Independent Group Attacks Coffman

UPDATE: The group identified in this mailing, Protect Colorado Jobs, claims that the “rogue” chairman (note inherent contradiction) of the group Curt Cerveny produced and sent this mailing without approval. As Politics West reports:

A mailing attacking Sixth Congressional District candidate Mike Coffman went haywire this morning when the registered agent for the group that took credit for the attack claimed it was done without knowledge of the group’s contributors and most of its officers.

Instead, John Berry, the registered agent and secretary-treasurer for the group Protect Colorado Jobs, said the group’s chairman, political consultant Curt Cerveny, went rogue and mailed out the attack on his own.

“Curt had failed to run this by myself and the contributors to Protect Colorado Jobs,” Berry said. “It was really a surprise to us, and it was outside what Protect Colorado Jobs was set up to do.”

Cerveny couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Berry said Cerveny has resigned from Protect Colorado Jobs, and Berry has apologized to the Coffman campaign…

As the Rocky Mountain News reports:

A mailing to Republicans in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District brands Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman “a big government professional politician.”

The mailing is the first negative campaigning in the four- way race for the Republican nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Littleton, who is stepping down.

The mailing was sent by the group Protect Colorado Jobs, a 501(c)(4) group. Such organizations are not permitted to back candidates but may attack them.

John W. Berry, a Denver attorney who is the registered agent for Protect Colorado Jobs, could not be reached for comment.

“We were always expecting some sort of negative campaigning,” said Coffman’s campaign manager, Dustin Zvonek.

The mailing says Coffman “increased his office’s budget by a whopping 33 percent” when he was treasurer.

In fact, elected officials cannot increase their budgets, which are set by the legislature under Colorado law…

Tough to know which candidate this independent group is looking to help, but maybe they’re working the “Anybody but Coffman” contingent–backers of one of the other 3 candidates, but more importantly Republicans hoping to “keep” Coffman in the Secretary of State’s office.

65 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RedGreen says:

    How friendly will Coffman be to the Republican agenda for the SoS office if they succeed?

  2. Western Way says:

    Who is the usual “republican” who tends to use vulgar attacks through independent groups during primaries….  I mean it’s not like he knows anyone who is in the race this time……

  3. fathawk says:

    Ask yourself. If you can’t win on the merits, then make up lies and attack your opponent. My guess is this leads back to Wil Armstrong.    

  4. Republican 36 says:

    You go negative when your behind to erode your opponent’s support and go ahead of him or her.  This is an indicator that the poll cited by the Armstrong campaign two days ago may not be what they say it is.  Has the Armstrong campaign released the questions asked in that poll yet?

  5. MichaelScott says:

    Looks like Curt Cervany and Scott Gessler (Wil’s campaign attorney and Amend 47 attorney) along with some Armstrong Donors dropped this bomb without permission from Protect Colorado’s Jobs.

    This isn’t the first time for this group. In 2004 Scott Gessler along with Bill Armstrong dropped a 527 in July on Pete Coors.

    This is not a good day for Wil.

  6. ColoradoPolitical says:

    This race was Wil Armstrong’s to lose and he has. I  pick Harvey for the Silver. Armstrong came in as the favorite and blew it.

  7. sjintheknow says:

    There you go again Wil, using Daddy’s friends to do your dirty work.  Coffman has this one in the bag…very few really like Wil.  

    I agree with CP…Harvey will come in second because of Douglas County.  Wil a distant third.

    GO MIKE!

    • RadioFreeDenver says:

      With an overwhelming advantage in voter registration, the GOP could run Britney Spears for any office in Douglas County and still beat any Democrat. How else could someone as ineffective as Harvey stay in office? Harvey wins because the Douglas County GOP lets him and because he votes the way his conservative PAC supporters want him to, not because the voters like him.

      When I ran against Harvey in 2004 for HD43, the rank and file voters that I met either didn’t know who he was or didn’t like him, and he still beat me 63%-37%. Sadly, I got more votes as a loser than Frank McNulty got as a winner for the same seat in 2006. Go figure.

      Harvey was appointed to his House seat in 2003 and didn’t have a primary opponent in 2004 or 2006, so he’s never actually had to campaign for office. Heck, in 2004, as I recall, he didn’t even get a single campaign contribution from anyone living in his district! The thing I can’t understand, given his absenteeism at the legislature and his inability to sponsor or pass any meaningful legislation, is why he wants to be involved in politics anyway. He clearly doesn’t like it, and he sure isn’t any good at it.

      • bull08 says:

        take your ass kicking and move on already. For the record, Harvey was not appointed in 2003, he won his position in a special vacancy election against two or three others when Nunez left to take a presidential appointment.  I also believe he had a primary for his current senate seat which he won easily over Mark Baisley.

        The people of Douglas County know who Ted Harvey is and my guess is that they will prove it come August 12th.

        • RadioFreeDenver says:

          I forgot about Baisley in 2006. I guess I should spend 30 seconds on Google before I post.

          The people of Douglas County know who Ted Harvey is and my guess is that they will prove it come August 12th.

          We can only hope so…

      • One Queer Dude says:

           So that’s why he doesn’t care if he’s ends up in single digits.  He doesn’t lose anythiny by running this time (unlike Steve Ward).

        • bull08 says:

          Ward knew he wouldn’t win in a primary for his senate seat so he scratched that idea and decided to run for congress.  Steve is a legend in his own mind and has been very entertaining to watch during this campaign.  He is actually trying to sell himself as a conservative which has been hilarious.  There is not a more liberal republican in the state senate.  Hopefully he will do us all a favor a just go away after this race.

  8. ColoCitizen says:

    You know the ARM’s(trong) campaign isn’t too excited about being caught with their hand in the cookie jar or we would have been bound to hear something about it by know.  I don’t think they are going to be able to keep this sucker quiet though.

  9. Western Way says:

    I question Stansbury, it seems a little suspicious that the first day the mailing hit was the day they released their poll.  It seems a little to coincidental that it happened to hit the same day, that seems like a coordinated strategy to build momentum to me.

  10. RedGreen says:

    Politicker CO has the story:

    The mailer evoked a quick denunciation from U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton) — a somewhat surprising move, as Tancredo has largely stayed out of the CO-6 GOP race until this point.

    In the statement, Tancredo said he “will speak out against what I consider to be underhanded attacks on any candidate by individuals hiding behind the shield of an organization from which, they hope to obtain ‘cover.'”

    “It is my hope that, as we enter into final stage of the campaign that these types of attacks will cease and that issues will replace personalities as the dominant theme of the debate,” Tancredo said in the statement. “If any candidate is found to be responsible for mailings or ‘push polls’ that try to hide the source of the activity I hope the voters of the 6th District will reject not only the message but the messenger.”

  11. RedGreen says:

    Politicker CO’s Inside Edge reported back in April that Cerveny had it out for Coffman and planned to “destroy” him, when the political consultant was tied to another anti-Coffman mailing.

    Cerveny’s opposition to Secretary of State Mike Coffman’s run for congress is, allegedly, personal, in that it, allegedly, stems from previous work he did for Coffman.

    “Coffman apparently contracted with Cerveny to do direct mail work while running for Secretary of State and then fired [Cerveny] because he thought the work was too expensive,” said one source with knowledge of the particulars.

    Since then, our sources tell us, Cerveny has allegedly told several people that he plans to “destroy” Coffman by working through surrogates to attack him.

    The Inside Edge reported a few weeks earlier that Coffman should expect what was coming his way, but not to take it politically. It was strictly personal:

    “I don’t think it’s any of his opponent’s campaigns,” says one GOP consultant. “And I think that [Republican State Chairman] Dick Wadhams is now reconciled to Mike running as well. But Mike’s made some people mad and I’m hearing some noises that this is coming from inside the Party. It’s wholly personal though, not political. For some reason, an insult Mike gave out or something stupid is causing this.”

    Or something stupid. Got that right.

  12. sjintheknow says:

    I know Curt and he would never have done a piece like this unless he had the nod.  

    Nice taking the fall for this Curt, but the people in the know…know Wil/Bill’s friends gave you an ok on this one.

    Mike you deserve to be Congressman Coffman.   Bad eggs like Wil/Bill Armstrong made the decision to vote for Mike easy.

    Get out there and vote folks to make sure Mike wins BIG!

  13. MichaelScott says:

    Protect Colorado’s Jobs now can’t seem to answer who made the donation when all they need to do is call the bank.

    The Amend. 47 crowd has got to be pissed because Armstrong’s supporters just gave them some really bad press when they are trying to raise funds.

    My spy tells me John Andrews who shares office space with Curt was the bag man.

  14. oldbogus says:

    I take exception to this snidery:

    “the “rogue” chairman (note inherent contradiction)”.

    What contradiction? Chairmen can’t go rogue? If you believe that, you haven’t been involved in grassroots politics long. Chairs of organizations often “become the organization” by thinking they were the new CEO/messiah/whatever. Our local volunteer fire board has this same syndrome.

  15. MichaelScott says:

    Sorry for all the updates but this has actually been about the only exciting thing to happenin the 6th CD race.

    It appears that it was two Armstrong supporters that used Cerveny’s C-4 to run the hit piece. Cerveny represented that he had complete control over the C-4 and that the board was just “names on paper”.

    The Amend 47 committee and John Berry do in fact know the names of the donors. They are trying to keep this quite as many of the 47 backers are Bill Armstrong followers.

    John Andrews was asking several GOP consultants two weeks back if anyone had a C-4 that he could push some money through to attack Coffman. Andrews is a campaign co-chair for Armstrong.

    • RedGreen says:

      Does that raise problems with unlawful coordination, if Andrews has a leadership role on the campaign and coordinated the independent group’s attack?

      • Western Way says:

        It violates the group’s non-profit status, it is illegal.  

      • Billy goat says:

        Think about it. They release a poll the same morning this piece hits. Then they have the same lame illegal immigration article on their website as was in the piece. C0-Chair John Andrews and Cerveny share an office. They have contributors and members of the board who were so angry they actually said 2 Armstrong supporters were the sole funders. Bill Armstrong has a history of nasty 527’s. Remember Schaeffer-Coors, Crank-Lamborn, Musgrave’s races. The list goes on and on. Just surprised he was this sloppy on this one.  

  16. lbeal says:

    Wasn’t Armstrong supporter Marc Holtzman found guilty of coordinating with a 527? What sentence did he receive? Just wondering if someone can go to jail, receive a criminal charge or if its just some kind of fine.

  17. ColoCitizen says:

    A former GOP President of the State Senate is doing illegal hit pieces on members of his own party.  

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