(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
UPDATE 5 p.m.: Here is the letter referenced below, without any deletions, as provided via the Secretary of State’s Office. It’s from Richard Westfall, not Ryan Call, as alleged below. A couple items of note are 1) a matter under investigation by the Federal Election Commission and 2) a matter involving the notorious Jaxine Bubis, who appears to have turned against the state party.
Kathryn Porter, who wrote a lengthy Politichicks post yesterday illuminating Republican efforts to protect GOP Chair Steve House, appeared on a Denver radio station this morning claiming that the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is refusing to release a letter allegedly outlining ten legal issues possibly faced by state party.
Porter told Boyles that the letter was sent to Steve House from Ryan Call, whose law firm, Hale Westfall, had apparently been representing the state Republican Party. When House defeated Call, Call allegedly sent the letter to House, informing him that Hale Westfall would no longer be representing the state party, according to Porter.
For some strange reason, the letter was sent to the Secretary of State’s office, and it was heavily redacted and released, under CORA, to Porter, as she explained it to Boyles below.
Among other things, Porter questions the grounds on which the SOS redacts the alleged letter from Call to House.
Porter (@10:15): I did a CORA with the Secretary of State’s office on Steve House, regarding election issues, and a letter came back. It was a letter from Ryan Call to the Secretary of State’s office. And you know, Ryan Call is our former state chair. It was a letter to Steve, not the Secretary of State, saying that we inform you that we are immediately no longer representing you, basically, is what it says. So it’s a very interesting letter. And, of course, all the contents were redacted. And there were 10 legal issues that Hale Westfall listed that they were representing the state party in or that they were aware of. So I found that very interesting. And what I found even more interesting is that the Secretary of State’s office refuses to give me the unredacted version…We have basically the first two sentences and the closing sentence. And the number of how many things they redacted.
Boyles: They treat this like Watergate or something. Like an atomic secret.
Porter: It raises so many more questions. It makes me wonder, is the Secretary of State hiding something? Or covering something up for the Colorado Republican Party? They claim deliberative process and they claim attorney-client privilege. And we know Hale Westfall was not sending this letter to the Secretary of State’s office. There is no attorney-client privilege between Hale Westfall and the Secretary of State. So the only leg they have to stand on is deliberative process. And in order to not give me that information, they need to show me that irreparable harm would occur if they share that information with me. Is there some type of legal issue involving the Secretary of State’s office and the Colorado Republican Party? This opens up a whole new can of worms, a whole new set of questions.
I have yet to see a copy of this alleged letter, so we need to take this odd allegation with some serious grains of salt. But I’ll stay on this. Maybe The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels can help us out, when she starts over there.Y o Zg z N R
Or maybe they just don't release the information because it's privileged under the open records law and the "legal issues" are routine crap like minor violations of the FCPA that go before administrative law judges and carry nuisance fines in the hundreds of bucks. But, hey, that could be some real serious business in that letter. What are the Republicans hiding?!?
Someone might want to let the GOP know its nuts are hanging out.
This is old news – it's still just Colorado Ethics Watch (CEW) vs. the Colorado Republican Party (CRP)'s SuperPAC, CORE IEC.
CRP, under Chairman Call, in May 2014, instituted an Independent Expenditure Committee, called CORE IEC. The purpose of the CORE IEC was to raise money for Republican candidates outside of normal accountable party channels.They asked and received permission from the courts to do this. The CRP argued in District Court that they were a person with 1st amendment rights, per the Supreme Court's Citizen United decision, and could therefore raise unlimited money and keep donors secret.
CEW sued to overturn that decision. This is CEW's opening brief. Here is a good plain-language summary from CEW's website. They've been going back and forth on that for months. Ryan Call's law firm obviously had a conflict of interest – he couldn't both be the chairman of the party, and a possible defendant in the lawsuit. So he recused his law firm. It ain't that fricking mysterious, people.
Now the CRP, under House, has had to keep paying the other law firm (Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Shreck) to represent them. Some of House's detractors were unhappy that the Party still was paying for this legal matter – but ya gotta pay your bills, right?
The latest filing I found on the CEW site (you may have to get a scribd login to read it) was this answer brief from the CRP to CEW, dated June 10, 2015. Yes, the CRP is suing Wayne Williams, the Secretary of State, because that's what you have to do when you want to overturn existing election or campaign finance law and you beleive the person in authority is interpreting rules incorrectly.
That said, I'd like to see that redacted letter from Ryan Call. I'm sure it would prove very interesting, although probably not helpful to the current Colorado Republican Party.
So, again, I'd like to encourage Ms. Porter to keep stirring the pot – you never know what will float to the surface.
Agree the most interesting aspect is the heavy use of redaction. Whatever is being hidden, whether routine nothings or something damaging, nothing inspires relentless digging, lively speculation and dark conspiracy theories like those big blacked out stretches in a document.
Two points about the choice of attorneys for the CRP. With Brownstein, Hyatt, etc, you're either going for the best possible representation; or massively overpaying for legal counsel. Brownstein et al are very good, but they don't come cheap either.
More grounds for speculation. If there's no there there, why the big expensive guns? So many reasons why this isn't going away. If it's nothing it sure is getting to be a pain in the ass nothing for the GOP. Poor dears.
Hahaha. The lunatic fringe is driving themselves into a frenzy. For the rightmost, just fast forward to after the bridge.
Matters 1 and 4 are the CORE IEC vs CEW lawsuit, as I referenced in my comment above.
4 is Matt Arnold’s “Campaign Integrity Watchdog” organization, which blew the whistle on the CORE IEC after the Columbia Journalism students yelled, “What’s up with this?”
Item 9 is interesting – the buzz on some of the right wing pages I lurk on is about whether or not the CRP will comply with the RNC's new rule that "straw poll" votes will be binding on the delegates. This would almost compel delegates to vote for a (relative) moderate such as Walker or Bush. If the CRP State convention conducts a straw poll, then the delegates to the national convention will be bound to vote per the results of the straw poll.
right. number 9 is a major issue for the GOP base.
Excellent work on this, Jason, both getting the original scoop that Porter was about to "break" another bogus story, and getting the straight poop on the scoop.
I couldn't resist that, I have to go scoop some poop right now.
There actually was a business during the 1980s on Capitol Hill (Denver, not D.C.) called Poop Von Scoop, specializing in gross encounters of the turd kind.
I remember them, but my favorite is Jeffco's Poop Fairy, who will not pick up after your dog.
Who are these moran lawyers who UNDERLINE text?
Underline means either:
a. a link
b. you still use a typewriter
Either way = maroon.