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July 03, 2011 07:14 PM UTC

Will LCRP have to dissolve?

  • 57 Comments
  • by: Ah Choo

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

There’s a Sunday follow up story by Bob Moore in the Coloradoan on the criminally non-compliant Larimer County Republican Party (where the ex-chair was embezzling its money; at one point withdrawing cash at Black Hawk Casino). One of the big problems was that ex-chair Larry Carillo, probably in a misguided attempt to rectify his previous embezzlement, cut checks to the LCRP from a couple of his LLCs, which is only legal if you include the required paperwork (which he of course didn’t), creating daily fines of $50 for each violation.

Raising money from disaffected donors just before the 2012 election will be increasingly difficult, especially with Bob Moore’s observation that the LCRP–apparently a glorified social club and repository for senile cranks–doesn’t really do much that is relevant to winning elections:

County parties generally work on building party infrastructure, getting out the vote and contributing money to candidates. However, the Larimer GOP has donated little or no money to party candidates in recent years.

Facing the potential of $200,000 in Secretary of State fines now creates the unprecedented prospect that the county party may just have to dissolve, as raised by Larimer County Assessor and benighted temporary LCRP Treasurer Steve Miller:

When asked if there was a way for the Larimer GOP to reorganize itself to eliminate fines and allow a new Republican organization to be formed, Miller said: “I’ve asked and nobody knows that answer.”

The Larimer County party finds itself in unchartered territory because no Colorado party organization has ever approached such huge potential fines. Candidates are personally responsible for fines generated by their campaigns, but there’s no individual liability with other committees and party groups.

“I’m not aware of any committees disbanding to avoid fines,” secretary of state spokesman Rich Coolidge said in an email to the Coloradoan. “However, unlike candidate committees, there is no personal liability associated with other committees (i.e. political committees, small donor committees, political parties, etc).”

SOS spokesman Rich Coolidge seems to implicitly give the LCRP official blessing to simply disappear.  

But this raises some very unhappy issues for local Republican activists: the effect on Larimer Republicans’ ability to officially organize at the precinct level; participation in the state party assembly (since you can’t be elected from a county assembly if there isn’t a county party); and from there the ability to get elected as 2012 Republican National Convention delegates.  

Comments

57 thoughts on “Will LCRP have to dissolve?

  1. …I’m pretty sure it’s completely legal to dissolve and basically evaporate all debts (similar to bankruptcy), although this is a terrible way to handle such crisis

    From there, the Larimer GOP could reemerge, however, I believe the next hurdle for them would be receiving a new recognized status (ie charter) from both the Colorado State GOP and the RNC – which could be tough, because I doubt either organization would immediately restore the charter, without some sort of probation period to discourage other Chairman from doing such awful things with finances

    My personal prediction? The Colorado SOS will reduce the fine and the Larimer GOP will suck it up and raise themselves out of debt – as I’ve said before, I’m not against reducing their fine, but there should be some sort of punishment levied  

    1. with the SOS reducing the fine. This is pretty common practice across all SOS’s, regardless of party affiliations of the parties involved.

      (Full disclosure: I had a fine reduced while the SOS office was filled by an R.)

    2. Larimer County R committeepersons and politicos who receive funds from the committee should have to undergo drug testing everytime the party up there receives a check.

    3. like voter lists, donor lists, rights to name delegates, etc. You CAN go bankrupt and start a new entity; but you CAN’T avoid all debts by just changing your name while keeping the same operation running. So my guess is that if there’s a bankruptcy, the creditors will argue in bankruptcy ct that the same entity still exists so it’s not a valid bankruptcy. Disclaimer: I’m not a bankruptcy lawyer

      1. The “debtor” would be the State of Colorado, in the form of fines for non-compliance.

        For the entity to simply cease to exist, it would end the ability of the SOS to regulate it by imposing fines. Since the SOS is saying that no one can be held personally liable for the committee (unlike a candidate committee), when the entity disappears, then theoretically the liability disappears too.

    4. As I understand it, the really huge potential fines — from the LLCs — would go to an administrative law judge if anyone files a complaint. That’s unlike the fines for the delinquent reports, which are handled by the secretary of state.

  2. I like Cory Gardner and I think he is a good man, but he has been noticeably absent from this drama

    Honestly, one Cory Gardner-led Oil and Gas dinner in Washington DC could cover the entire $200,000 penalty – unless Cory needs it for Brandon Shaffer?

    I can understand why Bob Schaffer is occupied because he runs LPR which really is an excellent group for conservatives in Colorado, so if he asked for a pass, I say he’s excused

    But outside of Gardner, the man who is really missing is WAYNE ALLARD – Larimer has been really good to Allard and he owes them on this one  

    1. Assuming you mean that sincerely. I do have to say I think Steve Miller has done a pretty good job given what he was handed. Of course I don’t know the details, but he seems to have a level head on his shoulders.

          1. your fraud with Facebook when you were deceptively trying to get inside the Bennet campaign in ’10? All you had to do is say you were trying to meet young Dem females and we’d have all understood.

  3. The fine calculation methodology is punitive and highly questionable. One offense can easily compound into a several hundred dollar per day fine.  How so? Simple. There is a filing calendar. You miss ne deadline and you owe 50 per day. If you have yet to file by the next deadline, you now owe 100. So on and so forth. One singular event can metastasize into a 3-500 dollar per day fine.

    Simply ridiculous.  Who knew the First amendment was so expensive.

    On a side note. Gessler managed to get his personal automobile dealer fine knocked down from 524K to the measly sum of 8k.

    If only all SOS victims were waivered at this percentage of reduction.

    Just more politics.

    1. Of course, there is another option besides allowing one’s fine(s) to go unpaid for months. One alternative that I can think of immediately is to pay the fine as soon as it is levied. I’m sure there are other alternatives, including the old “2nd Amendment Alternative,” right?

      The fines are only “punitive” if one refuses to take responsibility for one’s errors in a timely fashion.

  4. is going to be for Gardner.  Larimer County is Fort Collins and if they can’t organize or promote him then how does that affect this first time representatives chances for re-election in the critical first campaign as an incumbent?  Even if Gessler plays the partisan card and let’s them get out of jail free, they won’t be able to run their free wheeling loosey-goosey operation that helped get Gardner elected.  Maybe this is good news for John McCain but I don’t see how it can be good for Gardner.

    1. So you’re saying he might have to rely on grassroots activists rather than party favors? Don’t know that I necessarily see that as a bad thing.

      1. but it is a losing proposition for Gardner agains almost ANY D opponent. R’s don’t do grassroots. They don’t have enough roots to sustain life.

    2. I don’t see the Larimer GOP issues playing much of a role in the 2012 race, for a pretty simple reason. The Larimer County Republican Party hasn’t been particularly involved in 4th Congressional District races in the recent past. The Gardner campaign office was a couple doors down from the Larimer GOP office in 2010, and that was about as much as you can say for the county party’s efforts in the congressional race. The Gardner staff was far more likely to interact with the state GOP victory office in the same strip center.

  5. Today’s article definitely helps clear some things up.

    “the LCRP–apparently a glorified social club and repository for senile cranks–doesn’t really do much that is relevant to winning elections”

    And this is the crux of the matter – although I would modify that statement slightly. Activists do plenty; it is the previous board that didn’t do much.  Either intentionally or unintentionally, they apparently left everything to Larry – which turned out to be quite a bad idea. Perhaps dissolution is the perfect remedy for incompetence. Just get it over with and start fresh.

    Although I should add one point – I have heard the view that Larry fronted the party money from his LLC’s, and later reimbursed himself. Shady, but the dates of the withdrawals and contributions could clear things up. In my opinion, it appears that there was wrongdoing by Larry (those casino withdrawals are hard to justify), but there is also the possibility of others on the board seeking to evade responsibility by pinning all blame on Larry.

    1. This has hamstrung local organizing, but if we can get this handled up there, Larimer could be in better shape than they have been in a long time. That would be good for everyone. It’s a county with much conservative strength!

        1. Even though Ah Choo cleared this up over 4 hours before The Beej responded …

          He’s quoting my post

          And I certify that it is an unsubstantiated, subjective, and ad hominem claim.  

          by: Ah Choo @ Mon Jul 04, 2011 at 11:18:22 AM MDT

          The Beej, true to form, can’t admit that there’s no there there …

          The article referenced in the diary.

          Aristotle, I’m really starting to worry about your mind. Are you ok?

          by: bjwilson83 @ Mon Jul 04, 2011 at 15:32:58 PM MDT

          Our most illustrious vice-president must have been anticipating The Beej in May 1989 when he said:

          ” …what a waste it is to lose one’s mind or not to have a mind is being very wasteful.”

          1. I only skimmed this post, and made the mistake of taking Beej at his word. This isn’t an “article.” Those are published at news sites.

            As Ardy points out, that’s a good enough cite for him, and more proof of his substandard education.

            1. Your original comment said this:

              Ah…

              Today’s article definitely helps clear some things up.

              “the LCRP–apparently a glorified social club and repository for senile cranks–doesn’t really do much that is relevant to winning elections”

              And this is the crux of the matter… [commentary of dubious quality followed]

              My question was:

              What article is this?

              Your answer was:

              The article referenced in the diary.

              The article referenced in the diary did not contain these words. The diary itself did, but not the article.

              So, how does this error mean that you “were still correct?”

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