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May 28, 2019 09:53 AM MDT

Kopel: Dudley Brown is a "Direct Mail Fundraising Scam Artist" (And So Much More)

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

WEDNESDAY POLS UPDATE: Dudley Brown fires back unrepentant:


Dudley Brown of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

Pro-gun activists continue to rip at each other over an effort, led by the conservative Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), to recall Democratic State Rep. Tom Sullivan of Aurora, who voted in favor of a law allowing judges to order that guns be taken from dangerous people.

In a Saturday interview on KNUS radio (below), the libertarian Independence Institute’s researcher Dave Kopel called Dudley Brown, who directs RMGO, a “direct mail fundraising scam artist” and a “parasite.”

Asked if he supports recalling Sullivan, who’s son died in the Aurora theater massacre, Kopel said: “No, because I think it’s stupid and it’s not going to work, and it’s going to make Sullivan all the stronger. I mean, already he’s raising tons of money. And thanks to this, he’s not just raising money in Colorado, he’s raising national money. And when this recall fails, which I am almost certain that it will, he’s going to have a lot of money leftover to have a big head start on his re-election and in 2020.”

“He just sucks up money which could go to groups like Gun Owners of America, or the NRA, or Second Amendment Foundation, or anybody else that actually tries to advance the cause,” said Kopel on air.

RMGO backers have pointed out that the organization’s effort to recall Democratic State Sen. Evie Hudak in 2014 resulted in Hudak’s resignation, which paved the way for Laura Woods to win the swing state senate seat later that year, allowing the state GOP to gain a majority in the state senate and, for four years, to block Democratic bills not only on gun control but health, environment, education, and much more.

Here’s a transcript of a portion of the KNUS interview with Kopel:

HOST CRAIG SILVERMAN: And just in the pro-gun world, while you think reasonable people can disagree, are there some pro-gun people who call you bad names for supporting any kind of red flag law?

KOPEL Well, not any people who are in the actual pro-gun movement, like, I’m good friends with — well, not best buddies — but [I] have a very good, friendly relationship with Larry Pratt, who is the guy who founded and is still the head of Gun Owners of America. I know the staff there and we we all get along just fine, even though we have disagreements on the issues. The criticism I get may come from people like Dudley Brown, but that that’s not being criticized by the pro-gun movement. That that’s getting criticized by a direct mail fundraising scam artist.

SILVERMAN Wow! Strong words about Dudley Brown from David Kopel. Tom Sullivan is a current Colorado legislator. He was moved to run for public office when his son — his beautiful son, Alex — was slaughtered on his birthday at the Aurora theater massacre. And Tom Sullivan was dedicated to gun control issues, campaigned to pass a red flag law, was one of the sponsors. Now he is the subject of a recall that’s been brought by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Dudley Brown, Patrick Neville, Kristi Burton-Brown. What’s going on there, David Kopel? Do you approve of that?

KOPEL No! because I think it’s stupid and it’s not going to work, and it’s going to make Sullivan all the stronger. I mean, already he’s raising tons of money. And thanks to this, he’s not just raising money in Colorado, he’s raising national money. And when this recall fails, which I am almost certain that it will, he’s going to have a lot of money leftover to have a big head start on his re-election and in 2020. You know, if there were a realistic chance of winning the recall that might be a different thing. But I think this is something that is going to make a lot of money for Dudley, raising money from sincere but naive donors. But it’s going to end up making the situation worse for the pro-Second Amendment point of view, because it’s going to make Sullivan all the stronger. One of his tactics is, when people — when legislatures — are considering pro-gun legislation he goes out and attacks it, and lies about it. And because part of his constituency is sort of the ‘low-information-but-sincere’ donor, he makes up all these lies about people who have impeccably pro-gun records. You know, one of the things that he fought against — Iowa, a couple of years ago, passed the most major gun law reform — from a pro-rights point of view — in the state’s history. And he fought against that. In 2003, when the legislature in Colorado passed the Concealed Carry Act, he fought against that. He’s fought against national Right to Carry reciprocity, and for example said that if you have a Colorado carry permit that you would be able to, say, carry in California, using your Colorado carry permit. Just like you can with your Colorado driver’s license, you can drive in California. And Dudley fought against that and said this is going to create a national gun registry and Obama is going to use it for gun regulation. And of course, that was a complete lie. There was nothing in that bill that could have been used that way.

SILVERMAN But he raises money off of those things.

KOPEL Exactly! He’s a parasite! And he’s not a — you know, he’s not like your friendly bio-parasites in your gut, where both you and the parasites have a good relationship and help each other. He just sucks up money which could go to groups like Gun Owners of America, or the NRA, or Second Amendment Foundation, or anybody else that actually tries to advance the cause. And he attacks and tries to defeat pro-gun legislation that’s being passed. And that’s happened over [and over] in, you know, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, on and on. He’s constantly trashing the strongest pro-Second Amendment legislators with lies about them.

SILVERMAN So if you, David Kopel — pro-gun expert — and you’re saying other pro-gun people know all about Dudley Brown, why is the Colorado Republican Party getting in bed with him, specifically Patrick Neville — Patrick Neville, who has emerged as one of the leaders of the Republican Party. What’s the relationship between the Nevilles and Dudley Brown?

KOPEL I don’t know the details about that. There is a lot of, I think, I shouldn’t say. But for whatever reason, I think it’s incredibly bad judgment on the part of the Republican Party to to be involved with him because his financial interest is for Republicans to be a minority. Then Democrats will introduce and pass lots of bad laws, and Dudley can keep his donors upset about that, and [they will] keep on giving him money. His financial interest is for the Republicans to be a minority party in Colorado. And I think if you look at the observers of Colorado politics who, you know, don’t particularly have a dog in the gun issue, one way or the other, I think they would — at least the ones I’ve talked to — [they] have just about unanimously said that that Dudley has been an essential part of the Democratic takeover of the legislature over the past two decades.

SILVERMAN Right! That’s why I don’t understand why they put Dudley Brown up as the face of the recall of Tom Sullivan. And then it’s not only Patrick Neville who gets in bed with them, but Kristi Burton-Brown, the newly-elected vice president of the Colorado GOP. What would you say to Kristi Burton-Brown about her getting in bed with Dudley Brown?

KOPEL Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. You know, he doesn’t have your interests at heart, and you know he’s not even really — despite all his pro-gun talk and the money he raises — he doesn’t even really advance that. I mean, he has raised $19 million in Colorado in two decades and has never passed a single pro-gun bill, and has fought in the most important one that it did pass. And a lot of what he does is take in this money that he raises from gun owners and spending it in primaries and things where both candidates may be very solid on the gun issue, but he dumps all the money into the candidate that shares his positions on his various other obsessions, like homosexuality and opposing a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution and things like that, and then slimes the pro-gun candidate he doesn’t like with lies, claiming that that candidate is anti-gun.


7 thoughts on “Kopel: Dudley Brown is a “Direct Mail Fundraising Scam Artist” (And So Much More)

  1. Interesting Kopel lists Gun Owners of America.   They're as equally knuckle-dragging an organization as Dudley's RMGO and NAGR. (National Association of Gun Rights).

    Actually, Laura Woods, who I followed door-to-door in an anti-recall effort, served only 2 years.  Rachel Zenzinger bested her in 2016,

  2. Kopel's a hypocrite. Independence Institute  (I2I ) is up to its eyeballs in the recall attempts – those of legislators and of Governor Polis. I2I just doesn't want to own the recall attempt against Tom Sullivan because they don't think that it's a winner.

    1st, they make money off the fundraising with their proprietary Freedomfy platform, as Pols reported.

    2nd, they're helping to clear the field of the competing Polis recallers by spreading old stories about how competing "RecallPolis PAC''s Tom Good was accused of defrauding Independence Institute's  media director, Damon Sasso, back in 2016.

    3rd, they're helping to pay the legal bills for Scott Gessler to do said legal work to sweep the competition from the lucrative "Recall Polis" scam.

    4th, they have actual staff working the recalls: Amy Oliver, I2I's VP in Energy & Environment issues,   was the petition gathering organizer for the Galindo recall. Here is <amy-oliver-rrg her post to Recall Polis – Weld County Facebook group.

    The actual office space for the Sullivan Recall is being paid for by sullivan-petitions >DecideColorado, a Neville-backed group headed by Arapahoe Republican Party Vice Chair Brenda Stokes.

    The only reason Jon Caldara, Director of I2I is not wholeheartedly backing the Sullivan recall scam is because he doesn't think they can win. But he's already threatening to recall Senate President Leroy Garcia, even though Garcia voted his way on the Red Flag bill.

      1. Not just Garcia, but other Pueblo legislators I've supported – like Brianna Buontello – voted No on the red flag bill. And guess what? Buontello and Garcia are still on the recall target list. *, as well as a bunch of other people including Sheriff Spurlock for supporting the red flag bill.

        The "grounds" for all of the recalls are bullshit – none of these people has committed any serious crimes.  it’s not about votes, it is about political control.

        And so none of these recall rationales- by RMGO, by Jon Caldara, by Sherrie Pief, by Neville family members – have any credibility. It’s purely about, “We didn’t win, so we’re gonna cheat you out of your seat. Elections have no consequences for us as long as we have plenty of money and don’t mind lying through our teeth. ”

        * to see that list, go to TRACER, campaign finance, search by committee, and put keyword Recall.


  3. Mamajama55:  BIG Correction.  Daneya Esgar did not vote against the Extreme Risk bill.  In actuality, she gave a moving statement on the house floor of how a former boyfriend, who was suffering from behavioral issues, held a gun to her forehead and even pulled the trigger.  But for a gun jamming, she would have been killed.  She enthusiastically voted YES on Extreme Risk. 

    Garcia and Buentello voted against it.  Buentello was often found voting with the R block this year. 

    1. OK, I'll fix it. I think I got confused – Esgar did vote no on the 181 bill – at least I saw the roll call that they crucified Galindo for with a no vote on it. I was surprised and disappointed, but now I remember reading that Esgar did testify about the red flag bill.



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