Tag Archives: Ali Hasan

Colorado’s Ali Hasan, ‘Muslims For Bush’ Leader Shows True Colors: Blue Blood

Former RINO GOP candidate for Colorado Treasurer,  who was trounced at the assembly and eliminated from the primary,  Muhammed Ali Hasan, has reportedly been wooed big time by hottie Nancy Pelosi, and has now reverted to being a Dem.  As if he were remotely a Republican before.

Ali Hasan, Former Gop Muslim Leader, Current Momma's Boy

He’s been nothing other than an arguably criminal joke of a momma’s boy at best. He’s now a dilettante playing at being a screenwriter.  The GOP should be proud to rid themselves of this refuse.

Here’s the basics  of the story from the Colorado Independent.

Muhammad Ali Hasan, a member of the wealthy and influential Colorado Republican Hasan family and a past state House and treasurer candidate, said he is switching parties. Speaking at the University of Colorado-Boulder on his experience growing up Muslim in the American West and later in conversation with the Colorado Independent, Hasan said he is ending his affiliation with the party for the bigotry he believes has shaped Republican politics over the last year. The FOX News regular and founder ofMuslims for Bush said he met recently with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the controversial Democratic leader won him over.

Bye, loser.

Colo. Republican Ali Hasan Supports Ground Zero Mosque: ‘Muslims for Bush’ Founder Attacks Opponents As “Bigots”

Wealthy Colorado Republican health care scion, Muhammad Ali Hasan, wrote an op-ed in the Huffington Post Tuesday supporting the building of the controversial mega-Mosque next door to Ground Zero, the site of the  9-11 World Trade Center attacks.  Hasan, the founder of Muslims for Bush, sweepingly portrayed the project’s opponents as bigots:

I deeply support building this mosque. To my fellow conservative leaders who say they are against this project, yet claim to not be bigoted, I have news for you: you are a bigot.

Hasan, who now appears to be a blogger for the left-leaning Huff-Po, employs some logically specious arguments in trying to make his case for the mosque.  One, is that in addition to being a mosque, an entire  community center called the Cordoba House, which would include bookstores, a swimming pool, and other amenities, would be part of the development, and open to all.   Objection – relevance?

Even worse, is this  non-sequitur:

Shame on Republican leaders for criticizing such a fine project. After all, I believe many of these conservatives were the same leaders who supported the bailouts of 2008 and turned blind eyes to the book-cooking that kept companies like Enron in business?

Perhaps the founders of the Cordoba House should abandon the project, convert to Christianity, and invest their $100 million into a more modest building, closed to the public, that will instead house an oil company that cooks its books to reflect fake profits? History dictates that the same conservatives criticizing the Cordoba House project would probably give this new oil company a large bailout — provided that the good oilmen are white and Christian.

And Hasan has the hubris to cast stones at other Republicans for bigotry?  With imaginative economic reasoning like this, we should all be grateful to J.J. Ament for singlehandedly knocking Ali out of contention for Colorado Treasurer.

Can it be possible that fellow conservatives could agree that the First Amendment’s  free exercise of religion clause permits the mosque, are not bigoted, but think the mosque project shows poor judgment?  Yes and no, according to Hasan.

While Hasan finds himself unable to conjure up any legitimate basis for the opposition,  he acknowledges that his friend and mentor, Newt Gingrich, is not a bigot (nor is Sarah Palin).  How does Hasan explain Gingrich’s outspoken and well-argued opposition to the Cordoba mosque-mall project?  He doesn’t.  Nor does he bother to engage readers rhetorically by presenting the best arguments of the opposition, then  countering them.

That leaves me to present the other side for purposes of this post.  As I prefer the Newt Gingrich side of the debate, however,  I’ll present his argument and cut down Ali’s points instead.

First,  just because something is constitutional doesn’t make it sound.  The free speech clause, to use an example,  protects lots of nasty things, and I defend anyone’s legal right to say them or write them.   But would I support a politician who wanted to demonstrate in favor of racial segregation or who runs around burning flags?  Of course not.   Muslim leaders, including Hasan, should be using sound judgment,  appropriately  targeted to achieving their aims.  Instead, Hasan jumps aboard the left wing of the debate, and instead of providing  a compelling conservative argument,  simply draws on his own credentials  as a card-carrying Republican.

Gingrich pointed out on Fox News Tuesday night that Ground Zero is the most emotionally charged  locale in the country.  If the mosque developers wish to project a  message of tolerance and inclusion, Gingrich suggests a center featuring all three of the Abrahamic religions, not just Islam.  I wonder why Hasan fails to engage his mentor’s thought-provoking idea?

And I would be remiss if I ignored the elephant in the room (no pun intended).  Radical Islam certainly does not represent any but a small minority of Muslims in the U.S., but it is also a small minority of Muslims who speak out against radical Islam – very small.  And they can be quite sensitive about their own sensibilities, as exemplified with the Danish cartoon fanaticism.

So  picture this.  A site of mass casualties of Muslims somewhere in say, western Europe.  A Jewish group decides they’d like to open a synagogue next door.  How many cries for tolerance do we think we’d be hearing from Muslims about that one?

Ali Hasan has the potential to build better understanding of Islam among conservatives .  To do that effectively, however, he needs to speak in the same breath about the need for American Muslims to speak out,  or they will continue to receive the skepticism about their intentions with which they’ve been greeted so far.   Hasan might call that bigoted.  I call it reality.  He can’t reserve all his wrath for conservatives – especially with arguments as weak as those on display in the Huffington Post op-ed.

Hasan  is wasting his enormous potential as a man of persuasion and bridge building if he merely tosses rhetorical grenades at fellow conservatives in what seems more like pandering to leftist readers than a genuine attempt to win conservative hearts and minds.

Walker Stapleton, Colo. GOP Treasurer Candidate, Will Face J.J. Ament in Primary

Walker Stapleton furnished enough signatures to successfully petition on the August 10 Coloarado Republican primary ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s office.  Stapleton chose to forego the State Assembly, held May 22.  J.J. Ament won a resounding 79-21 victory against Ali Hasan, knocking him off the August ballot.  Hasan declined to try the petition route, stating he would stick with his commitment to abide by the results of the assembly.

Stapleton furnished a total of 25,964 signatures, 14, 449 of which were valid – a 44 percent rejection rate.  He needed a total of 10,500 signatures, with a minimum of 1,500 from registered Republican voters in each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts.

Ali Hasan Ends Colo. Treasurer Bid – Will Not Attempt Ballot Petition; Mark Hurlbert Should Follow Suit in Senate District 16

Ali Hasan, a Republican  candidate for Colorado Treasurer, just announced on his website that he will not seek to petition his way on the August primary ballot.  Hasan’s  announcement follows a stunning loss at yesterday’s Colorado Republican State Assembly, where J.J. Ament won 79 percent of the vote and Hasan only 20 percent.  By failing to win at least 30 percent, Hasan was out of the race unless he chose to pursue a petition signature path.

Hasan stated he  is “against” the petition option:

From the start of the campaign, we committed to the Assembly process.

And while a substantial amount of delegates gave us their support, we were still short of qualifying – with that said, I am a man of my word – I respect the decision of our good activists and we end our campaign here

Hasan should be applauded not only for making the right decision for the GOP and for Colorado, but by deciding quickly.  With the huge and enthusiastic turnout for the Assembly, that momentum should not be wasted in further intra-party skirmishes.

Hasan did not mention in his statement whether he would be endorsing either of his Treasurer race rivals, J.J. Ament or Walker Stapleton (who did not participate in the Assembly and is petitioning on the ballot).  Hasan noted, however,  “I look forward to helping our State Senate and House candidates win back Colorado in 2010 – and I’m really really looking forward to getting back to film directing.”

State Senate District 16 candidate, DA Mark Hurlbert,  should follow his friend’s lead after his crushing loss in that race to Tim Leonard at Friday’s District Assembly.  Leonard defeated Hurlbert by 71 percent to 29 percent,  which could free up Leonard to devote his energy and resources to beating Democrat Jeanne Nicholson, a Gilpin County Commissioner.

Some of Hurlbert’s  supporters argue that he is more “electable” in November.  At best,  this theory is based on a 2008 notion of electability, and 2010 is a very different year.  The conservative base is wildly motivated, as the grassroots assembly sweep amply demonstrates. Hurlbert’s poor showing is in part a grassroots reaction against party leaders’ attempts to handpick candidates.

Still, a petition-based challenge  would be fair enough had Hurlbert demonstrated some sort of significant support base of his own outside the conservative delegate majority with which to challenge Leonard.  But Hurlbert did not.  He ran a listless campaign that generated few volunteers and paltry fundraising.  Significantly, he found little support within the district, obtaining only nine campaign contributions in over three months of campaigning (Leonard received 89).

While Leonard raised more funds in the most recent quarter than any other GOP state Senate candidate in Colorado, generating 280 contributions and over $65,000 raised to date,  Hurlbert managed only $10,200 and a total of 39 contributors.  Of that total, $2,000 came from Ali Hasan and four of his family members-making up almost 20 percent of Hurlbert’s total fundraising.  Another $3,200 came from members of Hurlbert’s extended family.  Deducting those donors, leaves Hurlbert with only $5,000 cash raised from 27 separate donors.

For the sake of the great shot Republicans have to regain control of the state Senate with a victory in this crucial district,  Mark Hurlbert should promptly call it quits, and unite behind Tim Leonard.

Ali Hasan Launches Last Ditch Attack Ads Against JJ Ament on Radio; New Negative Website

Treasurer candidate Muhammed Ali Hasan has taken his penchant for negative campaigning

Muhammed Ali Hasan Launches New Negative Campaign

against a fellow Republican, party favorite JJ Ament,  to new depths with a radio blitz and a slick, and expensive attack website,  populistly titled, http://www.BigBankAment.com.  This latest attack comes three days before the State Assembly in which delegates will vote on which candidates will make the August primary ballot.

The latest attack spews out more of the same discredited rhetoric against Ament, including his alleged “income” from CitiBank - an income that consists of a few bucks of interest on a checking account. It’s hard to blame Hasan for this type of campaigning – it’s not like he has any positives of his own to bring to the race.  Not only doesn’t he have any expertise in Economics or finance, he’s presented no evidence of even having taken freshman Economics in college.

Ludicrously, Hasan also calls Ament a “fiscal liberal,” and himself a “fiscal conservative.”  My take is that Hasan’s not a fiscal anything.  He’s a wannabe politician in search of an office-any office.  And he and his family will spend whatever of their wealth is necessary to gain it.  Hasan’s already spent more money than any Treasurer candidate in the history of Colorado, and has used at least $170,000 of his own money to do so.

It can’t be a coincidence either that this last-ditch desperate attack comes shortly after Ament’s devastating deconstruction of Hasan’s ignorance about the most basic concepts of public finance in a painstakingly composed “fact check” red pencil mark-up of Hasan’s “plan” to control all of Colorado’s money.  Update: I’ve mentioned before that the Dems would have a field day with Hasan, as they already have in the past.  The Colorado Independent just picked up the story, in their own inimitable fashion.  Better deep-six this guy now, than go down in flames in the general.

Hurlbert Colo. Senate Fundraising Shows Ali Hasan and Family Contributed 20% of Total: Dismal $10,200 Dwarfed by Leonard’s $62K, 280 Donors, and $52,000 in the Bank – Updated: May 6

DA Mark Hurlbert posted dismal fundraising numbers for 2010 in his bid to become the Republican nominee for state Senate District 16 – a total of $10,200, according to the Secretary of State’s Tracer website.  Hurlbert is competing for the nomination against conservative/libertarian businessman, Tim Leonard , of Evergreen.  Leonard has raised six times Hurlbert’s total, and did so with mostly small donations from 280 contributors.

Hurlbert and Leonard will face off on May 21 at the Republican State Assembly in Loveland.  Only candidates gaining at least 30 percent of the delegate votes will appear on the ballot for the August primary.  The winner will face Democrat Gilpin County Commissioner,  Jeanne Nicholson, who has no primary opponent.

Hurlbert’s itemized contributions report reveals about 20 percent of his contributions, $2,000, came from one source:  Treasurer candidate Muhammed Ali Hasan and his family.  Ali Hasan and four family members each contributed the legal maximum of $400 per individual.  Not to be completely outdone by the Hasan clan, the Hurlbert family also contributed  its own money to the campaign, to the tune of $3,200.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn’t amount to 30 percent of such  paltry fundraising.

Surprisingly, neither Mark Hurlbert  nor his wife, attorney Cathy Cheroutes,  put any of their own money into Hurlbert’s campaign.  Contributors want to see that a candidate has enough confidence about winning that he bets on himself, that he’s got skin in the race (but not so much that he’s buying it, either).  It’s like the CEO of a company who doesn’t own any of its stock – what kind of signal does that send to potential investors?

Of the $3,200 of Hurlbert’s family’s money, $400 is from a member of the  Democrat-activist Cheroutes side of the family.   That mean $5,200, more than half of  the $10,200 raised,  came  from the  Hasan and  Hurlbert families.

So that would leave $5,000 from committed rank-and-file Colorado Republicans, right? Not exactly.  Closeted Hurlbert-endorser, term-limited liberal “Republican,”  Senator Al White,  kicked in the $400 max.  Hurlbert’s old boss,  Democrat Mike Goodbee’s wife, Michelle, tossed in $100.  Democrat Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson also contributed $100.  Another of the three Summit Dem commissioners, Bob French,  endorsed Hurlbert, but did not give money.

Bottom  line:  Based on the Secretary of State report,  Hurlbert raised less than $4,200 bucks from outside his inner circle in four months from 27 people.  And this is the GOP party boss’s  idea of “electability?”

Do Hasan  Contributions Raise  a Potential Appearance of Impropriety?

The financial support of the wealthy health care scion is troubling because of Hurlbert’s criminal investigation of  Hasan in 2008.  Hurlbert failed to recuse himself and appoint a special prosecutor, and also declined to file charges against Hasan.  Both Hasan and Hurlbert were highly active Republicans at the time in the same district.  Hasan was running for House District 56, and both admit Hurlbert helped Hasan in his campaign.   I wrote about the saga here and also here, and the posts have  links to other sources.   But with the campaign reports only coming out last night,  I had no idea back then whether Hasan had contributed to Hurlbert’s campaign.

After my stories, but before the release of the campaign contributions reports,  Mark Hurlbert responded to some of my questions about his relationship with Hasan and the failure to appoint a special prosecutor.  Hurlbert’s not-yet published discussion with me necessitates a second installment of this article.  I hope to publish that piece shortly.

Tim Leonard Bests Hurlbert Fundraising by 600 percent – Trounces GOP and Democrat Opponents Combined

What Tim Leonard’s fundraising lacks in melodrama and intrigue, he  more than makes up for in totals and in breadth of grassroots support.   The report posted by the Secretary of State shows Leonard raised $62,800 since the start of the campaign.   $20,000 of that came from Leonard himself to jump-start the campaign’s up-front costs ($10,000 is a loan).  Unlike Hurlbert, Leonard has serious skin in the race.   Leonard raised an additional $42,000 from about 280 contributors.  Hurlbert had only 39 contributors, which drops to 27 after deducting the 12 Hasan and Hurlbert family donors.

Most of Tim Leonard’s fundraising came from small contributions, few hit the $400 maximum. 89 of Leonard’s contributions came from voters in Senate District 16; only nine of Hurlbert’s contributors were from the district.  The Secretary of State’s report also shows Leonard attracted some small PAC money.  He received $2,000, for example, from a Second Amendment rights group.  They apparently know who the real gun rights supporter is in the race.

One of the most impressive numbers, is the $39,000 Leonard raised during this first quarter reporting period.  Leonard raised more than any other Republican state Senate candidate in Colorado, including incumbents.

In a press release, Leonard stated,  “our strong fundraising quarter is indicative of the support I’ve found on the campaign trail.” And Leonard must have really been on the hustings to gain all this support, because he spent only $7,000 to do so.  That leaves him with a whopping $52,000 in the bank heading into the May 21-22 Assembly.  Compare that with Hurlbert spending about half of what Leonard spent, but with little to show in results and only a $7,167 bank balance-less than 14 percent of Leonard’s campaign cash-on-hand.  Put another way, for every dollar in campaign funds expended, Leonard generated over $7.00.  For every dollar Hurlbert spent, his efforts generated only $1 dollar.  A wash in other words, a rate of return of zero.

Why does Leonard think his campaign efforts have been such a success?  “People are fed up with career politicians and lawyers constantly making new laws while being incapable of cutting enough spending. Voters are focused on reining in their out-of-control government spending, and I am honored that they show their support for me to get that job done.”

Colo. Campaign Fundraising Deadline Clock has Struck: Ramirez, Ament, Barker, Hill, Leonard, Norton, Littleton, Clear Creek GOP – Out and About

Campaign Fundraising Deadline for First Quarter Reporting  Expired at Midnight, April 25:

Colorado’s  first quarter April 25 fundraising deadline is crucial for candidates because it’s a leading indicator of  their electability quotient.  And this is true for candidates with or without primary opponents.  The fundraising reports are due at the Secretary of State no later than May 3.

Candidates who show strong fundraising ability are typically provided more support by the party and by other donors not wanting to waste money on candidates they might like, but who can’t prove they can win.  But trends, and not just totals, need to be looked at, particularly when assessing political newcomers.

Readers can check out the fundraising results on the excellent Tracer reporting site at the Secretary of State’s office.  Its’ easy to search by, candidate, the race, contributors and other criteria, and the site provides the names of all donors contributing $20.00 or more to a candidate.  This quarter’s results should be posted on May 4.

Fundraising  Deadline Creates  Flurry of Activity in the Days Leading up to April 25.

Here’s what some of the candidates were up to, as campaign  activity amped up everywhere in Colorado.

Treasurer Candidate, JJ Ament, headed down to southern Colorado and the western slope over the weekend, hitting the La Plata Lincoln Dinner in Durango on Friday and the Montrose dinner on Saturday.  He reports lots of delegate and activist support.  JJ Ament’s overwhelming qualifications for Treasurer, his staunch fiscal conservatism, combined with his electability,  make it increasingly clear he’s the frontrunner for Treasurer.

Robert Ramirez, the promising House Dist. 29 candidate threatening  Deb Bennefield, rounded up volunteers to walk precincts and knock on doors.   Armed with

Robert Ramirez, with his wife Suzie and daughter, Lauren, 11

voter registrations stats,  Robert Ramirez and nine volunteers hit 1,200 doors on Saturday,  and with six volunteers, 800 on Sunday.  Unlike many GOP door pounders, Robert and crew hit about 400 apartments.  A lot of people assume apartment dwellers are Dems, when actually these days they’re Republicans who’ve lost their businesses or jobs because of the Dems’ disastrous economic policies.

Ramirez looked at numbers instead of stereotypes and found 70 percent of the apartment residents they visited were unaffiliated or GOP, with the majority  GOP.  Robert told me he and his team got a great response, including several Dems jumping aboard.  One Dem, a UAW member, told Ramirez he was “sick of taxes and fees we can’t afford,” and promised to vote for Ramirez.  On the fundraising front, Ramirez told me, naturally he’d like it to be higher, but it’s been growing exponentially so the trend is in the right direction.  You can read my interview with Robert here.  Hello State GOP.  Please support this great candidate positioned to oust one of the most destructive Dems in the House.

Owen Hill, Senate District 11 Candidate, is working hard to topple this destructive Democrat:  Senate Majority Leader John Morse.  Owen Hill had

Owen Hill

the honor of  speaking at Ray Hicks’ Republican Roundup in Colorado before Jane Norton spoke and received a warm and enthusiastic reception.  They concentrated on fundraising this past week, and are pleased with the amount and the trend.   Owen Hill also pounded the pavement and the doors in the Springs, accompanied by Mark Barker, running for House Dist. 17, and Peggy Littleton, who is running for county commission in Dist. 5.  I recently interviewed Owen Hill, who should not only be supported to topple Morse, but should be tapped as one of the brightest, credentialed, and attractive young party stars in Colorado.

Clear Creek County Republicans, part of Colo. Senate Dist. 16, held a star-studded Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday.  GOP Chair Dick Wadhams was the keynote

Leonard Children Watering Trees they Donated. Auctioned off by Bob Beauprez to Benefit CCCR

speaker.  Treasurer candidate Ali Hasan, had a great time.  State Senate 16 rivals, Evergreen businessman, Tim Leonard and DA  Mark Hurlbert, attended and spoke.  Tim was accompanied by his wife Monica, and Mark was with his wife, Cathy Cheroutes.  Bob Beauprez auctioned off some young evergreen trees from the tree farm Tim and Monica help their kids run to learn about both environmentalism and entrepreneurship.

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.

Colo. GOP Candidate News of the Day: Buck DA Record Impressive; Perlmutter-Frazier Poll; Ramirez HD 29; Hasan Likely Got Record Sealed, DA Hurlbert Takes Fifth

Colorado U.S. Senate Republican Candidate Ken Buck:  DA Record Fiscally Conservative and Otherwise Exemplary. See excellent post by Don Johnson from his wide-ranging, and detailed two-part interview with Buck.  I’ve previously posted about the admirable transparency and courtesy his office and Weld County had shown me, and about how DA Hurlbert, running for SD 16 against Tim Leonard, had not.

Now that Democrat Boulder DA Stan Garnett is challenging John Suthers for Colorado A.G., I hope both Hurlbert and Gannett will be forthcoming in answering questions about the issues relevant to their candidacies.  Garnett was very nice and got me his budgets ASAP.  I’ll post them under Resources shortly. Hurlbert has not published or turned over his 2009 and 2010 budgets – the most relevant and important ones.  His excuses for same have been inadequate. More later.

Perlmutter and Ryan Frazier poll – Over at Ben Degrow’s blog, with detailed article.  Go there to see exciting results.  Other GOP candidates are good guys, but should in my opinion unite behind Ryan Frazier to oust Perlmutter.

Robert Ramirez, the sole Republican Candidate for House District 29 - just signed the CUT pledge and is one of the most impressive young Republican candidates out there.  He has a great shot at ridding Colorado of one of the most destructive Dems in the House, Debbie Bennefield.  My interview is here.

Ali Hasan, one of three GOP Treasurer Candidates Appears to have obtained a court sealing of his records involving a 2008 incident with Alison Miller – After hours of additional investigation I stand by my post that the answers I received from the court did not exactly square with a record sealing.  I’m giving Hasan the benefit of the doubt, however, on that one.  But Hasan could have made things a lot easier by admitting he sought and obtained a record sealing.  Instead, after showing poor judgment by jumping into a blog comment debate on Ben Degrow’s Mount Virtus, he decided to blab all over the place about his side of the case knowing an independent check on his claims was impossible.  He refused an off-blog request from me to confirm or deny a record sealing.

A record sealing is primarily for an individual  wishing to claim that he never had any charges made against him, or to cease any discussion of same – not for someone whose charges have been all over the media and who wants to discuss his side without the other side being able to refute or even fact-check the sealed record.  A record sealing requires a special motion by the party’s attorney,  and is not part of the natural “order” of things as claimed by Hasan in his postings.

Regardless.  I care far less about that than about his refusal to discuss valid issues about the ideal investment portfolio for Colorado’s money.

Both Hurlbert and Hasan have also still left open the question about Mark Hurlbert’s decision to handle his friend and political supporter’s case himself instead of assigning it to a special prosecutor.  Notably, as Don Johnson pointed out, Hasan claims he didn’t know if Hurlbert was investigating his case or not, though reportedly his mother knew and accurately predicted Hurlbert would exonerate her son.

Even more notable, is Hasan and Hurlbert’s failure to deny that a special prosecutor would have been appropriate.  Call it “investigation,” “evaluation” what have you, Hurlbert had the ball in his court and decided not to file charges, rather than avoiding any appearance of impropriety by passing the case off to a special prosecutor.   Supporting links to all of this are in the embedded article here.

Hurlbert brings in a special prosecutor when his wife, attorney Cathy Cheroutes, handles cases in the Fifth District.  He just calls  in a DA from Glenwood Springs or other neighboring jurisdiction and does not allow even a junior deputy to handle a case where she is the defense attorney.  It’s no big deal, and it’s the right thing to do.  If  I am incorrect about this, I would assume someone would have pointed it out, but no one has.

I’m done with the Hurlbert-Hasan issue.  The state Assembly is a month away and Hurlbert’s barely spoken out about any issues at all.  I’ll be trying to change that by giving him a list of questions, in the same way that Don Johnson did so masterfully with Ken Buck.  Ali Hasan has provided enough material on the issues and his background that voters should be easily able to determine the best candidate in the Treasurer’s race.

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.