Tag Archives: colorado politics

Colo. Secretary of State Won’t Opine About GOP Replacement for McInnis on Ballot for Governor

Colorado Secretary of  State, Bernie Buescher, just announced his office will not give an opinion of what would be a legal ballot substitution for Scott McInnis – the disgraced Republican candidate for governor.  McInnis is the subject of a plagiarism scandal after reports of his using unattributed research in exchange for $300,000 he was paid for 150 pages of  water law articles by the Hasan family foundation.

Buescher’s office declined to give an advance opinion, and said they would address the issue only when a candidate actually attempted to be placed on the ballot:

“This week, my office has fielded numerous calls asking for answers to hypothetical questions related to whether a candidate may be replaced in a contested primary,” Buescher said. “At this point, no decision will be given to speculation that may impact a current and actual contest. Any conclusions reached by my office to these inquiries may potentially have an unintentional effect on an ongoing race.”

“If a scenario does occur with actual implications to the ballot, voters can rest assured my office will provide a timely and clear decision that follows Colorado’s constitutional and statutory provisions. Only after all individuals and organizations impacted by this decision have had an opportunity for reasonable input, will we issue an official position.”

Buescher, a Democrat, obviously hampers the Republicans by being so coy.  To be fair, advisory opinions are something most government agencies prefer to avoid – it cuts off their options.  At the same time, shouldn’t the circumstances under which a replacement candidate can be placed on the ballot be clear to the public?

ExPat ExLawyer is pleased to announce that this is our 100th post.  Thanks to all the readers who have made our seven months of blogging so enjoyable.

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Dan Maes Posts Weak Fundraising Numbers for June in Colorado Governor’s Race

Dan Maes, the grassroots Republican candidate for Colorado governor, reported less than $32,000 in campaign contributions for the June reporting period, according to his filing with the Secretary of State’s office late Tuesday night.  By contrast, his Republican primary opponent, Scott McInnis, posted a respectable $170,000.  And Democrat John Hickenlooper, raised over $500,000.

This low contributions number has to come as a disappointment to Maes supporters, as it is the first reporting period following Maes’ upset victory at the State Assembly, where Maes edged out establishment candidate, Scott McInnis.  The campaign hoped the assembly win would convince contributors that Maes could win and backing him would be a good political investment.  But the $32,000 total is essentially the same as what the Maes campaign raised in the prior reporting period.

Worse, the low fundraising report follows on the heels of news that Maes has  just agreed to settle campaign finance violation charges with a fine of  over $27,000.  The violations involved improper reimbursements from the campaign to Maes directly for such things as mileage expenses.

Both of these campaign finance developments, combined with a recent poll,  mean that Scott McInnis really is the only Republican candidate who can beat the popular, liberal Dem in moderate drag, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.  Hopefully, McInnis will hop off  his lofty perch, talk to the mainstream media and the bloggers, and stir up the grassroots base and fiscally conservative independents.  Coloradans literally cannot afford a Hickenlooper victory.

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.

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.

Colo. Campaign Links May 10-16: Leonard, Hill, Odom; Roberts or Boehler – Likely GOP Senate Pickups; House Pickup Possibles; Frazier vs. Sias; Buck vs. Norton: Buck Calls Palin Speech “Rude” – UPDATED 5-18 on Buck-Palin Scuffle

Colorado’s State Senate 21-14 Dem Majority could switch with four probable GOP pickups –writes Ben Degrow at Mt Virtus.  Ben’s  order of likelihood:  Senate District 6, 16, 20, and 11. Much of the following analysis is mine and not necessarily written by Ben.

1. SD 6- Durango, Montrose.  Rep.  Ellen Roberts or conservative upstart Dean Boehler will oust appointed “Sen. One-year,” Bruce Whitehead.  2.  SD 16Tim Leonard of Evergreen topped all GOP state Senate candidates in fundraising, faces MIA primary opposition from career DA Mark Hurlbert of Breckenridge, and will confront a relatively unknown lib Dem County Commissioner from tiny Gilpin County, Jeanne Nicholson,  in the general.

3.  SD 20 in Jefferson County showcases John Odom sitting on $50k with no primary and two Dems without much dinero facing off.  4. SD 11 in Colorado Springs is fortunate to have gained Owen Hill as a bright young talent, with a jaw dropping resume, and a campaign that just keeps gaining momentum.  Owen was second in fundraising, and has close to $30k in the bank.  Hill’s donations came from over 200 contributors.   He’s poised to oust Dem disaster, Maj. Leader John Morse. Hill’s Airforce and strategic planning background will be put to the test once Dem war chest deployed.

Ben Degrow has lots of links and more analysis of these and all the other state Senate races.   Visualize 18-17 GOP majority after November.  A must read.

Colo. House  Analysis – Ben Degrow predicts “tiny edge” for GOP House Majority. Ben analyzes every race and notes the GOP is going for the gusto in 64 out of 65 house districts.  I’m a tiny bit more bullish than my seasoned and savvy colleague.  Two of my personal newcomer favorites, who face tough Dem incumbents, have been using their private sector backgrounds to work hard and connect with all sorts of voters that in the past might have gone knee-jerk Dem. So I will give an edge, with no modifier about how big the edge is, to  Robert Ramirez in north Jeffco’s HD 29 and Danny Stroud in Denver’s HD Number 1.  I interviewed Ramirez in April and look forward to publishing an interview with smart, creative and articulate Danny Stroud soon.  Both are limited government, pro-Constitution conservatives who’ve signed the CUT pledge.

Frazier-Sias Cong. Dist. 7 Campaign Gets Testy – Businessword’s Don Johnson and Ben Degrow have been all over this one.  First it was Lang Sias supporters whining about Ryan Frazier missing a chunk of Aurora City Council meetings.  Yawn.

Sias vs. Frazier

If  Frazier had an obsessive attendance record we should be concerned both about his intelligence and his sanity.  Don Johnson notes that Frazier supporters could point to Sias’ day job as a FedEx pilot that keeps him out of town a couple of weeks a month.  That could certainly impede a full-time Congressional campaign against Dem incumbent Ed Perlmutter.

Then there’s Bob Beauprez’s enigmatic endorsement of Sias.  Ben Degrow is all over this one (are these guys playing tag team?).  Don Johnson notes that Sias may be milking the defamatory smear email he received for a heck of a lot more than it’s worth.  Maybe even milking it so much as to imply a linkage to the Frazier campaign.  Finally, Ben Degrow has some great coverage of  Lang Sias’ upcoming DC fundraiser with guest of honor, John McCain.

Norton Gets Palin “Pink Elephant” Endorsement (sort of); Buck’s Budgets Praised by Weld Commissioners – Curtis Hubbard at The Spot cited a WSJ Washington Wire piece where Palin “tiptoes” into the Colorado U.S.  Senate race  by including Jane Norton among her herd of pink elephants.  “Look out, Washington,” Palin said. “There’s a whole stampede of pink elephants” coming this November.  Other GOP women Palin mentioned include California’s Carly Fiorini who will be taking on a vulnerable Barbara Boxer should Fiorini win the primary.  Sarah Palin will be speaking in Denver on May 22.  Norton will be free to attend Palin’s speech, as she is skipping the state assembly taking place the same day, and will instead petition her way onto the primary ballot.

[Breaking News: Allison Sherry at The Spot reports  late 5-17 Ken Buck said Sarah Palin speaking during the Assembly would be “rude.” Updated: 5-18 – The DP’s Chuck Plunkett reports Palin speech in the works since last November, long before Norton’s bid to skip the assembly, and not in the least bit “rude.”  Allison Sherry also has a new and expanded piece on the topic. Finally, Allison Sherry reports new poll numbers showing narrowing gap between Buck and Norton.  One thing beyond debate, Allison Sherry is one busy reporter.

Was it an endorsement?   Don Johnson thinks it’s “pretty close,” and so do I given the timing of Palin’s stopover in Colorado.

Norton’s GOP Senate rival, Weld County DA Ken Buck, got an endorsement of sorts of his own this past week – from Weld County’s Commissioners.   A little background.  In March, I did some work collecting the DA budgets of Ken Buck and  Mark Hurlbert, and observed that Hurlbert’s had gone up every year, including during the recession, yet case filings had gone down as a result of reduced population and visitor numbers in the mountain resort counties in Hurlbert’s district.

Don Johnson noted, based on my article and the links to the budgets, that Buck’s budgets had increased too and wondered why.   I had Hurlbert’s case filing data, but not Buck’s.  Shortly thereafter, Don interviewed Ken Buck and also did his own analysis of Buck’s budgets.   Johnson concluded they seemed reasonable given the population increases.   He also concluded Buck seemed to spend the funds wisely in succesful efforts to reduce crime.

Nevertheless,  the Norton campaign still tried to use the raw budget data as some evidence that Buck was not a fiscal conservative.  Now, according to The Spot,  the Weld County Commissioners have publicly pointed out the same thing Don Johnson had already concluded.

DA Hurlbert’s  Latest Big Government Legal  Folly Garner’s National Audience for Ex-Pat Ex-Lawyer – Reason Magazine’s Radley Balko posted our story on Hurlbert’s novel felony criminal law incursion on cheating in middle-aged, female, amateur mountain bike racing, at his popular blog, The Agitator. Radley’s link,  as well as  links from many other blogs, including Paterrico and Colorado mountain biking blogs,  provided around 6,000 reads for this story.  Even the normally Hurlbert-compliant Denver Post published an editorial this past weekend criticising Hurlbert.

Hurlbert’s  gratuitous and politically tone-deaf  legal misadventure followed his taking two straight weeks off out-of-state in April, right before the fundraising deadline.   Now,  even the really compliant hometown Summit Daily has reported on Hurlbert’s  weak  campaign fundraising (which was  reported here first, in more detail).  Read Hurlbert’s own quotes and see how much they sound like something  Bill Ritter would say.

DA Mark Hurlbert Charges Two Top Women Mountain Bike Racers with Felony Criminal Impersonation for Using False Racer Number in Leadville Competition: Snowball DA Strikes Again – UPDATED

DA Mark Hurlbert filed felony criminal-impersonation charges against two veteran Vail, Colorado,  mountain bike racers, Wendy Lyall and Katie Brazelton,  after an injured Brazelton, 40, gave her registration materials and entry number  to her friend, Lyall, 36, so she could race

Wendy Lyall Faces Felony for "1383" on Bike in Leadville 100 (Photo Courtesy Rob O'Dea, who holds and reserves all copyrights)

in the 2009 Leadville  Mountain Trail 100 .   This meant that Lyall  finished second in the women’s age 40-49 class, despite being 36.  As the Denver Post explains, spaces are highly coveted for the grueling race, and there are more masochists than slots for the competition, which elevated in prestige last year as Lance Armstrong entered and won the event.

The soaring popularity has converted the race’s entry lottery into a gone-in-minutes clamor for bib numbers. Entries are not refundable or transferable, which is reiterated at every pre-race briefing, [race organizer] Chlouber said.

Just before last August’s race, Chlouber said he received a call from a local bike-shop owner pleading for an entry number for Brazelton, who did not win a slot in the lottery. Chlouber granted the request.

“This truly is really sad for us,” he said. “We try to do the right thing, and then people cheat.”

Certainly some athletes cheat, but I naïvely thought that these sports rules violations were usually handled within the sport rather than being prosecuted as felonies by local DAs.  But then again, Hurlbert himself spends lots of time on the men’s 40-49 cross-country skiing circuit , so this “crime”  probably hit him close to home.  I wouldn’t want to be some 36-year old guy caught skating past him across the finish line in the Frisco Gold Rush nordic race, that’s for sure.

But it looked like the event organizers did take care of the problem from within:

When contacted by Chlouber and, later, by Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte, the women confessed to the deception. They returned the coveted belt buckle, pendant and necklace that came with second place and sent Chlouber a letter admitting their wrongdoing and offering “to do anything to rectify the situation.”

“But the situation cannot be rectified,” Chlouber said. “You can’t go back in time and give those ladies who should have podiumed their time in the sun. That’s gone.”

Well, not exactly.   The women who should have been on the podium, will be there this year in a special ceremony at the August event.  And, both Lyall and Brazelton are banned for life from the competition and may receive other intra-sport sanctions.   If organizers want more action taken, that’s what private civil lawsuits are for.  [Update 5-10: Sheriff Ed Holte told me he did not contact either of the women or take a confession from them and had no contact with them whatsoever.  He simply took Chlouber’s complaint and passed it along to the DA.   It seems clear, then, that this was primarily a Hurlbert transaction].

Hurlbert says, “after talking with people in the race, this is something very serious.”  Very serious to whom?  The plaintiff in the case,  The People of the State of Colorado?  Do we the people really need to have our  money spent in a recession to protect us from the growing scourge of entry swapping at endurance sports events?   Real criminal filings are down, Hurlbert’s budgets and salary are up, and I guess this is what happens when government has too much of our money to play with.  Good thing he’s not the Denver DA or we might see “illegal receiver” at a Bronco’s game take on a whole new meaning.

[Updated 5-10: More details about how this race is run and what may really have happened with the registrations of the racers, are commented on  by some Eagle County mountain biking bloggers, who point to a $265.00 non-refundable and non-transferable fee, which Chlouber allegedly resells to other racers.   The latest is from Eric Rubottom.  The comments section to this post contain more inside-mountain bike racing insight.

Race Director  Ken Chlouber is  a former House District 56 Rep.,  a  Republican who often went against the Republican party on issues he disagreed with.  He served from 1986-1996, and was a state Senator before that.  Chlouber failed in another  run for HD 56  in 2006].

I’ve  written elsewhere that Hurlbert “picks the wrong battles to fight, and the wrong ones to quit.”  Just like the infamous snowball throwing case at Copper that gained international notoriety, and left Hurlbert whining defensively after his lengthy and expensive pursuit ended in failure.  This laughingstock  is mocked in this Hitler parody video of Hurlbert.  (Like other Hitler parody producers, we are involved with a “fair use” copyright appeal,  so just click on the link on the screen after hitting play, and the video will play in its own window).

Wendy and Katie (aka Vail’s Thelma and Louise) would have been much better off  if instead of committing a serious felony like cheating at mountain biking, they snowboarded drunk down the slopes of Vail and ran over an eight-year old girl in a hit and run.  That man got a few hours of community service in Hurlbert’s plea deal.  Or they could have been charged with attempted murder, and got that plead down to a misdemeanor with no jail.  Another option would be to pull a black woman by her hair across a bar room floor, tearing half of it out while screaming the c-word and the n-word at her.  They could have gotten that felony assault reduced to a misdemeanor with 60 days of work release.

I haven’t seen this criminal-impersonation law used much, but Hurlbert’s expansive application of the statute opens up some interesting possibilities.  Given Hurlbert’s lackluster campaign for state Senate District 16 and his dismal fundraising,  perhaps a  special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate whether to charge Hurlbert with felony criminal-impersonation of a Republican  Senate candidate.

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.”