Weekend Open Thread

“It is, after all, impossible in the modern world to shield everyone from nonsense and stupidity.”

–Lawrence M. Krauss

DCCC Steps Up In CD-3

Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is starting to run ads targeting incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s CD-3–signaling that once again Democrats will compete for a seat they held until Tipton picked off incumbent Rep. John Salazar in the 2010 Republican wave year:

Seeing 2020 as an opportunity to pick up another seat in Congress, the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is sinking money into the race to defeat incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton…

Currently, two Democrats have entered the primary race and the right to challenge Tipton. They are Mitsch Bush, a former state representative, and Durango resident Root Rutledge. Mitsch Bush eventually won the nomination in last year’s race, while Rutledge never qualified for the ballot.

Other Democratic candidates are expected to come forward, but no on else has so far. One possible contender, Senate President LeRoy Garcia, D-Pueblo, said he’s been approached about running, but wouldn’t say if he will.

Although Tipton survived in 2018 against former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, Democrats are increasingly hopeful for another wave in 2020 that could give them a shot at this and other “reach goal” districts. The possibility of Senate President Leroy Garcia of Pueblo launching a bid is certainly interesting, and speculation has been fueled to some degree by Garcia’s spending on self-promotion following the end of this year’s session despite being term-limited. Garcia would bring a very different set of qualifications to the race, including the ability to potentially shut down the crucial Pueblo-area vote for Tipton.

Being the only GOP-held seat left in Colorado that Democrats have a realistic chance of picking up, CD-3 is where the House action is in 2020. We’ll be watching to see how Rep. Tipton handles the undivided attention.

Blockhead Republicans Prepare Another Idiotic Recall Attempt

Brittany Pettersen

State Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood)

The big story in Colorado politics this week was the implosion of an asinine recall attempt against Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial). The Sullivan recall attempt fizzled amid an onslaught of terrible press, bickering over money, and a general sense from everyone with half a brain that this was a stupid idea altogether.

Naturally, this week in politics is coming to a close with ANOTHER absolutely idiotic recall attempt of a sitting lawmaker who was easily elected to office last November. This time, Republicans aren’t trying to recall a man who lost his son in a mass shooting over his support of gun safety legislation, but they found the next-worst look for a recall effort. As Marianne Goodland reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Republican Nancy Pallozzi says she will mount a recall attempt against state Sen. Brittany Petterson of Lakewood in Senate District 22.

Petterson defeated Pallozzi in a 2016 race for a state House seat by 19 percentage points. [Pols emphasis]

On a closed Facebook page Pallozzi set up for the recall effort, she announced Thursday that “[e]verything is moving along and we are hoping to have the petitions in hand by July 16th, if not sooner. We are finalizing the wording to submit to the secretary of state’s office in July.”

According to the page, the Pettersen recall effort is intended to coordinate with a recall attempt against Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.

You read that correctly, dear readers: The Republican candidate who lost to Pettersen in a State House race by nearly 20 points in 2016 wants to recall her then-opponent, nevermind that Pettersen was swept into a State Senate seat two years later by a 16-point margin.

Republican Nancy “Don’t Call Me Pelosi” Pallozzi believes that Pettersen should be recalled because of…well, there’s probably some sort of reason in there somewhere, but Goodland’s story doesn’t mention anything specific.

WHO DO WE WANT TO RECALL? Brittany Pettersen!

WHY DO WE WANT TO RECALL HER? We don’t know!

Please clap, or something.

Get More Smarter on Friday (June 14)

“Father’s Day” is on Sunday, so make sure to buy some wrenches or something. It’s time to “Get More Smarter.” If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) have both qualified for the first round of debates for 2020 Presidential hopefuls. As Colorado Public Radio reports:

Hickenlooper and Bennet will appear either June 26 or 27 in Miami. Each night will feature 10 candidates, chosen at random, making their case why they should be the nominee to take on President Donald Trump.

An NBC News drawing Friday will divide the large field between the first and second night. Party officials have promised to weight the drawing with the intention of ensuring that top tier and lagging candidates are spread roughly evenly over the two nights.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock was the most high-profile candidate left off the list. He failed to reach the party’s polling or grassroots fundraising thresholds.

Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam were among the others who missed the threshold for the debate.

According to the candidate drawing that took place today, Benkenlooper will share the stage in one of the debates with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, and former Vice President Joe Biden.

 

► President Trump and his supporters are furiously trying to walk back comments Trump made to ABC News earlier this week in which he said that he would accept intelligence on political opponents from foreign governments and likely would not alert the FBI to such an approach (which is very clearly a federal crime). From Politico:

President Donald Trump on Friday tried again to rectify the mess he made by saying he would likely accept dirt on a political opponent from a foreign entity, going on “Fox & Friends” to clean up the comments.

Trump insisted during a meandering 50-minute interview on the network that “of course” he would alert the FBI in such a case, but only after reviewing it first, “because if you don’t look at it, you won’t know it’s bad.”…

…Remarkably, Trump also asserted on Friday that he didn’t foresee that issue arising. “I don’t think anybody would present me with anything because they know how much I love the country,” he said, despite well-documented attempts by Russian nationals to do just that during the 2016 election.

As Greg Sargent writes for the Washington Post, no amount of spin from Trump can fix this mess:

The key to the ABC interview is that even though we now understand these full dimensions — now that we understand that this effort was a wide-ranging criminal scheme designed to harm our democracy and country — Trump has confirmed that he would happily profit from such an effort again, and wouldn’t alert law enforcement about it.

This is what Trump’s spinners are trying to make disappear when they falsely claim that Trump actually said he would report another offer of help to the FBI.

Law enforcement officials say that Trump’s statements about accepting foreign election interference have all but smashed months of work by federal agencies to prevent this very problem.

Trump’s comments also prompted Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub to issue a very direct statement on Thursday warning against candidates accepting help from foreign governments. “I would not have thought that I needed to say this,” said Weintraub.

 

 President Trump is pointing his stubby fingers at Iran in the wake of reports of new attacks on oil tankers. From the New York Times:

President Trump said on Friday that there was no doubt that Iran was behind the explosions that crippled two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week and warned Tehran not to try to close the Strait of Hormuz, a major transit point for the world’s oil supplies.

“Well, Iran did do it,” the president said in a telephone interview on “Fox & Friends” in his first comments since the ships were damaged. “You know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s got essentially Iran written all over it.”

The president was referring to video footage released by the United States military that it said showed an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps patrol boat pulling alongside one of the stricken ships several hours after the first explosion and removing an unexploded limpet mine in broad daylight…

…Iran dismissed allegations of its involvement, characterizing them as American propaganda intended to provoke a conflict.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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“Benkenlooper” Makes The Cut–And Will Share The Stage

UPDATE: Here’s the complete debate lineup, via the New York Times:

—–

Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper.

Colorado Public Radio reports:

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet have both qualified for the first Democratic presidential primary debates. The Democratic National Committee announced the names of the candidates that made the cut on Thursday…

An NBC News drawing Friday will divide the large field between the first and second night. Party officials have promised to weight the drawing with the intention of ensuring that top tier and lagging candidates are spread roughly evenly over the two nights.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock was the most high-profile candidate left off the list. He failed to reach the party’s polling or grassroots fundraising thresholds.

Today the grouping of the candidates was announced after the drawing mentioned above–former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Sen. Michael Bennet will share the stage with the man both have set their sights on as a principal target to plink at from the right side of the primary field, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Both candidates have a higher bar to meet in terms of polling and financial support in order to qualify for the third round of debates later in September, so it’s critical they take maximum advantage of the brief amount of camera time each candidate will receive in Miami.

Obviously it’s what they both wanted, including the chance to face off against Sanders.

We’ll see what they do with it.

These Conservative Radio Hosts Don’t Want Cory Gardner on Their Show

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

As the months continue to stack up since he’s held a town-hall meeting, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner continued to make time for interviews with conservative radio hosts this week, speaking at length with KNUS’ Steffan Tubbs and KHOW’s Ross Kaminsky.

But he again didn’t talk with the conservative radio hosts who criticize him the most, namely KNUS’ Chuck Bonniwell, Peter Boyles, Julie Hayden, and Randy Corporon.

In an unusual move, Tubbs actually played an audio clip from his KNUS colleague Corporon, in which Corporon asked why Gardner goes on the “radio with [Tubbs] and Caplis and Ross Kaminsky, and stays away from me or Peter or Chuck and Julie or anybody else who might disagree with some of the things that he does.”

“Look, I know Randy,” replied Gardner, saying he hoped to work something out with Corporon. “I don’t know the other folks that you’re talking about.”

And it looks like Gardner won’t be getting to know Hayden or Bonniwell anytime soon.

“In fairness, we have not asked him to be on our show,” said Hayden, who is a prominent conservative and former Fox 31 Denver TV reporter. 

Bonniwell, who’s the publisher of the Cherry Creek/Glendale Chronicle, once called Gardner a “total [whore] for the Chamber of Commerce,” and a “Mitch McConnell stooge.

Asked if they planned to invite Gardner on the show, Hayden said, “It’s kind of like the jailhouse interview you do with someone you know is guilty, just so you can say you had the interview. What purpose does it serve?

“We know we disagree. We’ll ask him a question. He’ll give us an answer. We won’t like the answer. He’ll give us another answer. Do you know what I mean? It doesn’t go anywhere.”

Boyles, who’s been in Denver media for decades, did not return an email seeking to find out if he wants to talk to Gardner, but it’s clear Boyles doesn’t think much of Gardner, saying recently on air:

BOYLES: “Don’t kid yourself about the GOP in the State of Colorado. It’s a clown show. And Cory Gardner’s not gonna get reelected, because it’s on him.”

Friday Open Thread


“There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.”

–Otto von Bismarck

Colorado GOP Vice Chair: Cory Gardner Votes With Trump Almost All Of The Time

(The message to the faithful – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Republican Party Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown told pro-Trump conservatives last month that President Trump really likes Senator Cory Gardner and “if he likes him, we should like him.”

Speaking to a small group of activists at a house party in Boulder, an audience member asked Brown if she could reach out to Gardner and suggest that he ask the president to hold a rally while in Colorado for the Air Force graduation. Brown reassured them that the two are already in close contact and that Trump really likes Gardner:

They talk on a regular basis. Senator Gardner and President Trump are in regular contact. [Gardner] has told [Trump] how important it would be for him to come to Colorado. I think he will probably continue to do that. Ken is also in regular contact with the Trump campaign. That’s our goal at the state party- is to win for President Trump and every Republican down the ballot. President Trump needs Senator Gardner and interestingly enough when you look around the state, not all Republicans are sold on both of them. You have Republicans who really like Trump, and Republicans who really like Gardner and there’s some space between them. But what we need to communicate -this is the truth- Senator Gardner is one of the key votes that gets the judges on the court we care about. He votes with President Trump almost all the time. We need them both to get this done. If we want the real Republican agenda to get accomplished at the federal level, we don’t have a lot of room to spare in the Senate. We need Cory there who talks to the President regularly. The President really likes him and if he likes him, we should like him. That’s a good point in [Cory’s] favor- that the President talks to him quite a bit and really likes him.

Gardner has tried to distance himself from President Trump on a number of issues including tariffs and most recently, the legality of foreign interference in American elections.

Vice Chair Brown emphasized the most important reason pro-Trump Republicans who are skeptical of Gardner should give him a pass: Gardner’s votes for Trump’s agenda, especially his nominees to the Supreme Court. According to political data website FiveThirtyEight, Gardner votes with President Trump approximately 90% of the time.

BREAKING: Sarah Sanders Leaving White House


NPR’s Sarah McCammon reports:

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving the White House, President Trump tweeted on Thursday.

“After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas,” Trump said. “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”

We’ll update when the next press secretary is announced–not that it matters much.

Who’s Who Of GOP Losers Oppose Statewide “De-Brucing”


Walker Stapleton is back.

As the Denver Post’s Anna Staver reportsProposition CC, this fall’s referred measure to allow the state to retain revenues in excess of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights’ (TABOR) prescribed growth limits, has an opposition committee stocked with big-name Republicans past and present:

The group [Former Gov. Bill] Owens joined as an advisory board member is called the No on CC campaign, and its list of co-chairs includes former State Treasurers Walker Stapleton and Mark Hillman and 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler. Their goal is to convince voters that this request is different from the temporary TABOR refund timeout passed in 2005 because it’s permanent and because Colorado isn’t facing steep budget cuts from a recession.

Proposition CC asks voters to unwind part of a constitutional amendment called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The amendment changed how Colorado governments work in two important ways: It gave people the right to vote on all proposed tax increases, and it mandated that any money governments collected above a certain amount be refunded.

Although the requirement in TABOR that tax increase measures be subjected to a vote is of course the marquee feature of the 1992 law, held up as a model for the past 25 years despite no other state adopting a similar measure. That requirement sounded good enough to help pass TABOR by 53% in 1992, a margin that would not have allowed the measure to pass under current Colorado law.

George Brauchler.

But the lesser known restriction of revenue growth under TABOR has proven even more onerous, counterintuitively forcing the state to make painful choices even when times are good in order to stay under the measure’s artificial 6% cap–and refunding the money that goes over in pittance-sized refunds to taxpayers. Proposition CC would eliminate this cap, one of the less-understood but more pernicious effects of the law. Known as “de-Brucing,” it’s a step that most local governments in the state have already taken–as the Denver Post reported earlier this year:

Most local governments in Colorado no longer adhere to the TABOR spending limit.

All but four of Colorado’s 178 school districts have already “de-Bruced,” the nickname for permanently lifting the limit on the amount of tax dollars a government can keep. Eighty-five percent of Colorado’s municipalities and 51 of 64 counties have also convinced their voters to let them opt out.

“Nobody here is hopping mad at their local school district for doing this,” Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield, said.

The fact that this measure is not asking for in increase in tax rates, but to eliminate a restriction on the back end of revenue growth that many voters would be surprised to learn even exists, make opposition to it more difficult. Most voters don’t even remember the last TABOR refunds of several years ago, which took the form of credits on income tax returns instead of a separate check and ranged from $13 to $41.

So how do you explain the opposition to Proposition CC by a crew of Republican usual suspects? That’s easy–TABOR is an article of faith to activist Colorado Republican base voters, to whom the measure’s net effect of throttling government revenue regardless of need is an ideological end unto itself. 2018 gubernatorial loser Walker Stapleton, attorney general loser George Brauchler, and long-irrelevant figures like Mark Hillman are all part of a generation of Colorado Republicans who rose to prominence in this political climate and will never turn against any aspect of TABOR publicly. As for ex-Gov. Bill Owens, who did turn against TABOR’s revenue caps in 2005? He’s spent every day since then trying to live Referendum C down–and opposing Proposition CC is just another chance to salvage his own dented conservative image.

Given the well-documented long-term fiscal challenges faced by the state of Colorado, there’s a strong argument that Proposition CC doesn’t do enough to alleviate TABOR’s chokehold on today’s priorities. But any way you slice it, the opposition to this measure is made up of the losing side of the past decade in Colorado politics.

Relics defending another relic.

Trump Says He’d Accept Foreign Help with Re-Election


UPDATE #2: Gardner speaks…sort of. From Politico:

Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), one of the most vulnerable senators in the 2020 cycle, said foreign opposition “should be turned over to the FBI, plain and simple.”

Perhaps there is more to come from Gardner, but you probably noticed that he didn’t actually say anything about Trump’s comments. He isn’t alone, as Politico noted later:

Still, most stopped short of calling out Trump by name despite some private anger over the president’s comments. Republicans seemed to view the firestorm as a temporary one that will pass given Trump’s penchant for changing the media narrative.

There are two parts to this question for other elected officials, particularly Republicans: 1) Would you inform the FBI about information you received from foreign countries about a political opponent, and 2) What do you think about President Trump’s comments that he would accept politically-helpful information from a foreign government?

—–

UPDATE: Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) regularly boasts about his frequent communication with Trump. So what does Gardner have to say about this? Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis tried to find out:

But not all Republican Senators are avoiding the subject:

—–

President Trump

I’m not “not listening.”

President Trump sat down for an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Wednesday and candidly admitted that not only would he accept foreign help in his 2020 re-election campaign — but he probably wouldn’t even tell the FBI about those interactions:

President Donald Trump may not alert the FBI if foreign governments offered damaging information against his 2020 rivals during the upcoming presidential race, he said, despite the deluge of investigations stemming from his campaign’s interactions with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

Later in the interview, Stephanopoulos brought up FBI Director Christopher Wray’s warning that anyone who received incriminating information from a foreign government should immediately contact the FBI. As James Hohmann recaps for the Washington Post:

Trump said that he would “want to hear” whatever information a foreigner was offering and that accepting compromising information about a challenger does not count as foreign interference. “The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it,” he said. “When you go and talk, honestly, to congressmen, they all do it. They always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”

Trump added: “You don’t call the FBI. … Oh, give me a break – life doesn’t work that way.”

In response to rebukes, including from Republicans, Trump claimed in the summer of 2016 that he had been joking when he encouraged Russia to hack his opponent’s emails. Watch last night’s clip, and you’ll see that Trump is clearly not joking about welcoming dirt from foreigners. Once again, this puts him crosswise with the FBI.

After the ABC News interview aired, Trump seemed to belatedly understand the problem with these statements and is now furiously trying to spin his own remarks in a different light. As Stephen Collinson writes for CNN:

President Donald Trump threw up a smokescreen of deflection and confusing counter attacks Thursday as a furor mounted over his staggering comment that he would be open to dirt dug up on his 2020 opponents by foreign powers such as Russia or China.

The President even implied — clearly erroneously — that he had been merely referring to the content of his conversations with foreign dignitaries such as the Queen of England and Prince Charles when he made the remark in an ABC News interview.

Even in a presidency that long ago burned through all conceivable superlatives, Trump’s statement was a stunner…

…This was the President of the United States — the man charged with protecting the Constitution, American democracy and the Western world — sitting at the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, saying he would accept damaging information from Russia and China on his 2020 Democratic foe. [Pols emphasis]

It is a federal crime in the United States for a political candidate to accept money (or anything of value) from foreign governments or citizens for the purposes of winning an election.

Supergirl Asks, “Who Is Cory Gardner?”



An excellent new video from NowThis News takes an in-depth and most unflattering look at the political career of Colorado’s Sen. Cory Gardner–tracing back to his roots as a Democrat in college to one of the state’s most stridently anti-abortion legislators, then his election to the U.S. Senate and subsequent role as principal Donald Trump apologist and arrester of wheelchair-bound health care protesters.

It’s a well produced and damning take on Gardner’s life and time in office, even more interesting to locals since the narrator is Arapahoe High School grad Melissa Benoist–better known as the star of the CW series Supergirl. We weren’t aware that Benoist even followed politics in her home state of Colorado, but with this you can consider her, as they say, thrown down.

Give this a watch and share.

Thursday Open Thread


“Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit.”

–Bertrand Russell

Colo Anti-Abortion Group Opposes A Ballot Initiative Banning Abortions Later in Pregnancy

(Because it doesn’t ban abortion enough! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A leading anti-abortion organization in Colorado has come out against a ballot initiative that ostensibly bans abortions later in pregnancy, saying the measure doesn’t go far enough and would set the pro-life movement back.

“Our misguided pro-life allies have presided over decades of regulating child killing,” Bob Enyart, a spokesman for Colorado Right to Life (CRTL), said, as quoted in Rewire.news today. “You don’t regulate crime; you deter crime. Once again, they increase confusion where only truth should be proclaimed. Their immoral initiative 108 seeks to protect children ‘who can survive outside the womb.’ But what about the rest of them?”

Enyart is reflecting the views of a segment of the anti-abortion movement nationally.

KHOW radio host Dan Caplis asked Erin Behrens, a leader the Colorado initiative, which was submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State Friday, directly about her opponents’ logic.

“What do you say to the really good people who say, ‘Wait a second; I’m going to hesitate to support that because it’s like saying, abortions before 22 weeks are okay.’ What do you say to those folks?” asked Caplis during his May 23 show.

“I tell them that this is only the beginning of the conversation,” replied Behrens, who’s an ardent Trump supporter. “I think we can all agree, 99.9 percent of us here in Colorado can agree, that five months in is a very reasonable limit. Let’s get that passed. Let’s get that on the books. Let’s put the Boulder Abortion Clinic out of business and prevent those lives from being taken every year, and then let’s come back and talk more about it in 2022 and 2024,”

“We are going to put a very reasonable limit of 22 weeks, which is about five months into pregnancy,” Behrens said on air. “And we think that this reasonable limit will pass overwhelmingly in Colorado, and we will finally be brought into the 21st century. We will finally be among all the other states that have reasonable limits, and we will finally not be the late-term abortion capitol of the United States.”

Pro-abortion activists argue, among other things, that the language of the initiative, which includes the use of the word “child” in multiple sections, could be interpreted by the courts as giving legal “personhood” rights to a fetus, and thus be interpreted by the courts as banning all abortion in Colorado.

Activists from CRTL were a driving force behind massive signature-gathering campaigns that put personhood abortion bans on the Colorado ballot in 2008, 2010, and 2014. In 2014, over 500 churches and 1,000 volunteers from around the state were central to the success of the effort, which was often fueled by crusading passion, organizers said.

Personhood USA, which officially led spearheaded the efforts in 2008, 2010, and 2014, is not involved this year and is mostly dormant, according to a spokeswoman. All three initiatives failed overwhelmingly.

It appears likely that the stance of CRTL will put a dent in the ability of the proponents of the ballot initiative to collect 124,632 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot.

The question is, how big a dent?

Part of the answer to that question depends on how Colorado’s anti-abortion churches and activists, who played a central role in previous ballot efforts, come down on tactical question of whether the initiative, as written, will hurt their cause in the long run–or is, as Enyart put it, “immoral.”

Following Corporate Donors’ Surprise At Funding Recalls, Patrick Neville Forms Separate Committee

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Following the Colorado Times Recorder’s reporting that corporate donors Xcel and Noble Energy were surprised to learn that money they donated to Colorado House Republicans was possibly being spent on recalls, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s Recall Colorado entity has formed a new independent group, presumably to collect and spend money on recall campaigns.

On May 30 the Colorado Secretary of State approved paperwork filed by Patrick’s brother, Joe Neville, to create “Recall Colorado,” a 527 political committee. Despite its name, the stated purpose makes no mention of recalls, nor of elected officials currently in office. Rather, it says it will “educate and inform Colorado voters regarding candidates for the Colorado legislature, primarily supporting Republicans and opposing Democrats.”

The Recall Colorado website and brand was created and funded by another 527 committee, Values First Colorado (VFC), which serves as the House GOP caucus fund.

As previous reporting by the Colorado Times Recorder has indicated, at least two prominent corporate donors have publicly stated that they did not expect money from their 2018 election cycle donations to be spent on recalls. As of election day last year, Values First Colorado and other Neville-controlled independent expenditure committees still had approximately $300,000 — or about one-fourth of its total amount raised during the election cycle — still in the bank.

VFC has since published the “Recall Colorado” website, paid for legal support for the recalls, and solicited donations under the Recall Colorado brand, listing Patrick Neville as “Director.”

Until its collapse earlier this week, VFC was supporting the campaign to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial). Republican Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown, who initially filed the recall petition, announced Tuesday that she shutting down the recall and “refocusing” her efforts on Senate Democrats who aren’t up for reelection next year. Brown has worked closely with VFC: she served as the group’s registered agent for the 2018 cycle.

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