Fun With Press Releases: You’ll Be Rapping in Jail!

We get a lot of press releases here at Colorado Pols. While some are good, others are, well…not. The following press release falls into the latter category. The office of Attorney General John Suthers seems pretty excited about the fact that one of the people convicted was a “rapper.”

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced today that an Adams County District Court jury found six individuals, including the rapper known as “Dame Fame” of Brighton, Colorado, guilty in a pattern of racketeering activity. The six committed credit card and bank fraud as well as aggravated motor vehicle theft. They were all found under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act. The verdict was returned on September 20, 2012.

“This rapper and his group of cohorts engaged in a multi-state crime ring to steal and intimidate,” said Attorney General John Suthers. [Pols emphasis] “We’re pleased the jury recognized this criminal enterprise and held the perpetrators responsible.”

Sounds pretty scary, eh?

We don’t profess to know much about the current state of “rap music,” but “Dame Fame” (real name Stacy Damon Harris) doesn’t even have an album available on iTunes. He seems to be a “rapper” like your cousin who waits tables in New York City is an “actor.”

So why does Suthers go out of his way to define Harris as a “rapper?” The press release doesn’t indicate how being a “rapper” relates to the crimes committed (full release after the jump), which adds an unnecessary tinge of racial and class bias.

Put it this way: if Harris worked at Starbucks, would Suthers have said, “This barista and his group of cohorts…”

Somehow we doubt it.

ATTORNEY GENERAL SECURES CONVICTION AGAINST RAPPER DAME FAME AND  FIVE OTHERS FOR CREDIT CARD AND BANK FRAUD

DENVER – The Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced today that an Adams County District Court jury found six individuals, including the rapper known as “Dame Fame” of Brighton, Colorado, guilty in a pattern of racketeering activity. The six committed credit card and bank fraud as well as aggravated motor vehicle theft. They were all found under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act. The verdict was returned on September 20, 2012.

“This rapper and his group of cohorts engaged in a multi-state crime ring to steal and intimidate,” said Attorney General John Suthers. “We’re pleased the jury recognized this criminal enterprise and held the perpetrators responsible.”  

Beginning in July 2009, Stacy Damon Harris, a.k.a. Dame Fame (38 years old); Tangelar Annette Houston, a.k.a Tangie Houston (36 years old); Dumarco Marty, a.k.a. Deco (23 years old); Salina Patrice Lactaoen (24 years old); Darnell Plazmarell Meal (24 years old) and Tenisha Nicole Kuykendall (35 years old) began operating a national bank fraud ring. Harris was the leader of the enterprise and coordinated the details of the scheme defrauding the Dolores State Bank, Montrose Bank, Valley Bank & Trust, Colorado Community Bank, Montrose Bank as well as stealing from other commercial businesses including Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

Harris directed the members of the enterprise to commit crimes and then kept significant proceeds of stolen money and merchandise for himself. Muzi obtained phone numbers that were placed on the fraudulent credit cards and used to facilitate the thefts. Houston and Alder answered phones and deceived bank employees into manually overriding the bank computers for cash advances and/or other merchandise purchases. Alder is alleged to have advised the group where to target its activity and Marty and Stenschke recruited people, including Lactaoen, to go into businesses to complete the fraudulent transactions. Lactaoen and Harris then presented fraudulent credit cards to get cash and other merchandise. Meals and Kuykendall received the stolen money via money wires and turned most of the stolen funds over to the higher ranking enterprise members. In total, the value of their crimes in Colorado equaled approximately $30,000.  

The group originated in California and committed their crimes in Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was the lead investigating agency and worked in cooperation with the Cortez Police Department. The Office of the Attorney General prosecuted the case in the District Court City and County of Denver. Sentencing will occur on November 26, 2012 at 8:30 a.m..

What Has Gessler Requested of Suthers?

Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler has been under fire for the last few days for complaining that his $68,500 annual salary (which pays about 33% more than the average $46,000 salary in Colorado, according to the Colorado Department of Labor) just isn’t enough and that he needs to work a second job with his old law firm — conflict of interest be damned!

Gessler has no doubt asked Republican Attorney General John Suthers for a private opinion on the matter (he can cite attorney-client privilege here, because the AG is technically Gessler’s “attorney”), but the public should know what question(s) have been asked. Gessler is essentially asking Suthers for a ruling that will affect his work schedule as a full-time elected official in Colorado, so the public absolutely has a right to know what is being discussed.

We don’t see how Suthers could possibly approve a plan that lets Gessler work for his former law firm, which deals primarily in election law. Gessler may say that he could be excused from any potentially conflicting cases, but that misses the bigger point about the Secretary of State’s office: The elected SOS should not have a second job with any employer who does business in Colorado.

Remember, the SOS’ job isn’t just dealing with elections — the SOS handles all manner of business regulations and registrations for companies of all different sizes in Colorado. With that in mind, we don’t see how Gessler, or any person serving as the Secretary of State, could ever be permitted to work for another company that does business in Colorado. The SOS has a direct conflict of interest with all of them.

So, what has Gessler asked Suthers? And how could Suthers ever, in any permutation of the ask, agree to allow Gessler to moonlight somewhere else?

Colorado Election Results Open Thread

UPDATE (11:25): The big Denver paper and many of the other big TV stations have some major problems with their reporting. The Denver Post, for example, had Buck ahead of Bennet 48-46, on the strength of a 52-45 advantage in Boulder. A quick check of the Boulder Clerk and Recorder’s website has Bennet leading Buck 67-29. There are a lot of somebodies who should have caught this immediately — there’s no way Boulder County would go solid red for any Republican.

We recommend sticking with the results from Fox 31, which not only has a page that seems to actually load correctly, but isn’t making any obvious errors that we can see.

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UPDATE (11:16): It looks like we may be headed for at least one state legislative recount. In HD-29, Democratic Rep. Debbie Benefield trails Republican Robert Ramirez by 148 votes (50.34% to 49.66%).

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UPDATE (11:12): That didn’t last long. With 56% of ballots counted, Bennet and Buck are now tied at 47-47.

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UPDATE (11:00): Buck has pulled ahead of Bennet for the first time tonight, leading 49-46 with 49% of precincts reporting.

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UPDATE (9:50): It’s looking like the race that will have the biggest impact from an ACP candidate will not be the one anybody expected. The Secretary of State race is neck-and-neck, but the ACP candidate is already pulling 6% of the vote. Buescher may well win this seat by virtue of the American Constitution Party.

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UPDATE (9:44): The percentage of precincts reporting continues to rise, and Michael Bennet continues to hold a 50-45 lead over Ken Buck. This is not good news for Buck, because early returns should have favored him (Republicans voted in higher numbers than Democrats in early and absentee voting). Given Buck’s numerous gaffes in the last two weeks of the campaign, it’s not likely that late voters are going to choose him over Bennet, so it’s hard to see how Buck is going to make up 5 points with 27% of the vote already tallied.

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UPDATE (9:08): It’s always fun to see those really early returns that show absurd numbers. In HD-22, Democrat Christine Radeff is pummeling Republican incumbent Ken Summers 7,875 to 12. Yes, 12. For a few more minutes, anyway.

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UPDATE (9:05): Republican Cory Gardner is being declared the winner in CD-4.

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UPDATE (9:03): The Secretary of State race is coming down to the wire, and may be decided by the number of votes pulled in by the American Constitution Party candidate. Meanwhile, the race for Attorney General seems to be widening in favor of incumbent John Suthers.

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UPDATE (9:00): Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter has been declared the winner in CD-7.

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UPDATE (8:38): The old adage that Jefferson County decides statewide elections is largely holding form. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, unofficially, are doing better in Jefferson County, as is John Suthers. Cary Kennedy and Walker Stapleton are neck-and-neck in Jeffco, while Scott Gessler leads Bernie Buescher in the large west Denver suburb.

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UPDATE (8:35): Ladies and gentlemen, your next Governor…John Hickenlooper! The race has been called for Hick. Now the excitement turns to whether or not Dan Maes can cross the 10% threshold. From a Hickenlooper press release:

Colorado voters on Tuesday elected John Hickenlooper, a brewpub pioneer turned Mayor of Denver, as the 42nd Governor of Colorado.

“I am humbled and honored by the decision Colorado’s voters have made, and I accept the challenge you have entrusted to me to lead our state as Governor,” Hickenlooper said. “This is not the end of our journey. This is the beginning. And it starts with bringing people together.”

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UPDATE (8:20): Here’s a couple of developing stories to watch. All of this can change, of course, but as of right now…

  • Bennet maintaining early lead on Buck

  • Hickenlooper holding early lead for Governor

  • Tipton well ahead of Salazar in CD-3

  • Kennedy surprisingly strong in Treasurer race

  • Buescher may be saved by ACP candidate for SOS

  • Third party turnout not yet playing role in CD-4

  • Attorney General race staying close

  • Every major ballot measure getting crushed

  • Both Rep. Diana DeGette (CD1) and Jared Polis (CD2) have been declared winners already
  • —–

    We’ll update results as we can. In the meantime, please keep them updated, with links, in the comments below.

    *NOTE: Candidates in bold and italics have been declared the winner by at least one local news outlet.

    U.S. SENATE

    Michael Bennet (D): 47%

    Ken Buck (R): 47%

    56% reporting

    GOVERNOR

    John Hickenlooper (D): 51%

    Tom Tancredo (ACP): 37%

    Dan Maes (R): 11%

    48% reporting

    STATE TREASURER

    Cary Kennedy (D): 51%

    Walker Stapleton (R): 49%

    44% reporting

    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    John Suthers (R): 57%

    Stan Garnett (D): 43%

    44% reporting

    SECRETARY OF STATE

    Bernie Buescher (D): 44%

    Scott Gessler (R): 50%

    Amanda Campbell (ACP): 6%

    44% reporting

    CD-3

    John Salazar (D): 45%

    Scott Tipton (R): 50%

    63% reporting

    CD-4

    Betsy Markey (D): 41%

    Cory Gardner (R): 53%

    Doug Aden (ACP): 5%

    Ken “Wasko” (I): 1%

    69% reporting

    CD-7

    Ed Perlmutter (D): 53%

    Ryan Frazier (R): 42%

    16% reporting

    Who Will Win the Race for Attorney General?

    Vote away…

    Remember, we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

    Who Will Be Elected Attorney General?

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    Who Will Win the Race for Attorney General?

    Click below to vote.

    Remember — we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

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    Who Will Win the Race for Attorney General?

    Vote after the jump.

    Don’t forget — we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

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    John Suthers’ “Willie Horton” Back in the News

    As FOX 31 reported last night:

    FOX31 News has learned the FBI is investigating convicted serial killer Scott Lee Kimball as a prime suspect in one of the metro area’s most gruesome murders.

    In October of 2004, the naked body of a young woman was found near a dumpster at a Westminster strip mall near 76th and Sheridan. Her hands had been cut off and it took police weeks to identify her…

    FOX31 News has learned the FBI is talking to witnesses about Scott Lee Kimball, who is doing prison time in connection with the murders of three other young women and his uncle.

    The Powell murder occurred during the same time frame, while Kimball was acting as an FBI informant…

    As we discussed in this space several times in recent months, Scott Kimball was transferred to Colorado to work as a police informant on signed orders from none other than now-Attorney General John Suthers, who insists today he has ‘no recollection’ of any specifics regarding the case. Of course, his claims of ignorance don’t comport very well with reports that his office continued to seal records on Kimball for years afterward. It was in fact Suthers’ opponent, Democrat Stan Garnett, who finally cracked this case and put Kimball away–unfortunately, not before he killed four people while evading scrutiny due to his status as an informant.

    We’ve written before, including on the current Big Line, that the Kimball case may very well be the difference in this race, and a new story like this just makes that more likely.

    Fun With Press Releases: The Release of the Year!

    We get a lot of press releases, as you might expect, and we like to share them with you when we get some that are particularly entertaining (and usually not on purpose). We have a new leader for our favorite press release of the year, and it’s going to be hard to top this one:

    John Gonce, a Realtor in Southwest Denver beginning in 1962 till 2007, each election cycle has put out a letter of endorsements of all of the candidates and issues to the residences in his area…

    …John Gonce said, “I will vote for every Republican on the ballot, except Attorney General John Suthers. Suthers is way too big a proponent for big government. Dan Maes will make a great governor.”

    Who is John Gonce, you ask? We have absolutely no idea, but he’s announcing his endorsements for the 2010 election, and according to his press release, he’s apparently been doing it for decades. And he really doesn’t like Attorney General John Suthers, for some reason.

    The full glorious press release is after the jump.  

    News release 09-9-10

    Contact: John Gonce 303-935-1111

    GONCE ENDORSES MAES AND NOT JOHN SUTHERS

    John Gonce, a Realtor in Southwest Denver beginning in 1962 till 2007, each election cycle has put out a letter of endorsements of all of the candidates and issues to the residences in his area.

    “I have for forty-eight years felt it was my civic duty to inform the citizens of my district on all candidates and issue that will impact their lives in the coming years in what I called Gonce Times,” Gonce said in a news release Thursday, September 9, 2010. “When I could not endorse a candidate I ran for that office on eight occasions. Each time I was “sliced and diced” as Vince Carroll of The Denver Post put it in describing Dan Maes attempt for governor this November and in 1982 I was sued. In 1998 and 2000 complaints were filed on me with the Secretary of State. All were resolved with no sanctions or penalties,” John Gonce a Republican said.

    “Today it is different. We have a Secretary of State that is a staunch Democrat that sticks it to every Republican when he has a chance. Bernie Buescher badly needs to be booted out of that traditionally neutral non-political political office. He should never have certified Tom Tancredo’s candidacy for office. Buescher knew he did not meet the standard of law to be on the November ballot,” Gonce said.

    John Gonce said, “I will vote for every Republican on the ballot, except Attorney General John Suthers. Suthers is way too big a proponent for big government. Dan Maes will make a great governor.”

    Who Will Win the Race for Attorney General?

    Vote after the jump. Remember, we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

    Who Will Be Elected Attorney General?

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    Fundraising Updates for State Races

    The financial reporting period for state races running between July 29 through September 1 is now available online. Here’s how the statewide candidates stack up. Keep in mind that cash-on-hand amounts are deceiving at this point, since many candidates have already spent big chunks of money to buy advertising spots (with exceptions for Dan Maes and Scott Gessler, neither of whom has a good reason for having so little left in the bank).

    Figures below as Amount Raised Last Period/ Amount Spent Last Period/ Cash-on-Hand as of Sept. 1)

    GOVERNOR

    John Hickenlooper (D): $409,859/ $357,158/ $171,542

    Tom Tancredo (ACP): $199,229/ $58,376/ $140,853

    Dan Maes (R): $50,201/ $54,011/ $19,786

    TREASURER

    Cary Kennedy (D): $102,161/ $89,189/ $90,250

    Walker Stapleton (R): $27,385/ $15,880/ $22,712

    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    John Suthers (R): $64,958/ $15,671/ $346,775

    Stan Garnett (D): $43,690/ $120,342/ $23,259

    SECRETARY OF STATE

    Bernie Buescher (D): $36,158/ $8,708/ $139,661

    Scott Gessler (R): $13,745/ $38,071/ $14,725

    Who’s Backing Maes?

    We’ve gotten a couple of emails on this subject, so we thought we’d put a list together and see if the Pols community could help us fill it out. Which top-ticket Republican candidates (all statewide and congressional seats) have endorsed GOP Gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, and who has yet to offer their public support?

    REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES ENDORSING MAES

  • U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck

  • Rep. Doug Lamborn (CD-5)

  • Rep. Mike Coffman (CD-6)
  • UNKNOWN POSITION OR NO ENDORSEMENT YET

  • Treasurer candidate Walker Stapleton

  • Attorney General John Suthers

  • Secretary of State candidate Scott Gessler

  • CD-4 candidate Cory Gardner

  • CD-7 candidate Ryan Frazier
  • Help us out, Polsters! Maes’ website doesn’t seem to have an updated list of endorsements, so if you’ve seen one of the candidates in the second list make an endorsement, let us know.

    Big Line Updated

    We’ve updated The Big Line as the continued implosion of the Scott McInnis campaign for Governor plays out.

    The ramifications of McInnis’ destruction will play out all the way down the ballot. The Republican Governor’s Association, which has been raising a ton of coin, will now likely take Colorado off of its target list, which means millions of dollars will not be spent turning out Republican voters in the general election. The impact of that loss of support could very well mean the difference between winning and losing for Republicans such as Attorney General John Suthers and the eventual party nominee for State Treasurer.

    Big Line Updated

    The Big Line has been updated now that Democrat Andrew Romanoff’s fundraising numbers for Q1 have been reported.

    The biggest changes are on The Line are for Senate, Attorney General and CD-4…

    SENATE LINE

    This race has really come down to three people now: Sen. Michael Bennet for the Democrats and Jane Norton and Ken Buck on the Republican side.

    Bennet is raising as much money, if not more, as anyone else in the country and has already put four ads up on television. Democrat Andrew Romanoff had a weak Q1 in fundraising, but more importantly, he only added about $23,000 to his total warchest after spending most of the $385,000 he raised.

    Romanoff is just out of time now. He’s got $500k in the bank, but most of that will be spent on general campaign operations in the next 3-4 months. That means that he needs to raise at least a million dollars in the next three months to be able to afford a strong TV presence opposite Bennet. Even the staunchest Romanoff supporter can’t be optimistic about the chances of that happening.

    As for the Republicans, Norton is the only one of the three candidates who is raising real money. Buck is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside interest group money running ads on his behalf, so that has to be factored into his total ability to raise his profile. Tom Wiens, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to raise much money from people not named Tom Wiens, and he’s going to have to make a decision in the next month or two about what to do with the $500k he has “loaned” to his campaign; does he stay in the race and spend that cash, or pull out and refund his loan to himself?

    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    A few weeks ago incumbent Republican John Suthers looked like a lock for re-election. But then he went and got involved in the health care reform lawsuit, and as a result he now has a serious Democratic challenger in Boulder County D.A. Stan Garnett. Suthers is as dull a politician as you will find, and Garnett has the ability to raise a lot of money in a very short time. At the very least, this race is now a tossup.

    CD-4

    Republican Cory Gardner had a good Q1 in fundraising, and the rest of the GOP field seems to have disintegrated. Gardner surely can’t wait for the legislative session to end so that he can stop having to take so many absences to head off to fundraise elsewhere. Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey had another strong fundraising quarter and continues to do just about everything right. This race is going to get tighter, but we still give Markey the edge.

    Repeal! Well, Except for the Good Stuff! Okay, Maybe Not!

    As the conservative American Spectator reports, Republicans continue to furiously backpedal from their initial bluster that they would repeal health care reform:

    But in the GOP, cooler heads always prevail. What these Republican heads want to cool down is the campaign to repeal the health care takeover. Reports the Associated Press: “Top Republicans are increasingly worried that GOP candidates this fall might be burned by a fire that’s roaring through the conservative base: demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s new health care law.” [Pols emphasis]

    One of the Republican leadership’s volunteer firefighters is none other than Sen. John Cornyn, the Texas Republican who chairs the committee responsible for getting GOP candidates elected to the Senate this fall. Cornyn initially unfurled the “repeal and replace” banner, only to quickly make an exception for the “non-controversial stuff,” such as the ban on preexisting conditions which is unfortunately exactly what necessitates the “controversial stuff” like the individual mandate.

    Cornyn was later seen pouring cold water on the idea entirely. Asked by the AP whether he was going to advise Republican senatorial nominees to run on repeal, he said, “Candidates are going to test the winds in their own states… In some places, the health care bill is more popular than others.” Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee doesn’t need a weatherman to tell him where the wind blows: “It’s just not going to happen.”

    Republican candidates seeking to join Cornyn and Corker in the club have gotten the memo. Shortly before Obamacare passed, Congressman Mark Kirk — the Republican running to fill Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois — bravely vowed to “lead the effort” to repeal the bill. Now he glumly tells a local newspaper, “Well, we lost.”

    We wrote about exactly this reality when health care reform was passed last month. For all the fiery rhetoric from Republicans over the last 18 months, the actual health care legislation that was passed is not at all unpopular with the majority of voters — and many of those who are unhappy with it are Democrats who wanted it to be stronger.

    We’ve said all along that the reform bill will ultimately benefit Democrats when the election finally rolls around this fall, and Republicans are apparently figuring that out as well. Too bad much of the knee-jerk reaction to the initial passage has already caused a lot of damage. How do you suppose Republican Attorney General John Suthers is feeling today? The silly lawsuit that Suthers joined ended up costing him an easy re-election bid by emboldening a strong Democrat to run against him.

    Whoops! Sorry about that, John!

    BREAKING: Garnett Will Run For Attorney General

    We just received confirmation that Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett will indeed challenge Republican incumbent John Suthers for Colorado Attorney General.

    Full text of the press release after the jump–says Garnett:

    “I will work tirelessly to support law enforcement, protect Colorado’s natural treasures and aggressively pursue unfair business practices that threaten hardworking Coloradans.  The Colorado Attorney General’s office should be a dynamic and excellent group of attorneys who will take the lead to protect the environment, consumers and honest businesses. The authority of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office should be used to further the interests of all Coloradans and never on behalf of factions or special interests.”

    As we wrote a few weeks ago, Suthers was probably going to waltz to re-election until he decided to join other state AGs in a lawsuit over health care reform. Garnett is personable and has deep fundraising ties, both of which make him a tough opponent for Suthers, and the health care lawsuit gives him a great issue to run on. While Suthers has the advantage of incumbency (if that is really an advantage in 2010), he is as dull a politician as there is in Colorado; remember, he struggled in 2006 to beat Democrat Fern O’Brien, who was one of the weakest statewide candidates of the decade. This seat is definitely now in play for Democrats.

    UPDATE: The Longmont Times-Call reports:

    Suthers said Garnett “will be a very viable candidate.”

    But Suthers said he’s going to focus his own re-election campaign on the accomplishments of the attorney general’s office since January 2005, when Gov. Bill Owens appointed Suthers to that post to fill the vacancy created by then-Attorney General Ken Salazar’s election to the U.S. Senate.

    “I’m very proud of the work the attorney general’s office has done over the last six years, in all areas,” Suthers said. “I think we’ve done great work, and I’m perfectly willing to go out and explain and discuss it and let the voters decide whether I should remain in office.”

    Said Colorado Republican chairman Dick Wadhams: “From what I heard a few days ago, it sounded like the Boulder district attorney was motivated to run by his opposition to Attorney General John Suthers’ lawsuit on the (congressional) health care bill.”

    “If that’s the debate the Boulder district attorney wants to have, then let the game begin,” Wadhams said.

    UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels writes for The Spot:

    Garnett said he doesn’t think Suthers should have joined the lawsuit over Obamacare or publicly announced he planned to vote against three of the four Colorado Supreme Court justices up for retention this year.

    Garnett also singled out three amicus, or friend of the party, briefs the attorney general’s office filed: in Nebraska, over gay marriage; in Kansas, over the death penalty; and in the District of Columbia, over gun control.

    He said he and Suthers also part on medical marijuana.

    “I’ve tried to take a position on medical marijuana that focuses on local control of dispensaries, and managing dispensaries in a way that is consistent with Amendment 20,” Garnett said. “John has taken the position that dispensaries should be outlawed rather than regulated and I don’t think that’s a realistic position.”

    Press Release

    Stan Garnett

    For Our Attorney General

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

    April  7, 2010

    MEDIA CONTACT: Alec Garnett

    (720) 840 – 8132  

    Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett Enters Bid to be Next Colorado Attorney General

    Early tomorrow, Democrat Stan Garnett will file paperwork officially launching his candidacy for Attorney General of Colorado. Garnett, 53, said, “As a resident of Colorado for the past 48 years, I am honored to pursue this opportunity to serve the citizens of our wonderful State.”  

    “After thoughtful discussions with my family, friends, opinion leaders and constituents I am a candidate for Colorado Attorney General,” said Garnett.  “I will work tirelessly to support law enforcement, protect Colorado’s natural treasures and aggressively pursue unfair business practices that threaten hardworking Coloradans.  The Colorado Attorney General’s office should be a dynamic and excellent group of attorneys who will take the lead to protect the environment, consumers and honest businesses. The authority of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office should be used to further the interests of all Coloradans and never on behalf of factions or special interests.”

    As District Attorney for the Twentieth Judicial District, Stan Garnett has made prosecuting violent and sexual crimes a top priority and has established a vigorous Business and Economic Crime unit. Four murder cases (including two cold cases), have been tried under his tenure to date,  more than ever before in the Twentieth Judicial District.  Each has received a verdict of guilty as charged.  He has forged strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies and maximized County resources to run a streamlined, effective office.

    Joe Pelle, Boulder County Sheriff said, “Stan has been a hard-nosed prosecutor who has taken the time to build relationships with the Boulder law enforcement community. He will be a tough, honest Attorney General who will be on the side of the People of Colorado.”

    Garnett has worked with local government personnel to further the Drug Court model, which saves substantial taxpayer dollars and helps offenders become contributing members of society.

    Jean Dubofsky, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and Garnett supporter said,”Stan is an excellent lawyer and a true leader.  He has deep roots in the state and is committed to the safety of our communities.”

    Garnett received his B.A. with distinction from the University of Colorado in 1978 and his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1982. Garnett’s professional affiliations include The American Bar Association, The Colorado Bar Association, The Denver Bar Association and The International Academy of Trial Lawyers.  He was elected and re-elected to the Boulder Valley School District Board of Education where he served as President. Garnett lives in Boulder County with his wife Brenda. Together they have two children.

    For additional information, contact Stan Garnett by phone at (303) 668-3113 or (303) 499-6864 or via email at Stan.Garnett@gmail.com.  

    30

    Did Suthers Sue His Way Into a Tough Re-Election?

    By most account, the lawsuits being filed by Attorney Generals around the county (most of them Republicans) challenging health care reform are not likely to succeed. When Colorado Attorney General John Suthers joined the political gamesmanship by signing on to the lawsuit, he did so as a candidate who wasn’t facing a serious re-election challenge in November, so in theory he had nothing to lose politically by doing what national Republicans asked of him.

    But that may be changing.

    Incensed at Suthers for using his office to attempt to overturn legislation that was approved by 5 of 7 Colorado Congressional members and both Senators, Democrats are now more actively seeking a potential challenger to Suthers. One of the names that seems to be getting the most traction is that of Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett.

    Garnett has not yet indicated that he would run for A.G., but he is reportedly considering the race as recruitment efforts intensify. If he did decide to run, he would give Democrats a serious challenger to Suthers. Garnett is well-known in the legal community as a former powerhouse attorney at Brownstein, Hyatt & Farber, and he would have no trouble raising a lot of money in a very short period of time (and erasing Suthers’ $170k cash on hand advantage in a hurry).

    A week ago Suthers looked like he would walk into re-election in 2010, since a strong candidate like Garnett might not have been seriously tempted to take a run at him. But now that Suthers has waded into the health care debate, he has provided Democrats with a significant issue to use against him; combine that with a potentially well-funded challenger, and suddenly things don’t look so rosy for re-election anymore.

    Pols Poll 2: Attorney General

    As always, please vote based on what you think will happen, not on who you would vote for or which candidate you support personally. Think of it this way: If you had to bet the deed to your house, who would you pick?

    Who Will Be Elected Attorney General in 2010?

    View Results

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    Slater Pulls Out of Race for Attorney General

    Well, so much for that.

    Democrat Dan Slater is pulling out of the race for Attorney General after just a few weeks campaigning, writing to supporters that he just didn’t have the fire to run a statewide race.

    Full announcement after the jump.  

    This is the second time I’ve run for elective office.  I’ve counseled numerous candidates on what they need to know and do to be effective candidates.  I’ve been to some of the best political trainings in the nation.  So I know what it takes to be a winning candidate in a tough race.

    And, after just two and a half weeks of this race, something has become all too clear:  I don’t have it.

    In 2002, I had it.  I had a “fire in the belly” that could only be quenched by knocking on doors, by dialing for dollars, and by talking to groups, winning votes one person at a time.  It was my top priority — winning that state senate seat.  It was exciting.  It was invigorating.  It was such a high — from the very first day until that election night when I delivered a concession speech.  

    Those feelings are feelings I just don’t have this year. I thought I’d have them.  I thought I’d be burning up the phone lines raising money.

    I could definitely fake it.  I could keep going, putting on a good face.  And if I truly were the “sacrificial lamb” candidate many have alleged, I would probably do that.  But I truly think John Suthers has done a horrible job as Attorney General, and we Democrats have a clear opening to beat him in 2010.  I just don’t think I have what it takes to do it.

    I recognize that this “in and out” campaign will certainly open me up to ridicule.  That’s fine.  I’m just not ready to put my family, and my finances, under the strain that a 13-month statewide campaign would mean.  I spent the last several days with my kids in Oklahoma.  I want to spend the majority of Christmas break and Spring Break, and next summer with them, not out on the campaign trail.  And I also don’t want to miss our twins’ soccer games and school functions and key moments just because I need to be out talking to voters.  At one point in my life, I was willing to make that sacrifice.  In looking at how I feel this year, I don’t think I can make that sacrifice for this election cycle.

    Finally, my work as First Vice Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party — a role I take very seriously — was suffering from the campaign.  I have been the chair of the 2010 Site Selection Committee, yet this campaign forced me to drop the ball at a critical time in the site selection process.  Thankfully, we have a great committee who — under the leadership of El Paso County Chair Jason DeGroot, who assumed a leadership position without any warning — did a site visit yesterday, and should have a recommendation next weekend for the State Executive Committee.  But my putting Jason in the position where he had to lead the committee is inexcusable.  You should expect better from you State First Vice Chair, and I expect better from myself.  So I will spend the next 12 and a half months working as your Vice Chair and speaking out when things need to be said.

    So that’s it.  I won’t be a candidate for Attorney General — or anything else, for that matter — in 2010.  I greatly appreciate the hundreds of you out there who offered your support, both morally and financially, to start this campaign.  In the end, we made just enough money to pay most of the campaign’s initial expenses.  So for those of you who contributed, I thank you for your vote of confidence, and I’m just sorry I let you down.

    I’ll still post to DemNotes and I’ll still fight for our Party.  See you on the trail!

    Pols Poll: Attorney General

    As we’ve done in other election years, we regularly poll our readers on various races to gauge changing perceptions. These obviously aren’t scientific polls, but they do help to show how the perception of various candidates are changing. We’ll conduct these polls each month and then show the results to see how the winds are shifting.

    As always, please vote based on what you think will happen, not on who you would vote for or which candidate you support personally. Think of it this way: If you had to bet the deed to your house, who would you pick?

    Who Will Be Elected Attorney General in 2010?

    View Results

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    Children of Illegal Immigrants Can Get In-State Tuition


    According to a press release issued by Attorney General John Suthers:

    In response to a question posed by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers today released a formal opinion on whether children who are legal citizens of the United States can receive in-state tuition from state colleges and universities in Colorado, even if their parents are in the country illegally.

    “After carefully reviewing state and federal law, my office has determined that legal residents of the state of Colorado can be eligible for in-state tuition rates, regardless of their parents’ immigration status,” commented Attorney General Suthers. “It is important to note that U.S. citizens who are the children of persons not lawfully in this country must, just like any other child, establish that their families were domiciled in Colorado during the preceding 12 months.”

    The opinion states, in pertinent part:

    “Because it is the student, rather than the parents, who is the legal beneficiary of in-state tuition status, the fact that the parents may be in the country illegally is not a bar to the student’s receipt of that benefit. … Under Colorado’s current statutory system, an undocumented alien can establish domicile in Colorado. Therefore, an unemancipated minor child who is a U.S. citizen can qualify for in-state tuition if his or her parents can establish domicile in the state, irrespective of the immigration status of the parents.”

    Today’s formal legal opinion was issued at the request of Colorado Department of Higher Education executive director David Skaggs. The opinion represents the Department of Law’s non-binding interpretation of statute.