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September 28, 2010 07:57 PM UTC

BREAKING: Many Legislative Candidates Imperiled by Criminal, Legal Troubles

  • by: Colorado Pols

The major Denver newspaper published a story today that could well prove devastating to GOP hopes of recapturing the Colorado legislature this year. A significant number of Republican candidates have rather splashy and, in a number of cases, quite recent criminal backgrounds–at least some of which do appear to be race-ending. A smaller number of Democrats are also profiled in this story with their own sometimes checkered histories, but it’s quite clear that Republicans have the much more severe problem on their hands: both in the number of candidates in key races, and the severity of the crimes themselves.

We also received the large packet of documents that primarily support this story from our own sources some weeks ago, under the condition that it remain embargoed until the Denver newspaper broke the story first. But you might have noticed in the last few weeks our occasional reference to a large-scale problem with GOP legislative recruitment efforts for the state legislature, beyond the individual anecdotes we’ve discussed as they’ve come up. Well, folks, this is what we were talking about.

To be honest, we’re a little astounded that with all the money Republicans are throwing at this takeover of the state legislature (some $4 million reportedly), they couldn’t invest seven dollars in a Colorado Bureau of Investigations arrest record for these people? That’s a major breakdown in standard candidate recruitment procedure, folks. It appears that many of these candidates were not even minimally vetted.

Another thing you’ll notice right away is the prevalence of actual violent crime on the Republican side compared to the Democrats, and the dismissive response to reporter Lynn Bartels about this by Frank McNulty. That’s one part of this story that didn’t go quite the way we expected: we would consider shooting at one’s former spouse, for example, to be objectively worse than breaking into a vending machine as a college student. We assume that readers of the story–spelled “suburban women swing voters”–won’t fail to note that difference of severity and the types of crimes we’re talking about. This is very, very bad stuff for anybody who cares about the Republican brand.

A wealth of information after the jump: profiles and supporting documents on GOP and Democratic legislative candidates we were given information on a few weeks ago, and a summary of the additional research by the Denver paper–as well as a few details that Bartels missed.

Clint Webster (R), HD-24: Webster was arrested in 1987 for disturbing the peace, and in 1991 for assault. Webster pleaded guilty to felony assault and menacing. The arrest report obtained from the Jefferson County Sheriff shows that Webster was apprehended after firing two shots from a semi-automatic pistol at his ex-wife. When asked by arresting officers what his intention was when he fired, Webster stated something along the lines that he had warned his wife to stop bothering him and had even threatened to kill her, yet she ‘showed up at his home anyway.’

Bob Lane (R), HD-9: The Denver paper originally covered this story in March. Lane was reported to be serving probation after pleading guilty to disturbing the peace for, in his words, a “very minor incident that occurred with a lady I was dating last summer.”

Lane was initially charged with domestic violence and assault. He served one year probation–while he was a candidate.  His sentence ended nine days after he was nominated in the primary.

Steven Rodriguez (R), HD-46: Rodriguez was arrested in 1996 for 3rd degree assault and domestic violence. He pled guilty and served one year of probation. Rodriguez was also divorced in 1996, and a temporary protective restraining order was issued.

Tom Janich (R), HD-31: Janich has a truly spectacular criminal record. Known locally as a “perennial candidate,” Janich’s lengthy arrest record includes DUIs, but most interesting was his assault on two Brighton officers attempting to arrest him. The report details Janich’s tearing at uniforms, throwing officers around wildly, and alternately threatening to sue and kill them.

David Balmer (R), HD-39: Balmer’s long history of lying on his resume and sudden withdrawal under bizarre circumstances from a congressional race in North Carolina have been widely reported in Colorado media. Less reported is Balmer’s 1995 divorce from his first wife, who filed a restraining order against Balmer and alleged ‘constant’ and ‘repeated’ verbal and mental abuse, as well as alleged physical abuse.

Edgar Antillon (R), HD-35: Antillon had announced early in the summer that he was withdrawing from this race, but sometime between then and now he changed his mind.

He should have stuck with his prior instincts. Antillon pled guilty to perjury after being arrested on two counts of felony impersonation in 2004. Antillon’s record includes fully 18 failure-to-appear counts on numerous mostly minor charges. Antillon told Bartels that family troubles as a youth made it difficult to appear in court, but he apparently has time to maintain a Youtube pseudonymous identity as “Juan a Be the Luchador” where he frequently poses with assault weapons (above). Antillon was personally introduced at the GOP state assembly by Frank McNulty, highlighting Antillon’s race as one they can, uh, win…

Gary Marshall (R), HD-36: As reported today by Bartels, Marshall was charged with misdemeanor child abuse in 2002, stemming from an incident where an unsupervised child was hit by a car and received minor injuries. Marshall attended parenting classes as part of his sentence. Marshall also has outstanding IRS tax liens totaling some $16,000.

J. Paul Brown (R), HD-59: Remember Paul Brown? We talked about his wacky veering in a recent legislative debate into a discussion of the United Nations, guns, and civil war.

Brown’s brothers were arrested in 2005 by federal agents for the theft of a very large amount of high explosives in New Mexico. It’s not known what they may have planned to do with these explosives, but J. Paul Brown’s strident rhetoric on the campaign trail has got to make you wonder. In addition to Brown’s remarks on the United Nations and civil war, he has called federal disaster reserves “Obama’s private army.”

Sal Pace (D), HD-46: Pace was charged with burglary while a student at Fort Lewis College in Durango in 1995. Pace told Bartels that the charge stems from breaking into a dorm vending machine, and the charges were more severe because he didn’t give names of others involved. Pace performed community service.

John Odom (R), SD-20: Odom’s ex-wife called police to his home in 2007, telling responding officers that they had an argument about child custody and John fled the scene to avoid arrest. Both then assured police that no physical violence occurred.

In 1990, Odom was forced to give up his license for failing to comply with a court order relating to non-driving alcohol convictions. In 2000, Odom was charged with a park curfew violation. On 8/23/2000, a warrant was issued for Odom failing to appear in court.

Rhonda Fields (D), HD-47: Fields was arrested in 1976 for larceny, and 1991 for shoplifting by Aurora police. Fields made her record part of her recent vacancy committee speech, and has put the story of having to steal to feed her children front-and-center in the campaign.

Robert Ramirez (R), HD-29: Ramirez was arrested for theft in Texas in 1989, for which he served probation.

BJ Nikkel (R), HD-49: After her son hit a police officer dispatched on a noise complaint to their home with a car, Nikkel threatened to sue the police department for the “emotional harm” accompanying charges against her son, which were apparently later dropped. Nikkel was also a defendant in a wrongful-death case involving an accidental shooting, where her son later pled guilty. That civil case was dismissed.

Mark “Faux-Hawk” Barrington (R), HD-26: Barrington’s campaign manager, Terry Redmond, has a long criminal record, including at least 20 arrests for crimes ranging from robbery to assault, and even two attempted escapes. Barrington himself has had numerous police calls to his home for excessive noise and vehicles.

Janak Joshi (R), HD-14: A doctor, Joshi was named as a codefendant in a 1995 wrongful death suit, and a negligence case in 2002.

On February 8, 2006, Joshi received a letter of admonition from the State Board of Medical Examiners for failing to properly evaluate and adequately treat a patient, as well as failing to adequately document the patient’s treatment.  In the letter, Joshi admitted he engaged conduct that “fails to meet generally accepted standards for medical practice.”

The letter demanded Joshi undergo an assessment at the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians, and the center recommended he retrain in a nephrology fellowship. On December 12, 2007, the Board of Medical Examiners suspended his medical license for failing to take remedial nephrology training. In August of 2008, he was forced to surrender his medical license.

Keith Swerdferger (R), HD-47: Swerdferger’s construction company has been the target of numerous OSHA investigations in the last ten years, resulting in 13 safety rule violations which netted over $32,000 in penalties. Swerferger’s company also has tax liens against it from California, and was a defendant in a 2004 case alleging that pension funds had been mishandled.

Thomas “Doc” Miller (R), HD-2: Arrested in 1988 for misdemeanor assault and menacing. The charge was dismissed. Arrested again in 1999 on a felony charge of being a fugitive, which was also dismissed.  The warrant appears to have come from a charge of “commercial bribery” related to the JonBenet Ramsey case, for which he was found not guilty in 2001.

Dennis Apuan (D), HD-17: Apuan was arrested in 2002 outside Petersen Air Force Base while protesting against nuclear weapons. Apuan was sentenced to 48 hours of community service.

Bob Boswell (R), HD-50: Boswell’s former restaurant is the subject of IRS tax liens. In addition, he writes very bad fundraising letters.

Dale Brandt (R), HD-53: Brandt is the defendant in a civil case out of Texas, where he is accused of refusing to pay for services rendered protesting a tax  assessment.

Randy Baumgardner (R), HD-57: Two years after his divorce, Baumgardner was hit with a restraining order by his ex-wife.

Tom Massey (R), HD-60: Massey has a minor theft conviction from Texas in 1978, for which he served one year of probation.

Mike Kopp (R), SD-22: “Worthless check” charge from North Carolina in 1988.

Ken Storck (D), SD-13: Storck’s daughter was charged with underage drinking in 2000, but the case was dismissed. Notably, Storck was a deputy DA in this office.

Sara Gagliardi (D), HD-27: Attributed to a mistake by the agency overseeing nursing licenses, there is a brief appearance of a lapse in Gagliardi’s certification, which was quickly corrected–but not without triggering an attack mailer in the 2006 election claiming that she was practicing without a license.

Karen Cullen (R), SD-18: According to Bartels, Cullen pled guilty to DWAI in 1998.

Roger Wilson (D),  HD-61: Wilson was the subject is two federal tax liens totaling $218 in 1971 that were released in 1975. Also pled guilty to DWAI in 2007.

Mike Bowman (D), SD-1: According to Bartels, the subject of a civil suit in 1996 over debts related to Bowman’s farming business.

Linda Newell (D), SD-26: Had a $29,235 federal tax lien against her and her ex-husband that was released in 2000.


135 thoughts on “BREAKING: Many Legislative Candidates Imperiled by Criminal, Legal Troubles

      1. he got himself an “original copy” of the Constitution. He can’t find the 2nd Amendment on it, but he’s sure it’s there. Fancy that.

        I don’t know whether to laugh or cry watching this.  

    1. Yeah, voters have no right to know who they might be electing…it’s the media’s job to parrot GOP talking points, not look into candidates’ records.  Ask Faux Noise, they do it ‘right.’

        1. more Rs with records.  However, a lot of this stuff is very minor and some of it both minor and old. Some of it is serious  but I don’t think people ought to have to suffer forever because of some of the types of the misdemeaner mistakes published here. It’s going to be very hard to get anyone to run for anything if everyone has to be willing to reveal any and every embarrassing youthful mistake.  

          1. if we aren’t able to recruit a bunch of wife beaters, cop bashers and theives to run for office.

            Jesus…what are the standards here. Sure we’ve all made mistakes, but I hardly put most of this stuff in the mistake column. This is serious stuff, kids getting hurt, people hospitalized, shots being fired, people being threatened with death.

            The arrest when you’re 18 is one thing, but leaving 5 kids under 10 alone with an 11 year old…having one get hit by a car, that’s just no big deal?

            1. And agree that a lot of it wasn’t truly minor but those things kind of jumped out at me as unfair; a shoplifting charge from long ago. A bad check that could have been a combination of a mistake and communication snafu, that kind of thing.  And times do change.  When I was 11 in the 60s, some 11 and certainly 12 year olds did baby sit (I did for my next door neighbors) and when my big brother was 11 and I was 6, my parents weren’t hiring sitters. This would have been around 1958.

              I think anything to do with abuse, violence, serious financial misconduct are fair game. My concern is that the kind of person who made a single mistake and is really ashamed and too embarrassed to deal with it becoming public will be discouraged from running for anything whereas lower quality people will be willing to tough it out. I’d like to see most non-violent misdemeanors left off the radar.  

          2. Rhonda Fields did what every candidate can and should do. Put it in front of the voters. They’ll decide how serious/relevant/hilarious. Don’t know anything else about her, but at least she brings some balls to the game.

    2. Good one. Still, I don’t believe articles that report facts about all candidates with criminal backgrounds constitutes a “hit piece,” especially since that story (unlike Pols’ diary here) doesn’t highlight the ‘pubs’ transgressions in the story at all.

        1. … there are a lot of Dems listed at the Post, and one was mentioned in the body of the story, along with the one ‘pub they mentioned. In fact, the very first guy listed is a Dem.

                  1. so I can see how it’s confusing.

                    How about if they make up some charges against Democrats so they can get perfect exact equality between the two parties’ candidates?

                    Brandon Shaffer (D), SD-17 kind of looked at me funny in the elevator one day because my glasses were allegedly crooked. I decided not to press charges.

                    Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D), HD-10 pled guilty to having a weird name and not voting for SB191 like all good people should have. Charges were briefly pursued and then dropped.

                    1. Since they were shitty to the Guvs a couple of months ago.  It’s not officially sanctioned, it’s just mine.

                      And yes it means what you’re thinking.

    1. When did disclosing the facts become a “smear job?”  Not even a partisan disclosing the facts, but for both parties.  People have to stand by their past.  Oh, I forgot, unless you are a Christian Republican and then you were recently saved and then all is forgiven.  How rich.  Please, GOPwarrior are you kidding me?  It is you guys who created the politics of personal destruction.  Now that the shoe is on the other foot, you want to be nice?  Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.  What goes around, comes around.  You thought consensual sex and lying about it was an impeachable offense.  The American public felt very differently.  These are facts, something which I know really bother today’s Republican Party.  But most of us can read the facts and sort out the wheat from the chaf and know what matters and what doesn’t.  Gag on it GOPwarrior.

    2. Thanks for checking in!

      Surprising that a racist thinks domestic abuse, death threats with guns, drunk driving, violating safety regulations, and robbery are no big deal.

      Wait, I guess it’s not that surprising.

      1. and I didn’t hear any of you crying foul then. so he can quote a poll he shouldn’t legally be looking at and then demand money from lobbyists based on his presumed election? Also so interesting that this is the same guy who used to rant against lobbyists and now he needs the cash and insteads almost threatens them to give  

  1. Would have ended up being shorter!

    This really is stunning. Especially the ones who tried to kill/physically hurt others, and the guy who tried to escape twice.

    Glad to see, though, that BJ, Libertad and GOPWarrior find nothing at all problematic with any of this. You are judged by the company you keep.

    1. especially given his age. Not only old enough to know better, but also old enough for one to guess that drunk driving may be habitual. That’s one Dem I wouldn’t vote for.

      1. I missed that one. All I have to say about this whole thing is “Meh..” I mean, I am disturbed about the actual crimes like assault or burglary or theft because those can be pared down to bad judgment and poor impulse control. But hey, we all make mistakes.

        But I don’t give two shits about the liens and bankruptcy. At least not personal financial ones or even failed businesses. Shit happpens. Unless they were intentionally defrauding people or the government then who cares as long as they are making efforts to resolve the issue? Unless they run on a platform of “fiscal responsibility” then Meh.

        Now Apaun and Kefalas… That’s just awesome pure-sticking-it-to-the-man kind of antics. They get mild props from me.

        Having said that,  

        1. Pols only mentions his guilty plea to DWAI, but he was originally charged with DUI. It happened in 2007. He says he knows better now, and I want to believe that…

      2. A DUI at 60, but says he has learned his limits. Glad it wasn’t my child killed prior to his great epiphany! Well, Wilson can finally have an autonomous claim separating himself from his opposition. Doubt we’ll see that notation on his campaign website.

  2. Joe Whitcomb was pilloried over a request for a restraining order that was DISMISSED.  

    Most of these candidates had zero chance of winning before the revelations.  The two big losers from these revelations are John Odem who was running a very strong race against Cheri Jahn and Bob Boswell who had a lead over Jim Riesberg until he began to self destruct.  

    1. Isn’t he the one that keeps a live RTD light Rail ticket in his wallet – never validating it as used?

      Any word is he continues to steal services from RTD?

      1. Or are you going to source your crap.  Let’s see it.  Put up or shut up.  RTD tickets have dates and times on them.  If he was caught, he would get a fine, just like everyone else.  Putting an RTD ticket in his pocket won’t do him any good.  Did this happen once or many times as you described.  I must admit that at one point I rode without a ticket because I was late to a very important date.

        1. The papers reported he was yacking it up at the capital and pulled a brain fart by comparing how he stole from RTD by always keeping a valid ticket (that same one) in his wallet but never punching it.

      2. that’s equal to beating your wife and assaulting a police officer. Why don’t you all get you can’t just point back, throw old bricks around and get this to all go away.  

  3. I didn’t see anything here that was so heinous as to make me swoon.

    I am honestly not interested in either R’s or D’s that have had some run ins with the law.  Everyone who has lived in the real world knows that some domestic related allegations are petty and vengeful – may or may not be the case here and without a real look at the case files we will never know if any of them are serious.

    But I’ll tell you what I would be interested in knowing, though.  If we are going to rely on media reports and the journalists who make them, I would like to know about their criminal histories.

    And, if Pols is going to take a holier-than-thou attitude toward these candidates, I would like to know the criminal histories of those who run Pols.

    1. So the same standards don’t apply.

      Frankly, I would vote against the Dem who got a recent DUI because his relatively advanced age tells me that not only should he know better, but he might have a serious drinking problem and likely drove drunk on numerous occasions.

    2. Why do you suppose women tend to vote for Democrats over Republicans? Is it because Republicans often treat women and women’s issues disrespectfully and dismissively?

      Domestic abuse is a serious issue. A guy who threatens to hit or shoot or kill his wife is not a real man and shouldn’t be electable to any office. Once it shows up the police record, it’s serious enough that you shouldn’t try to explain it away.

      I have a criminal record: I got arrested protesting the war in Iraq in 2003. Not ashamed of it. But hitting a spouse is a different matter entirely.

  4. of domestic violence here, which I find disturbing. Most disturbing is the curious amount of silence or denunciation of it. Why is violence against a family member still considered no biggie in today’s society?

    Somebody having a minor theft conviction 32 years ago doesn’t bother me. Nor does breaking into a vending machine in college, a $218 tax lien 39 years ago, or being involved in a peace protest. Some of these are ancient history–15 to 30 years ago and I can’t say I give a good fuck.

    Seeing this list does remind me why I’ll never run for political office since it is increasingly apparent that one is never allowed redemption in his life and that one wrong is never outweighed by 30 years of right.

    1. What gets me is not only are R’s not denoucing they’re in the paper saying these are just “ordinary people” who have “made mistakes”

      None of those stories sound ordinary to me. McNulty needs a lesson in PR..and he certainly should pay for the line

    2. And would have to research long and hard even if it was only a charge.

      I like when the family speaks up – it tells voters what kind of person the candidate is.  I like that.

      And this list is just the criminal stuff. What about the civil actions? And other general dirtbaggery?

      Maes is toast anyway, but I’d have wanted to know what his ex-wife had to say about him.  I can read between “exes always trashing each other” to hear real character.

      1. Tax leins are civil, aren’t they?

        And look at Brandt, Joshi, and others.

        The one I don’t agree with is listing a charge against a candidate’s daughter, even if the guy was a DA and there’s innuendo that he got the charge dismissed by virtue of his position.  Kids are off limits.

        1. You are correct – IRS liens are civil.

          I agree about leaving kids out of it- until the the kids are adults and they are involved in some weirdness with their parent candidate.

          If the DA had her case fixed- that’s news.

    1. All that out sourcing by corporations must make you so proud. Will you be celebrating the vote by your fascist repub friends in the senate today? Gotta make sure those jobs keep leaving the country.  


    I am the former mayor of Kaufman, Texas where one of the nation’s last horse slaughter plants was finally closed in 2007.

    I just learned that J. Paul Brown is running to represent your district in the Colorado state legislature. I think it is important for people to know that J. Paul Brown brought horses to Texas and sold them to the slaughter plant during 2004 and 2005 (years that by chance I have documents for).

    I wonder if people in District 59 can support the values and judgment of someone who took Colorado horses, where horse slaughter is not practiced, and brought them to Texas (where horse slaughter has since been declared illegal).

  6. among Republican candidates is astounding.  I guess that could be why so many of them oppose marriage equality.  Given their personal experiences with marriage and relationships they may see this as a way to decrease domestic violence.

  7. If they were not bundled I think it would be much more obvious how serious some are. Some are also pretty recent, less than 5 years, less likely to be the result of youthful exuberance.

    1. Seems like sloppy reporting to lump assaults, domestic violence, and those with multiple police contact with those with 20 year old offenses, petty offenses, and civil disobedience.  If you consider a candidate like someone applying for a job, as a potential employer, I want to know if there is more to the story (youth stupidity, alcohol problem that has been addressed), but I am going to be hard pressed to elect someone to make the laws if they have a record of breaking the laws, especially ones involving violence against women.

  8. It’s the way it’s headlined and written — ‘fair and balanced’ approach suggests that both parties equally exposed, and that all infractions equally minor.  Absolutely no way to tell facts actually are a blow to GOP.  Whoever decided to leak to Post in hope it would play bigger blew it — their story highly likely to have zero impact…

    1. The Post Story will have zero impact today.  

      When it turns up in TV ads and direct mail than it will have an effect.  I think that it may well cost at least two GOP candidates a win.

  9. become great, if they have served some time it their Countries jails”.

    AL LA Nelson Mandela.

    However Felonies concern me. The only three I see are republicans. I DO NOT TRUST ANY FELON! especially republican Felons.

  10. Perhaps people should look at facts before making decisions as what to suggest.  My daughter was contacted for underage consumption.  A special prosecutor from another jurisdiction was assigned the case and made all decisions.  She completed classes and the case was dismissed.  That was a typical disposition in that type of a case.  She has been a very productive member of society and I cannot believe that this merits any attention on this page.

    1. Candidate’s kids should be left out of this unless there’s a very clear point about the parent’s actions. In this case the Post should have asked you, verified that what occurred was within normal handling of a case like this, and not listed it.

    2. and I just want to say, having worked on the opposite side of the aisle from you back in the ’90s, that you were always very professional and went above and beyond to be ethical.  I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you win.

      I can confirm everything you said about this being the typical disposition on this kind of case.  EVERYBODY gets this type of offer in virtually every jurisdiction for a first-time MIP.

      Let’s get more professional here, and lay off people’s kids.  

  11. I am astonished to learn of Candidate Republican Rep. B.J. Nikkel, 53, of Loveland, trying to put the screws to Colorado taxpayers by filing a claim in 2001 to sue the Larimer County sheriff’s office for $10 million, claiming that the charges against her son Christopher were too severe to merit an attempted murder charge.  Christopher, then 16, apparently drove his car into a deputy with intent to do bodily harm while fleeing a party.  At least that was the opinion of the officers at the scene.  The charges were later reduced in a plea agreement.

    The Denver Post also reports that Nikkel’s was also named as a co-defendant in a civil wrongful death suit after her son Christopher’s friend was killed in 2002 in a shooting accident at their home. What were the teens doing with guns in the first place?

    These two events beg the question of Nikkel’s judgment, both as a parent and as a candidate for re-election, in her seeking to manipulate the legal system for personal financial gain and in her attempts to cover up her son’s reckless behaviors.

  12. I was trying to call attention to the Bob Lane thing long before the primary and I will now have to hold my nose and vote for Miklosi, who I have never supported before now.

    Lane’s primary opponent (CJ Garbo) seemed to be a good and honorable man. But he didn’t have thousands of dollars of his own money to dump into the race, so he lost to a sleezy dirt-bag. I met and talked with Lane several times before the primary. Not only does he have absolutely no remorse for his crime, but he also has absolutely no understanding of the law or how Colorado’s government works. He is woefully unfit for service as a clerk of the city council, much less a member of the House of Representatives.

    So as much as I dislike Miklosi’s policies, I will be voting for him. Because I can at least expect a moderate amount of intelligent thought from him. And when I speak to him, I know I won’t be personally insulted and attacked for disagreeing with him as many people have by Bob Lane on the campaign trail, including officers in his own party.

  13. Certainly, I can’t excuse any infractions committed – I’m upset that it was published this way, but then again, it is public record and it’s fair game

    That said – I just wanted to vouch for the integrity of a handful of the above – granted, there were mistakes made and I can’t remove those (nor am I asking that they be excused), but from my personal meetings, I want to personally vouch for the integrity of the following folks (for what it is worth) –


    What can I say about Edgar? He’s everything I want in an elected leader – sincere, honest, a dedicated husband and a wonderful father

    Edgar has made mistakes – no way hiding around that – but Edgar has really worked hard to live a better life, and I think it’s mostly because of his lovely children, who he is completely dedicated to

    Of the many politicians I met, Edgar was one of the most sincere and humble out there – I don’t know how much my credibility is worth, personally, but I’d put it on the line to vouch for Edgar – he’s a great man and he will make a great Representative – I ask people to give him a chance – none of you will be disappointed

    Mark Barrington –

    Mark’s campaign manager is in trouble, thus, Mark is guilty thanks to association?


    Mark, like Edgar, is very sincere, energetic, and most of all, has a humility rarely seen in most politicians – give him a chance to shine – he won’t disappoint

    Janak Joshi –

    Dr Joshi loves Colorado Springs and has been a great Doctor to many

    I truly truly truly wish he had fought the accusations against him, despite retirement – he would’ve been proven innocent and this matter would have never been an issue

    Hindsight is 20-20… that said, Dr Joshi is a wonderful man and will be a terrific Rep

    Dane Brandt –

    I’m with Dane on his tax assessment – I have found him to be very forthcoming and honest

    Just because someone is sued, doesn’t mean they’re guilty – I’m confident Dane will come out ahead on this one, proving his good honesty

    Bob Boswell –

    I’ve already sang Bob’s praises in past posts – I’m not crazy about his fundraising letter either, but it’s a rookie mistake and as a Rep, he’ll do a terrific job

    Keith Swerdferger –

    I don’t want to whitewash the accusations against Keith, but if I could help people to understand – Keith managed a MAJOR company in Colorado, kept here all of this time, and has been involved in HUNDREDS of construction projects

    To expect every single one of the construction projects to get done, without fault, to me, is impossible – ultimately, the reason we have inspections is so that mistakes can get taken care of – I give credit to Keith for honoring all inspections and paying the proper penalties when projects were found to be out of order, thus correcting mistakes – yes, mistakes were made, but Keith never hid anything from inspectors and always made it correct – that’s an important point

    From there, he’s a terrific guy who loves Pueblo and really has given a tremendous amount of time to the community – he’s going to make a great Rep because, perhaps more than anyone running, Keith deeply loves the people he’s trying to represent

    Steven Rodriguez –

    Steven is my brother, and I am deeply proud to say that

    Whatever defense Steven offers, I believe it – Steven is a great husband and great father – I worked with him VERY closely and always found him to be very honest and forthright

    Conclusion –

    I appreciate BlueCat’s point of driving good people out of politics

    The folks I named above are people that I did WORK CLOSELY with during my campaigns – I don’t compliment recklessly – I offer the compliments above as my way of saying that, whatever reasons are given, in light of past records, I believe the people above, I trust their integrity and I know they will make terrific representatives

    Again – I’m not meaning to start a debate – I am just personally vouching for the credibility of everyone above and ask that they be given a chance

    Yes – mistakes were made – but even those who are ‘bad’ can become ‘good’ – and the people I mentioned above are good people

    I believe in forgiveness… I believe in second chances… and the folks above are more than deserving of a second look

    1. I know Edgar, he’s a good guy.  Smart as hell, principled, humble and dedicated.  He likes to joke around, which is where his youtube videos come in.  If you don’t understand his videos to be satire and humor, then you’re a fucking retard.  

      Mark Barrington, well I know him too.  I knew him awhile ago.  He’s fucking crazy.  Don’t vote for him.  

  14. If there had been a half way credible conservative Democrat in that race, this seat might have been a likely pick up opportunity, despite the fact that this race is in Colorado Springs.  And, even if it was a win, it would probably have required a lot of donor commitment for Janak Joshi to win against a credible candidate making a good faith effort to run a campaign.

    As it is, the winner of that seat is a foregone conclusion, and it is much harder to raise any of these kinds of issues when someone is facing re-election than it is when they are facing their first election.

    Basic political tactics, for either party, call for major parties to run the best candidate they can in every race, even if the race may seem hopeless at the time, because opportunities sometimes knock.  That applies double in open seats, where the candidate from the other party is an unknown quantity and partisan nomination process voters can often choose the less electable candidate.

    Even when a race is basically hopeless, having a candidate in a race provides a corps of organized people to help get out the vote, which can make a real difference in close statewide races.

    The lack of a candidate in HD 14 represents a failure on the part of the Democratic party.  Honestly, none of the political parties in Colorado, major or minor, consistently do a very good job of pro-actively recruiting good candidates in every race.  Too often, the political parties simple sit on their laurels (rarely even informing plausible candidates of filing deadlines to be a candidate), welcome whoever steps up to the plate when only one person volunteers to run in a seat one their own initiative, leave campaigning largely to the candidates, and get actively involved only to adjudicate competiting claims to a nomination when there one than one person steps forward to run (usually in open seats in safe districts).

    Politics is a team sport.  The number of people on your team matters as much as the quality of your players.  But, our political parties have failed to really learn that lesson.

  15. “Antillon told Bartels that family troubles as a youth made it difficult to appear in court, but he apparently has time to maintain a Youtube pseudonymous identity as “Juan a Be the Luchador”…”

    I have time to make videos mainly because I’m no longer a teenager trying to find a place to live. I also told Bartels how my father was an alcoholic and drug user, and I was kicked out of my home at 13. The time of my court dates and videos are different, any good reporter would know that. As a teenager you need a parent with you to attend court. I attended every court date with my wife, and I was turned away everytime because my parents never showed. At least Bartels had the decency to call and get the facts.

    1. Did you ever think that Colorado voters might not support a candidate with a long criminal record who posts Youtube videos in a facemask brandishing automatic weapons? Even if there’s a sob story to go with part of the criminal record?

      Seriously man. Think about this. Not a close one.

      1. Keep knocking on doors… keep talking to voters in your District… and let them decide what to do

        DO NOT engage in a CPOLS battle right now – stay on your game – stay focused – get back out into your district

        Starting around this December of 2010, you’ll have plenty of time to defend yourself here (and hopefully, it will be more about your future legislative record)

        Good luck brother

        (PS – good that you stopped by)

      2. Those are not automatic weapons. Neither are they assault weapons.

        I did think about my past when I considered to run for office. I knew many people would not vote for me based on my past, the fact is that I am human, and I learned from my human nature. As for the videos, they started as a joke in response to gun folks on youtube who take themselves too seriously.

        Why not talk about the issues?

        I oppose 60,61, and 101.

        I oppose the continued firing of teachers. We should fire the so called experts as a way to balance the budget.

        On social issues, we should not legislate morality, but we have. Although I’m “pro-life” I would not introduce pro-life bills. I’m not opposed to gay marriage.

        That’s what we should focus on, not me lying to a cop at age 17.

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