Robert Blaha Campaign Manager Quits

Robert Blaha needs a campaign manager.

Robert Blaha needs a campaign manager.

The 2016 Republican race for U.S. Senate may go down as one of the all-time biggest disasters in Colorado political history.

Surely you are aware by now of the crater that was once Jon Keyser’s campaign for U.S. Senate, but Keyser isn’t the only GOP candidate with problems. Ryan Frazier is still waiting to find out if any potential votes he receives will actually be counted. Jack Graham is clearly nervous about his personnel file from his time as Athletic Director at Colorado State University — a topic that came up in Tuesday’s Denver Post debate — and now Robert Blaha has problems of his own.

As John Frank reports for the Denver Post:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha’s team is experiencing a staff shakeup after his campaign manager quit.

Katey Price, a veteran political operative, resigned her post at the top of the campaign amid disagreements about political strategy. It’s unclear whether Blaha’s consultant, Jordan Gehrke, is still working for the campaign.

The turnover puts Blaha in a tough position at a crucial point in the campaign, as the candidate looks to regain footing from  a prolonged fight to make the ballot just weeks before mail ballots are sent to voters in the June 28 primary.

And it’s just the latest bit of drama in a race  full of it.

A spokesperson for Blaha’s campaign tried to downplay the departure of Price as part of the natural “ebb and flow” of high-profile political campaigns, but losing your campaign manager just weeks before ballots are sent to voters is far from common.

Nevertheless, Blaha maintains at least one advantage over the rest of the field (sans Jack Graham); as a candidate with the ability to self-fund, Blaha will be up on television with a new advertisement on Thursday. While outside soft money groups may play a role in the Senate Primary, campaign finance reports indicate that only Blaha and Graham — who is also personally wealthy — have any real money with which to pay for TV ads.

Blaha losing his campaign manager just weeks before voting begins is absolutely a strange development…or it would be if the GOP Senate race was at all a normal undertaking in 2016.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (May 18)

Get More SmarterExcept for the rain cloud following Jon Keyser around, we may finally be in for some warmer, drier weather. 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).


► The hits just keep on coming for Republican Senate candidate Jon Keyser, whose campaign officially cratered on Tuesday.

Keyser’s EPIC meltdown in response to questions about alleged forged petition signatures had already gone viral earlier this week…and that was before the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced on Tuesday that there was at least one DEAD VOTER whose name appeared on Keyser’s petitions.

Then things got even worse last night during a GOP Senate debate moderated by reporters from the Denver Post, where Keyser was called out by fellow candidate (and Air Force Academy graduate) Darryl Glenn, who asked Keyser to drop out of the race if an investigation shows that he did not receive enough valid petition signatures to legally get his name on the June 28 Primary ballot (check out Mike Littwin’s column at the Colorado Independent for more on the debate). There’s no way around it now: Keyser’s Senate campaign has officially cratered.


► The Denver Post hosted a debate for the five Republican U.S. Senate candidates on Tuesday. ICYMI, we watched the entire exchange and graded each candidate on their performance.


► Soon-to-be Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump released a list of names he would consider for Supreme Court vacancies, and as the Denver Post reports, there’s a Colorado connection:

A Colorado Supreme Court justice was one of 11 potential nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court released Wednesday by Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump should he be elected.

Allison Eid was appointed to Colorado’s highest court  in 2006 by then-Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican, who called her a premier legal scholar.

Prior to her appointment, Eid was the state’s Solicitor General to then-Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, also a Republican.

According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, at the time she joined Colorado’s Supreme Court, Eid was a tenured associate professor of law at the University of Colorado School of Law where she taught constitutional law, legislation and torts.

We’re sure that Eid’s husband, former U.S. Attorney Troy Eid, is more than happy for his wife at being included on such a prestigious list. But part of the news has to sting for Eid, who in the past 15 years has floated his name for more potential Colorado races than Jon Keyser has forged petition signatures.


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

Colorado Springs GOP primary turns the Legislature’s smiles into snarls

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

They're mean with Photoshop in Colorado Springs.

They’re mean with Photoshop in Colorado Springs.

A mailer  in Colorado Springs includes actual factual photos of state house candidate Larry Liston cross-dressing, but the attack letter fails to mention that Liston’s step into a dress was all part of a joke.

As reported by the Megan Schrader at the Colorado Springs Gazette:

One page of the letter includes two photos of Liston from Hummers, a skit put on by the minority party in the House chambers every year skewering the majority party. It also includes a link to a story about criticism Liston faced for calling unwed mother’s “sluts.” Liston later apologized for the statement. Another link in the letter takes readers to the 2011 voting log on Senate Bill 200, which created the state exchange for the Affordable Care Act and shows Liston voted for the legislation.

Liston said those are “gross misrepresentations.”

[Former State Rep. Amy] Stephens said there is a “long-standing House and Senate agreement” that anything in Hummers would not be used for or against someone in political campaigns.

“It’s just reprehensible that this would be violated,” Stephens said.

The mailer appears to be the work of GOP consultant Jon Hotaling in support of Rep. Janak Joshi (R-Colorado Springs), whose facing a primary challenge from Liston. Hotaling defended the letter in the Gazette’s story.


Minimum Wage Increase Campaign Kicks Off

Photo courtesy Michael Carrigan.

Photo courtesy Michael Carrigan.

A press release from Colorado Families for a Fair Wage kicks off a statewide ballot initiative campaign to raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020:

“The problem facing families and our economy is the same thing – low wages,” said Lizeth Chacon, Colorado Families for a Fair Wage co-chair. “Raising the minimum wage is fair and smart – fair because people working full time should earn enough to support their families without being forced to rely on public assistance, and smart because people with money in their pockets to spend boosts the local economy and creates jobs.”

The average age of a minimum wage earner is 35 – and more than 84% of minimum wage earners are over the age of 20. A full-time minimum wage worker takes home less than $300/week – well below federal poverty level for a family of three – not enough to afford food, rent and other basic needs. In Colorado, a minimum wage worker needs to work 80 hours/week to afford a basic 2 bedroom apartment. “I’m working hard but still living in poverty – I am one paycheck away from being homeless and I literally have to balance every dime to make sure I eat every day, said Marilyn Sorenson, a home healthcare worker who has cared for high-needs disabled and elderly clients for more than 20 years. “The truth is that the cost of everything has gone up over the years but my paycheck hasn’t kept up. People like me who work hard should be able to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table but more and more of us can’t afford even the basics.”

Extensive research shows raising the minimum wage helps the economy by increasing consumer spending – and does not result in job loss in sectors most likely to hire minimum wage workers. Because low and middle-income workers are more likely to spend pay increases than higher paid workers, each $1/hour wage increase creates a ripple effect in spending, generating $1.20 in the local economy and leading to further job growth.

“I believe we have a moral imperative to pay our employees a fair wage they can actually live on. This philosophy has been good for my business by helping me keep great staff. We have the lowest turnover in the region” said Kevin J. Daly, owner of Vine Street Pub & Brewery and four other Colorado Brewpubs. “How does someone make ends meet on the current Colorado minimum wage? It’s just not right.”

As we noted previously, the $12 an hour by 2020 campaign may not be the only such minimum wage increase initiative on the 2016 ballot, with Republican Scott Gessler helping the Colorado Restaurant Association push a much smaller minimum wage increase. There seems to consensus that some increase will likely pass with voters who have been hearing the “Fight for 15” campaign’s message for several years now. Business interests would prefer to forestall this more progressive measure in favor of something more modest to appease voters–naturally, with the smallest possible concession.

So make sure to tell your friends which one is the better deal.

Keyser Senate Campaign Craters Amid Calls to Drop Out of Race

Jon Keyser.

Sweaty Jon Keyser.

Jon Keyser’s campaign for U.S. Senate is now as dead as one of the “voters” who allegedly “signed” his petitions for ballot access. That sort of thing will happen when fellow candidates publicly call on you to drop out of the race and it becomes a headline a day later. As the Associated Press recaps in the first paragraph of a story today:

An exchange between Darryl Glenn and John Keyser over forged voter signatures submitted by Keyser’s campaign highlighted a Republican U.S. Senate debate over who should take on incumbent Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet in November…

…“I will not drop out of the race,” Keyser said in response to a question from Glenn, an El Paso County commissioner who is the only candidate voted to the primary by delegates at the state GOP convention.

Look, if you have to publicly state “I will not drop out of the race,” it’s a pretty good signal that you aren’t likely to win an election anytime soon.

Tuesday marked yet another bizarre milestone in the latest whirlwind series of events regarding the Republican U.S. Senate race. As impossible as it might seem, things continue to get worse for Jon Keyser. Late Tuesday, the Secretary of State’s office announced that it had somehow missed warnings of petition fraud related to Keyser’s campaign — including news that at least one deceased person had somehow signed a Keyser petition to get his name onto the June 28th Primary ballot. This news prompted a one-sentence statement from ProgressNow Colorado — the group that first uncovered improprieties in Keyser’s petitions — calling on Keyser to “Just drop out already.”

A few hours later, the five Republican Senate candidates took part in a debate hosted by the Denver Post, which did not (surprise!) go well for Keyser. As Post political reporter John Frank explains:

Reiterating what he said  in an interview with The Post on Monday, Keyser distanced himself from the signature controversy, attributing it to the conduct of an employee of a subcontractor connected to his campaign.

“I didn’t know what was going on with the signatures and the circulator and all that stuff,” he said later, dodging a question about whether he would accept personal responsibility for the mistakes.

[Darryl] Glenn, a fellow Air Force Academy graduate, pressed him on the point, saying both operated under an honor code. Glenn asked Keyser whether he would drop out if an independent audit found he didn’t qualify.

Keyser rejected the suggestion, prompting Glenn to quip: “I’m sure the academy will appreciate that answer.” [Pols emphasis]

The front page of today’s Denver Post includes a headline about Republican Jack Graham taking center stage at the debate, which appears next to a story about dead people signing Keyser’s petitions. The Washington D.C. publication Roll Call is also out with a big story about how Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet appears to have “lucked out” with such a weak field of Republican challengers, and Keyser takes his lumps here, too:

Pressed by the moderators about whether he bore any responsibility, Keyser instead blamed the media for having a liberal bias.

You can read more on Keyser’s struggles from Mike Littwin of the Colorado Independent, but by now you’re probably getting a pretty good picture of what happened (you can also catch on our debate grades for all five Republican candidates). It took Keyser two weeks to actually respond to repeated media inquiries about petition fraud related to his campaign, and his exclusive interview with the Denver Post didn’t turn out any better than his previous run-ins with Marshall Zelinger of Denver7 — responses that turned Keyser from candidate to Internet meme.

If you were once a Keyser supporter and you’re looking for closure, here’s the clip from last night’s debate in which Darryl Glenn calls on Keyser to drop out of the race if an investigation finds that he did not legally qualify for the ballot. This is what it looks like when a candidate craters:

Keyser fails as media critic

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Jon Keyser.

Jon Keyser.

Republican Senate candidate Jon Keyser is adopting the Douglas-Bruce style of media criticism.

You recall Bruce, who authored Colorado’s TABOR amendment, once kicked a newspaper photographer at the capitol. Keyser didn’t kick, but he threatened a bite or two when he told Denver7’s Marshall Zelinger:

Keyser: “He’s a great dog. He’s bigger than you are. He’s huge. He’s a big guy. Very protective.”

At last night’s Denver Post debate, Keyser continued to be a low-information media critic. After complimenting The Denver Post for its coverage of his campaign’s forged ballot-access signatures, including one from a dead person, Keyser said:

Keyser:  “But frankly, there are a lot of media outlets in this state that have really done lots of heavy lifting, carried the water, for liberals on this to disguise Michael Bennet’s record and get us talking about anything that doesn’t involve Michael Bennet…

There’s big problem here in the media, because, there’s a double standard that exists. You know, frankly, I don’t know of anybody jumping out of the bushes to ask Michael Bennet questions about Iran or his support of closing Guantanamo Bay…

If he continues to criticize the media, Keyser would do well to focus on very specfific facts and stay away from misniformation and dogs and threats. For example, no one needed to jump out of the bushes to ask Bennet about Iran, because he took questions about it.

If Keyser keeps going after reporters like he’s doing, he risks creeping into the media’s doghouse. And no candidate wants to be there.

Debate Diary: Grading the Republican Senate Debate (May 17)

DebateDiaryThe Denver Post hosted a debate among the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate on Tuesday. We watched the entire debate and graded the candidates on stage, as we have done for previous debates.

On the stage tonight, from left to right: Robert Blaha, Ryan Frazier, Darryl Glenn, Jack Graham, and Jon Keyser.

This debate was among the more awkward that we’ve seen in the last 10 years. It didn’t help that the event came on the heels of some late-breaking news about the signatures of dead people appearing on Jon Keyser’s petitions for ballot access. For some reason, all five candidates seemed to be on-edge and particularly chippy with the moderators, Molly Hughes and Chuck Plunkett of the Post.

In fairness to the candidates, some of the questions were far too wordy and the moderators didn’t make much of an effort to keep candidate answers even remotely related to the questions. Plunkett was particularly reluctant to stop Keyser from speaking over his allotted time or talking when it wasn’t his turn; Plunkett looked like an unfunny sitcom dad trying to get the attention of his teenage daughters.


And now, the debate grades…


Now There are DEAD VOTERS on Jon Keyser’s Petitions

UPDATE: The Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins:

File this one under “One thing a Republican candidate never wants to see”: A dead voter’s signature on a petition to get him on the ballot.

But that’s the allegation from Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, who today released a statement saying he “notified the Denver district attorney that a petition circulator turned in the signature of a deceased voter.”

In recent years, Republicans across the country have over-hyped inaccurate reports of “zombie voters,” fear mongering about in-person voter fraud, which is extremely rare. They’ve done this while trying to enact restrictive voting measures to make voting more difficult…

In 2013, Keyser himself got into the voter fraud fray when he suggested he had improperly received duplicate ballots in the mail. It turned out that wasn’t the case.


Jon Keyser supporters this afternoon.

Is it still getting worse?!? Yes, it’s still getting worse.

As the Denver Post explains:

Colorado’s Secretary of State’s Office first learned about the possibility of fraudulent signatures — including a dead voter — on U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser’s petitions in April but did not refer the matter to investigators.

The revelation — made clear in documents obtained Tuesday by The Denver Post — adds a new layer of culpability to the controversy surrounding the Republican primary and raises additional questions about how Keyser qualified for the ballot.

The suspect voter signatures that appeared on the former state lawmaker’s petitions included one dead person and an unknown number that appeared to have been written in identical handwriting — potentially more than previously known.

A data specialist at Integrated Document Solutions — the state division that first reviews the petitions — contacted Jeff Mustin, Secretary of State’s petition lead, on April 12, the documents show, and sent a subsequent e-mail that included the suspicious signatures.


Jon Keyser’s campaign had been getting absolutely pummeled in the media over allegations of ballot fraud and forgery in petitions used to get his name on the June 28th Primary ballot. On Monday, Keyser decided to finally speak out — albeit in a rather nonsensical manner — but not before his Senate campaign had become little more than an Internet meme.

And now…dead voters. We didn’t think it possible for this story to get much worse than it already was for Keyser’s campaign, but (credit where due, here), it seems Keyser has a special kind of magic for this sort of thing. Bravo, or, whatever.

Humans not contributing to global warming, Glenn again says

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn reiterated his belief last week that humans are not contributing to global warming.

Asked about the issue by KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger Show May 7, Glenn, an El Paso Couty Commissioner, said:

Glenn: Climate change, we can debate that until the cows come home, for lack of a better way of stating that. The bottom line is, I do not believe that man is contributing to that factor. We need to stand up for energy independence, and Colorado needs to lead the nation.

Sengenberger: I think this issue is so overblown. But it is something that is very important to Millennials in particular, because they have gone through a college process and a K-12 education where this is something constantly ingrained in them. How can we appeal to Millenials, to young people, in your mind on the issue of energy, to say, ‘We need to be developing our energy infrastructure in this country and in the state of Colorado, not harming it.

Glenn: I agree. And it’s an extensive conversation.  You mentioned education. As conservatives, we cannot just concede education over to the Democrats. We really need to be actively involved. And that’s why I’ve been such a proponent of school choice and the other options that are out there, because the left is clearly out there driving the agenda, trying to shape the minds of the next generation.

Glenn’s position contrasts with the consensus view among scientists worldwide that human activity is contributing to climate change. Interestingly, Glenn’s stance has so little credibility that some journalists argue that it should be ingored as a legitimate opinion in news articles.

Glenn hopes to prevail in Colorado’s June 28 GOP primary and take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who believes climate change is already affecting Colorado and who hammered his GOP opponent in 2010 for denying that humans were causing climate change.


“Dr. Chaps” Loves Him Some Manly Men

And as usual, Colorado’s most (in)famous Republican state representative, Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, is all about telling you so on Facebook:


Yeah, we don’t have time to point out all the problems with this.

Wayne Williams: So Helpful When He Wants To Be

UPDATE: A stunning disclosure from Wayne Williams’ office today that could raise many more questions:

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has notified the Denver district attorney that a petition circulator turned in the signature of a deceased voter.

Williams learned about the deceased voter when he was informed today that an elections staffer had been notified in mid-April there might be problems with petitions collected by circulator Maureen Moss, who turned in signatures some voters now say were forged…

The administration was unaware of the communication, and first learned about alleged forgeries on Moss’ petitions through news reports.

“As soon as I was made aware of this, I directed my staff to refer the matter of the deceased voter to the district attorney,” Williams said Tuesday.

Understand this, folks–GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams is admitting his office had evidence of petition fraud a month ago, but claims that nobody brought it to his personal attention? If signatures belonging to the dead aren’t enough to raise alarms at the Secretary of State’s office, what on earth is? How could an elections staffer at the Secretary of State’s office be warned about potential fraud, and then fail to pass that information on? How can voters be expected to have confidence in this process?

This latest revelation helps explain why Williams is so nonchalant (below) about Jon Keyser’s petition forgery crisis, but it is totally unacceptable–and raises very serious questions about the competency of Williams’ office.

Correction: we hope it’s just incompetence.


Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams hasn’t developed a reputation as a flagrantly partisan chief elections officer quite like his predecessor Scott “Honey Badger” Gessler did. The at-length controversy playing out over Republican U.S. Senate primary ballot petitions has put considerable strain on that office’s limited resources, but we haven’t seen anything that we can directly call out as evidence of partisan dirty dealing in Williams’ handling of the situation. It should be remembered, after all, that it was Williams’ office who originally ruled insider-favored candidate Jon Keyser’s petitions insufficient for the ballot.

We’re obliged to note, however, that even as the scandal over Keyser’s apparently forged ballot petitions has escalated, Williams’ office has consistently stated that they have no investigative powers beyond the prescribed reviews of submitted petitions they already undertake. Anything beyond that is supposedly “beyond their scope.”

Unless, as CBS4’s Shaun Boyd reports, it isn’t!

Secretary of State Wayne Williams said if signatures were forged on petitions for Keyser, chances are the campaign wasn’t aware.

“There is no indication that I have seen that any of the campaigns themselves knew of that,” Williams said. “Typically it’s a subcontractor of a contractor of a candidate, and so you don’t have an actual causal effect from the campaign.”

Regardless of what the district attorney decides, Williams says it’s highly unlikely Keyser would be disqualified.

“If additional information were introduced in respect to any of the candidates, they would then still have the ability to say, ‘Yes, but you disqualified this other section which should have been counted,’” Williams said.

Got that? Secretary of State Williams is apparently qualified to make very broad assumptions in this case, which even criminal investigators have yet to establish any basis for–investigators conducting the kind of investigation Williams has repeatedly insisted his office doesn’t do.

And yet he’s suddenly qualified to declare there’s nothing to see?

The second and much more obvious problem here is that the Secretary of State is tacitly saying that petition fraud doesn’t matter. It’s no big deal, because hey, Keyser could always get more signatures that were originally thrown out (by Williams) to count again. Never mind, you know, the fraud.

We may find at the end of this story that in our election law as it exists today, there is no adequate legal remedy for a candidate to who makes the ballot and is later found to have done so via petition fraud. That too has yet to be determined with certainty. But even if that were true, that doesn’t make petition fraud okay–and it certainly is not okay for our state’s chief elections officer to downplay it, even if it’s his party that takes the fall.

Don’t go all “Honey Badger” on us now, Mr. Secretary.

BREAKING: Keyser Breaks Silence…Badly

Jon Keyser.

Jon Keyser.

After nearly two weeks since a scandal over forged petitions broke in Denver media, embattled Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser gave an extended interview to the Denver Post’s John Frank that went up a short while ago:

The former state lawmaker blamed an employee hired by a canvassing firm connected to his campaign and suggested the issue will not hurt his once-promising bid because he collected more than enough voter signatures to qualify for the race.

“It appears, in fact, that some of those signatures were turned in in an improper manner and that’s a very, very serious thing,” Keyser said in an exclusive interview with The Denver Post two weeks after questions enveloped his campaign. “It’s an extremely serious allegation. I think that speaks to why I was very measured and very disciplined in talking about this.” [Pols emphasis]

By “very disciplined,” we assume he means repeating the words “I’m on the ballot” over and over again while claiming the whole business is a Democratic plot. Repeating those words thirteen times between the Thursday debate and his confrontation with Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger during a break has become by orders of magnitude Keyser’s biggest-ever press hit–far bigger than the original shock that he had initially missed the ballot before his court challenge got him restored.

Meanwhile, Zelinger reports today on increasing law enforcement activity on the case:

On Monday, investigators with multiple District Attorneys offices met to discuss complaints received from voters who said they did not sign petitions for Keyser.

Two voters contacted the 18th Judicial District in Arapahoe County to complain about their signatures being forged.

Denver7’s online list of petition signers has reportedly produced many more tips to that news station, as well as the independent contacts by voters who found their names on that list to the Arapahoe County District Attorney. Sources tell us that the Denver DA’s office is taking the lead in the active investigation into the Keyser campaign’s alleged petition fraud, working with the Jeffco and Arapahoe DAs. Speaking to the Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning Friday, Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler sounds pretty serious about prosecuting:

“It is illegal to forge a name on a nominating petition that is filed with the State of Colorado,” Bruachler told The Statesman. “Under Colorado law,” he said, citing C.R.S. 1-13-106, “any person who ‘forges any name of a person as a signor or witness to a petition or nomination paper’ commits the crime of forgery,” which is a Class 5 felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. In certain cases, he noted, the potential prison time could increase to six years.

“We consider forgery of candidate petitions to be a serious matter that we would diligently investigate if an instance of it occurring in this judicial district was brought to our attention, and we will prosecute those cases where there is sufficient evidence,” Brauchler continued. “We encourage any persons with knowledge of this or any other election offense occurring in the 18th Judicial District to report it to us. If it happened outside of this judicial district, we encourage citizens to report violations to the appropriate District Attorney’s office.”

Looks like that’s happening all over the place, folks. The political questions and now criminal investigations into whether Keyser qualified for the ballot due to fraud have effectively ended Keyser’s U.S. Senate bid, helped in no small part by his worst-case-scenario initial reaction to them. But even as Keyser finally admits after nearly two weeks that he indeed has a serious problem, albeit taking no responsibility for it, he defends the part of the story that might have done as much to off-put potential supporters as the petition fraud. It certainly helped made him the butt of nationwide jokes. Frank:

Asked why he invoked his 165-pound Great Dane, Duke, in an interview with a local TV reporter — a comment some found menacing — Keyser pushed back.

He said the reporter crossed a line by knocking on the door of his home to request an interview in the middle of the afternoon.

“Like any father, I was upset that my privacy was invaded at my house while I wasn’t there,” he said.

The problem with this, of course, is that it’s totally ridiculous. Marshall Zelinger has reported that his attempts to contact Keyser for days to get a response were fruitless–and that the address given by the campaign went to a rental mailbox. After trying the state GOP and other intermediaries without success, Zelinger did what any reporter on a hot story would do. He knocked on Keyser’s door.

That is not an invasion of privacy. That does not rise to the level of threatening a reporter with your dog. If you don’t agree, the thing we would suggest to ensure you are not likely to be contacted by a reporter is this simple.

Do not run for the United States Senate.

At Least He’s Not Your Mayor (Sorry, Castle Rock)

Castle Rock Mayor Paul Donahue, for now.

Paul Donahue, Mayor of Castle Rock (for now)

We’ve been keeping an eye on a strange story out of Castle Rock (between Denver and Colorado Springs), where local residents have succeeded in securing a July date for a recall election to oust Mayor Paul Donahue.

Donahue is term-limited in 2016 anyway, but has apparently done enough to antagonize enough residents that a recall election has been set for July 26. As the oddly-named Castle Rock News-Press reports:

A mail-in ballot election on the recall of District 1 Councilmember and Mayor Paul Donahue has been set for July 26. Voters in Castle Rock’s District 1 can expect to receive a ballot in the mail in July…

…Castle Rock residents Suzanne Hackett, John Buckley and Malia Reeves initiated the recall petition for Donahue in early March.

Specific incidents cited in the petition allege he has dramatically reduced allotted time for public comment, denied residents the opportunity to speak and shown deference to out-of-town developers and “citizens who support his personal and political interests.”

Recall attempts are always interesting stories to some degree, but in this case, it’s what happened after the recall petition signatures were collected that gives this story a category of its own. Donahue has tried — unsuccessfully — to challenge some of the signatures collected to initiate the recall by insinuating that people were inebriated when they signed, among other nonsense. From KDVR:

Donahue is disputing the way in which he said the signatures were collected.

“This is a very vocal minority that is doing things in an inappropriate fashion,” said Abe Laydon, an attorney with Burns Figa & Will who represents Donahue.

Laydon said the mayor went door to door and found about 50 percent of the signers he spoke to were misled. [Pols emphasis]

“If somebody is approached and someone said, ‘Well, this is about development in Castle Rock,’ especially if they’re at a bar and may be inebriated, they might sign it and then walk out of the bar not knowing what they signed,” Laydon said.

Yes, you read that correctly: The Mayor himself went door-to-door to talk to people who signed the recall petition in order to see if they, you know, wanted to change their mind or something. Just…think about that for a moment. The Mayor of your town comes to your door asking whether or not you really meant to sign that petition to initiate a recall election. How awkward is that conversation?

Fox 31 has more from one of the women who collected petition signatures for the recall:

[Stacey] Rogers believed residents might have felt intimidated having the mayor show up at their door.

“People were already very nervous about signing,” she said. “Then for him and his crew to go to their doors, people are mortified.”

Mayor Donahue says that about half of the signers admitted to him that they were “misled” about the petition, but what else are you going to say when the freakin’ Mayor pounds on your front door?

Despite Donahue’s efforts to un-initiate the recall, an election will go ahead on July 26.