‘Stretch that rope’: Colorado conservative leader suggests Gov. Polis should be hanged

A prominent right-wing activist with ties to many Colorado Republicans on Friday called for the mass executions of politicians he said were “traitors” to the country, including Gov. Jared Polis and many U.S. senators.

Joe Oltmann, founder and president of the activist group FEC United and host of the “Conservative Daily” podcast, made a series of comments about the hanging of political opponents on his show throughout the week.

On Friday, Oltmann listened as his co-host, Max McGuire, read aloud the names of the 19 Senate Republicans who this week voted with Democrats to approve an 11-week stopgap spending bill, amid far-right demands to force a government shutdown over federal vaccine mandates for employers.

“There’s your list of 19 traitors to the American people, along with all the other traitors to the American people,” Oltmann said in response. “I want people to go out there and get some wood. The gallows are getting wider and longer. We should be able to build gallows all the way from Washington, D.C., to California.”

“We just have a line of executions of traitors through the United States of America,” Oltmann continued. “If you guys don’t think that’s funny — I think it’s kind of funny, actually.”

“This talk makes me incredibly nervous,” replied McGuire.

Later in Friday’s show, Oltmann talked about an online post responding to Polis, in which he said he’d called the governor a liar and a traitor.

“So that’s what I sent to Gov. Polis. Gallows. I had to stretch that rope,” Oltmann said.

“Oh boy,” McGuire said.

“I’m being funny,” Oltmann replied. “Why can’t you be a little funny? I wish all the traitors good luck.”

Oltmann, a Douglas County resident, is a leading figure among far-right election deniers and was instrumental in spreading a baseless conspiracy theory that Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems helped rig the 2020 election. Oltmann is a defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed by a former Dominion employee.

Kristi Burton Brown, currently the chair of the Colorado Republican Party, served as the president of Oltmann’s FEC United group as recently as November 2020, according to a deposition Oltmann gave in the defamation case. Burton Brown was elected state GOP chair in March 2021.

George Brauchler, a former district attorney for the 18th Judicial District and former GOP candidate for attorney general, responded in a September podcast interview to concerns about his ties with Oltmann. PIN Business Network, a data services company formerly run by Oltmann, has been an advertiser on Brauchler’s own radio show.

“Joe is a friend,” Brauchler said at the time. “We disagree on the election stuff. … I’m not running away from Joe, I still am friendly with Joe.”

Oltmann’s comments on Friday followed statements about a looming “civil war” made by conservative militia leader John Tiegen on an FEC United livestream this week. “I see a war coming, if we don’t stand together,” said Tiegen, founder of the United American Defense Force, which is affiliated with FEC United.

In previous episodes of “Conservative Daily” posted earlier this week, Oltmann and McGuire further discussed the executions of their political opponents.

“I went out and bought some lumber this weekend, Max, so I could build the gallows,” Oltmann said on Dec. 1. “So pretty soon we’ll have gallows being built all over the country, we can take care of all these traitors to our nation.”

“I went and bought a bunch of rope,” he added. “That way I can pull people behind my car when their body parts fall off, so it’s far enough behind, doesn’t get any blood on it. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that on here.”

“I don’t know why I’m going to give you this advice, I probably shouldn’t,” said McGuire, before explaining to Oltmann that soldiers executing prisoners of war in World War II needed to stretch ropes for days to make sure that they didn’t snap.

“I’m telling you that just as a nice little history lesson, not as an accessory to whatever’s going on in your back yard,” McGuire said, laughing.

“I’m not being very good today,” Oltmann said. “I almost feel like I’m maybe getting a little too graphic on the fact that I want to hang them from the neck till they’re dead.”

Colorado Newsline is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: info@coloradonewsline.com. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

Republished without edits under Creative Commons license.

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Why does this make me think of the episode in Yellowstone where the Beck brothers sent their goons to (unsuccessfully) execute Beth?  These clowns aren’t going to kill anyone. Typical school yard bullies.  All hat. No cattle. 

    • PMan says:

      …… These clowns aren’t going to kill anyone. Typical school yard bullies. All hat. No cattle. ….

      I wouldn't be so sure. I'd guess some of these idiots think of Timothy McVeigh  as a hero and martyr. I don't understand it. I do think your "school yard bullies" comment is mostly true. But I also think there are many who fantasize about killing, for whatever reason. Why that has become more common is a whole other topic.

      Statistically speaking, most of these right wing nut job folks have never been through advanced infantry training (or as we called it, back in the day, advanced hiding behind a bush). I think making death threats, however general in nature, should be punished. 

      All that said, I do not own any pretend assault rifle, but was loaned the real thing for 24 months. Long ago and far away. Thanks Uncle Sam and all of You Who Payed for it. You did pay for it.   

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Aren’t  the ones that don’t bloviate publicly the ones we should worry about? These cucks get off on the publicity alone. I doubt they’ll be the ones to pull the trigger or set the detonator. At their core they are chickenshits. 

        Thanks for your service, PMan.

      • Sparky says:

        Exactly: It doesn't take intelligence to kill people, all it takes is the will and the means, and they have both. There's a reason they all celebrate Rittenhouse so enthusiastically… He got away with the thing they all fantasize of doing: Murdering their perceived enemies in cold blood.

        One only has to look at the things they say and post online and how they stockpile weapons to realize how eager they are to launch an insurgency. It may be clumsy and obviously motivated by madness and cruelty, but they're going to do it.

    • mr.green says:

      Respectfully, I agree with Pman. These are overt death threats and laughing them off is only helping them.  It’s not a dog whistle anymore when it’s audible. It’s a clicker that anyone can hear, but only some minds are conditioned to know what it means. You don’t have to have wits to pull a trigger.


  2. Lucy Montrose says:

    I’m not surprised at all that Oltmann immediately came back with the “I was just joking!” line.

    No, @$$hole. You don’t joke about murdering people. And you don’t tell jokes unless they’re actually funny.

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    Yet more ignorant, white trash.

    Maybe Q-bert can put them to work on her staff as constituent services reps.

  4. ParkHill says:

    IANAL, but how is it legal to threaten or call for hanging a political figure? 

    You say something in a public setting; you don't cancel the trheat by saying "oopsie, just joking".

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I'm reminded of Gilda Radner's SNL character, Emily Latella, who was hard of hearing and would off on something completely irrelevant (e.g., the upcoming presidential erection) only to be corrected by Jane Curtin, and then reply, "Oh, that's different. Never mind."

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Because we have a robust (and according to some, excessive) allowance for Free Expression.  As one source suggests

      In legal parlance a true threat is a statement that is meant to frighten or intimidate one or more specified persons into believing that they will be seriously harmed by the speaker or by someone acting at the speaker’s behest. True threats constitute a category of speech — like obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, and the advocacy of imminent lawless action — that is not protected by the First Amendment. Although the other aforementioned categories have received specific definitions from the Supreme Court, the Court has mentioned the true threats category only in a handful of cases and has never fully developed a test to delineate its boundaries.

      The [Circuit] court stated in United States v. Kelner (2d Cir. 1976) that a true threat is a threat that “on its face and in the circumstances in which it is made is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to the person threatened, as to convey a gravity of purpose and imminent prospect of execution.”

      And so, so many of the people making threats can say the statement IS equivocal, conditional, untimed, without gravity or imminent prospect of execution.

  5. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Oltman doesn't understand the US Constitution (his name misspelled on purpose).

  6. Genghis says:

    The dipshit in the foreground is the GOP poster boy: stupid, pudgy, and ever so mediocre.

  7. PMan says:

    Ha! Gravy Seals… Got a few of them in my neighbored here in Denver. 

  8. Gilpin Guy says:

    What boggles my mind is how do they reconcile America the land of free thinkers and diversity with wanting to kill everyone who doesn't think like them.  In most people, the internal conflict would be unbearable.

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