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May 13, 2019 10:14 AM MDT

And Now They're Trying to Recall Tom Sullivan

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #2: Colorado Public Radio’s Bente Birkeland confirms that the recall against Rep. Tom Sullivan was initiated by none other than Colorado GOP vice-chair Kristi Burton Brown:

A campaign to try to recall Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan of Centennial from office is official. The effort is directly linked to the Colorado Republican Party — which historically has stayed out of many recall efforts and not initiated them.

“Rep. Tom Sullivan needs to be recalled because, like the rest of the Democrats in the legislature this session, he did not represent the families of Colorado,” said Kristi Burton Brown, an attorney and the vice-chair of the Colorado Republican Party. She filed the request with the secretary of state.

Kristi Burton Brown has a long association with the Neville political machine, serving as the filing agent for the Values First “independent expenditure” group that (mis)managed the 2018 House GOP’s defeats. The vigorous pushback this attempt seems to be getting from within the Republican Party is indicative of a serious intraparty divide–in addition to what’s expected to be overwhelming public distaste for recalling the father of an Aurora shooting victim for passing popular gun safety legislation.

What happens next? We’ll all find out together. But it’s not going to be pretty.


UPDATE: The problems here are obvious…


State Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial) speaks about his support for “Red Flag” legislation earlier this year.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which bills itself as “Colorado’s only no-compromise gun rights organization,” has been teasing out some sort of announcement that would appear to be related to another recall attempt of a sitting lawmaker. It’s probably no coincidence that a recall petition was filed this afternoon against freshman Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Aurora), who has been on the receiving end of mean words from RMGO head honcho Dudley Brown because of Sullivan’s strong support for a “red flag” bill that passed through the Colorado legislature this year.

For anyone who follows Colorado politics and the current state of right-wing recall fever, this is a predictable turn of events — particularly considering Brown’s considerable hubris and his need to raise money to support his militant organization. The irony is nevertheless impossible to ignore given the circumstances of the 2018 election.

Last year, Sullivan defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Cole Wist in HD-37 by an 8-point margin. In the run-up to the November election, Wist was attacked by RMGO over his support of “red flag” legislation. Brown has since claimed Wist as a political scalp, though Sullivan’s 8-point margin of victory makes that assertion fairly ridiculous. Here’s Brown in a new interview published today by David O. Williams of

REAL VAIL: Red flag had Republican sponsorship last year from former state Rep. Cole Wist and even the National Rifle Association said it was open to some forms of the law. Why not RMGO?

Dudley Brown of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

BROWN: Cole Wist, he lied to me last year when I called him and said, ‘I heard you were working on red flag. Oh no, I’m not.’ And then we filed a [Colorado Open Records Act request] and found out, yes, he was. And he had been lying to me all along. And so we went out and lit-dropped his district and mailed and we put a little bit of effort into ruining his life. And he paid the price. [Wist lost to primary red flag sponsor Rep. Tom Sullivan, a Democrat who lost his son in the Aurora theater shooting.] [Pols emphasis]

RV: Is that why not a single Republican backed red flag this year, out of fear of RMGO?

DB: I know a lot of RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] all bellyached about, ‘RMGO didn’t play on the team.’ We’re not owned by the Republican Party and when Republicans don’t play on the pro-gun team, we will piss in their ice bowl. We don’t care. [Pols emphasis]

Brown is now taking time away from pissing in the ice bowl of Republicans (whatever the hell that means) to go after Sullivan. Some Colorado Republicans are less than amused by RMGO’s recall quest:

To recap, RMGO is trying to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son was killed in the Aurora Theater shootings, because of his support of “red flag” legislation that polling shows has the support of 80% of Colorado voters. This comes less than a week after the deadly shooting at a STEM school in Highlands Ranch, and a month after hundreds of schools in the Metro Denver area were locked down because of a threat from a Florida woman who flew to Denver and immediately bought a shotgun and ammunition at a gun store near Columbine High School.

No, this doesn’t make any sense. But somebody’s got to pay the bills for Dudley Brown.


24 thoughts on “And Now They’re Trying to Recall Tom Sullivan

  1. That Dudley would do this is, unfortunately, no surprise. But everyday folks thinking about signing this petition should consider that they could become complicit in forcing an honorably discharged Veteran to re-live the murder of his son, throughout the petition period, throughout any campaign that emerges, in the news, on social media, in his daily life. Ordinary decent Republicans, take a moment and re-read the story of Dr. Faustus and the Faustian bargain, because you have a chance to stop this dishonorable cruelty by refusing to sign.

    1. It ought to also instill in Mr. Sullivan an iron will to face off against the Gun Idolators.  My hope is a bunch of folks will have his back on this one.

      1. I really think we ought to start playing the same game and start recalling GOP senators. Patrick Neville has enough conflicts of interest to start his own Gubmint Superstore – start with him.

        Put them on the defensive, for once.

        1. Democrats always have a hard time playing in the mud with the soulless Republicans. But this has merit – not only puts them on the defensive, but might work in some cases.

          1. Yes, it might. 

            To use the recall process this way is fundamentally wrong. But they chose the playground…beating them with their own cudgel could deter them.

      2. He's my state rep, Gilpin.  He was a tireless campaigner who earned the first time Dem victory in this house district the hard way.  I can assure you that we will have his back.

  2. Was at the DU/Colorado SUN post-session forum tonight with the Governor and leaders of the state legislature.

    Patrick Neville claimed that Galindo was being recalled because she didn't vote as she campaigned.  Becker then said that can't be true, because you're now trying to recall Tom Sullivan who sent door-to-door telling how he would work on gun violence prevention and he did.  Neville then brought up two obscure bills.

    Neville also indicated that he has nothing to do wtih the recalls, other than to provide advice.  Of course, he apparently just forgot that his brother is a major playing staging and funding these. Patrick Neville should join the Trump administration. Fit right in with that unabashed pack of liars.

    1. What would it take for a recall petition to include a statement of how much a special election would cost the election district and a reminder of when the next scheduled election for the office will be?

      1. The Secretary of State would have to make that rule. Gessler made all kinds of set-of-the-pants rulings. I think it would have to be a statute voted up by the legislature, as well.

        A recall rule I'd like to see: right now, only ballot initiative circulators have to disclose who they are and be licensed, trained, and registered on the SOS site. Recall petition organizers don't have to do that – at least, that's what the SoS office wrote when I complained about the Galindo petition organizers not being registered on the site.

        But the more important recall rule would be that, instead of any random reason, state officials can only be recalled for crimes, corruption, malfeasance. Most other states that allow recalls have something like this on the books.

        I think a pretty good case could be made with Patrick Neville – mishandling money in his campaigns and the family PACS – Certainly he has violated the oath he swore to serve the people of Colorado and help the Legislature function..

        I don’t know if either of these is a crime per se.

        1. Almost agree.  But I supported the recall of the vile Jeffco School Board idiots in 2015.  They didn't commit crimes, per se, but one could argue they engaged in malfeasance.

  3. I would ask Dudly Do-Wrong and the N-Evil-les and Ms. Personhood "At long last, have you no decency? " Going after a guy who's son died in a mass shooting.  If that's not below the belt, I don't know what is. 

    1. No, unnamed. They have no decency. But Sullivan is the wrong guy to pick this fight with. If two obscure bills he voted "wrong" on is the best excuse they can come up with, it's not gonna work this time. He's very popular and well liked in his district. And everyone knew what he was going to the  House to do. I have no doubt that there is already a counter-campaign forming to back him up.

      1. There are already canvass shifts planned.  

        My "Decency" question was analogous to Joe McCarthy and how that was the end of him politically.  Because it woke the public up.  And I am disgusted that a similar statement today likely won't do it.  

        How well liked is he? Just need a little verification there.

        1. Decide Colorado is the group running the Sullivan recall. It looks as though they are mad at him for his votes on the following bills:

          The Decide Colorado website mentions the Red Flag bill and the National Popular Vote bill as the two main gripes.

          But really, this isn't about votes. It's about a do-over of the last election, and that's all.

          DecideColorado on FB says that it is an issue committee , but before that it was just an online shopping place and social media creation business. Filing documents for the business state that its mission is "Social Media Management and E-commerce, Stratey, Consulting Services, Fundraising” Its registered agent, Brenda Stokes, is the vice-chair of the Arapahoe County Republican Party.

          Decide Colorado has an online store, selling recall gear. They also have a donation for their " technology advancement fund", which seems super sketchy

          In fact, the whole thing seems like it oughtta be a violation of campaign finance rules; an elected official of the AraGOP party is running a media business profiting from a recall? WTF?

        2. According to Ballotpedia, the recall petition lists 4 bills.  I'm sure you will be SHOCKED! to know which ones:

          The petition lists four bills that Sullivan sponsored or supported as the reasons for the recall. The four bills are a gun bill, an oil and gas regulation bill, and legislation related to the national popular vote and sex education in public schools.

  4. GOP VP Kristi Burton Brown's group "Colorado Moms Who Care", is wholly funded by Neville PACS – VFC, Rearden Strategic, etc. Her group received $32,000 from VFC last October, and $106,700 total.

    All of it was spent opposing Democratic candidates – generating mailers and propaganda, mostly.

    So now we know what Republicans do instead of trying to put forward quality candidates of their own – they spend their money and time trashing Dems.


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