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September 21, 2006 10:26 PM UTC

New Legal Complaint Filed Against Trailhead

  • 18 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Formal complaints against Trailhead Grouparen’t new, but this one is…and it’s a little different.

From the press release:

The complaint outlines a pattern of potentially illegal campaign coordination between Governor Bill Owens’ Trailhead Group, a self-described 527 committee, and the Beauprez and Hillman campaign committees.  According to the complaint, the Trailhead Group is working with the Colorado Republican Party and the Beauprez and Hillman campaigns through a series of shared consultants and campaign vendors including Phaseline Strategies LLC, The Tarrance Group, FLS Connect, and Arizona FLS. 

“Trailhead’s scam is pretty simple.  It gets clearance for its next move or sends critical information through a campaign operative for Beauprez or Hillman,” said Knaus.  “Then, Beauprez and Hillman profess ignorance or even dismay over Trailhead’s tactics.  All the while, nothing happens without coordination using a paid consultant who works for both entities.”

Click below for the full press release…

Owens’ group, Beauprez campaign, and Hillman campaign share vendors/information

Denver, CO— A new legal complaint filed with the Colorado Secretary of State today shows the Republican attack group Trailhead, and the campaigns of Bob Beauprez and Mark Hillman in a clear pattern of coordination.  Such coordination violates Colorado campaign finance law and, if proven, could inflict major damage on the Beauprez and Hillman candidacies.  The complaint was filed by attorney Ed Ramey on behalf of Colorado citizen Aaron Fink. 

“This is bottom of the sleaze barrel,” said Clear Peak Director Tim Knaus.  “While Bob Beauprez sanctimoniously campaigns on accountability, his campaign appears to be thumbing its nose at our state campaign laws.” 

The complaint outlines a pattern of potentially illegal campaign coordination between Governor Bill Owens’ Trailhead Group, a self-described 527 committee, and the Beauprez and Hillman campaign committees.  According to the complaint, the Trailhead Group is working with the Colorado Republican Party and the Beauprez and Hillman campaigns through a series of shared consultants and campaign vendors including Phaseline Strategies LLC, The Tarrance Group, FLS Connect, and Arizona FLS. 

“Trailhead’s scam is pretty simple.  It gets clearance for its next move or sends critical information through a campaign operative for Beauprez or Hillman,” said Knaus.  “Then, Beauprez and Hillman profess ignorance or even dismay over Trailhead’s tactics.  All the while, nothing happens without coordination using a paid consultant who works for both entities.”

Knaus pointed to the example of public opinion polling in which the Beauprez campaign and Trailhead both use the Tarrance Group for polling.  The Beauprez campaign committee reports show no expenditures for polling since December, 2005, a ludicrous assertion for a major political campaign.  The explanation lies in the coordination, wherein Trailhead pays for the polling and then Tarrance communicates the information to the Beauprez camp.

“This is the very definition of coordination,” said Knaus.  “And it’s only one of numerous violations.  Beauprez and Hillman need to publicly disassociate from Trailhead and explain the apparent collusion to the people of Colorado.”

The complaint further alleges that the Trailhead Group has been behaving as a “political committee” and is therefore not permitted to receive contributions in excess of five hundred dollars per two-year cycle.  Trailhead has received over $750,000 in excess of its applicable contribution limits and is therefore liable for penalties of at least $1.5 million and up to $3.7 million.

Comments

18 thoughts on “New Legal Complaint Filed Against Trailhead

    1. hillman already publicly “disassociated” with trailhead and called them out several months ago when he was trying to work with the Dems on PERA.

      so was that a big facade? i really doubt it, considering he asked them to PULL THE ADS. ads dont do much good if they arent being shown to anyone. maybe i am the only one who remembers this event, but until it is explained i will dismiss hillman’s involvement as dirty campaigning.

      1.   I’m not surprised Trailhead isn’t “helping” Mike Coffman.  Do not Coffman and Snakehead hold one another in scorn and contempt? 
          I mean, everyone in Colorado knew that Coffman wanted to be Governor more than anything, but Snakehead went ahead and recruited Both Ways as the strongest GOP candidate (lol). 
          Instead of winning the crown and getting to walk down the pageant runway, Marine Mike had to settle for the title of Miss Congeniality a/k/a Secretary of State.

          1. Owens and Trailhead haven’t been making a lot of friends lately. But Coffman will be in good position to run in four.
            (I am, of course, predicating this on the assumption that he wins in Nov. -which, though not assured, is highly possible.)

  1. Calling Mark Grueskin!!  Perhaps Trailhead will retain Grueskin to defend them.  After all, he successfully defended the Dems for very similar charges last cylce (save the Bacon case where the idiots wrote their coordination plans down on paper).

    The bottom line is, there is not an unlimited number of high quality consultants/vendors out there for one side of the aisle or the other.  There will inevitably be overlap.  How can you tell a guy or company that they can’t do business in Colorado or any other district?

    Just another frivilous complaint by the frivilous complaint factory.  Isn’t Knaus the one who put the completely false ad up against Knoedler?  Or is he the one who directed the state Democrat party to commit the biggest single FEC violation for any state party in history ($3.2M)?  Oh yeah, he was both…

  2. He hates coordination like this.  He’s sued fellow republicans for coordination with even less evidence then this complaint alleges. 

    Call the big and mighty Gessler to thump on the evil Trailhead minions for breaking the very laws he wrote himself. 

    1. Im pretty sure Gessler is one of the Trailhead Lawyers, that is going to be knocked in the ass by the revolving door. 

      Gessler, another 17th Street lawyer, fighting like an oil lobbyist for the elitists.

  3. Knaus has the FEC record for violations.  And his group is the only one on public record admitting they misled voters with their terrible ad on Knoedler.  Knaus is on track to be disbarred and unfortunately Bill Ritter isn’t there to bail him out as a soft on crime prosecutor.

    Here’s a perfect example that’s making the rounds now of Bill Ritter being a terrible example of justice.

    http://www.youtube.c

    1. Gee, Moonraker, I’ve been won over by your incessant spam against Ritter. I think I’ll march right out and contribute $100 to the Trailhead Group so that they can continue their wonderfully smooth coordination with the Beauprez campaign. Here’s to Bob’s smashing victory in November!

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