The Colorado Independent is reporting:
“With respect to me being ‘linked’ to 527’s, you may be aware that I am an attorney,” Gessler added. “As such, I represent clients. Some of my clients are occasionally accused of violating Colorado’s reporting requirements. I represent them in those matters. Ergo, a ‘link'”
America’s justice system is adversarial, each side gets representation to make their case. We all deserve competent counsel. But the use of the term ‘occasionally’ is interesting. It does happen on occasion–roughly every two years when there is an election–which is to say ‘regularly’ and ‘repeatedly.’
State Sen. Gail Schwartz and a campaign watchdog group are weighing a formal complaint against a 527 political group linked to Secretary of State-elect Scott Gessler, alleging the group failed to properly disclose a mailer deemed the “most tasteless” of this month’s election.
A campaign mailer targeting state Sen. Gail Schwartz sent out by Western Tradition Partnership in early October.
Schwartz, a Democrat, said late last week she still hasn’t determined whether to file a formal complaint with current Secretary of State Bernie Buescher’s office regarding the mailers sent out by Western Tradition Partnership (WTP) depicting her as Donald Trump. But she said she will pursue tougher disclosure laws in the next legislative session.
In spite of the constant bombardment or mailers in SD 5–about 3:1 attacking Schwartz by my own informal count–Gail won re-election.
The salient point, however, is the sleaze merchants who have a common counsel and their on-going, consistent, regular and repeated use of questionable and–in some cases–illegal tactics.
The Western Tradition Partnership Education Fund was registered on Oct. 13 by Mario Daniel Nicolais II of the Hackstaff Gessler law firm in Denver. No electioneering communication report in Schwartz’s successful state Senate bid was filed, and the group lists no contributions or expenditures during that time period.
Western Tradition Partnership sent out the mailers, with Schwartz’s face on Donald Trumps body and the tagline “You’re Fired!” in late September or early October, and then commented on her reaction on their website on Oct. 4. By Colorado law, anyone spending more than $1,000 to do any electioneering communication within 60 days of a general election must report it to the secretary of state’s office.
Buescher spokesman Rich Coolidge confirmed no such report comes up under Schwartz’s name, which also is required.
WTP’s original operative–Scott Shires–has also been a ‘client’ of our new Secretary of State–an office responsible for the impartial and nonpartisan execution of our election laws. Shires still owes thousands in fines to Colorado taxpayers for the laws he broke in 2008.
Mr. Gessler’s new job is to represent all Coloradans fairly. Far from representing the occasional election scofflaw, the SoS-Elect’s firm in actuality seems to be the ‘go to’ shop for GOP operatives in violation of this sacred trust.
Everyone deserves competent counsel–and that includes the State of Colorado and its citizens.
Perhaps Mr. Gessler’s first job should be getting
his clients election lawbreakers to pay the fines they owe taxpayers.