Doug Bruce Sentenced: 6 Years Probation For Tax Evasion

UPDATE #2: Full press release from the Attorney General’s office after the jump. We’ll take odds on Bruce violating his probation at some point, given his history of refusing to turn over records and this line from the press release:

As part of his probation, Bruce will have to meet 20 additional conditions including, making his computer files, state and federal tax returns, banks accounts, and every real estate or other financial transaction open to the probation department.


UPDATE: Tweets Joe Hanel of the Durango Herald, Doug Bruce to the pokey after all–sentenced to 180 days total on the tax evasion and influencing a public servant charges.


Details coming shortly.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that a Denver judge has sentenced Colorado Springs resident Douglas Bruce (DOB: 8/26/1949) to 180 days in the Denver County Jail and a six-year probation sentence for tax evasion during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 tax years. As part of his probation, Bruce will have to meet 20 additional conditions including, making his computer files, state and federal tax returns, banks accounts, and every real estate or other financial transaction open to the probation department.

A Denver jury convicted Bruce of three felonies and one misdemeanor in December 2011.

Bruce’s sentence stems from a four-count indictment, filed in April 2011, that charged Bruce in the tax-evasion case. Bruce attempted to evade his tax responsibilities by funneling his income into the coffers of Active Citizens Together, a nonprofit he created in 2001, and failed to report such income to the Department of Revenue. For example, Bruce deposited $2 million in an account for Active Citizens Together. This account earned interest in the amount of $38,000 in 2005, $55,000 in 2006, and $85,000 in 2007, which Bruce failed to report to state and federal taxing authorities as income. During those time periods, Bruce used these funds as his own.

Bruce also was indicted for filing a false tax return on income he earned during the 2005 tax year and failing to file a tax return concerning income he earned during the 2006 and 2007 tax years.

Bruce will be required, as part of his sentence, to pay his back taxes and the cost of his prosecution.

In Related News, Doug Bruce Performs Open-Heart Surgery

As the Associated Press reports, Doug Bruce used his lunch break today (while facing charges of tax evasion) to file a legal challenge against a marijuana legalization ballot measure:

Douglas Bruce of Colorado Springs challenged the proposed constitutional amendment in a filing to the state Supreme Court. He argues the proposal to make pot legal for adults over 21 doesn’t properly say that it would raise taxes.

A proponent who brought the legalization proposal says he thought the amendment was clear that, if it’s approved, pot would face a 15 percent excise tax…

…Bruce filed the challenge on a lunch break from an arraignment on a more immediate legal matter. Bruce is facing felony tax evasion charges in Denver District Court. Authorities say he failed to pay taxes on a charity of his. Bruce maintains he is innocent of the charge.

So…Bruce filed his challenge while he fights charges of tax evasion in Denver. Bruce is apparently defending himself in that case, but last month he was served a subpoena for allegedly practicing law without a license.

To recap, the “genius” who created TABOR, who may or may not be an attorney, is complaining about a ballot measure that raises taxes while he defends himself from charges that he doesn’t pay taxes anyway. Why, exactly, is anyone taking him seriously?

Do NOT email me or call me again, EVER

(Anything about Doug Bruce, ANYTHING, gets a promote from me. – promoted by Middle of the Road)

So says Doug Bruce to the Gazette‘s Eileen Welsome.

Welsome put two and two together, conducting a nationwide search to find out who the petition circulators were for the fiscal suicide initiatives tied yesterday to Bruce.

Her findings are interesting:

When organizers of three Colorado initiatives targeting government spending launched a petition drive to get on the November ballot last year, they didn’t rely solely on amateurs, according to an analysis of data from the Colorado Secretary of State and the Washington D.C.-based Ballot Initiative Strategy Center.

The initiative backers used experienced circulators to help gather nearly half a million signatures – almost double the number required – to get Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 on the ballot, the data show.

And those circulators were no strangers to such efforts.

At issue is the fact that these people most certainly got paid, but those expenditures were never reported to the Secretary of State as required under the Colorado Constitution. Nor did they register as paid signature gatherers as required.

Petition circulators can earn $50,000 to $100,000 a year, and often move as a crew from state to state, he said. “Their primary purpose is to make as much money as they can,” Foster said.

“They tend to live together and travel together,” Foster said. “Signature gathering firms will call them when they need them to work on campaigns.”

Opponents fighting Amendments 60 and  61 and Proposition 101 allege in campaign finance complaints that the backers of the three initiatives have not disclosed their contributions or expenditures. The complaints also accuse the initiative backers of failing to comply with a new state law requiring petition-gathering companies to register with the Secretary of State’s Office. Bruce is not named in the complaints.

My advice to investigators if Doug Bruce ends up doing the perp walk: wear kneepads.

Doug Bruce Pretends Not to Know What You’re Talking About

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Gazette Reports:

Anti-tax advocate Douglas Bruce has sought to distance himself from three statewide initiatives that could limit the ability of local and state governments to raise taxes or borrow money. But records filed with the Secretary of State’s Office show that eight people who gathered thousands of signatures to get the measures on the November ballot lived in an apartment house owned by Bruce in Colorado Springs.

The eight people listed their address as Apartment A of 633 E. Boulder St. They have since moved out of the house and could not be located for comment.  

Bruce owns the two-story house on Boulder Street, according to El Paso County Assessor records. The house was built in  1905 and has a market value of about $74,000. [emphasis added]

Doug Bruce is poison, and he’s smart enough to know that. That’s why he’s distanced himself from his own initiatives. But he’s not smart enough to hide his tracks.

Enter Tyler Chafee:

“I think Doug Bruce has a track record that he doesn’t want to have attached to these initiatives,” said Tyler Chafee, a spokesman for Protect Colorado’s Communities, an organization of business interests and community leaders opposed to the proposals.

I suppose it’s possible that it’s a coincidence that Doug Bruce was housing the paid circulators for the local initiative that he proposed and which went down in flames, and that those same cirulators were also collecting signatures for the statewide initiatives that Bruce “[doesn’t] understand what you’re talking about” without his knowledge.

But probable? You decide.

Does Doug Bruce understand what you're talking about?

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Bruce defeats raise questions


“To say this was the state of Colorado dissing Douglas Bruce or that he’s somehow been discredited in politics is an overreach,” Lambert said.

Colorado Springs GAZETTE- November 5, 2008

The past several months have seen two big setbacks for Douglas Bruce, the Colorado Springs resident and lightning rod tax opponent.

Voters in Tuesday’s election trashed Bruce’s attempts to eliminate the city’s Stormwater Enterprise and sever some of its ties with its other enterprises. Back in August, Republican voters bounced Bruce from the state Legislature after he served as a midterm replacement in House District 15.

The pummeling Bruce has taken from voters lately has some people wondering whether his political influence is in decline.

His highest achievement was the 1992 statewide passage of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), an amendment to the state constitution capping government revenues and spending.

Since then he’s had a mixed record, winning a seat on the El Paso County Board of Commissioners, but losing numerous court battles and attempts at passing ballot measures.

The difference recently, said Colorado Springs City Councilman Scott Hente, is voters have rejected both Bruce as a candidate and his ideas about changing city government.

“At some point, I think Mr. Bruce has to realize that the community is rejecting him and his ideas,” Hente said Wednesday.

Other observers warned against counting Bruce out just yet. Bruce’s positions prevailed on several fronts in Tuesday’s election, said state Rep. Kent Lambert, a Republican and frequent Bruce ally.

“To say this was the state of Colorado dissing Douglas Bruce or that he’s somehow been discredited in politics is an overreach,” Lambert said.

Bruce might have failed to pass city questions 200 and 201, but he and others succeeded in defeating Referendum O, Lambert noted. That means Bruce thwarted a measure that would have made it harder to amend the state constitution, leaving open a method by which Bruce has often tried to enact his ideas. Bruce also helped defeat Amendment 59, an effort to rescind a key portion of TABOR.

It’s not the first time political observers have mused over whether it’s time to write Bruce’s political obituary.

In 1994, after statewide voters rejected a Bruce-authored measure to reform elections, respected pollster and political consultant Floyd Ciruli said: “This could be the last we see of the extraordinary phenomenon of this Californian who changed Colorado politics.”

Even Bruce raised the possibility he would fade from the political scene.

“I’m going to withdraw, hibernate, whatever term you want to use – retire,” he said.

Bruce was back in 1996, when he lost a primary-election bid to represent state Senate District 10. He’s had ups and downs since then, but given Bruce’s intelligence and determination he’s likely to continue as an influence on Colorado politics as long as he wants to be, said Republican Rep. Bob Gardner, a frequent Bruce foe.

“So long as he continues to place things on the ballot and force people to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to at the very least defeat them, he is going to have some influence,” Gardner said.

Whether Bruce will be effective in pursuing his agenda is a different question, Gardner said, citing Bruce’s reputation for being unyielding and combative.

“I’ve never known Douglas to compromise on anything, even when the compromise would be in the interest of achieving his goal,” Gardner said.

Bruce thinks his efforts to promote the city ballot measures played a role in his defeat for the House District 15 seat. He devoted time to gathering petition signatures that would guarantee a place on the ballot, which left little time to campaign for his office, he said.

Questions 200 and 201 might have been defeated because voters didn’t understand a vote “for the initiated ordinance” in Question 200 would have eliminated mandatory stormwater fees, he said.

As for his political future, Bruce expressed frustration with a process he’s learned as well as anyone in Colorado since his arrival in the state in the late 1980s.

“I would welcome somebody else taking some of the establishment criticism for disagreeing with governmental dishonesty and word manipulation,” he said. “I get e-mails and people saying ‘don’t give up, go do it again,’ but all these people are standing on the sidelines, they didn’t help.”…

We have heard the last of Doug Bruce

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‘Can you fax this right away, Mommy?’

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Inquiring Polsters want to know: Exactly what did Doug Bruce say that led to a sexual harassment complaint this week?

With all due respect to the staffer or lobbyist who filed the complaint (she’s been traumatized enough), can we figure out what Bruce Almighty said? Or should have said?

Might be a clue in Lynn Bartels’s Rocky story:

Bruce, who was appointed to the legislature to fill a vacancy, previously served as an El Paso County commissioner. His behavior there was inappropriate, Republican commissioner Sallie Clark said, although she declined to go into detail.

“We’re all kind of trying to move on here in El Paso County,” she said Wednesday.

Clark said she was not aware of any official complaints but had her own run-ins with Bruce.

She said Bruce referred to her as “Mother” or “Mommy” when she chaired a committee, and he once told her take a “PMS pill” when she told him his disparaging comments about a group of young visitors were inappropriate.

Post your best guesses below. Of course, if you have actual knowledge of the harassment, be sure to post all the details too.

Doug Bruce Accused of Sexual Harrassment

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

From 9News

DENVER – Rep. Douglas Bruce (R-Colorado Springs) is facing a sexual harassment charge filed by a Capitol staffer, according to multiple state representatives.

If Doug doesn’t resign over this, I’ll be shocked. In fact, after the Michael Garcia incident, I believe this to be Bruce’s only potential action.

Full story after the bump.

Bruce met with House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D-Denver) Wednesday afternoon to discuss the allegations. House Minority Leader Mike May (R-Parker) has been aware of the allegations since they were filed earlier in the week as well.

When asked for comment by 9NEWS, Bruce would only say, “Why don’t you tell me about it?”

Calls to Bruce’s office and an e-mail sent to him for further comment by 9NEWS went unreturned.

The representatives, who are not allowed by House rules to share personnel matters publicly, say the sexual harassment allegations stem from a verbal comment Bruce made to a female staffer.

Bruce was officially censured by his colleagues earlier this year for kicking a Rocky Mountain News photographer the day he was sworn in as a state representative. Last week, he drew the ire of some colleagues for referring to migrant workers as “illiterate peasants.”

Bruce is best-known in Colorado for being the author of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which limited the size of government and required all proposed tax increases to be voted on by the public. He is seen as a champion of limited government and served on the El Paso County Commission before being selected by a nominating committee to finish the term of now-Sen. Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs) who left his House seat to fill a vacancy in the Senate.

Spokespeople for both Romanoff and May said they could not comment as House rules prevent them from discussing personnel matters.

Earlier this legislative session, the Assistant Majority Leader in the State House Rep. Michael Garcia (D-Aurora) resigned his seat after an allegation of sexual misconduct was filed against him with Romanoff. A female lobbyist accused Garcia of exposing himself to her and making lewd comments to her at a Denver bar. Garcia said the activity was consensual.


Doug Bruce does a lot of stuff that surprises me, but this? Perhaps we’ll be done with Dougie once and for all.

“Illiterate peasants” speech: Bruce also planned comparisons to 9/11 terrorist, cop killer

From The Colorado Statesman:

Comments that were arguably more provocative were in store had Bruce not been gaveled down – including a passage in which he compared the migrant farm workers to the 9/11 highjackers and a cop killer…

Bruce recently posted his entire prepared remarks on his Web site,, under a section called “Importing Aliens.”…

“One man came here legally on a lawful tourist visa. He wanted to learn how to fly a commercial jet. Take-off and navigation only, please; learning to land was not required. His name was Mohammed Atta, and he and 18 other visitors were America’s guests until their visit came to an abrupt end on September 11, 2001. Of course, they were just exercising their rights to self-expression…

“Another “gentleman” was hired to work in a local restaurant owned by Denver’s mayor. Raul Garcia-Gomez also worked in the food industry, until he killed a Denver police officer…

Bruce had planned to sarcastically state that constituents had told him, “We have a shortage of communicable diseases [from not having enough immigrants]…We don’t have enough people driving under the influence, or without licenses or car insurance…At the grocery store, there aren’t enough people paying with food stamps.”

As for the “illiterate peasants” remark, Bruce had planned to say: “Yes, we have a serious shortage of illiterate peasants in America. 10-20 million is not enough.” In the comment that sparked outrage, Bruce ended up saying, “I would like the opportunity to state at the microphone why we don’t need 5,000 more illiterate peasants in Colorado.”

Doug Bruce, The Best Friend a Democrat Could Ever Have

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Rep. Douglas Bruce was cut off from House debate on a bill for a pilot foreign farm-worker program today after saying Colorado doesn’t need “5,000 more illiterate peasants.”

“How dare you,” said Rep. Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, who was chairing the floor debate. She ordered Bruce to leave the speaker’s podium.

The rookie lawmaker, who received a historic censure his first day in office for kicking a news photographer on the House floor, got in hot water today for attacking a fellow El Paso County Republican’s bill.

House Bill 1325, by Rep. Marsha Looper, would create a five-year pilot program to expedite approval of temporary seasonal foreign workers to help harvest crops that have sometimes rotted in the fields because of a labor shortage…

…Bruce said the program would allow “5,000 additional aliens into this country,” suggesting they would stay here illegally to strain social services and cause other problems.

Bruce called illegal immigration “the hottest topic out on the street.”

He then sarcastically suggested that constituents often approach him at Wal-Mart to say: “Doug, you have to do something about immigration. The lines are too short at hospital emergency rooms. My children don’t hear enough foreign languages in the classroom or during recess.”

Curry brought him up short, telling him to speak to the bill’s pilot program for legal, non-immigrant workers – or she would not recognize him to speak.

But Bruce returned later to expand on why he disliked the bill.

“I would like to have the opportunity to state at the microphone why I don’t think we need 5,000 more illiterate peasants in Colorado,” he said.

Curry gaveled him to silence, saying: “Rep. Bruce, you are no longer recognized in the well.”

Rep. Victor Mitchell, R-Castle Pines Village, who has dueled with Bruce in GOP caucus meetings, asked the chairwoman: “Is Rep. Bruce now banned for the rest of the session?”

Every time Bruce speaks, you can almost hear the voters in Colorado shuffling to the left. And the worst part for Republicans is that he’s doing it all on purpose:

Bruce, who was appointed to fill a House vacancy in December and faces a serious primary challenge in August, appears to relish the controversy he’s attracted in his brief legislative career. He told reporters in advance to watch him stir debate on the farm-worker bill.

The Best Friend a Democrat Could Ever Have

Leave it to Rep. Doug Bruce to go out of his way to be more ridiculous than Adele Arakawa’s hair.

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Rep. Douglas Bruce did it again…

…Today he infuriated fellow lawmakers by being the lone legislator who refused to cosponsor a Joint House-Senate resolution honoring Military and Veterans Appreciation Day.

“Today we were honoring people who died for our country, who served our country, and Douglas Bruce is spitting in the eye of every veteran who served our country, and it’s a disgrace,” said Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. “I’m so angry I can’t even talk right now.”

Rep. Rob Witwer, R-Genessee, said he’d never seen a colleague refuse to cosponsor the annual resolution.

“Some of our veterans have sacrificed all for their country,” Witwer said. “The least we can do is say thank you.”

Democrats were also stunned and dismayed.

“I feel like I want to say to him what we used to say in the McCarthy era, ‘Have you no shame?'” said Rep. Alice Borodkin, D-Denver…

…House minority leader Mike May, R-Parker approached Bruce immediately after he declined to co-sponsor the resolution: “I told him on a day when we honor those who have given such great sacrifice, that he can’t even put forth the effort to push the green button is disgraceful.

“That’s a man with no honor. He has no shame.”

Bruce has refused to speak to the Rocky or The Denver Post since the kicking incident. He refused to answer a reporter’s request for comment as he walked off the House floor this morning.

Steve King, R-Grand Junction, co-chair of the committee that recommended censure for Bruce after the kicking incident said: “I for the first time regretted my vote on just censuring him.” He said he won’t be talking to Bruce today. “I don’t want to reinforce his need for attention.”

Claws Come Out for Bruce

Politicos and editorial boards around the state took turns kicking Republican Rep. Doug Bruce in the knee today.

First, Bruce’s hometown Colorado Springs Gazette:

Douglas Bruce seems a lot like Britney Spears these days. Like Spears, Bruce seems to self-destruct in the spotlight. Bruce and Britney have issues with photographers. Britney chose to date an obtrusive cameraman; Bruce chose to kick one.

Sure, Bruce authored a useful, if somewhat flawed, constitutional amendment long ago that mostly empowers Colorado taxpayers and saves them money. For that, we give him credit. Likewise, there was a time when Britney was known for her work. She gave us “Oops I Did it Again.” For that, we give credit where credit is due.

Like Spears, Bruce has morphed into an embarrassment to himself and all his old friends. Unlike Bruce, Spears has an excuse: She’s practically a child, whose maturity was likely stilted by the turmoil of teen stardom. Bruce, by contrast, is a grown and educated man – one entrusted by leading Republicans with representing a district and making it look good.

In the Rocky Mountain News today, Bruce was roundly criticized by his own Party:

But in the Denver metro area, Bruce’s behavior was seen in the light of a long line of embarrassments by elected Republicans.

Former Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Paschall is facing trial for an alleged kickback, Jefferson County Commissioner Rick Sheehan resigned after sending defamatory faxes and Arapahoe County Clerk Tracy Baker was recalled after exchanging racy e-mails with the girlfriend who worked for him.

“These are gross exceptions to the rule: The Doug Bruce, Mark Paschall, they are aberrations,” said Wadhams. “They are not a reflection of the vast majority of Republican elected officials.”

Wadhams “strongly denounced” Bruce’s behavior and praised May for his leadership in dealing with Bruce. Then he added that Bruce’s behavior was “very sad.”

“Doug Bruce had an opportunity to be a very strong vote for fiscal responsibility. He has severely marginalized himself by what he did. He squandered an opportunity for himself,” said Wadhams, a Republican campaign master.

Doug Bruce Train Full Speed Ahead

We’ve said it over and over again: Republican Doug Bruce will be an absolute disaster for the GOP once he arrives at the State Capitol because his looney antics will suck all of the press coverage up for himself. Check out today’s Rocky Mountain News for further proof of this impending GOP train wreck:

Cantankerous anti-tax crusader Douglas Bruce is refusing to be sworn in as a state lawmaker Monday unless the Democratic majority allows him to take the oath before the full House.

By custom, lawmakers who are filling vacancies, as Bruce is, are sworn in during private ceremonies in an empty chamber.

But in an impassioned four-page e-mail to House leaders, Rep.-elect Bruce wrote that he wants to be sworn in during a full House session and granted 90 seconds “to speak to MY NEW COLLEAGUES (not to an empty chamber).”

Bruce, a Colorado Springs Republican, wrote that refusing his request would inconvenience the “many people” he’s already invited to a 10 a.m. swearing-in.

House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, a Democrat from Denver, declined what he called Bruce’s “unprecedented” request.

“I’m happy to accommodate any member’s schedule,” Romanoff said, adding that he’s offered Bruce four different times – outside House session – to be sworn in.

“But I’m just not willing to delay to the business of the House to indulge a member’s vanity,” the speaker said. “I’ve never heard of a new member demanding an audience for his swearing in.”

More Doug Bruce

We’ve said before that new Republican Rep. Doug Bruce will end up being the worst thing to happen to Republicans in a long time, and he’s at it already. From The Colorado Springs Gazette:

Douglas Bruce said he does not want to be sworn into office as a state representative until after the legislative session begins.

The delay would give him more time on the El Paso County Commission and let him serve two more years before he would be term-limited out of the statehouse, assuming voters keep electing him.

Bruce’s plan has angered members of both parties who question why he would not want to be in place with the other 99 legislators when the session begins Jan. 9. House Majority Leader Alice Madden, D-Boulder, suggested that Bruce’s tardiness may keep him from being able to introduce as many bills as other representatives, while Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker, said that Bruce should not have taken a job he doesn’t want to start on time.

Saturday, a Republican committee chose Bruce to fill the soon-to-be-vacant House District 15 seat of GOP Rep. Bill Cadman. Cadman will be sworn in Tuesday to the seat of recently retired Sen. Ron May.

Bruce said he would like to continue serving on the County Commission through the Jan. 10 meeting, which would mean that he would have held the seat for three years. Doing so would allow him to vote on the new commission chairman and the annual code of ethics, he said.

This is classic Doug Bruce – he doesn’t even pretend that he isn’t trying for a blatant power grab. Bruce will suck all the media oxygen out of the state house for Republicans, leaving the public to think that this joker is the voice of the GOP.