(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
WEDNESDAY POLS UPDATE: Dudley Brown fires back unrepentant:
@davekopel decrying fundraising is like a meat eater who hates hunting because he gets his food from the grocery store “where no animals were harmed.” Newsflash: someone raised the $$ (7% of @i2idotorg budget).
— DudleyWBrown (@dudleywbrown) May 29, 2019
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.