By now, every political news junkie in Colorado knows that there was an attempted “coup” to force the Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party to resign. On Monday night, June 15, 2015, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, and Pueblo County GOP Chair Becky Mizel met with GOP Party Chair Steve House, and asked him to resign, because of unspecified “concerns” that had been raised by unspecified persons. House initially said that he would resign, only to withdraw his resignation that same night.
All along, the timing of “ChairGate” has seemed suspicious to me. Only last Friday, June 12, Tyler Harber, a former GOP operative, was sentenced to two years in jail for illegally coordinating campaign contributions between a super PAC, Harden Global LLC, and a congressional campaign in Virginia. Harber worked extensively in Colorado, with the state Republican party. As we know, sometimes prisoners try to make deals – they implicate others to get lighter sentences. Who or what did Tyler Harber know regarding coordinating of finances with the state GOP? Probably quite a bit. Will he negotiate rather than quietly going to jail? Probably.
Another timing coincidence was the May 31 announcement by new GOP Chairman, Steve House, that he intended to hire Tyler Hart as his Executive Director. This is exactly when all of the schznit started to hit.
Tyler Hart* is a business pro. She knows finances inside and out. Perhaps what House was saying in those private meetings that got so many people so scared was something along the lines of , “Tyler will check out the books. She will come up with a new system which will make sure that we never need to worry about mixing candidate monies with issue committee monies, soft with hard money,** or anything inappropriate or illegal. We won’t have to worry about a second Tyler Harber scandal.”
Organizations don’t like when someone comes in and starts screwing around with how they organize their money. It would be like me coming into your kitchen, opening all your cupboards, and saying, “You’re doing it all wrong. Now this is how you set up your spices alphabetically, and by the way, we’re going to throw away the ones that are more than a decade old, and what is that smell? ” It would piss you off.
Spices – before
Because next, they might tackle the piles of paper on your desk, and you know exactly what each pile signifies, and if someone tries to organize it, it’s gonna mess up your whole system. When Becky Mizel tried to “organize” some confidential election documents, it really irked Clerk Ortiz.
Former Senator Ted Harvey is the Mizel/ Coffman/ Tancredo preferred candidate for Executive Director. Ted Harvey is also a finance whiz. He’s a whiz at fundraising for bogus causes (Stop Hillary! Draft Newt! Stop Pelosi!) and laundering the money, while keeping most of it for salaries and “operating expenses”. In other words, Harvey is almost a crook, a fundraiser who has been able to shuffle money around and keep it just this side of legal. That’s who Mizel, Coffman, and Tancredo want running the state Republican party – someone who brings in cash, moves it around, makes it seem legal, and has so far gotten away with it.
They really don’t want a genuine financial systems expert, particularly one as high-powered and legit as Hart seems to be, coming in and moving all their damn spices around and screwing with their systems just to keep the candidate and issue monies separated, and everyone on the right side of the law. That would f*ck up their system! Keep Tyler Hart out of the damn books!
If it takes forcing House to resign, oh well, it would be worth it. As far as the accusations of infidelity, and the vague threats of an unspecified lawsuit, I read that as “how Becky Mizel rolls”. Ask Clerk Ortiz, who has been hit with lawsuit after lawsuit from the Pueblo GOP for nonexistent election fraud violations. Mizel is one of the most ruthless people in Colorado politics. Luckily for Coloradans, she is also one of the most incompetent. She must have thought that threatening Steve House with some old BS about infidelity that probably happened years ago would be enough to make him resign, taking Tyler Hart and her unwelcome financial oversight with her.
It’s just a theory, but it does fit the timing well.
* Yes, I know that Tyler Harber and Tyler Hart look and sound alike. Harber sounds like “jailbird”. “Hart” sounds like “Hard core”. Helpful?
**For people who want a basic primer on campaign finance, I recommend Money in Politics 101.
The main thing to remember about politics and finance these days is that it is always “bigger on the inside.” With so much SuperPAC dark money flooding into swing-state Colorado these days, following the money has become like delving into Mary Poppins’ magic carpetbag. You never know what might pop out.
A campaign finance metaphor