Category Archives: Video

‘Mad Men’s’ Don Draper Reacts To Colorado Election Results

Seems as if  mystery ad man,  Mad Men’s Don Draper, was about as stunned as I was by all the young Dems robotically marking their Ds last Tuesday.

Barack Obama Illiterate Off-Teleprompter: Dude In Chief Reveals On Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Doesn’t Know Definition Of ‘Pun’

I often laugh when I hear people refer to Barack Obama as an intellectual elitist.

Barack Obama at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He later transferred to Columbia. (Photo - Time)

He may be an elitist, but he’s no intellectual – a point made even more clear by the Dude in Chief’s (hereinafter,  DIC) appearance on Thursday’s Daily Show, with Jon Stewart.

This followed on the heel’s of the DIC’s latest in-dialect rant where he listed a laundry list of nouns, and then incapable of negotiating an agreement between subject and number, used “has” instead of “have”  - a point noted by few in the media.   Guess I’m racist,  or  at least elitist, for pointing it out. Oh well, I guess while I’m at it, I’ll note what an abysmal failure affirmative action was and how crazy it is that we know exponentially more about Dan Maes’ academic background than the president’s.

His latest blunder is now infamous:  He doesn’t know the meaning of the word “pun.”   On the Daily Show,  in a delusional attempt to brag about his accomplishments,  the DIC claimed Larry Summers did a “heckuva job.”  (No, he wasn’t using “job” as a pun, though I’m sure many viewers were).

Here’s the video of the exchange [Updated video] :

Most analysts focused on the intended part as being the blatant lie that it was, but the diction issue was troubling as well.  Granted, if forced to choose one subject for this phony to have aced, I would settle for  Econ 101 over English 101.   That Dude is a real DIC when it comes to managing the economy.  Pun intended.

‘Airplane!’ Director David Zucker Spoofs Hardworking Barbara Boxer in Video

Describing his move from a center-left Clintonite, to a center-right activist, Airplane! director David Zucker, who has worked on myriad films including the “Naked Gun” and “Scary Movie” franchises, directed the “Call Me Senator” spot for Right Change.  The orgnization is  a 527 and 501(c)4 “committed to supporting policies and candidates dedicated to fiscal responsibility and a strong national security for the United States, while upholding the principles of freedom, competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people.”

DA Mark Hurlbert’s Failure To Make Colo. Republican State Senate Ballot Another Blow For Party Establishment

DA Mark Hurlbert failed to make the August 10, Colorado Republican primary ballot for state Senate District 16  after

DA Mark Hurlbert - Photo: Eric Lesser/ Getty Images file

producing  only 394 valid petition signatures, the Secretary of State’s office announced.  Hurlbert submitted 1,118 signatures, but the Secretary’s office invalidated 724 – giving Hurlbert the distinction of  the largest  invalidation rate in Colorado memory.  Hurlbert, labeled a “moderate” by mainstream media and his recruiters, was crushed  by Tim Leonard 71-29 percent at the State Assembly.   Leonard is a conservative/libertarian businessman from Evergreen, who garnered huge tea party support.   Despite the magnitude of the assembly loss, Hurlbert decided to try the petition route – the only Republican who  participated in the State Assembly to gamble on such a long-shot.

Leonard will now face liberal Democrat, Jeanne Nicholson, a Gilpin county commissioner, in the general election and will not have to waste money and effort in a primary contest.   Political analysts, such as Ben Degrow,  consider  Senate District 16 a must-win for Republicans to regain control of the state Senate from the Democrats, who hold a 21-14 majority.

Leonard’s victory marks  yet another success of a private sector, tea party candidate over the Republican party leadership’s pick.  Hurlbert, a career prosecutor like Bill Ritter,  was recruited in January by Senate Minority  leader,  Josh Penry,  and state Senator Al White, even though  Leonard had already entered the race and was campaigning effectively.

Party leaders cynically used Hurlbert’s prowess as a skier and mountaineer in an attempt to market him as a moderate,  “green Republican.”  Hurlbert and his handlers must have thought substantive discussion of issues was some kind of political third rail, making him the only candidate in Colorado I’m aware of to refuse to put an issues section on his website.

In thinking Hurlbert would be more electable than Leonard, he and his recruiters failed to clue-in that a candidate  typically must run an effective campaign to get elected.  Penry and the others did a poor job of vetting their candidate, and thought the voters would fall for generalities and spin about phony electoral prowess.

In his Assembly speech, Hurlbert clearly mislead his audience, including the media, by touting his victory in the 2008 DA’s race – an election in which Hurlbert failed to mention he’d run unopposed.  Was Penry complicit in this misleading spin, or did he just fail to exercise due diligence?

Unaccustomed to anything but nominal opposition, Hurlbert ran a “lazy and complacent” campaign, according to one Republican party official knowledgable about the race.  Hurlbert raised barely $15,000 in the entire campaign, compared to Leonard’s $70,000.  And so much for Penry’s hopes of Hurlbert’s popularity generating big support from Summit County.  Only 12 Summit residents contributed to his campaign.  Perhaps Penry and other party leaders from different  parts of Colorado mistook a lack of critical coverage of Hurlbert in the local media for  popularity.

Hurlbert has more excuses for his campaign’s failures than a criminal defendant coming before the same judge after violating probation for the fourteenth time. After  I broke the story of his stealth petition effort (apparently designed to draw minimal attention upon likely failure), Lynn Bartels picked up the story, and Hurlbert and Al White told her a flyer distributed at the assembly by the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners that supposedly distorted Hurlbert’s gun record prompted him to petition.  I’ve followed Hurlbert as much as anyone in the media,  and I am unaware of any record he has on gun rights.  He pointedly avoided telling Lynn Bartels what it might be, too.

The following Saturday, Hurlbert was caught on this video taken at the June 5,  Eagle County Lincoln Dinner, with an entirely different version of events – one that makes no mention of guns at all.  It’s only a minute and a half long, but it’s loaded with at least five misleading statements, and enough nervous body language to occupy both the Tim Roth character on Lie to Me and Bill O’Reilly’s body language expert.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDkjNAF4kpY

Here’s a quick fact check of  Hurlbert’s misrepresentations:

1. Hurlbert lost by two votes, not one; 2. He had at least four days to petition, not three  (seven had he been prepared for defeat); 3. Ballot problems caused it (all ballot procedures were approved by both candidates, before the vote and after – and he’s the lawyer in the crowd); 4. Great volunteer effort – no, he used mostly paid signature collectors and spent at least $3,000 of his contributors’ funds on this long-shot;  5. He didn’t submit “1,200″ signatures; only 1,118- quite a rounding error, given the importance of invalidation rates.

Once the petition failure was announced, Hurlbert still refused to accept responsibility for a botched campaign.  Details aside, he lost at the assembly 71-29 percent.  What did he think would change in the next two months to prompt him to be the only Republican who participated in the assembly to try a long-shot petition effort?  Was it that he didn’t have a dime of his own or his wife’s money in the campaign, so what the heck? After all, every dime he spends on the job as DA  involves playing with other people’s money in deciding what should and should not be prosecuted?  He told Lynn Bartels:

“It’s like a court case.  If you’re not happy with the result you appeal, so I’m appealing to the people.”

Actually, private citizens who have  to spend their own money on an appeal need to do a cost-benefit analysis, and can’t just launch an appeal because they’re “not happy” with the result.  But when you use other people’s money, I guess the calculus is different.

After losing this contribution-funded appeal to the people, Hurlbert commented that his  65 percent invalidation rate  might have been a result of  Democrats collecting signatures, as if the career government lawyer can’t be expected to follow the rules.  He even suggested if that pesky and antiquated rule that only Republican signatures count toward the 1,000 wasn’t in the way, the result might have been different.

“That we collected 1,100 signatures in three [sic] days was pretty incredible. I think it does show that I had support among rank-and-file Republicans. And there were also independents and Democrats saying, ‘Mark, I can’t sign, but I support you.’”

When the Summit Daily asked  Hurlbert what he could have done differently, he did not mention any improvements he might have made to his campaign despite the glaring deficiencies. Instead, he took a move from Coach Josh Penry’s  playbook and said he would have avoided the assembly altogether and petitioned from the start.

Hurlbert notably failed to congratulate Tim Leonard on running an outstanding campaign and failed to even muster a phone call after conceding defeat.

Obama Gives Teleprompter Speech At Michigan High School; Lucky Student Snoozes Through It… (via THE B.S. REPORT)

The most brilliant president in the history of America, lulls high school students to sleep, with chin in air, back and forth, like a lanky version of Mussolini officiating a tennis match.  H/T to my prolific pal at the B.S. Report for unearthing this video.

via THE B.S. REPORT

Joe Gschwendtner Submits Almost 17,000 Petition Signatures in Late Bid for GOP Governor’s Race: Joe G Would Face Maes and McInnis in Primary – UPDATED 5-31

Joe Gschwendtner, or “Joe G” as he dubs himself,  submitted just under 17,000 signatures in his petition bid  for a late entry on the GOP primary ballot in the Colorado governor’s race, according to his campaign.  If the petition effort is successful, Gschwendtner, a wealthy business workout specialist from Castle Rock, will face former Colorado Congressman and lawyer-lobbyist, Scott McInnis, and businessman Dan Maes, in the August 10 primary.

Joe G’s ballot spot is not a done deal yet, though.  The Secretary of State’s office will check each signature against voter registration roles to ensure the campaign submitted 10,500 verified signatures of registered Republicans, with at least 1,500 from each of Colorado’s  seven congressional districts.  They will announce their decision by June 11.

The latter requirement proved pivotal in Colorado’s last governor’s race in 2006.  After failing to gain enough votes to make the primary ballot against former Congressman Bob Beauprez, former DU president Marc Holtzman submitted petition signatures that well exceeded the 10,500 required.

After completing the verification process, however, the Secretary of State ruled Holtzman failed to meet the 1,500 threshold in two congressional districts. Holtzman then initiated a bitter court fight that some believe might have been responsible for saddling Coloradans with current gubernatorial nightmare, former career prosecutor Bill Ritter.

The two other statewide candidates facing the same signature requirements,  U.S. Senate Candidate Jane Norton, and treasurer hopeful Walker Stapleton, left greater margins for error. Norton turned in about 35,000 signatures and Stapleton delivered 27,000 to the Secretary of State for verification.  They also had more time to collect the signatures.  Joe G’s late entry also forced him to rely primarily on paid signature collectors.  According to election law experts, including Republican Secretary of State candidate Scott Gessler,  paid collectors with a tight deadline typically produce a higher percentage of invalid signatures, as was the case for Holtzman in 2006.

Gschwendtner entered the race about two months ago on a platform to get Colorado on the fast track to economic recovery and with the promise of  having enough of his own  money to run a winning campaign.  As of April 25, he put  $129,000 into the race, and raised another $15,500, according to campaign finance reports.  A report for the most recent 30 days is due June 1.

Joe G’s “Vision 2014″ plan promises to immediately cut $1 billion in inefficient government spending and to lower  Colorado’s unemployment rate to 4 percent by 2014.  He touts his experience as a workout specialist turning failing businesses around in a 30-year career in a video interview with Ben DeGrow.

The focus of Joe G’s campaign thus far, however,  has been to attack grassroots favorite Dan Maes, whom he had hoped to oust from the race at the Assembly stage.   Some, such as Reclaim the Blue blogger, Al Maurer, contend Joe G might be working in concert with Scott McInnis to split the anti-establishment vote.

Besides Gschwendtner’s Maes-centric focus, other evidence of  possible coordination with McInnis includes harsh attack robo-calls against Dan Maes using the same out-of-state robo-call company employed by McInnis.  Critics also pose the question about how Joe G, not yet an official candidate, could have obtained a delegate list.

Maurer observed what looked like  hired homeless people carrying signs for Joe G at the State Assembly.  Ben DeGrow put Joe G in the “loser” category in his review of the aftermath of the State Assembly.   He pointed out that Joe G’s campaign spokesman boldly predicted to the Post’s Lynn Bartels before the assembly vote, “after Dan doesn’t get his 30 percent, it will be McInnis and Gschwendtner.” In fact, Maes edged out McInnis and gained the top line of the ballot.  DeGrow observed,  “McInnis’ party establishment backing and Maes’ outstanding grassroots showing leave [Joe G] very little political oxygen.”

Gschwendtner’s two recent radio ads are high quality,  focus on the economy, and criticize McInnis in particular and “career politicians” in general.   So maybe the Maes attacks were a strategy limited to the assembly stage.  The video interview with DeGrow supports this possibility to some extent, as Gschwendtner talks game theory with Ben in describing his Maes attacks.

Assuming Joe Gschwendtner makes it through the petition process, no one can dispute  we’ll be looking forward to a contentious and entertaining GOP gubernatorial primary campaign.

Update 5-31. Joe G campaign spokesman Kyle Fisk told me this morning Plan A was to knock Maes out to make it a two-way race.  That was the logical strategy at the time.  Now it’s a three-way race and they’v adusted their strategy accordingly.

Fisk said he doesn’t believe Maes is electable in the general and that Assembly delegates are party insiders who don’t represent the views of Republican voters.  He said Maes has spent 14 months campaigning to persuade less than 2,000 people to vote for him.

Update: 5-31 – Al Maurer at Reclaim the Blue just posted a detailed analysis of Joe G’s campaign finance reports, and finds interesting info about the petition company he used.  Tom Wiens may have had problems with the same company, Silver Bullet. Don  Johnson’s take on Joe G’s candidacy.

Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty TV Ad, “We Know Who You Are,” Invokes “Enemy of the State” (of PA): How about just cutting spending?

I’m a fan of tax amnesty programs and their promotion.  But this ad (which I think was produced by Mad Men’s Don Draper at Sterling, Cooper), is funny in the same way the Enviro-Nazis Audi Superbowl ad was funny.  It’s parody merging with stark realism.  I just watched Enemy of the State for the first time the other night.  Now I feel like the Will Smith character.

This is a must watch 30-second video, and is starting to go viral.

Sadly, it’s another sign that government does not get the basic point:  They work for us, not the other way around.  H/T to Radley Balko, the Editor of Reason magazine, from his blog, The Agitator.  Comments from his readers are worth checking out.  For many Americans, Orwellian threats are counterproductive.  Maybe PA can sell this ad to Canada and they can repackage it for their submissive inhabitants.  Come to think of it, Don Draper wouldn’t have been this clueless.

Update: Philadelphia Inquirer reports this is a $3 Million dollar advertising campaign and is the brainchild of Governor Ed Rendell, former head of the DNC, and big pal of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.  Why am I not surprised?  Article is nauseating, and mentions a “business-privilege” tax they have in PA.  So running a business is a “privilege” granted by the monarchy?   Progressive HuffPo is even critical of ad, and 68% of their readers agree it’s too “big brother.”  9:37 a.m. 5-6. Rendell is on Fox criticising conservative bloggers and tea partiers .  Says this ad was one of five possibles and this is the “least aggressive.”  A focus group allegedly loved it.

Editorial: DA Mark Hurlbert’s Delay in Charging Leadville Deputy Who Tased Students Displays Pattern of Unaccountability – Why and How Lake County Should Oppose Hurlbert for State Senate

Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte has not retracted his statements to me that DA Investigator Rick Wallingford told him no later than April 15, that DA Mark Hurlbert’s investigation of Leadville student tasing by former Deputy John Ortega was complete.  Holte told me Wallingford recommended Hurlbert charge Ortega with 15 misdemeanor counts, eight for child abuse and seven for reckless endangerment.

Hurlbert was on an out-of-state-vacation that week of April 12-16.  He attended a campaign event upon his return to Colorado on April 17.  Hurlbert claims the Ortega investigation was not completed until April 21, while he was in the middle of a week-long, intensive national drug court training seminar from April 19-23.

Hurlbert’s Delay in the Ortega Prosecution and Lack of Public Accountability

Here is Hurlbert’s entire statement on the Ortega investigation, which he provided to me on April 22:

“The Office of the District Attorney completed our investigation of the tazer incident yesterday.  We are currently reviewing the reports to see if we can file charges.  There are currently no charges filed.  We will make a decision on whether to file charges next week.”

Before leaving it at that, however, I asked Hurlbert to explain why, and not just tell the public what he was going to do.  The public deserved and expected an explanation for the delay.   Why did he need a week after receiving the report even if he’s right and Holte’s wrong about when the investigation was completed? Anyone with common sense knows that if a private citizen had tased as many as 30 kids at their behest, he would have been arrested immediately and charged within a couple of days.  Perhaps between being DA, a state Senate candidate, and his need for vacations and training, Hurlbert is spreading himself too thin. Maybe his battery is weak and needs a charge.

I explained to Hurlbert the concerns of  many in the Leadville community, including the mayor, that this headline-grabbing case hanging out there could be damaging to their tourism industry.  I questioned whether these concerns were entering into his time frame for charging the case.

But Hurlbert did not respond.  This imperious attitude is nothing new.  Hurlbert almost never feels he needs to explain his actions. He’s used to issuing press releases to the Summit or Vail Daily, which they dutifully roll out, no questions asked.

Hurlbert’s Performance as DA

Hurlbert was also slow off the mark about whether to file charges against Deputy Steven James or Leadville Fire Captain Dan Dailey.  Hurlbert charged James with three misdemeanor counts for allegedly obstructing Dailey in his duties when he arrested him upon Dailey’s arrival at the scene of a medical emergency and Dailey refused to leave.  Hurlbert declined to prosecute Dailey.  That incident occurred on March 27, and Hurlbert announced his filing of charges against James on April 14.

I praised Hurlbert for that decision.  Many Lake County residents did as well.  I should have emphasized, though, the bulk of that praise was not for charging James, but for not charging Dailey.  Dropping the entire spat and not charging either one was my original “verdict.”  I refrained then from bringing up Hurlbert’s delay.

Unfortunately, Hurlbert’s decision to charge James may have been prompted by political perception,  rather than community concerns.  Hurlbert told the Leadville Herald before deciding  the case, “Politics don’t concern me at all.”  That should have been a red flag that politics was front and center for this career politician.  The decision to charge James could have been right or wrong, I don’t know.  I agree that Dailey should not have been charged, and I also don’t think he should have had to wait and worry about it for more than two weeks.

Hurlbert’s decision to charge James appeared at the time as a welcome change in Hurlbert’s pattern of failing to charge law enforcement when they have abused their authority or  members of the public, and charging the abused members of the public instead. Then again, Dailey was another government official, making things politically trickier for Hurlbert. That scene of demonstrating firefighters from around the state may have crossed his mind.

Contrast this case of a woman with no criminal history shoved off of her bicycle by a State Trooper on the bike path in Dillon.  This  pattern has been typical in Summit and was reported to me by Leadville Mayor Bud Elliott and local attorneys as common in Lake, as well.  And of course, I assumed Hurlbert would promptly charge Deputy John Ortega for the student tasings, not delay doing anything for three weeks.  I also assumed that the decision would herald a new level of candor with the public.  I was wrong.

Run through a search of the Summit and Vail Daily articles on Hurlbert’s  criminal cases and note how he rarely explain his decisions, except to defend himself in the face of absurdly pursued cases, like this infamous Copper Mountain snowball trial.  You won’t find much concern expressed for victims of violent crimes, or people found not guilty after having their lives turned upside down and their bank accounts emptied.  He was also unapologetic about the woman shoved off her bike.

The Lake County cases don’t get as much media exposure, but  residents are aware of them. You’ll also notice by its absence, any detailed bragging by Hurlbert about his record as DA. We can rest assured, if there were much to brag about, we would have heard it by now, more than three months since Hurlbert announced for state Senate.

What Lake County Can Do About Hurlbert

Lake County should be proud that it single-handedly prevented Hurlbert from getting the term limit extension he sought last year.   Once again, Lake County can help halt Hurlbert’s political pursuits.

Though Hurlbert has sought to portray himself as a small government, fiscal conservative, the evidence proves otherwise.  He has increased his budgets every year, even though case filings have dropped precipitously during the recession.  He also supported legislation that increased his own pay from $80,000 in 2008, to $100,000 in 2009, and $110,000 in 2010. That’s a 37.5 percent increase in two years in the middle of a recession, plus the 13 percent PERA retirement plan and other benefits.

Lake County, of course, is not part of state Senate District 16, but that doesn’t mean residents can’t influence this important  election.  After all, state Senators vote on measures that affect

Hurlbert opponent, Tim Leonard, with Two-Year Old Daughter, Isabella, at Jeffco Assembly

the entire state.  This editorial appeal is not limited to Lake County residents, but to all Coloradans.

Besides encouraging friends and family who live in SD 16 to vote for Hurlbert’s opponent, Tim Leonard, in the August GOP primary, you can make donations or do volunteer work for his campaign.  Tim Leonard is a fiscally conservative, libertarian-oriented businessman from Evergreen.  He’s got tea party support, and has campaigned more successfully than Hurlbert (maybe because he doesn’t take so much time off).  His website is full of material about his views on the issues, including cutting the size of  government and excessive police and nanny-state power. Compare it to Hurlbert’s issue-free site.

Even if you’re a liberal Democrat and would vote for Jeanne Nicholson in the November election, Nicholson is unopposed in the primary. Supporting Leonard before August can help make sure Hurlbert doesn’t get to the general election.

One of Hurlbert’s wealthy supporters from outside Lake County, Colorado Treasurer

Ali Hasan: "Mark, you're the best DA in the World!"

candidate Muhammed Ali Hasan,  has already been spouting off falsehoods throughout Colorado presuming to know what Lake County voters think of Hurlbert:

Mark Hurlbert is, indeed, the best DA in America – I honestly believe that just about everyone in Eagle, Summit, Lake, and Clear Creek would agree (which is why he is going to win SD16)

Really?  The “best DA in America”?   And almost everyone in Lake and the other counties would agree?   But this is less hyperbolic than before, where Hasan is on video here,  from 2009 in his home town of Beaver Creek, shouting out “Mark, you’re the best DA in the world.”  And this guy wants to be in charge of all of Colorado’s money,  with absolutely no background in economics or finance?

Hasan has plenty of reason to support Hurlbert so fervently – Hurlbert declined to file charges against Hasan in a controversial 2008 incident involving harassment and computer hacking charges by his former girlfriend.  Despite his personal and political relationship with Hasan, Hurlbert failed to hand the case over to a special prosecutor.  And of course, in keeping with the cavalier attitude befitting the best DA in the world, Hurlbert failed to address this obvious appearance of impropriety.

Since Mark Hurlbert has done nothing to rein in his flamboyant supporter’s over-the-top statements to the rest of Colorado about Lake County’s supposed almost unanimous support for him, Lake County citizens should feel  free to tell Colorado what they really feel about Hurlbert.

DA Mark Hurlbert Charges Lake County, Colo. Sheriff’s Deputy for Obstructing Leadvile Firefighter Dan Dailey in Smart and Stand-Up Prosecutorial Move – UPDATED: Criminally Charged Deputy Stays on Active Duty

Mark Hurlbert, the District Attorney for Lake County, Colorado, made an admirably bold move

Protesters in Leadville Support Firefighter - Photo by Marcia Martinek - Leadville Herald Democrat

last night in announcing his decision to prosecute  Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven James, rather than Dan Dailey, the Leadville Fire Captain James had arrested when he responded to a medical emergency.  Hurlbert charged James with three Class II misdemeanor counts.

According to Denver 7′s review of the court documents, Hurlbert charged the sheriff’s deputy  with “impeding an official in a public building, official misconduct and obstructing a fire fighter or medical person.”  In addition to serving as the DA for Lake County,  Hurlbert also represents Summit, Eagle and Clear Creek counties.  He is term-limited in 2012, and is running in a Republican contest for state Senate against conservative/libertarian businessman, Tim Leonard of  Evergreen.

As we reported here and as covered in the Denver Post and Denver7 embedded accounts, James arrested Dailey on March 27, for being the first responder on the scene of an injury victim in a domestic violence incident.  He was arrested when he insisted he be allowed to treat the patient and refused James’ order to leave the scene.  James was apparently acting in accordance with a territorial dispute initiated by controversial Lake County Sheriff, Ed Holte, to expand his department’s control of emergency services that have been handled by the City of Leadville.

My sources indicate the community is happy to have the issue resolved, and resolved this way.   “Justice prevails”!, according to Dave Wright, a community activist and owner of the historic Golden Burro restaurant and lounge in Leadville.

Update 4-25: New Post with the latest and a new “verdict” against Hurlbert is here.

DA Mark Hurlbert

Mark Hurlbert wielded his legal weapons brilliantly in this case. Under the laws of Colorado and many states,  an individual technically can be charged with obstruction even for disobeying an illegal order by a cop, for example videotaping an incident of possible misconduct.  But the DA has broad discretion in charging decisions.  I opined that Hurlbert should not charge EMT Capt. Dailey.

But Hurlbert did better than that.  By deftly deploying the statutes that apply to responding medical personnel and the laws that prohibit their being obstructed in their duties, Hurlbert’s investigation of the facts and the law enabled him to charge  Sheriff’s Deputy James.  Hurlbert did what he said he was going to do at the outset – look at the public safety issues in the case.

Hurlbert reportedly is still investigating John Ortega, the other alleged criminal Sheriff’s Deputy in Lake County who tased a bunch of masochistic school kids.  Hopefully we’ll see a charging decision there as well.  I’m also waiting a call back from Sheriff Ed Holte to find out if Deputy Ortega is set to go back on the job today and what he plans to do with James.   He reportedly rehired a suspended deputy after Hurlbert convicted him of misdemeanor charges for severely beating a handcuffed suspect

Hurlbert’s adroit and appropriate legal move is not often followed by other district attorneys in Colorado or around the country.  Readers may recall this Oklahoma City case of law enforcement both obstructing and  abusing an EMT driving a patient to the hospital in an ambulance.

I spoke with the DA involved in this infamous case, and but for the close to 2,500,000 YouTube hits this video received, she probably would have charged the EMT.   She did not file charges against the LEO here, and his serious anger management issues resulted in other incidents for which he received suspensions.

Ali Hasan and DA Mark Hurlbert, Conflict of Interest? Colo. Treasurer and State Senate Candidates Intertwined in 2008 Criminal Investigation; Missing or Sealed Court Records, Lack of Special Prosecutor – Ali Hasan Speaks Out – Updated 4-19

In March 2008, Ali Hasan, currently running as a Republican candidate for Colorado Treasurer, was the subject of a court-issued temporary civil restraining order, which  in turn lead to a

Ali Hasan

criminal investigation of the case by DA Mark Hurlbert, a Republican candidate for state Senate District 16.  The facts of the underlying claims are disputed.  Alison Miller, a former girlfriend of Hasan’s, and an activist Republican and publicist for his 2008 campaign for House District 56, alleged that after a breakup, Hasan harassed her and hacked into her computer.  Hasan disputes this as a smear campaign.

Unfortunately, without assistance from Hasan and Hurlbert, this “he said, she said” dispute can’t really be sorted out because the entire Eagle County court records on the case are inexplicably missing, as if the case never existed.  See Update of 4-19 here.

DA Mark Hurlbert, a friend and political supporter of Hasan’s back in 2008 and continuing today, evaluated the case for possible criminal charges.  He didn’t bring any, he didn’t issue a press release as to why not, and he failed to comment  about why he personally handled the case despite the apparent conflict of interest.  He easily could have and should have handed the case off to a special prosecutor, such as a DA from neighboring Glenwood Springs.

As Don Johnson pointed out, I first raised these concerns in early March. Despite never being charged criminally, the wealthy Republican scion hired members of the Kobe Bryant defense team to represent him.  And there’s nothing wrong with that;  it’s a smart move if you can afford it.  But as Don Johnson noted in following the exchanges with Hasan today over at Ben Degrow’s Mount Virtus blog, undoubtedly Alison Miller didn’t have the resources to fight Hasan given his vast wealth.

Read Michael Riley’s detailed article from the Denver Post in its entirety.  He notes in a heading to a section of the article, Hasan’s “Future may lie with DA.” I spoke with Riley last week, and he confirmed that Mark Hurlbert had indeed been investigating the case,  and he spoke at length with Hurlbert. Ali Hasan and I engaged in a form of blog comment/interview at Ben Degrow’s Mount Virtus site over the past two days.  Don Johnson reported on the exchange and agreed Ali Hasan was being cagey when he said he “didn’t know” whether DA Hurlbert had investigated him.  Based on the Post article, Hasan’s mother certainly seemed to know.

The purpose of this investigative post is not to judge whether “he” or “she” is correct in his or her different versions of events.  Instead, my aim is to explore the transparency and ethics questions posed by the case, a major theme of this blog.

I spoke with two different court clerks to verify how no record whatsoever could exist of proceedings that both “he and she” admitted took place.  Both clerks told me it’s as if the restraining order action had never even been filed, though both Hasan and Miller agree that it had.  I asked both clerks if it had it been sealed.  No, it hadn’t.  It’s just not there.  “Ellie” at Eagle County, and Summit Combined Courts head clerk, Jan Reed, who has access to all Fifth Judicial District Records, confirmed today exactly what Ellie told me on April 8:  It’s not there.  And it’s not sealed.  And despite Hasan’s unsupported claims in our blog exchange, such secrecy  is not in the least normal in the American legal system.

Ali Hasan is exuberantly outspoken as usual about his friendship and the campaign help Hurlbert provided him during his 2008 campaign.  Hasan made these points in the comments section  in February on Ben Degrow’s blog post endorsing Hurlbert’s opponent for Senate District 16, conservative Evergreen businessman, Tim Leonard.  Hasan commented that a post of mine, opining Hurlbert is a RINO, made him “sick to his stomach.”  Hasan continued:

I ran for House District 56 as a Republican in 2008, with almost everyone in the world giving no chance of winning – I ended up with 47% of the vote (outpacing McCain and Schaffer by around an 11% average), almost unseating a Democratic incumbent Mark Hurlbert was a big reason behind this because he helped me tremendously in my getting to know Summit and Lake Counties…

Now, with his case resolved and Hurlbert declining to file charges, flash forward to the August 2009 Lincoln Day event in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and the comments Hasan made there.  Here’s the raw video:

At about the 2:38 mark, Ali Hasan shouts out this hyperbolic praise for Hurlbert:  “Mark, you’re the greatest DA in the world!” Hurlbert smiles, and says, “thanks Ali.”  Then Ali used the opportunity to get Hurlbert to promote his (ultimately failed) campaign to extend his term limits from two, to three four-year terms. The conflict of interest topic came up last night and today, once again on Ben Degrow’s blog, which seems to be serving as a modern-day political salon.  Hasan backed off from his August comments about Hurlbert, and now only views him as the “greatest DA in the U.S.”  Here’s some more excerpts from my exchanges with Hasan:

There was a false restraining order requested against me around February of 2008 – this request was made in Eagle County Courts, outside the jurisdiction of the DA’s office In March of 2008, after I had hired a lawyer, the request was withdrawn and shortly after, completely vacated by a Judge in Eagle County, as it was found to be baseless I personally no longer have the original request – in regards to Eagle County no longer having the request on file, that is likely because a Judge in Eagle County vacated it – which had nothing to do with the DA’s office.  I was innocent of all accusations and I’m glad that the Eagle County Courts agreed – again, a Judge in Eagle County vacated the Order, not Mark Hurlbert – so if you’re upset that it was vacated, then you would have to speak with the Judge in Eagle County.

It’s hard to know where to begin with this.  First, the temporary restraining order was apparently granted by a judge, and Hasan offers no evidence it was “false.”  With a strangely eradicated court file that indicates none of the court hearings that obviously took place ever did, it’s hard to judge the rest of his argument.  That’s why we have open court proceedings in the U.S., where the media and public can obtain transcripts to find out what really took place.

And though I have no concerns at all about the TRO being vacated, it would be helpful if Hasan would indicate who the judge was who did the alleged vacating.   One thing is clear –  if complaining witness Alison Miller withdrew the order, in other words, did not pursue a permanent restraining order, the judge would never reach the issue of innocence or guilt, and vacating the original restraining order would have been a bureaucratic function at most.

Thus, it appears Ali Hasan is being inaccurate in stating he received some form of acquittal on the merits.  He didn’t.  If I’m wrong, this candidate wishing to manage all of Colorado’s money can supply the transcript.

But Hasan was unwilling even to supply the court case number.  Given the inexplicably missing record, I thought this would give me a third shot at finding any record that the proceedings ever occurred.  He tried to cop-out that he didn’t have it on him, and I pointed out (as if I needed to) that he could ask his high-priced attorneys and they would readily supply it.  He demurred, stating he’s put all this behind him.  He fails to realize as a candidate for Treasurer, it’s not all about him.

Both Hurlbert and Hasan need to release all records to the public concerning these  public proceedings voluntarily.  Mark Hurlbert also needs to explain why he failed to appoint a special prosecutor.  Though I believe this would be only a half-measure, why did Hurlbert handle what Hasan maintains is such a bogus case himself, instead of assigning it to a deputy DA? Hurlbert also needs to use his powers as DA to help restore the court file, and find out how it got cleansed from public existence.