(Yeesh – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Most of Colorado now knows about Tom Ready, the Pueblo County Commissioner candidate who promoted the idea that the Sandy Hook school massacre was just a "hoax" perpetuated by people who want more gun laws. The Pueblo County Republican Party has been deafeningly silent about Tom Ready's extreme views, refusing to condemn them, and blaming Ready's opponent, Sal Pace, for bringing it up. Ready half-heartedly "apologized" in the Denver Post, but made it clear that he considered himself to be the real victim.
But it isn't the first time that the Pueblo GOP has chosen to "Stand By Their Man" in the face of reports of horrific behavior. Twice, in 1991, and in 2009, a woman asked the courts for a protective order against Tom Ready.
Yet nothing was done – Ready was the Pueblo Republican Party Chairman for ten years, and was sent to represent the party nationally in 2009. Now, he is the party's candidate for County Commissioner.
The Republican Party of Pueblo has always stood by Doctor Thomas Ready, even when his wife publicly accused him of five years of battering, culminating in a violent incident on March 15, 1991.
On that day, the Pueblo Chieftain wrote, Mrs. Ready came home to find a moving truck and crew at their shared home, and Dr. Ready supervising the moving out of the couple's shared property.
When she arrived, according to her statement, the couple argued. She claims Ready knocked her down in the driveway and broke her sunglasses. Mrs. Ready contends that, when she entered the home and tried to call police, he shoved her away from the phone, knocking her down again.
Mrs. Ready also alleges that Ready kicked her several times after one of his bows was broken when he shoved her into an archery display at the home. When she broke free, she said, she ran and asked the moving men why they hadn't called the police.
She said the men laughed and said, "You married him, not us."
Mrs. Ready said that, when Ready came out of the house, he said, "I never touched her, guys. You saw her kick me."
So, after reading that, once your blood stops boiling, understand that the fine folks of the Pueblo Republican Party read the same article. And Pueblo's a small large town. Most people know what's going on with everyone else. Half the people are related to each other – the other half went to the same high schools.
And after reading in Pueblo's conservative daily paper, the Pueblo Chieftain, about Ready's beating his wife for five years, culminating in an assault which left her bruised and bloody, the Pueblo GOP re-elected him chairman, as they did for the next nine years. In fact, as a special honor, they sent him to the National Republican Convention in 2008.
Mr. Ready faced no criminal consequences for his violent behavior. The Ready's divorce was finalized on July 23, 1991, with the initial charges of harassment and assault dismissed, or converted to civil cases. Like most batterers, he was probably able to convince the authorities that his wife was equally to blame for the violence, that it was just a "private spat", or an isolated incident, that nothing criminal happened.
Mrs. Ready obtained a protective order, which was dismissed later in 1991. Deputy District Attorney Jill Mattoon, now a judge, and Deputy DA Robert Fink thought that there was enough evidence to charge Ready, based on the photographic evidence presented at the divorce hearing. Mrs. Ready also had showed her bruises to co-workers, which is how I initially heard about the incident.
The incidents described are part of the public record, readily available to anyone using a Lexisnexus court records account, or searching divorce records through the County Court. I have not published the full names of the victims to save them harassment and reliving of the trauma.
- • Per the Chieftain article, Ready was charged with harassment and assault on 3/15/91
- • There was photographic evidence of abuse, seen by attorneys in court
- • There is not now any record of disposition of the charges.
- • The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows no arrest records for Mr. Ready.
- • A second court order protecting a woman from Mr. Ready was issued in July 2009.
This is not unusual in domestic violence cases where the perpetrator is wealthy or influential. The 2009 protective order was dismissed a month later "without prejudice". This, too, is standard procedure with a prominent client who can afford excellent legal representation.
The Pueblo County Democratic party recently sent a public letter to the Mayor of Newtown apologizing for their Commissioner candidate's insensitive statements. They also asked the Pueblo GOP to withdraw their support for Mr. Ready. No reply was received.
It's clear that the Pueblo GOP will not offer the most minimal vetting process for candidates. It is up to the voters to screen out criminals and crazies. Now, Pueblo voters just need to decide whether they really want their County Commissioner to be someone who promotes the idea that murder of children in Newtown may have never happened, and who has a documented history of violence and/or harassment against women.
Photo of Mr. Ready from 9 News coverage of the September 11 debate in Pueblo.