The Aurora Sentinel reports on fresh intrigue in that city’s politics under Mayor Mike Coffman, the former Republican Congressman plotting his next political moves–and getting help from old friends to help…well, old friends:
Mayor Mike Coffman has filed a lawsuit against Aurora and the city clerk, aiming to reverse recently enacted campaign finance rules…
“That new law prohibits Mayor Coffman (and others like him) from doing anything effective to campaign for another candidate or in support of a ballot issue. In essence, it unconstitutionally restricts the rights to free speech and association for both candidates in the current election cycle and others who could potentially run in some future election,” the lawsuit says of the rules.
The nine-page complaint was penned on Coffman’s behalf by attorney Dan Burrows, who is affiliated with the Lakewood-based Public Trust Institute, a conservative non-profit group “created to uphold our state’s constitution and defend the principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility on which Colorado was founded,” according to the group’s website. The suit was filed in Arapahoe County District Court shortly before 10 a.m. March 17, a clerk confirmed.
In short, Mayor Mike Coffman is pre-emptively filing suit against the city’s new campaign finance regulations with the help of the right-wing Public Trust Institute, the “ethics group” formed by former Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty to wage politically expedient legal campaigns against Democrats. The city of Aurora’s newest campaign finance regulations reportedly disallow candidates from fundraising for each other. And that’s a big problem for Mayor Mike, because:
Coffman says in the lawsuit that he already supports a candidate in the 2021 city council race and wants to help funnel money into the person’s campaign.
He told the Sentinel that candidate is Dustin Zvonek. He’s a candidate for an at-large seat who was Coffman’s spokesperson and aide when he represented the 6th Congressional district in Congress. [Pols emphasis]
You read that right! Coffman is looking to help elect his own former congressional aide and campaign manager, Dustin Zvonek, to the Aurora City Council. Obviously, a councilmember Mayor Coffman is accustomed to giving orders to would be great for Coffman’s problems getting the city council to do his bidding! The best analogy we can think of is Josef Stalin demanding the Ukrainian and Belorussian SSRs get seats in the United Nations in 1946 as if they were separate countries, which they most assuredly were not at the time.
There’s nothing illegal about a known partisan political legal hit squad filing suit on Coffman’s behalf, or even in Coffman trying to install a subordinate employee on the City Council. We’ll have to see what the court says about the merits of Coffman’s case, though the irony of the GOP’s “ethics in government group” suing on the side of “dark money” and pro-crony collusion makes for a messy political situation to say the least. However the court case works out, too much press about Coffman pushing his waterboy for city council might make the question academic for Aurora’s voters.