebsock was a menace who had no place as a State Representative.
Now, back to the part about Lebsock alleging that Perlmutter offered him a job if he resigned his seat. Lebsock didn’t back up his own chest-pounding when offered a chance — as Anna Staver writes in her Post story, Lebsock did not return calls seeking comment about his claims of a job offer. Perlmutter’s office, meanwhile, did not hesitate to respond. Here’s the statement from Perlmutter campaign spokesperson Ashley Verville:
“Ed Perlmutter never offered Mr. Lebsock a job. What Ed did offer was to help Mr. Lebsock find treatment and counseling to deal with his issues because Mr. Lebsock created a hostile work environment.
“Mr. Lebsock has clearly chosen a different path, and for many months now we’ve seen Mr. Lebsock make several attempts to distract from his own bad behavior and this allegation is just another example. Furthermore, shame on the Republican Party for perpetuating this nonsense and continuing to listen to a guy who is the first legislator to be expelled from the Colorado State House in more than 100 years – obviously showing their desperation this election cycle.”
We can understand why Colorado Republicans might try to make this into a bigger story than it is, but this appears to be nothing more than the delusional rantings of guy (Lebsock) who is more than a few sandwiches short of a picnic. From what we understand, it was Lebsock who first called Perlmutter in the immediate aftermath of the initial accusations in November; Perlmutter returned Lebsock’s call, and the two men spoke once again a few days later. It seems more than plausible that Perlmutter did little more than offer to help Lebsock find treatment and counseling for his problems.
Perlmutter is adamant that he never offered Lebsock a job, and basic logic backs up this claim. After all, why would Perlmutter make such an offer? Perlmutter and Lebsock have no personal history as far as we can tell, and Perlmutter has been around politics long enough to understand that this kind of arrangement wouldn’t make sense for either man.
So, why would Lebsock say these things if they weren’t true? Well, for the same reasons he makes a lot of ridiculous claims: Steve Lebsock needs people to pay attention to him, and it matters not in what light he is portrayed. Lebsock has become a carnival barker or a Fox News analyst — someone who says stuff in hopes that somebody will be interested that he said stuff. This is just another sad chapter about a sad man who would be better off looking for a new chapter in his life instead of relentlessly rewriting the same pages again and again.