Self-Destruction, Doggie Style: Keyser Meltdown Recap

UPDATE: We’re not sure exactly what to call this, since Keyser’s campaign has already passed “bad” and “worse” and rounded the corner to “disaster,” but yet another shoe is dropping:

—–

Here’s a brief roundup of the absolutely disastrous national press coverage received by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser in the last 24 hours, after his first public appearance in days since revelations of extensive petition fraud that may have help qualify him for the ballot went…well, so far off the rails that it could go down as one of the greatest flameouts in contemporary American politics.

Jon Keyser.

Jon Keyser.

We’ll kick off with the Washington Post’s The Fix blog, which still includes Colorado as one of their most competitive Senate races this week–though just barely, and probably not for much longer:

9. Colorado (D): Are Republicans blowing their chance to take on Senate Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbent, Sen. Michael Bennet? We asked that question in April after one of their top candidates stumbled to get on the ballot for the June primary. Jon Keyser, a 34-year-old combat veteran, is now back on the ballot. But he immediately stumbled with this painful exchange Thursday at a GOP candidate forum, where he failed to answer or sufficiently deflect questions about a report that at least 10 signatures on his petition were forged. Keyser’s missteps and more is why Colorado, a classic swing state where Republicans managed to snag a Senate seat in 2014, isn’t higher on this list.

Safe to say, that’s not what Keyser needs Washington, D.C. reading today. And if you think that’s bad, check out Politico’s Morning Score:

ROCKY DAY — Keyser stumbles on signature forgery question in Colorado Senate race: Former GOP state Rep. Jon Keyser refused to answer questions about 10 signatures on his ballot petitions that were allegedly forged during a candidate forum Thursday afternoon. Keyser instead repeated “I’m on the ballot” six times during the exchange with the moderator. “And I’m going to beat Michael Bennet. And I can guarantee you this. The Democrats are doing everything that they can right now to try to derail me from being on the primary ballot. You know what? I’m not going to let them do it,” Keyser said.

— But things got really awkward afterwards, when Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger approached Keyser with further questions on the signatures. Keyser twice called him “Mitchell,” in between repeating, “The important thing is I’m on the ballot.” (Keyser also faux-cheerily asked Zelinger if he was “creeping around my house yesterday,” and whether he’d met his dog: “He’s a great dog. He’s bigger than you are. He’s huge.” Watch the exchange here: http://bit.ly/1s3LskV

Even the notoriously fickle Denver Post editorial board isn’t mincing words:

[F]raud…strikes at the heart of the petition process, whether the candidate is aware of the abuse or not. And yet Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger has confirmed at least 10 instances of forged signatures on Keyser’s petitions in a district where he collected only 20 more than the minimum. Worse for Keyser, the Denver7 report says “many more signatures appear to have the same handwriting style and characteristics” as the fraudulent 10.

If Zelinger’s report survives scrutiny — and especially if additional forgeries are identified — then Keyser may not belong on the ballot. In that case, even if his name must remain there, GOP voters should take note — especially if Keyser can do no better than he did Thursday to explain it, when he repeated robot-like the mantra, “I’m on the ballot.”

—–

Last night, Keyser attended a second U.S. Senate Senate candidate forum, after the forum earlier in the day in which Keyser’s not-so-thinly-veiled threats against Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger were caught on camera and subsequently went viral. 9NEWS reporter Jonathan Gonzales again cornered Keyser on the question of petition fraud–and while this time Keyser didn’t threaten the reporter with his Great Dane, he again did himself no favors:

 

 

We have to say we are genuinely surprised that Keyser had no better answer to these growing questions about petition fraud than the words “all that matters is I’m on the ballot.” It’s a little like being caught in a bank robbery and responding, “all that matters is I’ve got the money.”

Keyser’s incredibly bad response to these questions about his petition signatures, first by hiding for days from the allegations and then his disastrous on-camera performances yesterday, do much more than raise questions about Keyser’s fitness to serve as a U.S. Senator. Having had so much time to formulate a response to these allegations and failing so miserably to do so, one has to ask at this point if Keyser knows more about the petition fraud his campaign is accused of than he is letting on. It should have relatively straightforward for Keyser to put distance between himself and his campaign hires and subordinates by claiming ignorance. While not a great answer, it would still have been much better than repetitious non-answers that satisfy no one.

Or threatening a reporter on-camera with your giant dog.

After yesterday’s nigh-on unbelievable developments, we’re not completely sure what the next steps in this story even are–but it will likely involve the Denver and Jefferson County district attorneys who have been contacted about investigating the case. Behind the scenes, we expect Keyser is doing whatever he can to undo the damage with national GOP funders and strategists at the National Republican Senatorial Committee–who all watched this epic meltdown via D.C. and local media outlets.

But folks, we just don’t think there’s any coming back from this. Whether he ends his campaign now, or limps along Scott McInnis-style to defeat in next month’s primary, Keyser’s U.S. Senate race–and probably his political career as a whole–is over.

Get More Smarter on Friday (May 13)

Get More SmarterToday is the last Friday the 13th of 2016, so relax. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Earlier this week we wrote that the Senate campaign of Republican Jon Keyser is “basically finished.” But after Keyser’s completely disastrous day of “interviews” on Thursday — video of which has since gone national — we think it’s safe to go ahead and remove the word “basically.” Jon Keyser is not going to be Colorado’s next Senator, and even fellow Republicans are abandoning ship.

ICYMI, Keyser’s absolutely epic #FAIL(s) on Thursday are must-watch TV.

 

The Colorado Supreme Court will hear a case from the campaign of Republican Senate candidate Ryan Frazier, who is trying to remain on the Senate ballot despite coming up short in the signature-gathering process.

 

► It’s official: Colorado has a new Lieutenant Governor following Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony for Donna Lynne.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

No Support of Keyser, not even from Republicans

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Never afraid to withhold his opinion when it comes to U.S. Senate candiate Jon Keyser, Rep. Justin Everett (R-Littleton) unleashed these Facebook posts this week:

Everett: “Sadly this is classic Keyser, saw this quite a few times in the year we served together in the legislature. Again, this guy is not ready for prime time…

A couple things here:
#1 – Again Keyser is not ready for prime time and his validity as a candidate will dog him for the rest of the campaign
#2 – Clearly the Secretary of State has a flawed review process; I may be working on legislation to address this next year
#3 – Go through the caucus and assembly process. Less expensive and you’ll KNOW if you’ve made the ballot.”

Everett was a supporter of Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton), another GOP U.S. Senate candidate who failed to make the Republican GOP primary ballot.

But Everett’s attack highlights the absence of any GOP support for Keyser in the copious media coverage of his refusal to answer questions about forged signatures on his ballot-access petition.

What you do see are Republicans like Everett and Rep. Chris Holbert, who wrote on Facebook of Keyser:

Holbert: “Sweat, shuffle around nervously, evade the question, and blink a lot nervously. Nailed it!”

The GOP response is key, at least for now, because it’s Republicans who will determine whether Keyser faces Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

And the signs, beyond the attacks from Keyser’s expected GOP critics, aren’t looking good–as in there are literally no signs of GOP support for Keyser.

The Republican audience at yesterday’s debate at the Foothills Republican Club didn’t respond well to Keyser’s spin, as reported by The Denver Post’s John Frank:

The debate’s first four questions involved the petition issue, and Keyser refused to answer all of them.

“Here’s the important thing. I’m on the ballot, and I’m going to beat Michael Bennet,” Keyser said in a line he repeated five times in two minutes.

The response drew groans from the crowd and a shot from GOP rival Darryl Glenn who said the issue is important to the candidate’s integrity.

“If you are going to stand for the rule of law, if you are going to raise your hand and support the constitution, then you need to follow the law,” Glenn said to applause. “That’s the issue.”

So for now, it looks like no one is supporting Keyser, not even any of Keyser’s allies. That’s a key point that journalists should document in more detail as we move forward.

BREAKING: Jon Keyser’s Epic On-Camera Meltdown

UPDATE #6: The Colorado Democratic Party is collecting reaction from around the country:

Elena Schneider – Politico – “Oh, wow.”

Alex Roarty – Roll Call – “one of the more painful interviews you’ll see this year”

Jack Fitzpatrick – Morning Consult –  “Man, there is a lot going on in this #COsenvideo”

John Frank – Denver Post – “must-see raw footage”

Kyle Clark – 9News – That was UGLY. Appears @Jon_Keyser thinks he doesn’t have to even halfway address allegations of forgery.

Seung Min Kim – Politico – Leading candidate for the most cringe-y interview by a Senate hopeful so far this year

Eric Bradner – CNN – “A bad look for the GOP #COSen candidate”

—–

UPDATE #5: We have the full transcript from Keyser’s horrendous interview with Marshall Zelinger of Denver7. Click after the jump to read in full.

—–

UPDATE #4: From the Washington Post:

Then things got weird. In a flash of recognition, he asks the reporter whether he was the one who “was creeping around my house yesterday?” The reporter confirms he knocked on Keyser’s door. Keyser says the reporter woke his kids up and then asks, “Did you get to meet my dog?” He then mentions how big and protective his dog is, to which Zelinger replies: “I don’t know what that meant, but okay.”…

…Here’s why we’re bringing this to your attention. Not even two weeks ago, we asked whether Republicans were blowing their chance to unseat Bennet, who is Senate Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbent and one of Republicans’ best pick-up opportunities in a year they’re largely playing defense. But things hadn’t gone so smoothly for Republicans in Colorado. Recruiting problems. Ballot problems. A chaotic primary with no clear front-runner.

—–

UPDATE #3: We’ve updated The Big Line, and for the first time in Colorado Pols history, we’ve assigned a negative percentage to a candidate.

—–

UPDATE #2: Jon Keyser’s astonishing self-destruction today is going viral, with news outlets across the country picking up the story. It would take a miracle from several gods for Keyser to even be competitive in the June Primary (if he’s even still a candidate then).

—–

UPDATE: Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger just posted astonishing raw video of his questions for Jon Keyser at today’s debate. It is possible we have never seen a candidate implode this spectacularly in all our years of Colorado politics–no exaggeration.

How do you recover from that? He actually threatened Zelinger with his dog.

This man’s political career can be measured in hours, not days.

—–

Embattled U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser, facing a new request for a criminal investigation after Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger’s multi-day revelations of extensive fraud in Keyser’s primary ballot petitions, appeared at a Republican candidate debate this morning after hiding for days without comment on the rapidly developing scandal.

Today, Keyser was confronted on camera for the first time about the allegations.

And it was a disaster.

 

 

Keyser refused to answer any questions about these forged petitions, reciting the words “I’m on the ballot” and canned language about defeating Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. As FOX 31 reporter Joe St. George pressed the question, Keyser fell into a positively Mike Coffman-like robot repetition of rote talking points that had nothing to do with the allegations in any substantive way.

The event is still going on as of this writing, so we’ll update if any of the reporters in the room–we’re told that everybody is there, and for Keyser–manage to get more than this out of him. Or if there’s footage of him running through the parking lot. Or whatever happens next in this increasingly crazy story.

One thing we’re pretty sure is not happening is Keyser becoming a U.S. Senator. Ever.

(more…)

Will Jon Keyser Finally Re-Appear at GOP Debates Today?

Have you seen this candidate?

Have you seen this candidate?

UPDATE: KDVR is live-streaming this morning’s GOP Senate debate. Guess who showed up?

—–

Denver7 and the Denver Post both had new stories Wednesday on the ongoing ballot fraud scandal involving the Senate campaign of Republican Jon Keyser, and we don’t expect the coverage of this continually-breaking news to stop anytime soon.

Keyser has been silent and invisible since this story started breaking last week, and reporters are getting a little bit irritated at his disappearing act, as you can see from some of the Tweets below. Keyser’s campaign has clearly decided to go radio silent as long as possible, but that approach will be tested today.

The five candidates running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination are scheduled to participate in two different debates today. The first debate, sponsored by the Foothills Republicans, takes place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Pinehurst Country Club in Southwest Denver. The second debate is tonight in Centennial (7pm at the Whipplewood CPAs Conference Center) hosted by the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. Keyser’s campaign confirmed his participation in both debates…but that was before the fraud story exploded.

If Keyser is a no-show at today’s debates out of concern that he will be cornered by reporters seeking his side of the story, you can go ahead and drop that last shovel of dirt on his campaign. You can’t declare yourself ready to be a U.S. Senator if you can’t even stand up for your own campaign problems.

Keyser said he’d “double- and triple-checked” his petition signatures and “everything”

(Um, oops! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

liarliarkeyserWith Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser still not talking to reporters about multiple forged signatures on his ballot-access petitions, I had no choice but to look back at previous statements Keyser made about the signature-gathering process. And reporters should be interested in what I found.

Recall that he claimed, on conservative talk radio May 2, to have “double- and triple-checked our petition signatures.”  Listen below.

In fact, in one interview on KOA 850-AM, he twice said he the phrase “double- and triple-checked,” indicating he’d put some thought into it. He said his campaign checked “everything” related to the petition process, which you’d think would include forgeries and signature gatherers with criminal histories of forgery.

This leads to the question for Keyser, if he ever talks to reporters about this: How could he possibly have double- and triple- checked his signatures if at least 10, according to 7News, are forgeries?

Why did Keyser say he double- and triple-checked the signature, as well as the entire “petition process and everything?” Did someone mislead him? Was he making this up? Why didn’t he verify what he was saying before he said it?

Keyser told KOA’s Mandy Connell on May 2:

Keyser: “It was an interesting week. It wasn’t too dramatic for us. We had double- and triple-checked our petition process and everything. And actually, I’m a reservist still in the United States Air Force, and I was gone on reserve duty. And I knew that we had double- and triple-checked our petition signatures. But we had a secretary of state that said we had a problem. We were a few signatures short in one of the congressional districts. But we knew we were okay. We were very confident about that. It took a couple days, but I’m on the ballot now and ready to beat Michael Bennet.” [needless to say, BigMedia emphasis]

(more…)

The EPA Acts on Climate – Issues Historic Methane Rule

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Animated GIF shows the global temperature “spiraling upward” since the advent of the Industrial Age.

Today the Environmental Protection Agency is issuing its long-anticipated methane rules to crack down on oil and gas activity leaking copious amounts of this super-potent greenhouse gas.

U.S. News & World Report’s article notes that this is an historic accomplishment in the Obama administration’s fight to address the looming climate catastrophe.

The first federal rules specifically limiting methane emissions from oil and natural gas sites are expected to be finalized Thursday by the Obama administration.

The regulations would require oil and gas companies to improve how they detect and plug leaks at new and modified wells, pipelines, compressor stations and other industrial sites.

The subscription-based news service ClimateWire has a more detailed story up today:

The Obama administration today is finalizing a suite of regulations targeting emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds from new oil and gas industry operations, according to multiple sources.

U.S. EPA’s final rules are a key part of the Obama administration’s goal of lowering methane emissions from the oil and gas industry between 40 and 45 percent by 2025 compared with 2012 levels. The rules also represent the first time that EPA has directly regulated methane from a source.

Environmentalists believe that reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is a key part of addressing climate change.

“The Obama administration’s new national standard to cut methane pollution from oil and gas facilities is an important step to protect our climate and the health of nearby communities,” said environmental watchdog Earthworks’ policy director, Lauren Pagel, in a statement last night.

Methane, according to EPA, is a greenhouse gas that’s more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide. EPA’s recent inventory of greenhouse gases found that the oil and gas sector was the No. 1 source of methane emissions in the United States in 2014.

The oil and gas industry, never having ever seen a regulation of which it approves – despite how quickly its PR teams embrace them after they are implemented as indication how much it truly cares about not cooking the planet, or poisoning water supplies, or upsetting neighbors with noise, fumes, fugitive dust, flaring and spills—opposes the new rules.

Methane leakage from oil and gas fields is a major source of this pollutant, a leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and human-caused climate change.

Indeed, in Colorado we already have methane capture rules in place, which industry has admitted they can comply with without much cost or trouble; but those too were fought by trade associations that, just a few short years ago, predicted mass calamity should oil and gas drillers be required to clean up their act.

Methane, as the articles note above, is a major contributor to the reality of human-driven climate change now threatening all aspects of our planet’s systems—from the spread of deadly disease, to declining ocean health, to the threat of massive wildfire in drying forests especially across the northern tier, even to the unravelling of the very Web of Life.

2015 was the hottest year on record. 2016 is on pace to break it.

The Obama administration has pledged to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas, both with this rule making and with another underway in the Interior Department to prevent methane leakage from energy development on public lands.

It has also put in place the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever federal effort to limit carbon pollution from power plants, with which Colorado is moving forward despite a temporary stay on the federal implementation of the plan.  That impasse led to one of several petulant parlays by Colorado Senate Republicans – which thankfully failed. The United States also helped lead the effort to complete the Paris Accords, an international agreement to limit temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

As we head into the political season it is not only our planetary home heating up. The rhetoric will also be topping the charts. Elections matter.

Like the GOP foes he vanquished in becoming the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump denies the established science supporting the reality of human-driven climate change.

And while there may be many accurate charges to level that the Obama administration is taking one step back for each step-and-a-half it takes forward, that it waited so late to get started on these important rule-makings, that these efforts are but half-measures when we need to be doubling down on ending our fossil fuel addiction if we are serious about addressing this global crisis.

Make no mistake that the consequences of our selections this fall matter in a real and tangible way. One major party alone – almost in all the world – still denies the science that shows us the nature and veracity of this threat.

If you care about your future, and that of those who are coming up into it, weigh your vote carefully. If you support climate action, then support these rule-makings even if you also demand that the time to Act on Climate is past due, and that these are but tepid steps toward a sustainable world. They are steps forward all the same, and we cannot afford to take even one step back at this critical moment.

Best Reporting on the the State Legislature in 2016

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Here’s my list of the best reporting on the state legislature this session, from a progressive perspective. The press corps is threatened and depleted but continues to crank out quality journalism. Let’s hope we can say that next year.

o In a detailed analysis of votes on numerous issues, The Denver Post’s John Frank illuminated beautifully that the split among Republicans in our state senate reflects divisions in the Republican Party nationally. His list of eight hard-right state senators, later dubbed the “Hateful Eight” by liberals, includes two in possible swing districts: Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs and Laura Woods of Westminster.

o The Denver Post’s John Frank broke a story exposing the tactics of Americans for Prosperity in pressuring state lawmakers to sign a pledge not to “undermine the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by creating a special exemption for the Hospital Provider Fee.” The Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins filled out the picture of AFP with an illuminating piece about the organization’s field work—as well as another story featuring the angry response of Republican Sen. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) to AFP’s apparent pressure on Crowder. The pressure from AFP appeared to have ratcheted up after Hutchins had matter-of-factly reported Crowder’s views in support of turning the provider fee into an enterprise.

o The Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins also banged out an excellent explainer of the hospital provider fee (and related issues), just as the legislative session was cranking up and few people understood what the fee was and what was going on.

o Rocky Mountain Community Radio’s Bente Birkeland offers a daily drumbeat of short interviews that often prove illuminating or provide a springboard more in-depth analysis (e.g., Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ position on election modernization or Sen. Larry Crowder’s stance on Syrian refugees).

o The Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus asked why J. Paul Brown (R-Ignacio) had voted last year for a program offering contraception to low-income women and teens, but this year voted against it.  It’s basic journalism, of course, but often forgotten in onslaught of other news.

o The Colorado Independent’s Marrianne Goodland provided in-depth coverage on, among other legislation, a predatory-lending bill that was defeated by state house Democrats.

o Fox 31 Denver’s Amanda Zitzman put a human face on a bill aimed at informing citizens about the cost of free-standing emergency rooms versus urgent care.

o The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch is trying to do something different at the newspaper with his “Joey ‘Splains” series. He’s on the right track.

o On the legislative campaign trail, we owe thanks to the reporters who covered the caucuses and county assemblies, allowing us not to rely solely on reports by party activists. The Colorado Statesman’s coverage, especially Ernest Luning’s, on social media and in articles stands out.

o The Boulder Weekly’s Caitlin Rockett found holes in the assertion that a bill targeting tax havens was bad for small business.

o The Colorado Statesman’s Hot Sheet is a welcome infusion of legislative news. (In the advocacy world, ProgressNow Colorado’s Daily News Digest is a userful compilation of political news coverage.)

o The Colorado Independent’s Marianne Goodland was the only journalist to write about the crazy irony of Rep. Kevin Priola missing a vote on a parental-leave bill, which he opposed, because he had to take his kid to the doctor.

Signature Fraud Scandal Deepens While Jon Keyser Hides

We’re awaiting the video from Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger’s latest gobsmacking story on alleged petition fraud committed by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser’s campaign, but the 6PM teaser we just watched is just the preview for tonight’s main event at 10PM.

So as not to bury the lede, we’ll get right to the point: the petition gatherer at the center of Jon Keyser’s forgery crisis was convicted of attempted forgery in New York State.

mossrecord

Keyser petition gatherer “Maureen” also has a significant record of other criminal convictions on her record that Zelinger briefly described in tonight’s teaser segment. Needless to say, this clearly indicates that no meaningful background check of any kind was conducted on Keyser’s petition gatherers before they were sent into the neighborhoods of Colorado to knock on unsuspecting Republican doors. Or in Maureen’s case, not.

Unless, of course, forgery skills were considered a job skill.

In other news from Denver7, Zelinger’s crew has set up a searchable index of not just Keyser’s petition signers, but those of all four Republican U.S. Senate candidates who petitioned on to the ballot:

If you find your name on a petition and you did not sign that petition, please contact Denver7 at politics@thedenverchannel.com and let us know.

Keyser’s campaign as of this writing continues to hide from reporters, which is increasingly becoming a self-contained public relations disaster:

Prior to Zelinger’s report yesterday, Keyser had been scheduled to attend two primary-race events tomorrow. As of now his appearance is a big question mark–but either way, no-show or not, will be a story all its own now.

(more…)

Keyser’s promise to “always” answer questions is out the window

(That was before the forgeries – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Jon Keyser's "two ballots."

Jon Keyser’s “two ballots.”

Reporters should note that earlier this month, former Rep. Jon Keyser said what some politicians will say, and promised to always answer questions.

The context of May 2 discussion on KOA 850-AM was social issues, but you wouldn’t expect Keyser to have one standard about answering questions on social issues and another standard for other topics, like possible illegal campaign activities.

Keyser’s promise with respect to answering questions was clear (Listen below.):

Keyser: These are all issues that we have to talk about, if it’s a social issue. If it’s a question, I always answer the question. [BigMedia emphasis]

But now, Keyser’s campaign is refusing to answer questions from 7News reporter Marshall Zelinger about signatures that were apparently forged on Keyser’s petition to put his name on the June 28 GOP primary ballot.

Zelinger reported: We reached out to the Keyser campaign with a phone call and text to the spokesman, but as of Tuesday night at 11:45 p.m., he had not returned our call, text or tweets.

It’s not as if Zelinger’s questions are out-of-bounds or anything. He’s found 10 signatures that are clearly forged from people who leave in Congressional District One, where Keyser’s campaign needed to gather 1,500 signatures to make the ballot. He got 1,520 signatures. If you subtract the 10 forged signatures, Keyser is down to 1,510, and all of his signatures from CD 1 haven’t been analyzed yet.

Bottom line, reporters should point out that Keyser has promised in the past to always answer questions. In the wake of this story, he’s not doing so.

(more…)

Wayne Williams Jumps on Jack Tate’s Grenade

Jack Tate.

Jack Tate.

As the Aurora Sentinel reports, following up the story of fundraising in the SD-27 race between Democratic challenger Tom Sullivan and appointed Republican Jack Tate–we had last reported on a big fundraising quarter for “Sully,” contrasted against a campaign finance complaint against Tate for transferring too much money to his Senate campaign:

The Democratic Senate Campaign Fund and Tate’s opponent, Tom Sullivan, said this week that the Republican violated state campaign finance rules when he rolled over more than $27,000 from his former state House campaign to his Senate campaign. State rules put the limit on those transactions at about $22,000.

In a letter to Tate on May 5, Williams said his office gave bad advice when they explained to him how to move money from his House campaign committee to a Senate campaign committee.

“My office mistakenly gave you erroneous information regarding the effect of the committee change on the contribution limits,” the letter said…

The Republican Secretary of State said in his letter that Balmer approached his office asking how Tate could roll the money over and the Secretary’s office didn’t explain the process correctly.

Obviously, it would be better if the Secretary of State could give, you know, accurate information about the campaign finance limits it is charged with administering. Do you suppose Williams would have been as forthcoming about giving “erroneous information” to a Democrat? Either way, in a release from the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund, you can see the fun with Tate regarding his campaign funds isn’t quite over yet:

Tate has yet to make an official public statement on the matter. Tate did respond to the DSCF’s May 3rd tweet that he needs to give the illegal overage back and “play by the rules” with, “nope. contact secretary of states office. know your rules regarding same campaign year transfers. [sic].”

In his last May 2nd filing, Tate raised $4,150.00 – well under the $5,611 he needs to either give back to donors or donate to charity, according to campaign finance laws.

In addition to having to make several thousand dollars go away unproductively, Tate isn’t raising any money. Certainly not compared to Sullivan’s big start to the race. We’ve already seen evidence that Tate is nervous about his election prospects, to include backing away from sponsorship of a predatory lending bill after he sponsored one last year.

If he can’t raise money, he’s got a lot more to be nervous about.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (May 11)

Get More Smarter“Sine Die” sounds a lot more foreboding than it should. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► The race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Colorado continues to get weirder. On Tuesday, Marshall Zelinger of Denver7 broke the news in a series of reports that Jon Keyser appears to have qualified for the June 28th Primary ballot despite apparent widespread fraud on his signature petitions. Keyser’s name will likely remain on the ballot, but he has much bigger problems right now.

 

► The 2016 Colorado legislative session comes to an end today, as Joey Bunch reports for the Denver Postwithout much movement on some of the key issues that first faced legislators in January:

Now, at the end of the legislative session, lawmakers are back where they started.

The General Assembly saved the 2016 term’s top priorities for the final days and struggled Tuesday to reach deals on most of them.

The Republican-led Senate rejected separate measures to reclassify how the state collects fees paid by hospitals and create a primary for the 2020 presidential election. And the Democratic-controlled House jettisoned a $3.5 billion bond package for transportation and a proposal to study how construction-defects laws are hurting the condominium market.

The biggest issue of the session — reclassifying the so-called “Hospital Provider Fee”  to provide more money for key infrastructure needs — finally met its end in a Senate committee after Senate President Bill Cadman basically ran out the clock on making a decision. As the Colorado Springs Independent reports, there was wide support for the HPF issue…but it couldn’t overcome Cadman’s allegiance to the Koch Brothers-funded “Americans for Prosperity.”

The legislature also failed to come to an agreement on a bill that would get rid of Colorado’s Presidential caucus system in favor of a Primary vote.

 

 Voters in West Virginia and Nebraska got to pull some levers in the Presidential Primary on Tuesday. Democrat Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in West Virginia, though the result doesn’t put much of a dent in Clinton’s delegate lead. On the Republican side, Donald Trump was victorious in both West Virginia and Nebraska, which wasn’t a huge surprise since he’s the only GOP candidate still standing.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)