Jon Caldara Skates on Fraud Charge: “Neener-Neener-Neener”

UPDATE: Colorado Ethics Watch director Luis Toro releases a statement:

"Considering the incredible amount of resources spent in a futile attempt to prove that voter fraud exists in Colorado and is perpetrated by non-citizens, it is a shame that the Attorney General's office has elected not to prosecute Jon Caldara for his highly-public vote in the El Paso County special election while maintaining a Boulder home to which he quickly returned after the election. Nothing increases cynicism in government more than the specter of a highly-lawyered, wealthy individual getting away with something that would be treated as a crime if committed by almost anyone else.

"Those who care about election integrity can take some comfort, though. Caldara's elaborate ruse, including signing a temporary lease in an effort to create the appearance of being a Colorado Springs resident, actually showed how difficult it is to vote in a different district by claiming a new residence without running afoul of Colorado's criminal law against false statements of residency while voting. While Caldara may walk, we fully expect the Attorney General to prosecute vigorously those who foolishly followed his example without all the careful staging that enabled Caldara's lawyers to suggest the existence of reasonable doubt. In the end, Caldara proved only that there is nothing wrong with Colorado's election laws that can't be solved by a dedicated prosecutor enforcing the law as written."


Jon Caldara.

Jon Caldara.

As the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports, Jon Caldara of the conservative Independence Institute will face no criminal charges, closing a three-month investigation by the Attorney General's office into his registering to vote in the El Paso County Senate District 11 recall election despite longtime residence in Boulder:

First Attorney General Robert Shapiro concluded in a letter to Caldara that there is "arguable ambiguity within some of the new legislation," which makes same-day voter registration legal in Colorado.

But the letter also made clear that Attorney General John Suthers office doesn't condone Caldara's behavior, the "legitimacy" of his living arrangement in Colorado Springs was "suspicious" and it was questionable that he ever intended to become an El Paso County resident.

"I told you what I did was legal," Caldara said Thursday, adding "neener-neener-neener."

He said the legislature, which convenes Wednesday, must address the problem of same-day voter registration. Otherwise he predicted "a Great Voter Migration of 2014." Republicans and Democrats could "move" from safe districts into swing seats where their votes could make a difference, Caldara said.

Asked about the attorney general office's comments questioning his sincerity in moving, Caldara said, "The law is not about how they feel. The law is about my intention that they have to prove or disprove. I followed the law."

Watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch was quick to respond via Twitter:

We haven't seen any other statements yet on the Attorney General's decision (see CEW's updated statement above), but we've already heard complaints that Republican Suthers' office is showing blatant partisan favoritism to well-known conservative troublemaker Caldara with this decision. It's tough to speculate without seeing the full letter from the AG's office, but these remarks about "suspicion" over Caldara's "intent" to relocate to Colorado Springs strike us as willfully ignorant of Caldara's stated intentions. Caldara's original press release announcing his plan to register to vote in SD-11 made it obvious he never had any intention of relocating to Colorado Springs, and was always intending to cheat the system. After the recall election, Caldara made a callous joke out of massive floods then impacting the state by using them as his excuse to "make Boulder his permanent home" after all.

As for those of you who thought Caldara, via this stunt to "legally" commit vote fraud or his excuses afterward, had finally gone too far this time? Today you have your answer.


56 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    What will it take for Democrats and Colorado Pols to admit they passed flawed legislation? It takes balls to accuse a man like John Suthers of favoritism. If Caldara had broken the law, Suthers would have charged him.

    You passed a bad law. Stop trying to defend the indefensible and admit it. Then fix it.

    • BlueCat says:

      What problem? You mean the one Caldera had to go to so much trouble to fabricate just so there would be something, anything, to point to?  Yeah, definitely worth all the time and money that's been lavished on this non-problem, not very thinly disguised drive to use any means possible, spare no expense, to suppress the non-white male vote.  

      Proof that voter fraud has ever so much as approached the neighborhood of affecting the outcome of a Colorado election? Still zilch. Evidence that voter suppression has?  I give you the Morse recall.

    • Ralphie says:

      It's a good law.  We just have a shitty Attorney General.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Caldera "proved" that by not actually casting a so-called gypsy ballot, he would have a gray-area argument against actually having violated the law.  BFD. 

      As for balls, if baldy had any he would have cast a completed ballot.  Instead he showed, once again, his true nature . . .

      . . . wiener, wiener, wiener!!!

      • So is there anything out there that lets us understand what the ruling actually IS?

        I mean, the AG's office feels that Caldera's declaration of intent was suspicious. And it is a felony to falsely attest during voter registration. Caldera pretty much taunted election officials and Democrats with his stunt.

        So what exactly is this ruling, so that Democrats might – as Caldera suggests – "fix the problem with same day registration"?

      • gaf says:

        I've said this before–but Caldera "cast" a ballot. How he marked it (or not marking it at all) is irrelevant. We do need to see the full letter to know what that AG said, but it would be another error by the AG if Caldera's claim that he left it blank had any part in the decision.

    • Hawkeye-X says:

      Caldera will be indicted shortly. Count on that. Sutter is completely useless, and needs to be removed from his job and thrown in prison for the rest of his life.


      All Republicans, including yourself, need to be committed to the nearest mental hospital until they are declared sane (and right now they're not even close to be sane)


  2. dwyer says:

    What?  Caldera is not charged? Imagine my surprise.  For those keeping score, I think I predicted it.

  3. mamajama55 says:

    Caldara, from now on, must always be challenged when he pontificates about following the rule of law. Freaking arrogant scofflaw scumbag.

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    Suthers schmuthers . . . 

    . . . who cares?!?  

    Getting by The AG was the easy piece.  Getting by Colorado's champion for fraud-free elections — Scott Gessler — that will be another matter altogether!!

  5. horseshit GOP front group says:

    I am not sure if there is a more clear way to send out the message that laws are not for me but for the little people.   Caldara is such a dick.

  6. hawkeye says:

    Although I agree with Caldara on many of his concerns, we all have to realize he's a political stuntman or prankster.  The more publicity he gets, the more revenue that flows into the coffers of the Independence Institute think tank.  Indeed, he's trying to stay relevant by tackling issues important to conservatives, such as same-day voter registration (which favors Democrats).

  7. Davie says:

    Man, if a minimum wage Walmart employee had tried this stunt, he'd be doing 30 to life and Gessler would have come all over himself with joy.  

    It's good to be rich and Republican!

    • Ralphie says:

      Only if the Walmart employee had brown skin.

      • BlueCat says:

        A white Joe Six Pack would have been held up as an example of how desperate poor old real Americans are over the grave threat of pretty much statistically non-existent voter fraud negating their vote. You know, like when they can't help spewing racist threats while opposing diabolical gun safety legislation such as expanded background checks. Real Americans are allowed to let their passion get the best of them. Minorities aren't. 

  8. ElliotFladen says:

    Where can one find the text of the AG letter?

  9. dwyer says:

    The first rule one learns in war colleges and other places studying miliary strategy is "Do not underestimate your enemy."

    In that spirit, I would like to talk about Caldera and some of the implications of what he did.  Caldera is very intelligent, IMHO.  He is a master at "pushing the envelope" and playing the "jester."  I would suspect that he had tremendous legal support to plan his "intent to reside voting registration."  And, that it was not a "ratings stunt", but a deliberate tactic to expose any weak spot in the law that can be exploited to republican advantage.

    To his credit, Caldera did a very moving tribute to Ken Gordon.  He also allows

    people who call to challenge him to talk and does not cut them off.  Although that may be a function of few calls coming through.

    Speculating out loud; I wonder if the real target was not the Morse recall, but the Hudak recall.  The number of signatures required for that recall were more than double needed for Morse/Giron.  It is impossible to know how many of the signatures on the Hudak petitions were from out of District voters.  The petitions were not turned in and the signatures were never validated.  What might be helpful would be to know how many new registrations occured in Hudak's district two months prior to the petition gathering.  And, how many of those were from voters who claimined "intent to reside."  Voter registration records are public records.  This is something that OFA could probably do, as it would not be considered partisan, but rather gathering information to check out if there was a problem with the new law.




    • Your average voter doesn't have the money to put up proof of address change like Caldera did.

      I have no doubt that Caldera had some forethought about his decision to test the waters, as it were, on the residency provision. But as was pointed out before – the old provision was a month, which still allows ratfuckers to come in and screw with an election if they're so inclined. What Caldera had going for him was a top-to-bottom partisan support network. Secretary of State, Attorney General, District Attorney, Clerk's office – there's not a one of them who was willing to stand up to a facial fraudulent attestation of residency from this clown. He had to have a sense of that in advance.

  10. PERA hopeful says:

    Spelling police must point out that it is Caldara, not Caldera.

  11. Hawkeye-X says:

    It's past time to start bothering Independence Institute and get them out of Golden. They need to move to a red red county so they can have semblace of irrelevancy. 

    They do not belong here in this fine state of Colorado, and I want Jon Caldera do hard time in USP in Florence. Now. It's a violation of federal laws that Caldera continues to flout and getting away with it. No more.


  12. dwyer says:

    I couldn't get the site to load, earlier.  

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