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August 09, 2008 01:56 AM UTC

Tim Gill Drops Big Bucks on Anti-Polis Ad Campaign

  • by: RedGreen

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: The Rocky has the story, including a coy Steve Adams declining to say whether the anti-Polis campaign will include new ads. And another 527, headed by Mike Feeley, announces a weekend ad blitz to benefit the third candidate, Will Shafroth. Excerpts follow below the fold.

Denver philanthropist and nationally prominent gay rights advocate Tim Gill wrote a check for $110,000 on Tuesday to Colorado Counts, the 527 running television ads attacking Democrat Jared Polis over education policy, according to documents filed with the FEC last night.

Colorado Counts also reported a $25,000 donation from the Communication Workers of America for a new round airing “Better Education Ideas,” a 30-second TV spot slamming Polis for his recent positions on vouchers, charter schools and No Child Left Behind. The 527 has drawn fire from the Polis campaign seeking to tie the ad, originally bankrolled by four unions with $245,000, to Polis opponent Joan Fitz-Gerald and the oil and gas industry.

Gill, along with Polis, was a member of the so-called Gang of Four, wealthy liberal activists who helped engineer the Democratic take-over of the Colorado Legislature in 2004. Medical equipment heiress Pat Stryker and geophysics software developer Rutt Bridges joined Polis and Gill at the urging of former CSU President Al Yates, spending millions on campaigns and 527s. Gill, Stryker, Bridges and Yates have all endorsed Fitz-Gerald.

Tim Gill is about as far as you can get from the oil and gas industry, but that probably won’t stop the Polis campaign from repeating its mantra.

From Lynn Bartels and Todd Hartman’s Rocky Mountain News story:

Fitz-Gerald, a former state Senate president, will likely benefit from a surge of late money from philanthropist Tim Gill ($110,000) and the Communication Workers of America ($25,000).

The money went to Colorado Counts, a union-backed 527 group that has been running ads attacking Polis’ education record; ads that Polis has complained distort the facts. A 527 refers to a section of the federal tax code that regulates political committees that can accept unlimited donations.

Steve Adams, head of Colorado Counts, confirmed the money would be spent on advertisements that “are definitely going to be targeting issues we have with Jared” in the last three days before the Aug. 12 primary. He wouldn’t say if the ads would be new, or more of the same.

“I would rather let you find that out over time,” Adams said.

At least one other 527 group, Centennial Alliance, is planning a weekend ad blitz backing Shafroth. The group plans to spend nearly $140,000.

“We will be recognizing the work Will Shafroth has done on conversation,” said Mike Feeley, a former Democratic state Senator from Lakewood and registered agent for the group.

For his part Polis has two new TV ads running in the final days, both positive. Polis, a wealthy Internet entrepreneur, has put more than $5 million of his own money into the race and has been on television since May, far longer than the other two.

To top it off, all three campaigns plan a massive get-out-the-vote effort across the 2nd the second congressional district over the weekend. The 10-county district covers the north metro area, and sprawls into the foothills and into Western Slope territory.


85 thoughts on “Tim Gill Drops Big Bucks on Anti-Polis Ad Campaign

  1. of taking money from the homosexual agenda to promote equal human rights for all americans


    better go with O&G, I heard Tim Gill stopped at a gas station once.

  2. It’s weird that Tim Gill is waiting until now to do this. And these 527 attack ads are about all Joan has left – I don’t see how she even sees a way to win under the most optimistic scenario.

    1. I don’t see how she even sees a way to win under the most optimistic scenario.

      Are you out of your mind? Seriously? You are either on payroll for Polis or you have completely lost it.

      1. Like most who live in that city, he assumes the world ends at the city line. In fact, it’s less than one-seventh of the district, Westminster, for example, is more important. And while Boulder is Polis’ base, he shares that with Shafroth. Result: A Fitz-G win Tuesday as unions get out the vote for Joan.

        1. Thornton has more voters than Boulder. So does the (vast) portion of Westminster that’s in the 2nd District. The “Boulder Elite,” or whatever it is David keeps referencing as arbiters of this race, don’t hold any sway there. This race will be a lot closer three ways than folks are expecting.

            1.    If the CD 2 primary race continues on its present trajectory and ends up being the left wing equivalent of the ’06 GOP primary in CD 5, then I predict that Jared Polis will primary Congresswoman Fitz-Gerald in two years.

                But in ’10, he’ll spend a lot more money and spend it early on.

              1. Regardless of the outcome, I think it’s a tough argument that Polis could have effectively spent any MORE money than he has. And that’s not meant as a dig. He could’ve, as you point out, spent earlier and cleared the field.

                I have a hard time envisioning the scenario you describe, though. Even if it seems that way on Pols here sometime, I don’t see the level of acrimony they had in the 5th two years ago. Unless JFG votes to authorize uranium strip mining in Vail, I think it’s a safe seat for whoever wins it this time.

            2. Isn’t that jumping the gun a bit? In 96 hours we’ll have a better idea … But you’re right, two years ago this was Joan’s race to lose. She made a lot of enemies running the Senate.

          1. The question being whether Shafroth siphons more votes from Joan or Jared. I don’t think Shafroth matched the organization of either Joan or Jared, and he waited too long to go on TV to have enough penetration to overcome that.

          2. If no one in Thornton listens to the “Boulder elite,” which is true, and Boulder’s only 1/7th of the district, which is not quite true, more like 1/3 (we’re talking only voting Democrats, not total population), then how does that equal a “three way” race? In fact, Shafroth’s only hope is that Boulder dominates the voting, and even then he has little chance. My Adams county friends are STILL surprised to learn there’s a 3rd candidate in the race. He’s completely unknown down there, with virtually no VIP support.

            1. and how different from you are they?

              My beta on this is that Will’s been walking Adams County like mad and Jared has let it go.  The fight for Adams is between WS and JFG.  But I guess on this, like all the rest of the idle speculation here, we’ll find out on Tuesday night.

              1. then I truly can die happily because I will have seen it all. The Will supporters I know would stand out like sore thumbs in Adams County. They are as “Boulder” (and “Vail”) as they come. And I hope they’re still my friends …

                1. Is it family money, money from rich friends or a combination?

                  Will is not going to hit 15%.  The tombstone of this campaign will be:

                  Wrong Message


                  Too little and too late


                  Third place

                  Lanky Will had the money to run a good campaign. He just chose not to.  

          3. They’re split between Will & Joan (a bit more for Will). They also support Rollie over Cindy. So Tuesday night may be a double kick in the ****s for them.

            Some of what I base this on is the CD-2 convention where the cheering on the speeches showed Joan to be 70% or better against Jared, but then they voted and Joan pulled 60%.

            There are a lot of people who are publically supporting Joan because it’s required. But when they vote…

          4. When you do a count of registered Democrats in the 2nd CD, 39% live in Boulder County, just over 53,000 vs. just under 39,000 in Adams County for 30%. The City of Boulder has almost 35,000 Democrats to Thornton’s 15,000.  In Boulder County, 35% have voted in one of the last 3 primaries, Adams 31% (just the 2nd).  Further extrapolating for the 2nd, Boulder County represents 46% of Democrats who have voted in the last 3 primaries, Adams represents 30% and the City of Boulder alone represents 30% of all Democrats who have voted in the last 3 primaries.  Boulder will definitely have a say.


    2. Plus the ad attacking Polis is terrible.

      I am surprised that an old pro like Joan Fitz-Gerald who routinely wiped the floor with Republicans has run such an amateurish campaign against her fellow Democrats

    3. David, Jim Jones called. He wants you to drink a little more Kool-Aid to show your devotion.

      JP may very well win, but to say: “I don’t see how she even sees a way to win under the most optimistic scenario”, is just silly.

    4. first, this is when it matters.

      second, the final outcome may even be lopsided, but right now this is a 3-way race and nobody has any idea how this is going to turn out (unless they’ve been flaking out large bills for detailed, credible polling. You have any of that data in hand?)

      1. Half the votes are already in, and most of those long since in. Shafroth was for all practical purposes eliminated a couple weeks ago, when he waited until literally the week early voting started to advertise and raise his name ID. HUGE mistake.

          1. Last report I saw said 19,000 and change district wide had voted. I think that was in the News (maybe the Post), and was late last week. So we’re clearly over 25k now. If anyone thinks there will be much more then 50k voters, I love their optimism but I kinda doubt it.  

            1. This is the story. The turnout could be even higher than 50,000 this year since more than that number requested mail ballots. With easy early voting and effortless mail voting, even with just one or two contests on the ballot, turnout should easily surpass the 2nd District’s previous high in a Democratic primary. That was 47,000 in 1992 when there was a contentious three-way Senate primary after Tim Wirth announced his retirement. (For trivia buffs, that was Dick Lamm vs. Josie Heath and Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who won.)

              Mail voting appears strong in the 2nd District. On Friday, unofficial counts showed 19,202 voters in the district had submitted ballots, out of more than 54,000 who had requested them.

    1. Doesn’t necessarily mean a rioting of support from the queer community. In fact, I’m reminded of the quote from another gay activist in Colorado who wrote to Joan and told her to “kick Jared’s ass!” in this race. IIRC, Gill and other queer leaders are still upset that Polis refused to tackle a bullying measure while on the BoE despite a personal pledge to do so.

      No political pundits gave Ref I a chance of passing the legislature had it come for a vote in 2005-06. I know that I believed (and still do) that Ref I had a much better chance of passing the populace than it did in the statehouse.  

      1.    Which members of the Dem majority were going to oppose “I” if it had been run as an ordinary bill?  Bernie Buescher?  Who else?  Just wondering.

          I don’t believe “I” would have become law in ’06 had the Dems run it as a regular bill.  Like ENDA, Bill Owens would have vetoed it.

          And like ENDA, the Dems could have re-introduced “I” as a regular bill in ’07, passed it, and Bill Ritter could have signed it.

          Because the Dem leadership placed “I” on the ballot and it was rejected, it’s politically impossible to revisit it for the next decade.

          Putting the civil rights of a group of people up for a popular is a dangerous thing to do.  How many people in Georgia or Alabama would have voted to repeal statutory bans on inter-racial marriages in the mid ’60s?  

        1. How many people in Georgia or Alabama would have voted to repeal statutory bans on inter-racial marriages in the mid ’60s?  

          Would such a repeal pass even today in some states?

          I don’t, however, believe the defeat of “I” takes domestic partnership off the table until 2016. You’re right, the Legislature can’t turn around the very next year and pass a law voters just rejected, but support for domestic partnerships only increases each year as more businesses adopt it and as other states go even further, without dire consequences. Running “I” in 2006 was necessary to combat the gay marriage ban, and at least succeeded at that.

          Civil rights advocates should tweak “I” and run it again as an initiative next election — not because civil rights should be up for a vote, but because a Democratic Legislature and governor are unwilling, or find it politically difficult, to take the step. Remember, TABOR failed twice, in 1988 and 1990, before finally passing in 1992.

          By the way, Lynn Bartels wrote an interesting story this week about a ballot measure on contracting that might put domestic partnership in the state constitution. It hasn’t gotten much attention, but it puts liberals in an awkward position because it’s a conservative-backed initiative.

          By 2016, the fight for domestic partnerships will seem quaint and old fashioned because most states will recognize same-sex marriage.

          1.    My recollection is that the gay marriage ban passed in Colorado in ’06.  Am I mistaken?  I thought Arizona (John McCain’s home state) was the first, and so far, only state to reject such a ban.

            1. Sorry, I was fiddling with that post for 15 minutes in between the phone ringing. I was trying to make a point about taking on the ban at the ballot box by offering a reasonable half measure and making sure voters who wavered on an outright ban had something positive to vote for.

          1. “The voters have spoken” is the position he has taken. And he would be right, because overriding the will of the voters would mean they’re not representing a majority of voters. And it kills me to say that because I am directly affected by that loss.

            It’s exactly the same reason (well one of many) that impeachment of Bush has never been on the table. Voters re-elected Bush in 2004 knowing full well what a creep he was. That sets the bar a lot higher in terms of what’s impeachable because the majority of voters willingly excused most of Bush and Cheney’s actions when they pulled the lever for them.

    2. Jared gets a pass because he is gay?

      What is wrong with voting on the basis of issues, character and record? It would be reasonable for such a voter to be strongly for Joan and against Jared.

      Might come down the other way, but since when does Tim Gill have to fall in line behind Jared Polis. Gee Gill is breaking the double solidarity of sexual orientation/gay activism and class.

  3. This is a big deal. Tim Gill knows both Jared and Joan very well and has worked with them both on many issues. The fact that he has picked Joan and is supporting her publicly and is putting a large amount of money in support of her speaks volumes. Not a good day for Jared.

    1. Tim is making a bad move if Jared wins, You act like Tim will matter anymore. Gay Congressman massive Donor > Out of touch Gay donor.

      Do you really think the community will look kindly upon someone who worked against the one guy who can move the gay rights debate forward.

      Also, he did toss millions behind Ref I and it was a flop.  

      1. Will still be the most powerful gay civic leader in the west regardless of Jared’s performance in this race. The Gill Foundation’s resources will continue to dominate western and Colorado queer politics, and in turn progressive politics, for a number of years.  

        1. and points out that Polis is hardly “the one guy who can move the gay rights debate forward.”

          But it doesn’t explain why Gill is actively throwing in against Polis. He could have left it with the endorsement and standard contribution.

          1. Will be another Harold Ford, Jr. Someone who was elected in a black-majority district and refused to take leadership roles on black issues. His successor, Steve Cohen, who is a white Jew, was better-versed and a better leader on issues for the black community after his election in 2006.

            If Gill thinks that Polis won’t be a leader on queer issues in Congress, and will only vote the “right way”, but that Joan would lead on those same issues, he might use this as an opportunity to send a message that the queer community should support leaders on queer issues (like Jerrold Nadler, who is straight) rather than openly gay candidates who wouldn’t lead.

            I’m not saying this is the case with Jared, but it could be Gill’s thought process.

            1. If Gill’s support of Joan is predicated on how he thinks the candidates will vote as opposed to being based on personal and political loyalty (which I think is actually the case), Gill must think that Jared would be an absolutist allowing perfection to be the enemy of the good.

              Gill’s all about incrementalism. Ref. I was a perfect example of that. If he were an absolutist, it would have been a bill to legalize marriage, which it was not.

    2. That he waited until the last second. And it’s dumb for one of the main dem money-men to jump in to a primary between two quality candidates.

      Everyone is driven by different impulses but this does strike me as unusual to say the least.

        1.    When did the trip to Key West, that Jared allegedly took Trimpa on using his private jet, occur?

            Didn’t Trimpa come out in support of Joan right after that?  

          1. But Brownstein Hyatt never meddles in primaries. His new firm might have suggested he advise his most prominent client that there’s no point holding back, since whoever wins the primary will be in office as long as he or she wants.  

  4. This is a big deal. Tim Gill knows both Jared and Joan very well and has worked with them both on many issues. The fact that he has picked Joan and is supporting her publicly and is putting a large amount of money in support of her speaks volumes. Not a good day for Jared.

  5. Why does Rutt Bridges get called “software magnate” when his money came from oil and gas exploration (geophysics) software?  He founded Advance Geophysical, which was sold to Landmark Graphics, which was sold to Halliburton.  He started his career with Chevron.

    I’ve been wondering this for years now.  One of the “four millionaires” who delivered CO to the Dems is an oil/gas millionaire, yet you seldom hear about that from most sources.  Has he given money in the CD-2 race?  If so, to whom?

    1. Don’t know what he’s donated.

      That’s a good point, I can change that up top if you think it’s necessary. He got rich off software he developed for the oil industry, true, but we also refer to Polis as an Internet entrepreneur, not a greeting cards magnate or fresh flowers tycoon.

      1. Rutt marketed his software to oil and gas professionals (nobody else has any use for it).  He was and is active in oil/gas professional organizations (Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Denver Geophysical Society, etc.).  In fact, he was President of SEG in 1997-98 (… ) and also won an award from them (… ).  In 2006, he was the kickoff speaker at the annual 3-D Seismic Symposium (an O&G industry event):…  So, his connections to O&G are deep and open.  He’s not part of the Redmond-Silicon Valley software company world.  He’s part of the energy world that revolves around Houston.

        Note:  I say this not to demonize, as I am part of that world as well.  But, if people really want to know where the “four millionaires” came from, they need to know that one of them came from the oil biz.

        1. Most articles on Bridges refer to him as a former gubernatorial candidate, politician who founded Bighorn, geophysicist or software developer. I don’t think anyone’s trying to hide his background, it got plenty of attention when he ran for governor. A whole lot of Colorado fortunes started with mining or drilling — in fact, until fairly recently, most did. Tim Gill’s fortune, which I didn’t elaborate on above, stems from his founding, with a partner, of Quark Xpress, the premiere desktop publishing application.  

    2. between an individual who works for the industry, or made his money there, and the industry itself, in the form of a Political Action Committee or a lobbyist. It’s apples and oranges. There are many fine progressives, even environmentalists, who happen to earn their paychecks in the oil and gas industry and disagree with many of their practices. Rutt, for instance. It’s the PAC’s and lobbyists that speak badly of a candidate.  

      1. I don’t expect this post to be answered, as I am rather late posting.  I am one of those whose paycheck comes from oil and gas, and I’m wondering where you see Rutt’s principled opposition to the industry where he is still involved as a venture capitalist.  He gave a talk in 2006 on exploitation of unconventional natural gas in places like Colorado (i.e., the Piceance/Roan/etc.).  He was president of an industry professional group, not just an employee collecting a salary.  He’s got the industry-standard (these days) verbiage about “increased sensitivity to the local communities we impact,” but that’s nothing special.  To say he disagrees with “many of their practices” is unwarranted by the evidence, unless you know something I don’t.

        Rutt seems like a good guy, but his entire career, and his fortune, have come from O&G.  

  6. At some point this begins to look like one uber-wealthy gay guy going after another uber-wealthy gay guy out of…what?….spite?  jealousy?  revenge?

    I mean, the differences on the issues couldn’t possibly be enough to justify this level of internecine vitriol.  

    No one has yet answered my question about what labor’s big beef with Polis is?  Does all of this REALLY stem just from his consideration of a pilot voucher program in the past?

    And make fun of Polis’s self-funding all you want, but I can start to see how someone who refuses to take PAC money, but is forced to defend against Labor, Tim Gill, 527’s and the ilk would need to pony up $5 million of their own.  Jeesh.

    1. 1. less a problem than loyaty to JFG who has really helped labor.

      2. Polis has a definite past history associating with very conservative people and institutions:  Independance Institute and Art Laffer amongst them.  I think this leads organized labor not to trust Polis.

      I’m not certainsince I’m not inside Labor though I consider myself a friend.

      1. All of these may be reasons to spend money on ads supporting JFG and articulating why she is the best candidate.  

        But, why do they have to spend so much money tearing down a fellow Democrat?  Whatever their ‘distrust’ of Polis, he’s still pretty squarely in the liberal field and it’s a shame so much money is being spent eating their own.  

        1. This close to the election it’s too late to convince people of how good someone is, but it’s much easier to sow doubt about the opposition.

          I can only guess that Gill did some polling and was worried. I know that he’s very loyal to Joan because Ref. I would not have passed the state House if Joan had not come over from the Senate personally to whip votes and testify in House committees. Joan was also instrumental in the 2004 efforts to take back the Senate, which Gill put a lot of money behind. They go way back.

          I don’t think Gill hates Jared Polis…on the contrary, from what I hear they are pretty good friends. This is just politics, not personal.

      2. Reason #270 why the inside-the-beltway, Denver capitol hill version, is so F-uped. Jared and Will are both highly pro-labor and have never said anything other than that. But Joan had the opportunity, as Senate President, to carry their water, and she did. Insiders’ Rule #1 is “Reward Friends.” That’s fine and I’m OK with it. But the corollary Rule #1a, “Trash anyone running against your friends” is bullshit and highly counter-productive.

    2. If Polis had encouraged any one of his companies to unionize he would have had the broad support of labor. I haven’t heard anything about him discouraging it (or if his workers even tried to unionize) but I bet if he had taken the pro-active step of encouraging unionization they would be solidly behind him.

      I think labor in general is leery of businesspeople. Labor also has a long history of being anti-gay and anti-environment. They’ve been burnishing their image in that regard of late, but haven’t exactly moved over to the “pro” side either.

        1. I’ve worked in BizDev for a half dozen dot coms over ten years and have not seen any even discuss unionization.  Unions are definitely needed to protect workers rights but a lot of what they do on the side of ensuring fair wages isn’t needed at the dot coms I’ve seen once they’re up and running.  When they’re in start-up mode trying to put a fair-wage standard would make it impossible as nobody is getting paid much and are usually doing it for stock or for the hope of big steady salaries once it’s going strong (or funded).  Most dot coms pay pretty well for all positions but they also require everybody from the engineers and IT guys to the sales and biz dev teams to work way more than 40hr weeks a lot of the time and overtime pay isn’t practical.  This will be controversial to throw out there, but in a lot of ways the start-up mindset is in many ways the polar opposite of the pro-union party line with start-up guys being much more libertarian.  Typical start-up tech people want an open market place to make their own with as little help or interference as possible and an open marketplace to compete in.

          With Jared’s businesses I think the area that would be interesting is on the print side of Blue Mountain.  Did they do their own printing?  Were those people union? Did they use a union shop for outside printing?

          1. It’s owned by his (very much alive and kicking) parents. Jared’s company was, which to my knowledge produced all virtual cards (no printing).

        2. Call center workers for instance.

          They work their asses off for an hourly pittance and are often required to work off the clock.

          I worked in a call center for a dot com when 12 years ago that only paid employees for the time they were logged onto their phones, yet everyone was required to be there for a meeting half an hour before they got on the phones, and also had to stay around after they got off the phones to do paperwork if the call volume was too high to get it done during the day. Mandatory training happened during lunch hour, and the company didn’t even provide lunch.

        3. First off, it generally is not necessary as people are paid well and you are doing everything you can to retain your productive people.

          Second, unions tend to rate people as qualified/not qualified. But in a start-up it’s much more than that – do you kick ass at your job, are your skills a good match for the work you’re doing, etc. So the union approach of “here’s one plumber” just doesn’t work.

          Third, we realize that we are hired for our individual skills. I don’t want to be paid as a programmer level 8.A – I want to be paid for what I bring to the table.

          I think unions only prayer on getting the professional people in the high-tech arena is find out what it can do for them, that they want, and that requires the group action. As we already pay well, provide good health insurance, have nice vacation policies, and bend over backwards to retain good people – I’m not sure what that is.

  7. In terms of building the party.  Internecine fighting makes the Colorado party look like the Hatfields & McCoys.  No one wants to play in that sandbox.

    Politics is the art of the possible, I know.  But isn’t Obama’s nomination supposed to signal a different kind of politics?  (Or is this all a clever ruse?)

  8. …I thought we learned a couple of weeks ago, on this very blog, that Gill didn’t control his dollars.  That job is up to some lawyer guy named Ted.  Therefore, the real question is what did Jared do to ruffle the feathers of Ted.  The imagination wanders…..

    1. not the other way around. He’s a political mover in his own right and an advisor who handles legal and some political matters for Gill and his foundation, but, of course, Gill makes up his own mind. Trimpa is a longtime Fitz-Gerald ally and Gill has supported Fitz-Gerald in this primary since last year.  

      1. …Either Trimpa works for Gill or else he’s a political player in his own right.  If Trimpa is simply a money-manager who does everything Gill tells him, he certainly didn’t deserve the attention showered upon him by Pols.  If he actually controls Gill’s money (which is Trimpa’s only source of political power), then Gill hardly makes up his own mind.  I understand that Trimpa likes F-G, that’s why I noted that Gill’s support of F-G is owed to Trimpa.

        1. No.

          Gill is Trimpa’s most important client, and his political and philanthropic work on Gill’s behalf gave him a leg up, but Ted has definitely established himself as a major play too. That’s how large-scale organizing and fundraising work. But Gill just as definitely makes his own decisions about personal donations, albeit usually with Trimpa’s advice. The fact they both support Fitz-Gerald doesn’t mean one decided for the other.

          1. …the only answer I received was the vague and unhelpful “money attracts money” or something.

            Exactly what politcal power does Trimpa have APART FROM Gill’s money?  You say Gill is Trimpa’s most important client but can you name another one of Trimpa’s client?  No?

            Nope, no one has pointed to any source source of politcal power Trimpa possesses.  If Gill totally droppped him tomorrow, Trimpa would be bankrupct.

            SO, unless one agrees that Trimpa has extreme influence over Gill, Trimpa ain’t much more than the help.  I happen to think that Trimpa has a great deal of control over Gill….politically speaking.  Hence, Gill’s support of F-G is nothing more than Trimpa’s support of F-G.  Which is something.

              1. Also I think the tobacco industry. Trimpa is a liberal activist with some decidedly un-liberal clients in his day job. Both he and Gill are a little hard to figure.  

              2. …what exactly does he do for Wal-Mart?

                NB:  by “client,” I assume he does legal rather than retail work for them, correct me if I’m wrong.

                1. “Welcome to Wal-Mart, where we carry the cheapest Chinese crap money can buy!”

                  Just kidding…He was their lobbyist. He’s also the Broncos’ lobbyist, and has a bunch of other high-end clients.

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