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March 01, 2024 09:24 AM UTC

Dave Williams Burns GOP Cash To Bash Primary Opponent and...Phil Anschutz?

  • 4 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: The Colorado Sun’s Sandra Fish with initial reactions:

“It’s unprecedented,” said Suzanne Taheri, a Republican strategist and Haley supporter who is a former deputy Colorado secretary of state. “It’s certainly unethical … (Wiliams is) targeting his own district to promote himself — using the money from the state fund.”

Rich Sokol, a former Arapahoe County GOP chairman, resigned from the state party’s executive committee late last year over Williams’ use of his party position for personal gain. He blasted the mailer as the latest example of that self-promotion…

When asked about using party resources to attack his opponents, Williams said “we make no apologies for supporting President Trump while exposing the liberal media and these anti-Trump groups who seek to undermine his reelection.”

It’s all for Donald Trump, see! That’s how Dave Williams wants this to go down. It’s a ploy Trumplike in its audacity, for sure.

—–

Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams has come under fire from his own in recent weeks for continuing to use the state party’s name and resources for his own political ambitions after Williams filed to run for Congress again this year. After publicly attacking Williams’ 2022 CO-05 congressional primary opponent Rep. Doug Lamborn for months, the party swiftly turned its fire on radio host Jeff Crank after Lamborn announced his retirement and Crank began amassing endorsements. In particular, Williams seized on the endorsement of Crank by conservative “astroturf” group Americans for Prosperity, and used AFP’s support for sputtering GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley as a pretext to use party resources attacking Crank. This pretext grew thin after AFP announced they are ending support for Haley’s campaign, a development that Williams has conveniently failed to acknowledge.

Instead, Williams simply pivoted to a new proxy villain to justify using state party resources to bash his primary opponent” GOP megadonor, billionaire, and owner of the Colorado Springs Gazette Phil Anschutz. The Gazette earned Williams’ ire with their early endorsement of Crank, and yesterday, a glossy mail piece paid for by the Colorado Republican Committee landed in El Paso County mailboxes trashing Jeff Crank with Phil Anschutz as the new backroom boogeyman:

This is without question the most brazen appropriation of state party resources for Williams’ personal gain so far. The whole purpose of this costly full-color glossy mailer is to link Nikki Haley and Phil Anschutz to Jeff Crank–and the only reason to drag Jeff Crank into this conflict ostensibly over Haley, as with the party’s attacks on AFP last week, is to help Dave Williams in the June 25th primary. In response to the growing criticism of Williams’ leadership from within the party, Williams might have been expected to throttle back these questionable expenditures by a notoriously cash-strapped organization.

Instead, Williams appears to have doubled down.

There doesn’t appear to be any appetite from within the Colorado Republican Party to rein Williams in, reflecting the total control over the party apparatus Williams has achieved despite the discontent from erstwhile party brass and traditional major donors like Anschutz. In our years covering Colorado politics, we’ve never seen a situation quite like this one, with a GOP party chairman who is also a candidate in a hot Republican primary and possesses absolutely no scruples whatsoever, disregarding every rule and questionable appearance in a headlong bid for high office.

Again the only question that matters is, who is going to stop him? This time Williams has picked a fight with someone who, as the saying goes, buys ink by the barrel. So that might count for something.

What we can say is that Williams’ total disregard for the rules in pursuit of personal power is very…Trumplike. We know with certainty where he got the idea.

Comments

4 thoughts on “Dave Williams Burns GOP Cash To Bash Primary Opponent and…Phil Anschutz?

  1. I'm thinking that Dave Williams will be the next "two and out" CO Republican chair.

    It is little noted and not long remembered — but when was the last time someone actually served MORE than a single term in the role?

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