Grift Alert: Complaint Filed Against “Official” Recall Polis Campaign

We’ve discussed at length in this space about the nascent “official” campaign to recall Gov. Jared Polis, which has raised somewhere north of $25,000 online despite not being able to start a petition campaign due to a constitutional requirement that a sitting governor be in office for six months before being recalled. The signature requirement to initiate a recall of the governor is well in excess of 600,000, which would require an unprecedented petition drive with a presumed cost in the millions. This raises questions the feasibility of the campaign, and invites questions about how the tiny fraction of the required total raised so far is being spent.

We’ve discussed the role of local political organizations like the Independence Institute in the Polis recall campaign’s fundraising, with Jon Caldara’s Freedomfy website skimming an unusually large percentage from online donations to the campaign and former Secretary of State Scott Gessler the group’s largest expenditure so far for “legal expenses.” During the past month, the campaign’s online fundraising has apparently moved away from Caldara’s platform, but it’s evident that fundraising is slowing not exponentially growing in the manner that would be needed for this campaign to ever get off the ground.

To this climate of uncertainty and questionable objectives you can now add a finance complaint filed last week against the campaign alleging potentially thousands of dollars of unaccounted for funds–a complaint sure to make donors to this campaign feel much better:

In short, this complaint alleges that the campaign has raised funds that have not been reported, and juggled fundraising platforms to obfuscate the total amount raised. The Secretary of State’s office is now evaluating this complaint to determine whether to proceed to an investigation, but this is very much in line with the concerns we’ve been raising about this campaign for months now. Once you realize that recalling the governor is logistically so difficult that an effort dwarfing the scale of anything that has been attempted in Colorado history would be needed, it’s obvious that even if they’re hiding a percentage of the money they’ve raised this is never going to happen. Money donated to this campaign would be better used to literally light a charcoal grill.

And that’s before the grifting! Usual suspects like Caldara and Gessler got their cut, but at least there was some disclosure. If it turns out that much larger percentages of the campaign’s take have been pocketed along the way as this complaint suggests, we’re talking about a whole new level of “ScamPAC”–perhaps even a matter to be referred from the Secretary of State to a criminal prosecutor.

In the meantime, we can only say again: if you’re dumb enough to make a donation to the Official Recall Polis Campaign, please don’t spend your SSI check. It stops being funny when needy folks get scammed.

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18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    The project of recalling Polis is impossible (or nearly so), yet people are raising money from the enthusiasm about recalling Polis,

    The scenario seems perfectly set up for a shifted scene and a remake of "The Producers." Suppose Mel Brooks could be prevailed upon to take a shot at creating the political version of his classic?  I especially like the idea of the ending — from the Wikipedia synopsis.

    they are … arrested, tried, and found "incredibly guilty" by the jury. Before sentencing, Leo makes an impassioned statement praising Max for changing his life and being his friend while also referring to him as "the most selfish man I have ever met in my life". Max tells the judge that they have learned their lesson.

    Max, Leo, and Franz are sent to the state penitentiary.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      And they're charging each other with fraud.  The "Official" recall polis campaign recently spread emails with an attached 2015 police complaint against the ResistPolisPAC founder, Thomas Good, alleging that he defrauded the Independence Institute.  I can put up links to these things if folks want to see them.

      Plenty of work to keep Scott Gessler occupied.

      • dan axelrod says:

        Hey mama….I'd love some links. I troll the shit out of the Recall people on both Jared and Gov. Jared pages on FB. The more ammo the better. I'm in all the Recall pages under a different name and lurk constantly. (It's becoming a bit obsessive).  Anyway…any ammo that is verifiable would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

         

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Okeedoke:

          Here are links to the police complaint against resistpolis' Thomas Good.

          These are screenshots posted from Shane Donnelly (the ORCGJP admin) reposted by Jason Williamson,  on the closed group website on 4/27/19

          page 2 of complaint, screenshot

           

          I have a somewhat more readable pdf of the complaint, if I can post it to ScribD I'll put a link here.

           

          And here's what Sherrie Peif, a Complete Colorado "journalist", and one of the frequent posters on the ORCGJP, as well as the source for the convenient information about Rochelle Galindo's supposed misbehavior,had to say about support for either one of the two groups:

        • dan axelrod says:

          Update…big shout out to Alice Vierth for posting my post on the Recall Polis PAC. We're watching you! And there are lots of us. BTW…one of the admins on the other Recall site feeds me info. Cheers!

           

  2. Poor Napoleon says:

    Pols is doing such a great job of staying on top of this entire sordid mess.  I've been recommending these pieces to people who want to get up to speed on the scampaign.

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Pols needs to learn that "needy people," also known as "marks" in the world of P.T. Barnum and his successors, WILL spend their SSI checks on foolish stuff like a Polis recall.

    How does Pols think those TV preachers and “prosperity-Jesus” types get all their money? Lots of it comes from “needy people.”

    • unnamed says:

      "There's a Sucker born every minute."  

      The thing about it, I feel it's terrible to willingly take someone's disability income for this.  However, the rubes who willingly donate their disability income to this, I have trouble feeling any sympathy for. 

  4. RepealAndReplace says:

    This is what doesn’t make sense. Polis won by 10 percent which is a lot more than Hick in ‘14 or Bill Owens in 98. Yet no one was screaming recall then.

    I wonder why now is different……

  5. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    If every one of these moron donors doesn't get a penny stock or MLM pitch in the mail, other grifters are not doing their fucking job. This is a gold mine sucker list!

  6. Honestly, a part of me wants to start a "Recall Polis" GoFundMe, then just pocket all the money I'd get.

    • Mike W. says:

      Might be better off from a legal and financial standpoint to just sell generic RECALL schwag at insane prices. 

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        Too late – Decidecolorado.com, the website run by Arapahoe GOP vice chair Brenda Stokes, is already selling generic recall schwag at insane prices. You can even donate to a "technology advancement fund" to make her online store better, if you really wanna be a sheeple.

        Stokes was also the one providing office space and logistics, as well as an illogical "rationale" for the Sullivan recall, (because Sullivan talked about his son's murder, therefore "shamefully politicizing it")before that recall attempt imploded.

        • "Don't California My Colorado" What, Polis is gonna implement horrible water policy, sell the state to tech billionaires, and consistently block free healthcare?

        • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

          But we've already seen that Recall is so popular, it needs dueling organizations.  Surely competition and the free market would make "the best" Recall materials available at the best price. 

          I do think one type of merchandise may be overlooked — educational materials.  Ken Buck promised that Republicans need to learn to spell recall.  If they don't know that one, there may be some other words they don't know how to spell.

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