UPDATE: Marshall Zelinger’s story is up. It is without exaggeration one of the most devastating Colorado political news stories we have ever read. Excerpt, needless to say you need to click through and read it in its entirety:
Forged signatures appear on the petition that may have helped former State Rep. Jon Keyser qualify for the U.S. Senate Republican primary ballot…
Denver7 has now confirmed with 10 voters that they did not write their names, addresses and signatures that appear on his petition.
The 10 signatures that voters told Denver7 were forged were collected in Congressional District One, where Keyser was credited with 1,520 valid signatures. If he had turned in fewer than 1,500, he would not have qualified for the primary ballot. [Pols emphasis]…
…”I don’t think this is a liberal stunt, I think it’s backpedalling by the Keyser group to cover their tracks. They got caught and they’re trying to cover it now,” said Niemczyk.
“Do you know who Jon Keyser is?” said Zelinger.
“I do not,” said Niemczyk.
“Do you want to know who he is?” asked Zelinger.
“I do. Probably not for the reasons Jon Keyser wants me to know who he is. I don’t know how anyone could trust you after this,” said Niemczyk.
BREAKING: #Denver7 confirms w/10 voters their signatures were forged on @Jon_Keyser petitions. More to come. #cosen pic.twitter.com/5Gbm4TfOXg
— Marshall Zelinger (@7Marshall) May 10, 2016
Last week, liberal group ProgressNow Colorado held a news conference to announce petition signatures for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser that were wrongly validated by the Secretary of State’s office–a potentially very serious development for Keyser, after he barely qualified for the ballot via a court challenge. GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams initially ruled Keyser’s petitions insufficient due to problems with a circulator’s credentials, and in addition, Keyser came perilously close to failing to qualify in several congressional districts including Denver’s CD-1.
And then the story got worse.
One of the CD-1 duplicate signatures wrongly accepted for Keyser’s campaign, a Republican voter in Littleton named Pamela Niemczyk. But on easy visual examination, Niemczyk’s signature on the petition for Senate candidate Jack Graham looked nothing like the signature on the petition for Keyser. Using this information, KMGH-TV reporter Marshall Zelinger went to Niemczyk’s home, and obtained a devastating video of this Republican voter accusing Keyser’s campaign of forging her signature.
In the U.S. Senate race, the last week since ProgressNow Colorado’s presser has mostly been focused on the legal challenges from Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier–but behind the scenes Zelinger has been working to figure out how many forged signatures we may be talking about. It’s simple reasoning to conclude that, with one fraudulent signature in hand, there must be more. After all, when does something like that only happen once?
Well folks, as it turns out, there’s more. A lot more. We’re waiting for Zelinger’s full reports at 6 and 10PM tonight, but what we can tell you now based on Zelinger’s initial reports is that Jon Keyser’s Senate campaign is now officially on the brink of disaster. Zelinger is reporting at least ten cases now of Republican voters identifying validated Keyser petition signatures as fraudulent.
If that’s true, this is the biggest scandal to impact Colorado Republican electoral politics in many years–far worse than 2010 gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis’ race-ending plagiarism scandal. The implications for Keyser and the high-level Republican operatives he hired to run his petition drive and campaign are nothing short of calamitous. Without any real scrutiny, the extent of the fraud in these petitions a real criminal investigation may uncover could shake the entire Colorado political world to its foundations.
Withdrawing from the race could be just the beginning of Keyser’s problems now. Stay tuned.
It's been nine minutes since this went up. Why hasn't Moderatus been in here to defend the virtue of John Keyser? Is he slipping?
I think it's time to come clean. This whole senatorial campaign was just a way for Jon Keyser to recover his reputation from his earlier, utterly false, claim about electoral fraud and show Coloradans that there is real electoral fraud happening underneath our noses.
He, astutely, realized that the only way to bring out the fraudsters was to fake a run for the Senate. I mean, really, could anyone take a guy who couldn't even finish out a two-year term in the state House seriously? Of course not. His deception, however, was masterful. And here are its fruits. Actual fraud demonstrated. You are a hero, Jon Keyser. Too bad there's no bronze star for service to our fair state.
"I mean, really, could anyone take a guy who couldn't even finish out a two-year term in the state House seriously?"
This sums up his entire campaign as far as I'm concerned. This whole business with the signatures is just another joke in Keyser's whole routine. It's pathetic, and I'm sure his paid cheerleader will be telling us all that Marshall Zellinger is on Bennet's payroll, and that Bennet is waking up in cold sweats worrying himself sick about the possibility of facing a "nothingburger" with no accomplishments in the CO Senate election. Keyser’s two ballot two step was bad, but as we can see, maybe it was just the warm up routine. There's no shredder available this time for “candidate” Keyser.
You nailed it Pseudo!
FROG MARCH TIME!
Does it shock anyone, anyone at all, that Keyser's campaign managed to hire folks to gather signatures that are as utterly shady and incompetent as Keyser is himself? He needs to drop out. He doesn't represent Colorado.
Now that he's "successfully" petitioned onto the primary ballot, does it even really matter if some (or all) of his signatures are fraudulent? Are there any consequences for submitting these forgeries? If there isn't, then why should petition gatherers bother with all that depressing sitting in front of grocery stores nonsense.
This seems like a tried, true and representative way for Republicans to get what they want. I'm not surprised and I think this does represent Colorado Republicans.
There are penalties – and yes, forgery is a crime.
You mean successfully litigated onto the ballot
I wonder if anyone is yet reviewing the affidavits supporting his Bronze Medal
The famous but untrue story of Alfred E. Packer' sentencing had a famously partisan judge roaring: "Stand uo Alfred E. Packer, stand up. There was only seven dimmycrats in Hinsdale County and you, you voracious, man eating' son of a bitch, you et five of them! I sentence you to hang by the neck until you are dead, dead, dead, for reducing the dimmycratic population of this state."
The actual judge's charge was eloquent and full of references to divine justice. The phony version was a lot more quotable, made up by a barfly who wanted to cadge drinks at the expense of the reputation of the judge, a prominent Democrat. But may we soon hear, for real:
"Stand up, Jon E. Keyser, stand up. There was only seven Republicans in the First Congressional District but you, you ballot forgin' sunofabitch, made up 1,500 more from whole cloth. I am throwing you off the ballot and sentencing you to one year in jail for exaggerating the Republican population of this state!"
Wasn't that quote on the original COPols banner?
I think it was for a long time.
It's still there
But awfully tiny for these old eyes.
And low contrast.
Best laugh I've had all day, V. Brilliant!
Thanks, Skinny. A satirist has to run very fast these days to stay ahead of reality.
Starting to think it would be time for a change.
How tough could it be to develop an app for someone gathering signatures to
John, NGPVAN already has that capability. So do 3rd party canvassing tools like Nationbuilder and Salsalabs. Most canvassers and petition organizers can install an ap on smartphones that, at minimum, can check a person's voter registration status in real time.
Actually it isn't that difficult as other campaigns have done this using Excel of all things to validate the petition signer's registration and address. The campaign that I know of was the first to check this information, notarize with a seal each petition, and hand them in before other candidates – therefore that campaign didn't need to concern itself with duplicated signatures on other petitions. But it can be done. So with the Secretary of State's investment in upgrading the website and computer software – it shouldn't be difficult. The only marginal issue would be a few people who changed addresses and either updated or failed to update that information with the SoS or county clerk within a short period of time. Even then, that couldn't be insurmountable, I'd think.
The Denver Election Division created eSign, a first in the nation mobile petition app that does a lot of what you suggest. Voters sign tablets that contain the list of registered voters and then the sigs are transmitted to a secure server. They are not housed on the tablet, so if a tablet falls into the wrong hands there is no personal information on it. If someone steals a paper petition, your signature and DOB may be used to steal your identity. eSign also helps candidates since they can confirm a signers eligibility on the spot and if the signer isn't registered, they can register on the tablet before signing the petition. Our team that verifies sigs on both petitions and ballot envelopes receive training from a handwriting analysis expert and we recently had a former City Council candidate prosecuted for submitting bogus signatures on a petition. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like more info on eSign.
Some legal eagle check out this idea for me…
This story implies that there were multiple fraudulent signatures in the same hand writing. Therefore the certification by the gatherer saying that he/she witnessed the signings and believed them to be true is likely fraudulent.
If that certification is fraudulent, then NONE of the signatures on that petition packet were properly certified, because they are all attested to by the same fraudulent witnessing.
Excellent catch. Yes, I think all of the petitions handled by this individual should be combed for forged signatures and fraudulent entries. I think the 10 forgeries may be the tip of the iceberg,.
I think you're partially right. However, I don't think the entire packet is invalidated. I do, however, think any signature below the first fraudulent signature in each packet is invalidated.
Either way, Keyser has a massive problem on his hands.
And either way, great job to Marshall Zelinger.
Tobias-please explain your italicized phrase
Apologies for not being more clear.
So let's say the first proven fraudulent sig was on line 13 of a 25 line petition. Lines 13-25 would be invalidated, at least how it was explained to me the last time I worked on a petition drive.
I almost feel bad for Keyser, since this company was just trying to hire bodies. There's no real interview process; they sit you down, make sure you understand the basic premise, and then send you out with clipboards and pens.
It does signify the issue, in my mind, of hiring and paying based on quotas. When I worked, your goal was 15 sigs a day, and every verified sig over 15 was a dollar each. That gives the less-ethical a clear benefit to forge signatures.
He paid $120k to the consultant for signature gathering is what I read on the #copolitics twitter feed. If the check cleared I'm guess Clear Creek is 'on vacation.' I would be. Of course, the signatures I hired would be valid.
Keyser doesn't deserve any sympathy whatsoever. He has shown zero leadership ability in this issue and outside of it. This is the same guy who pulled the ballot stunt in his very first race and quit after a mere half term in the State House, as pointed out earlier in this thread. He needs to man up and drop out of the race; it's that simple.
That's totally fair and valid. His campaign not offering a comment is pretty embarrassing, frankly.
They basically laughed out loud at the story.
I think you're probably right, J. If I were one of the other people running against Bennet, I'd have someone down at the SOS's office bright and early tomorrow morning to do a line-by-line check on those petitions and see how many more I could knock out. It's tedious work (I've done it) but it might be worth it.
Keyser will probably win the primary because his name is the only one getting headlines. People won't remember why they recognize his name and just vote for him anyway.
Any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell his name right.
Thinking Keyser will win a primary seems a bit cynical. Colorado voters have done a reasonable job of voting against people whose main claim to fame during the campaign is some sort of dishonesty.
Leave Scott McGinnis out of this!
Where's Modster? Shouldn't he be saying something like … Dems forge even more sigs? Or… guilt by association with signature forgers? Or… grasping at straws, why are Dems so afraid of Keyser? Keyser by a landslide?
Moddy is still hung over from celebrating Donald Trump's win.
DEMS FORGE EVEN MORE SIGS !!!! There you are; in Moderatus' absence, I said it for him. Of course, since I'm representing him without knowing him, I can't claim that my statement is accurate.
In Jon Keyser's defense, he did have a 43% rating on the environment last year as measured by Conservation Colorado. That's decent for a Republican.
From what I can tell he did not put dog poop on his neighbor's porch.
Maybe THAT'S why Moddy isn't deffending the RINO bastard!
That's extraordinary for a Republican!
Hey, Moddy was just trying to help Keyser out by circulating those petitions for him ..,
… he couldn't have had any idea that he couldn't sign them of behalf of those folks he knew wanted Keyser to be on the ballot!!
My personal theory is this is a Democrat setup.
Of course, dear. I see mom gave you your internet prvileges back. Congrats.
You was framed!!!
(Tell it to the judge.)
I don't have a personal theory on this matter. But I did agree with Moderatus, on another thread, that more details of this story are needed.
Agree. More detail. Examine every page of Keyser's petitions
I see our pet shill hasn't been in here yet to defend Keyser's honor.
Maybe he's been grounded and lost his internet privileges until he cleans up his room in mom's basement.