(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
On its website last week, ABC News reported that petition drives to remove CO state legislators from office, in retaliation for their support of gun safety legislation, are "being run by political newcomers who claim little or no experience working on elections."
ABC News' Chris Good wrote in an online story that "activists are relying on volunteers, and no campaign has raised more than a few thousand dollars."
Good's piece appeared three days after Colorado Pols posted a video apparently demonstrating that the Morse recall effort, at least, is not a grassroots effort but a sophisticated political hit campaign involving hired guns from outside Colorado.
It appears ABC didn't bother to check out the video, which contains an audio recording of a man, who identifies himself as Tracy Taylor, the "owner" of a "national petitioning company."
In the video, Taylor is apparently training workers to collect signatures to recall State Sen. President John Morse. "What we're going to do is put it on the ballot and let people decide whether or not they want to get rid of [Morse]," the man identified as "Taylor" says.
The signature gatherers would be paid at least $1.oo per signature, he promises. (About 7,000 signatures are needed by June 3 to place the Morse recall question on the ballot.)
In the video, the man identified as Taylor says:
"This office belongs to Dan Kennedy, who's a good friend of mine and has been in the petition business with me a lot of years. That's how I got ahold of Brooke, who got ahold of you, because she knows Dan. So this is kind of our home office anyway, so that's the good news for you guys. We get lots of work. This job is going to last anywhere from four to five weeks."
You'd think local reporters would be racing to interview Taylor and Dan Kennedy of Kennedy Enterprises, given the appearance that serious money is behind an effort to oust a leading CO politician.
But neither ABC's Good, nor a local reporter, has apparently bothered to do so.
So to fill the media gap, I called Kennedy Enterprises Friday afternoon, to verify the video evidence that Kennedy, who's been accused of organizing shady signature-gathering efforts in the past, indeed hosted the anti-Morse training in his office–and to find out more about the role of Kennedy Enterprises in the Morse recall campaign.
“This is Tracy," said a voice who picked up the phone when I called the phone number listed on the website for Kennedy Enterprises.
Is this Tracy Taylor, whose voice is featured on a video on the website ColoradoPols, I asked.
“I have no comment,” said "Tracy," and hung up. (For what it's worth, his voice sounded identical to the one in the Pols video.
My email to Kennedy was not returned, but perhaps a reporter who knows him will have better luck.
Meanwhile, evidence that serious money, not grassroots grit, is fueling the anti-Morse campaign arrived yesterday when the El Paso Freedom Defense Committee reported receiving a large donation of $14,294, which is enough to get an outside operative like "Tracy Taylor" to come Colorado.
The donation came from "I Am Created Equal." One entity with this name is run by Laura Carno, who confirmed by email that the donation came from her 501c(4) entity, IACE Action. I'm scheduled to talk to Carno more about this later.