House Minority Leader Attacks Fellow Republicans Over Fundraising Groups

(This is going swimmingly — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville took to the airwaves to attack his Republican colleagues last week. He dismissed the fundraising efforts of his former state Reps. Dan Thurlow and Polly Lawerence, calling them “the JV squad.”

The pair of former legislators, considered “establishment” Republicans compared to the far-right Minority Leader, launched an independent expenditure committee to support GOP legislative candidates. Former Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and other Republicans have since joined the group, Friends Of The Future, as advisors.

During a Sept. 6 appearance on KNUS 710AM’s Chuck & Julie Show, Neville mocked the moderate politicians for imitating his small-dollar fundraising prowess:

“They’re kind of like the JV squad reuniting, wearing their letter jackets and talking about all the great things they did. Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, so in this case they’re seeing how successful we’re being with developing a small dollar donor base so we don’t have to be totally dependent on these large donations from corporations or other big donors…” House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, KNUS, 9/6/19

Asked by KNUS host Julie Hayden which Republican fundraising entities conservatives should support, Neville briefly mentioned his official House 527 Values First Colorado, but quickly moved on to promote “Recall Colorado,” another 527 Neville and his brother Joe created, ostensibly to separate their recall fundraising from their regular election cycle work.

Values First Colorado is the official House 527 and then we also have RecallColorado.com. We’re transforming that into small dollar donations that we’re really trying to turn into a base that we can hand off towards future election cycles so that’s really main effort that we’ve put into it. It’s becoming Take Back Colorado, now that we’re getting past the recall cycles and getting closer to 2020, we’re running out of time to initiate a lot of these recalls. So that’s what we’re going to transform that into. So recallcolorado.com, there you go.”

Neville’s claim that he’s transforming Recall Colorado into “Take Back Colorado” (TBC) as part of an effort to shift from “recall cycles” to “future election cycles” is interesting for a few reasons.

First, according to their own disclaimers, both Recall Colorado and TBC are entities “operated, paid for and authorized by Values First Colorado.” VFC reported raising nearly $300,000 in the second quarter of 2019. The only campaign finance report filed by Recall Colorado showed zero dollars raised or spent in June, its first month of operation.

Take Back Colorado logo

Secondly, according to its initial email on July 26, Take Back Colorado was launched to support the recall of Governor Jared Polis. However, the Neville-linked group that has publicly contributed to the Recall Polis effort isn’t TBC, but rather Colorado Liberty PAC, another independent expenditure committee that gave Resist Polis PAC $5,000 on Aug. 13. According to Colorado Politics, nearly all Colorado Liberty PAC’s money came directly from VFC. The entity has reported spending $92,550 from December 2018 through June of this year. $80,000 of that amount went to Joe Neville’s consulting firm, Rearden Strategic.

Finally, the Nevilles haven’t renamed the Recall Colorado 527, they simply created a new independent expenditure committee (but not a 527) called Take Back Colorado. Joe Neville created this entity on Sept. 6, nearly six weeks after sending the first TBC-branded fundraising email.

The stated purpose of all three entities is essentially identical: TO EDUCATE AND INFORM COLORADO VOTERS REGARDING CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE, PRIMARILY SUPPORTING REPUBLICANS AND OPPOSING DEMOCRATS.” The only difference is VFC specifies “candidates for the Colorado House,” Recall Colorado notes “”candidates for the Colorado legislature,” and TBC’s purpose (cited above) is broader still, simply stating “candidates for office.”

The creation of Recall Colorado followed public statements opposing the recalls from VFC’s corporate donors whose dollars were at least in part being spent on recall activity. Until the next campaign finance filing deadline on Oct. 15, it’s impossible to know how much money these new groups have raised.

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13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    This clarifies the strategy behind the recall campaigns. Yes, it was about the grift, but also about the long-term grift.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    “Dude, they’re harshing my grift!” . . .

  3. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Here's hoping Colorado Republican Party leaders will have  opportunity to clarify their stance on the "JV" team's effort.  And if they support any or all of the 'independent' expenditures which seem to stay in the Neville family's operating accounts.

  4. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Paging kwtree: are there links between the Neville groups (sorry, it's hard to keep up with all the grifts) and the Recall Jared Polis group?  Does anyone believe this data sharing is not going to happen? I know the nice lady in the blue dress stated there were still a few people with integrity hanging around, but….

    • kwtreekwtree says:

      Michael, the Neville organizations (Values First Colorado, Take Back Colorado, DecideColorado, Rearden Strategic, Recall Colorado.org) raised money using the Jared Polis recall efforts, but didn’t spend it on recalling Jared Polis. The Nevilles focused on recalling legislators ( Galindo, Sullivan, Pettersen, Lee, Garcia) and the National Popular Vote Compact Repeal. ) 

      As far as I can tell, Values First raised money using the guns, gas, and gays issues, from a base of scared, angry,  and misinformed people, but didn’t fund a single petition drive against Polis. The Dismiss Polis / Recall Polis PAC folks, who ran the petition drive mostly by volunteer labor,  were pissed about that, too.

      And the “Original ORCGJP” group, which did ally with the Nevilles and with the Independence Institute, mostly funded Scott Gessler’s law firm for legal brangling over territory, but never launched their own petition drive.

      The Recall Jared Polis page uses the same logo as the Dismiss Polis /Recall Polis PAC , which was Tom Good’s organization that split from the ORCGJP folks because they were too batshit crazy and openly racist and anti-Semitic. The Dismiss Polis people were the ones circulating the petitions, unsuccessfully. 

      Now, these folks are all regrouping to fight….wait for it – the Recall reform legislation proposed by Rep. Sullivan. 

      Idiot thug David Williams is threatening his fellow legislators who vote for recall reform with…recall. Someone should hand him a shovel. Maybe he can bury himself.

      Anyway, it does look like the Nevilles are ramping up to raise money from the Recall reform and TABOR reform legislation. Got to keep the outrage and donations flowing, doncha know. 

       

  5. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Another fine story by Erik Maulbetsch, one of the best reporters on the scene today.  

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    The legislature is supposed to be a part-time job. (Some of these people turn it full-time.) Does Patrick have at least a nominal full-time job?

  7. Meiner49erMeiner49er says:

    Stoking base for 2020 was always the play on these recalls, which even Repug strategists had to know had no chance. Time will tell whether it worked, but they needed something like this to even have a thought of prayers in 2020.

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