(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 two–part 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.”
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.