Doug Bruce Sues Top Defense Attorney, Epic Hilarity Ensues

Doug Bruce.

Doug Bruce.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Megan Schrader reports, convicted felon tax evader and author of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Douglas Bruce is going back to court–this time to sue his former defense attorney, the renowned David Lane of Denver, for not moving Bruce’s appeal of his convictions fast enough through the courts:

Douglas Bruce has filed a civil suit against his former attorney David Lane seeking $165,000 in damages for misconduct in handling Bruce’s appeal of his 2012 felony convictions.

Bruce, a Colorado Springs anti-tax crusader, hired Lane in 2012 to represent him at the sentencing of a tax evasion trial with a $75,000 retainer to handle the appeal of three guilty convictions. Bruce said Lane delayed filing the opening brief of his appeal for almost two years, then refused to refund his money when Bruce lost patience and hired a different attorney. The case was filed in Denver District Court in early July…

Lane’s response to Bruce could be one of the greatest smackdowns of Colorado’s least-ingratiating anti-tax activists ever recorded.

“That’s not a particularly long time,” Lane said of the delay for the opening brief. “We met every single deadline imposed upon us by the Colorado Court of Appeals. The fact that the court doesn’t move as fast as Douglas Bruce wants it to is probably because there are not enough dollars to adequately staff the Colorado Court of Appeals due to the TABOR Amendment.” [Pols emphasis]

Wham! But seriously, Lane continues,

“It was very difficult dealing with Douglas Bruce because I believe him to have a mental illness,” Lane said.

That’s not a sentiment we expect anyone with an interest in defending Bruce’s “gift” to our state, TABOR, will want to see repeated. But the fact is, Bruce’s personal conduct, from his bizarre violent outbursts to his felony conviction for tax evasion, have done almost as much to discredit TABOR as the deleterious effects of the law itself. TABOR’s labyrinthine provisions, not just requiring votes on tax increases but tightly regulating every aspect of the process to ensure such proposals are almost impossible to pass, make a great deal more sense in the context of their authorship by a tax cheat. TABOR is supported by conservatives not because it requires citizen participation in the decision, but because it skews the process to make a no vote the most likely outcome.

At one time, we would have described TABOR as the product of an evil genius. But seeing what has become of Douglas “Mr. TABOR” Bruce in recent years, “genius” is not a word we would use to describe either Bruce or his handiwork.

Enough: Stop Terrorizing Colorado, Cory Gardner

UPDATE: The Fort Collins Coloradoan’s Jason Pohl reports some additional details today that both shed some light on the story and raise more questions–and either way, don’t make Cory Gardner’s hair-raising speculation via press release any more justifiable:

A woman called Fort Collins Police Services on May 24 to report “two unknown Middle Eastern males” had approached her in a parking lot “inquiring about her husband, who was in the military,” Sgt. Dean Cunningham told the Coloradoan…

Fort Collins police then forwarded the information to the FBI “for informational purposes only,” Cunningham said. On July 2, the department received a bulletin from the FBI that specifically referenced the May incident.

…Denver’s CBS4 first published the report in a Tuesday broadcast, but the station did not address how it acquired the document, how it had been vetted or how seriously law enforcement agencies were treating the alert. [Pols emphasis]

As you can read below, the Denver Division of the FBI, to whom the bulletin is attributed, told the Greeley Tribune they didn’t release any such alert at all–so we’re not exactly sure how to reconcile these two reports. But even if it’s authentic, the alleged FBI alert was over a month old when first reported by CBS4 this week–and the FBI’s statement yesterday that they have found no credible threat to military members or their families in Colorado and Wyoming is unequivocal.

It remains a fact that Sen. Cory Gardner had any number of official channels to turn to to verify the details of the story before issuing a statement, and instead relied on this unconfirmed CBS4 news report. There’s every reason to believe that the FBI would have debunked or at least allayed his concerns if he had asked, as they did for reporters seeking to verify the story yesterday. But he didn’t ask.

Because scaring first and asking questions later is better for Gardner politically.


Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

The story late Tuesday night from CBS4 Denver was alarming to say the least:

An alert has been issued by the FBI to all law enforcement agencies in Colorado and Wyoming involving U.S. military families and concerns about who may be watching them.

The alert says Middle Eastern men are approaching families of U.S. military members at their homes in Colorado and Wyoming. It mentions Greeley, Colorado, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, as the specific areas.

In one case last May the wife of a military member was approached in front of her home by two Middle Eastern males. The men stated that she was the wife of a U.S. interrogator. When she denied their claims the men laughed. The two men left the area in a dark-colored, four-door sedan with two other Middle Eastern males in the vehicle.

The next morning, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner expressed great concern in a press statement, seemingly validating that this CBS4 news report was accurate:

“I am alarmed by reports out of Denver that military members’ families have been harassed outside their homes and may be under surveillance,” Gardner said. “This news comes less than two weeks after FBI Director James Comey, speaking in Denver, warned of the heightened threat from the Islamic State that Colorado specifically faces. The FBI has now alerted all Colorado law enforcement agencies, and my office is in contact with the appropriate officials. I will continue to closely monitor the situation, and I encourage Coloradans to report suspicious behavior to the FBI.”

In his statement, Sen. Gardner claims that in addition to seeing the news report on CBS4, he was “in contact with the appropriate officials.” But this morning, it looks as though if Gardner actually had been in contact with the FBI, they might have had very different information for him. As the Greeley Tribune now reports:

The Denver office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it has found no credible threats to military personnel or their family members in Colorado or Wyoming, according to a statement released late Thursday afternoon…

The statement was issued in response to reports Wednesday by a variety of Colorado news outlets that military families in Greeley and Cheyenne, Wyo., had been harassed or intimidated by men of Middle Eastern descent. Those reports were based off of an activity alert that was supposedly first released to law enforcement in May and then again on July 2.

The spokesmen for Weld County’s two largest law enforcement agencies said Wednesday they had not received the alert and were unaware of any cases of harassment against military members or their families. [Pols emphasis]

Another Greeley Tribune report from late Wednesday suggests the “FBI alert” in question may have been a fake:

Special Agent Amy Sanders, spokeswoman for the FBI Denver Bureau, said the office did not release any such alert [Pols emphasis] and that it had not confirmed the document’s authenticity as of Wednesday afternoon.

So what happened here? The answer may be pretty straightforward.

Back in April, we took note of social media posts from Rep. Ken Buck declaratively stating that there are training camps operated by the self-proclaimed Islamic State just over the Mexican border from El Paso, Texas. Those reports were proven false as quickly as mainstream media outlets were able to make the relevant phone calls, but Buck’s enthusiastic spreading of these totally unconfirmed reports lent them credibility they did not deserve. As a federal lawmaker who can easily obtain confirmation via official channels to verify or disprove such reports, Buck has a higher obligation to make sure what he says is accurate.

On the campaign trail last year, now-Sen. Cory Gardner repeatedly invoked dubious unconfirmed news reports to play up his “concern” for the fears of voters on a variety of subjects. The best example was Gardner’s shameless co-opting of unfounded fears about the Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa to attack his opponent. Politifact later declared Ebola fearmongering during the 2014 campaign to be the “Lie of the Year,” but at the time Gardner exploited the “Ebola issue” to positive effect in his campaign.

Inciting panic over what turns out to be a baseless–and possibly bogus–news report is an objectionable thing for an AM radio talk show host to do. For a sitting U.S. Senator, it’s really quite unacceptable.

And in Cory Gardner, now we have the makings of a pattern.

Strong Democratic Challenge Sets Up In Key State Senate Race

Las Animas County Sheriff Jim Casias (D).

Las Animas County Sheriff Jim Casias (D).

The Denver Post’s John Frank reports–after a heartbreaking narrow loss in 2012, Democrats are once again hopeful for a shot at picking up GOP Sen. Larry Crowder’s SD-35 seat with a strong new challenger–Las Animas County Sheriff Jim Casias:

The Democratic sheriff is a top recruit in the party’s plans to regain power in the Senate, where Republicans took a one-seat majority in the 2014 elections and served as a blockade for numerous bills backed by the Democratic House and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Casias, 67, is one of the 55 sheriffs who filed suit against Hickenlooper in 2013 to fight tougher gun control laws, among those dubbed “heroes” by a conservative website. He also served as president of the County Sheriffs of Colorado Association in 2014…

To further distance himself from Denver, Casias is likely to make his challenge of the gun laws a prominent point in his campaign. He supports a repeal of the large ammunition magazine restrictions but supports background checks, Short said. [Pols emphasis]

In 2012, Larry Crowder unexpectedly defeated Democrat Crestina Martinez for this seat, which became highly competitive following legislative reapportionment the previous year. Martinez’s defeat led to a long period of introspection for Democrats in southern Colorado, a process that continues to this day as former strongholds like Pueblo adapt to changing politics in Denver–and Denver Democrats re-evaluate their message to better appeal to their base in other parts of the state.

Casias arguably represents the product of that new strategy–a well-known candidate with deep ties to the community who also has a demonstrable independent streak. Like Sen. Kerry Donovan on the Western Slope, Casias has a nuanced position on the 2013 gun laws that will appeal to voters who dislike them–in particular the much-maligned magazine limit law–while at the same time defending the universal gun background checks that were always the highest priority.

As for Crowder, his four years in the Senate have produced a number of liabilities that a strong opponent can exploit, including voting against rural broadband, affordable housing, and senior services–and above all voting to mess with retirement benefits for the significant number of PERA retirees in this district.

All of which adds up to a potent challenge from Democrats, in a competitive race key to retaking the Colorado Senate in 2016.

10,000 Rounds Ain’t Enough, Says RMGO’s Dudley Brown

Dudley Brown of RMGO.

Dudley Brown of RMGO.

A shrilly-worded action alert from the hard right pro-gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners warns of yet another sneaky plot by ex-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his crafty cabal of leftist gun-grabbers to cheat honest law-abiding Americans out of their sacred right to spray unlimited quantities of lead at whatever they like:

It’s no secret that billionaire playboy Michael Bloomberg is anti-gun.

But his latest attempt to restrict your gun rights is coming from somewhere you’d never expect.

Bloomberg and his crony Colorado mayors have turned to government bureaucrats to push their gun-grabbing agenda.

That’s why I need your help!

RMGO has obtained documents showing the Denver Fire Department is planning to ban the storage of more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition in any residential occupancy. [Pols emphasis]

I know it sounds outrageous, but the gun-grabbers will stop at nothing to limit your ability to protect yourself and your family…

ammo_CutAwayNow first of all, we don’t know anything about this proposal one way or the other–we’ve seen no news reports about it, and there’s nothing we can find even in media outlets in other cities discussing the possibility of limiting storage of ammunition in a residential structure to 10,000 rounds.

But just for argument’s sake, let’s ask the question: how many rounds of ammunition does someone need to defend themselves? A study of National Rifle Association reports on self-defense situations says most defenders fire only two shots, and almost never have to (or are usually unable to) reload. We don’t want to be presumptuous about what would obviously be a stressful situation, but that’s about 9,998 shots fewer than Brown seems to think you’ll need to “protect yourself and your family.”

Setting that argument aside for a moment, there’s just no question that storing huge amounts of live ammunition in a residential building is kind of a sketchy practice. We get that there are gun-lovers who for whatever reason don’t think so, but we guarantee that their non gun-loving neighbors would be uncomfortable to know that enough ammunition to blow up/burn down a building was being stored next door. A building, or maybe the whole block?

Seriously, what other types of high explosives are you allowed to stockpile in your home?

On second thought, maybe some kind of reasonable limit, say 10,000 rounds or so, is okay after all–especially in residences in an urban environment like Denver. We’re thinking if you put that to a vote in Denver, it would pass handily. And if you don’t like it, maybe find a house in the country to convert into your own private ammo dump?

Again, this could simply be a fundraising scare tactic to keep RMGO’s war chest filled. But if it’s not…well, that’s fine too.

Aurora Theater Shooting Trial Moves to Phase 3

From the Aurora Sentinel:

After just a few hours of deliberation, jurors in the Aurora theater shooting trial unanimously decided that the trial of James Holmes will proceed to a third and final sentencing phase — where an ultimate decision on the death penalty will be made.

The jury’s quick deliberation and verdict found they did not deem the defense’s mitigation evidence to outweigh the four aggravating factors proven during the first phase of sentencing. Jurors deliberated for about an hour last week and 90 minutes this morning before reaching their verdict…

…The court now prepares to enter the third phase of sentencing, during which prosecutors are expected to call several of the victims’ relatives to testify.

Aurora Victim’s Parents Face Bankruptcy After Suing Online Ammo Dealers, Vow To Change Colorado Law

Aurora shooting victim Jessica Ghawi.

Aurora shooting victim Jessica Ghawi.

Back in May, we took note of a particularly troubling development in the aftermath of the 2012 mass shootings at the Century Theater in Aurora. The parents of Jessica Ghawi, one of the theatergoers killed when James Holmes opened fire in a packed movie theater on July 20, 2012, are facing dire financial straits after their lawsuit against online ammunition and body armor dealers who sold Holmes items used in the Aurora shooting was dismissed.

Under a Colorado law passed as a Republican “backlash” against stricter gun control measures following the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, House Bill 00-1208, requires the immediate dismissal of any lawsuit brought against firearm or ammunition dealers, and further requires (using the term shall as opposed to may) that the judge order the plaintiffs in that lawsuit to pay the gun dealer’s legal fees. The problem in this case is that the suit filed by Lonnie and Sandy Phillips was not frivolous, investigating legitimate questions of liability arising from the online sale of ammunition and other dangerous products. Critically, the suit also sought no monetary damages–just a change in business practices by online gun and ammunition dealers.

Following another shooting incident at a theater in Louisiana last week, the Phillipses appeared on MSNBC’s News Nation with Tamron Hall, and disclosed that they now face bankruptcy over the $200,000 judgment against them. For all the publicity surrounding the Aurora shooting and trial underway now, the plight of the Phillips family has received very little press attention, and Hall expressed shock at learning the details of their case:

The main argument from supporters of the gun dealers seeking money from the Phillips family is that they were given legal assistance by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. They assert that the Brady Center should pay the gun dealers, since obviously it would not be very good press for said gun dealers to start seizing assets of the parents of someone their products were involved in killing. At the end of the segment, Sandy Phillips addresses this question with Tamron Hall directly, asking “would you be willing to pay one penny to the people who helped murder your daughter?”

Because further appeals of the judgment dismissing their lawsuit would only expose them to further liability, the Phillipses say they are dropping their appeal to seek a legislative remedy. Repealing Colorado House Bill 00-1208, or at least modifying its punitive “shall award” language to allow for the possibility of a legitimate case against gun dealers at some point in the future, could perhaps be called a happy ending.

With the obvious caveat that there are no happy endings to this tragic story.

Bigots, Birchers, and Islamophobes in Colorado Mainstream Now

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Groups promoting hatred and fear of Muslims, gays, immigrants, unionized workers, and people of color are openly meeting in Colorado. These meetings are being promoted by mainstream Republican activists, and are aimed at influencing policy by informing local law enforcement and legislators of the  “threats” these groups pose. The John Birch Society had an Executive Dinner in Denver July 24.  RMGO is promoting an anti-Muslim training session for law enforcement, community and the public Aug. 13-15.

John Birch Society- the Founding Bigots

The John Birch Society met July 24, at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in North Denver.  Many mainstream GOP activists planned to attend, according to their Facebook pages. The John Birch Society (JBS) has a long history of racism and religious bigotry in the United States, and was where the Koch Brothers learned how to prey upon the fears of the ignorant.

In the JBS world view, communists are everywhere.

The JBS had its origins in the McCarthy era, as an anti-Communist group.  “Birchers” preached that all Civil Rights Movement leaders and actions were Communist-inspired. My father, an editorial writer for the Post, used to rail about the “Goddamn Birchers” who would oppose every piece of civil rights or anti-poverty legislation in Denver, and tried to suppress his editorials in the 1960s.

Although JBS leadership now wears three-piece suits, and meets at $50 a plate fundraising dinners in nice hotel ballrooms, their messaging has changed very little: “Those people” (leftists, feminists, unionists, environmentalists, gays, Muslims, the UN, Democrats, people of color promoting Obama’s “race war”) are conspiring to take away your American way of life,  and they must be stopped, preferably with a hefty donation to the JBS. 

The JBS contributes heavily to “Right to Work” and other ALEC- generated legislation.  Colorado legislators are rated  on the JBS “Freedom Index”. Rated at 70% or higher: Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn, Scott Tipton,  Cory Gardner, and Ken Buck . It will be interesting to see which of these Republican politicians attended the JBS dinner.

 John Guandalo: RMGO sponsored workshops August 13-15 on “Understanding the Threat” of the Global Islamic Movement


Army To Recruiting Station Vigilantes: Go Home

AKA a security threat too.

AKA a security threat too.

Happy to relay a public service announcement from U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno to all the “good citizens” brandishing firearms outside local military recruiting centers in the wake of the Chattanooga shootings–as the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Tom Roeder reported yesterday from Odierno’s press availability in Colorado Springs:

“I’m concerned we’re really on the razor’s edge at 450,000 [total troops],” the general said before noting that his biggest fear is sending untrained troops to a future war because the Army lacked strength and readiness.

The smaller Army isn’t the only thing that Odierno expressed fear over.

The general said he’s also worried about armed bands of civilians who have taken up patrolling outside military recruiting stations in the wake of shootings in Tennessee last week that left five troops dead.

Odierno said he thinks the patrolling civilians, including a band that’s on watch outside a station near Academy Boulevard and Vickers Drive, are well intentioned, but could be doing more harm than good.

“I worry it creates a dangerous situation,” Odierno said, noting if an incident happened, confusion could lead to civilian deaths.

Army newspaper Stars and Stripes was a little more blunt:

The Army has warned its recruiters to treat the gun-toting civilians gathering at centers across the country in the wake of the Chattanooga, Tenn., shooting as a security threat.

Soldiers should avoid anyone standing outside the recruiting centers attempting to offer protection and report them to local law enforcement and the command if they feel threatened, according to a U.S. Army Recruiting Command policy letter issued Monday…

“I’m sure the citizens mean well, but we cannot assume this in every case [Pols emphasis] and we do not want to advocate this behavior,” according to the Army Command Operations Center-Security Division letter, which was authenticated by the service.

It may come as a shock to that vocal percentage of Americans who believe more guns are the solution to every problem, but guns around military installations–especially guns not under the strict control of military commanders–is not a solution to, you know, anything. In fact, it’s just another security problem for people who don’t need more security problems.

So go play some paintball or something, big boys.

Woods Lets No Bogus FOX News Report Go To Waste

Yesterday, in the immediate aftermath of the tragic attacks on a military recruiting station and a separate reserve post near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Colorado Sen. Laura Waters Woods of Arvada swung into action on Facebook:


The biggest problem with this claim, says Media Matters for America, is that it isn’t true:

Four Marines were killed when a shooter fired on two military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Fox News reported that the attacks may be connected to ISIS because an ISIS supporter purportedly discussed the shooting on Twitter before it happened. Fox host Sean Hannity repeated the false claim on his radio show.

In fact, the tweet Fox News referenced was posted well after the shooting had already occurred. Mashable editor Brian Ries first pointed out the discrepancy.

On Your World, Fox’s chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reported, “the last investigative thread I would mention at this point is that we’re taking a hard look at a Twitter account — an ISIS-linked Twitter account — that seemed to have foreknowledge of the shooting in Chattanooga. The tweet went out at 10:34 with the hashtag Chattanooga referring to American dogs and a likely shooting. This of course was about 15 minutes before the shooting took place.”

A few hours later:

At the end of the Factor, Special Report anchor Bret Baier clarified the timing of the tweet, saying that “all indications now are that it came out after the attack.” When O’Reilly asked if that meant the ISIS tweet story was “a bogus situation,” Baier replied, “yeah.” [Pols emphasis]

So much for that! Of course, the investigation into the Chattanooga shootings is in no way complete, and we would also be wrong to speculate about the shooter’s motives and affiliations. It’s true Sen. Waters Woods will probably need look no further than the shooters Arabic name, but that’s just not the proof positive a Tweet from before the shootings would be. Better to wait for investigators to do their jobs.

As for allowing military members to be armed “ALWAYS EVERYWHERE” (emphasis hers)? Excepting authorized forces on prescribed law enforcement duties, there are a lot of good reasons to not do that. Has Waters Woods run that suggestion by her excitable “liberty movement” friends tracking the Jade Helm 2015 military training exercise? Something tells us they might not like the way that sounds.

Bottom line: defund Planned Parenthood! Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

BREAKING: Aurora Theater Shooting Suspect Found GUILTY

THE VERDICT IS IN: After roughly 13 hours of deliberation, the jury finds the defendant, James Holmes, GUILTY on all charges of murder. The trial will now move to a sentencing phase where Holmes will face the death penalty.


UPDATE: The verdict is expected to be announced at around 4:15 p.m.


We’re waiting, along with everyone else, for the jury’s announcement. From the Denver Post:

Jurors told Judge Carlos Samour Jr. at about 1 p.m. that they had reached a decision. The verdict will be announced in Arapahoe County District courtroom 201 at 4 p.m.

The Denver Post will live stream the announcement at The Post will also provide live updates on a verdict tracker.


Hey Kiddies – Don’t Miss Uncle Ted’s Kamp for Kids/Colorado Apology Tour

(Quick, somebody take his guns! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent.

How on earth, or anywhere inside that Kuiper Belt thingie, did we miss Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids (hey Ted, you left out a ‘K’) is this Friday and the Colorado-and-Obama bashing rocker will be here indoctrinating some unsuspecting kids into a life filled with hate and ignorance?

About 20 spots are still available for youth to sign up for the sixth annual Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids, a one-day camp with hands-on instruction in the outdoors.

The camp will be held July 17 at Quail Mountain Recreation Area, which is between the towns of Leadville and Buena Vista.

Youth, ages 7-17, will move through stations that include fishing, archery, air guns, wilderness survival with world renowned wilderness survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt, wildlife identification, tracking with hounds, wildlife tracking, slingshots and game calling.

Rock musician, sing/songwriter and gun rights advocate Ted Nugent will speak one-on-one with attendees. 

I hope Children’s Services is there to make sure these poor kids aren’t traumatized by The Nuge.

Oh, here’s the key part:

This year’s sponsors include Colorado Bowhunters Association, Bass Pro Shops, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Steve’s Meat Market, Ted Nugent, National Rifle Association, Hunter Specialty Gear and numerous local businesses including City Market-BV, Silver City Concoco and others.

But wait! I thought Ted hated Colorado and its “citizens”:

Nugent: “If ever there was a poster child for apathy, disconnect, laziness, and abandonment of We the People, and moral dereliction, it is Colorado.” 

Somehow these guys can abandon their principles if there’s even a few bucks to make. Even more likely is that there is a gigantic tax write-off on Ted’s taxes next year for this “business” trip to disconnected and apathetic Colorado.

Maybe there will be some press there to ask Ted some pointed questions.

Right-Wing Blog Unwittingly Confirms Steve House Blackmail (Now, With Audio!)

UPDATE #2: There has been a flurry of phone calls and back-and-forth conversations among reporters and other officials today, much of it confusing. But you can read between the lines of Steve House’s statement to the Durango Herald:

I personally am not contacting the offices because I leave those decisions to the state party attorney and my personal attorney, I’ve not actively been involved with that,” House said in an interview with The Durango Herald. “I don’t know the law; I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t know what rises to the level of criminal activity.” 


UPDATE: 9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman, finally some mainstream media confirmation of what we’ve been reporting for days:

From Rittiman’s story:

Steve House, the chairman of the Colorado Republican party, has reached out to federal and state prosecutors about his allegations of a coup attempt to remove him from his leadership post at the state party, led by Republican state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

State party spokesman Owen Loftus confirmed that House reached out to both the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Denver District Attorney’s office in the wake of the scandal, which has dominated Colorado political conversation since House’s allegations last week…

His office is refuting a story posted to a conservative blog purporting to be a confession from his mistress.


UPDATE: Here is the complete interview with Steve House’s alleged mistress, recorded the day after House’s confrontation with Cynthia Coffman, in which she categorically denies any affair. A wealth of information about this story in this over 47-minute conversation. See below for audio cue points to key moments. The voices on the recording are John Sampson, a private investigator and an Adams County Republican, Julie Naye, House’s alleged mistress, and Lana Fore, former secretary of the Colorado GOP.

With Julie Naye, Steve House’s alleged mistress:

9:13   How do you know House?
12:39 How often would you see House?
13:02 Have you ever meet Donna House?
13:43 Have you ever been alone with House?
14:00 Have you ever been in the same town overnight as House?
15:02 Why is the opposition pointing at you?
15:18  Is there any evidence (text, email voicemail) for these claims?
18:39 Has House ever paid you for work?
20:00 “House is innocent… I’ve never been alone with him”
29:00 “Steve need to take it to their doorstep.”
31:50 “People are making stuff up. Cannot be something there that there isn’t. House has to fight this.”
35:00 Lana Fore? “She’s sitting right here next to me.”
36:00 “Want to press charges against people who are claiming to have an affair.”

With Lana Fore, former Colorado GOP secretary:

38:00 What is going on?
40:00 “Personal vendetta”
40:30 Who is trying to force you to say something that is not true? McAlpine, Harvey, Mizel, Herzfeldt all named.
41:30 “House made promises and didn’t keep them.”
41:50 What were those promises?
44:00 Tom Tancredo was at the meeting on Monday night.
45:15  “I’m not a big fan of Colorado Pols, but I think they got it right.”

To be fair, this recording is addressed in the blog post by Porter below:

Naye confessed that she lied to help cover the affair. She said that House texted her with instructions to deny their relationship to his friend who would be phoning her. Naye said that she was unaware at the time that this friend was also a private investigator.

To which we can only say, if she’s lying in this recording, she’s a very good liar. In any event, all we’re talking about here is scenery for the main event–criminal extortion.

Original post follows–big updates coming soon.


Ted Harvey, Cynthia Coffman.

Ted Harvey, Cynthia Coffman.

As the controversy has swirled in the last few days over the alleged extortion of Colorado Republican Party chairman Steve House by high-ranking fellow Republicans including Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, one of the central details was the purported existence of an extramarital affair between House and an unknown party. House responded to the allegation by denying the existence of an affair, and claiming that he was confronted with it only after the conversation turned from why House didn’t hire Ted Harvey to serve as the state party’s executive director to demands that House resign his position.

House’s version of events is very important to the investigation now underway, as it meets the legal definition of criminal extortion. It would be one thing if House had committed some kind of actual malfeasance in his official capacity–though the manner in which House was confronted is still legally questionable–but to blackmail this man over an alleged love affair is contemptible in addition to potentially criminal.

Fast-forward to today–conservative blogger Kathryn Porter, who has obviously been tasked by someone close to Coffman to run damage control as the likelihood of a criminal investigation grows, published her “shocking expose” of House’s alleged affair:

“I had no expectations of a future with him. I thought this would eventually end and we would remain friends,” said [the woman]. She shared that House was easy to talk to and that they had a special trust between them. “I wasn’t looking for him to take care of me. And he had a wife. I trusted him to be kind to me and stick around as my friend.”

She became more guarded when confronted about her feelings for House. “I care about him a great deal, like you would care about a close friend with additional feelings,” she stated, carefully choosing her words…

She described the submission to their sexual desires as an organic evolution of their friendship.

Steve House.

Steve House.

Missing from Porter’s poorly-written screed is, well, anything particularly nefarious. Nowhere does the story of House’s alleged affair claim to involve his official duties as GOP chairman. Instead of helping, this hit piece would seem to confirm House’s version of the blackmail story, which we have to believe was not the intended purpose. 

And that’s perhaps not the worst part. Today, we were forwarded audio from a conversation between House’s alleged mistress and a private investigator from the day after House’s meeting with Coffman in which she denies the affair repeatedly and categorically. Late in the nearly 50-minute conversation, the investigator interviewing the woman in question says:

It’s called “character assassination 101.” What it all boils down to is, and I’m not a big fan of Colorado Pols, but I think they got it right. This is an attempt to have a coup d’etat. [Pols emphasis]

We are processing the audio from this conversation now and will post shortly, but we wanted to be sure the existence of these denials was quickly noted in the record.

How does this square with the quotes printed in Porter’s blog? Simple: it doesn’t. Sources tell us that House has turned his cell phone text records over to the U.S. Attorney’s office, and there’s nothing to indicate that House asked this woman to lie. And even of these hotly disputed allegations of an affair were true? That can’t justify blackmailing Steve House to get him to resign from his job as Colorado GOP chairman. Remember, it doesn’t make any difference whether House did or did not have an actual affair; it’s still blackmail to threaten him with it.

You can’t ever justify blackmail–it’s a crime as soon as you make the threat.

The Charleston Shooting: Six Degrees of Earl Holt

UPDATE: One hour and twenty minutes after this post went up, 9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman reports:

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) will part with money he received from the leader of a white supremacist group which appears to have inspired the shooter who killed 9 people in an attack on an historically black church in South Carolina.

We’re happy to have brought this to his attention five years after the fact.


Earl Holt.

Earl Holt.

Politico’s Nick Gass has a story today that, it’s safe to say, a number of Republican candidates for President don’t want you to read–but you probably should:

The leader of a white supremacist group mentioned by Dylann Roof in his alleged manifesto has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns in recent years.

Earl Holt, president of the St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens, has given to prominent 2016 candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum over the years, among others, while provocative statements in his name were posted online over the years, including on the conservative news site The Blaze, under the user name Earl P Holt III…

“If you think you can educate them, or embarrass them, or reason with them, or that your Christian compassion will be reciprocated, then you are the kind of person who will be completely baffled when they kill you, rape your entire family, and burn your house to the ground,” Earl P. Holt III wrote in a comment last year.

According to one account of a witness’ report, Roof said before opening fire, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.” Roof stands charged with the murders of nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last Wednesday night.

According to this story, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz intends to return his donation from the Council of Conservative Citizens’ Earl Holt, as does Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Rick Santorum’s quote doesn’t expressly say he’s returning the money, but we’d be surprised if he didn’t at this point. With South Carolina Republicans (and even Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado) calling for the Confederate flag’s removal from the state capitol grounds in the wake of last week’s shootings, to not return these severely tainted moneys would be politically suicidal.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

The local connection: a quick search of donations also reveals a donation from the same Earl Holt to–you guessed it–Ken Buck’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2010! We haven’t found any other donations from Holt to Colorado candidates, but we can’t call ourselves surprised that Holt took a shine to Buck’s unrepentant far-right Senate campaign. Heck, now that we know Buck can’t tell the difference between “Hispanic” and Native American students, he seems even more up Holt’s alley! We’d assume that the present controversy following last week’s tragic shooting would motivate even Buck to return Holt’s donation.

Then again, it is Ken Buck we’re talking about. So maybe he keeps it in, you know, Freedom’s™ name.

“That Idiot’s Tweeting”

Arapahoe County D.A. George Brauchler loves him some Twitter, no matter the setting.

Arapahoe County D.A. George Brauchler loves him some Twitter, no matter the setting.

UPDATE: Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post updates this story, which includes a Colorado Pols mention:

ProgressNow — and, privately, some Republicans — have jumped on the mistake Brauchler made last week when he tweeted during the trial, although the judge had been clear not to do so. Three jurors have been replaced in connection with news stories regarding the judge’s admonishment about the tweet…

…The leftie blog ColoradoPols also mentioned the Brauchler brouhaha. The Post reported that a juror’s husband called the woman during a break last week and began telling her about his tweet, which had been reported on by various media outlets. Jurors had been instructed not to read anything about the trial or talk to each other about it.

“That idiot’s tweeting,” she quoted her husband as saying.

Runyon-Harms said “there’s an open question as to whether the quote, ‘That idiot’s tweeting,’ will follow Brauchler around for a while.”

As we said below, “That Idiot’s Tweeting” is going to be around as long as Brauchler is involved in politics.


The Aurora Theater Shooting Trial took another strange turn on Tuesday when Judge Carlos Samour Jr. dismissed three jurors for misconduct because of concerns that they were reading about the trial and discussing it outside of the courtroom. According to media reports, one particular juror was found to be discussing the boneheaded moves of Arapahoe District Attorney George Brauchler, who was lectured by Judge Samour last week for Tweeting during the trial.

From the Denver Post:

The misconduct came to light mid-morning when one juror — a mother of three who serves in the Air Force and is known publicly only by her juror number, No. 673 — asked to speak to Samour.

Sitting alone in the jury box, she told Samour that she had twice heard another juror talking about news reports on the case. The first came about a week ago, when the juror, No. 872, referenced a story on an unsuccessful motion for a mistrial that the defense made outside the jury’s presence. The second came on Monday, when the juror talked about a story on Brauchler’s tweet [Pols emphasis]

…Last came [Juror] No. 872, who said she took a call from her husband during a break last week and put it on speaker phone. She said her husband began asking her about Brauchler and telling her about his tweet.

“That idiot’s tweeting,” she quoted her husband as saying. [Pols emphasis]



Brauchler’s infamous June 4th Tweet, which has since been deleted.


Brauchler tried to explain to Judge Samour last week that he wasn’t “Tweeting” in court during session — he was actually texting, or something, and inadvertently sent a Tweet. The specifics here always seemed largely irrelevant; as defense attorney Tamara Brady said, “If the prosecution is seeking the execution of a man, perhaps the District Attorney should pay attention to the cross-examination of a mental health expert instead of chatting on social media.”

Judge Samour had long ago banned the use of Twitter during court proceedings, and following Brauchler’s inexcusable gaffe, he also banned text messages in general. Brauchler is an ambitious politician who is widely expected to seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2018, but this social media mistake could end up critically damaging his chances for higher office — particularly if it ends up playing a role in the trial’s outcome. Brauchler’s Tweet had been “re-tweeted” at least three times before it was erased, and according to yesterday’s hearings, at least one family member of a juror saw the Tweet before Brauchler hit “delete.” This was not a harmless mistake.

Based on yesterday’s hearings, jurors have certainly taken note of Brauchler’s error; we wouldn’t be surprised to see this story become national news now that it has directly impacted the jury. If nothing else, “That Idiot’s Tweeting” is a quote you are certain to see again.

Call For Brauchler To Apologize For Endangering Aurora Shooting Trial

Following the dismissal of three jurors from the trial of the alleged shooter from the 2012 mass murder at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded an apology from Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler for putting justice for the victims of the Aurora shooting in jeopardy to boost his political standing.

“The eyes of the entire nation are on Aurora as the trial of the alleged killer proceeds,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “District Attorney George Brauchler’s political ambitions are well known, and he never misses an opportunity to promote himself. Unfortunately, Brauchler’s irresponsible tweets from the courtroom have now resulted in the dismissal of jurors who were tainted by his actions.”

Yesterday, Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour dismissed three jurors from the Aurora shooting trial “over concerns they had been tainted by a prosecutor’s Tweet last week.” [1] DA George Brauchler was admonished by the judge last week after his social media posting about the trial was publicized, telling DA Brauchler, “If you’re bored, and don’t want to pay attention to the proceedings, then you’re welcome to leave.” [2]

“George Brauchler has a growing reputation for letting his political ambitions get in the way of good judgment,” said Runyon-Harms. “The victims and survivors of the Aurora shooting deserve justice, not a circus of gaffes by a politician prosecutor that could endanger the outcome of this trial. It’s time for Brauchler to apologize for his irresponsible actions, and stop putting justice for the victims of this terrible act of violence at risk for political gain.”