"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Left Gets Beat at Their Own Game...Again

By Jeff Crank

Ever since Americans for Prosperity began their issue education ads which highlight the liberal policies of Richard Skorman the left has come out of their skin. Even Richard Skorman himself has accused me – and Americans for Prosperity of coordinating our issue ads with the Bach campaign. But nobody – including Skorman himself – has questioned the integrity or truthfulness of the ad because it is a rock-solid ad that points out Skorman’s policies and asks citizens to call Mr. Skorman about his policies. The facts are undeniable.

Yet, taking a page out of Saul Alinsky’s playbook, they use personal attacks to try to make their point. They charged in a press release/fact sheet that “multiple reports show Laura Carno (Steve Bach’s campaign manager) worked for AFP as recently as last summer” and that “Bach’s campaign chief of staff simultaneously works as a producer for AFP Colorado State Director Jeff Crank.” These charges, of course, are an attempt to imply that there is some kind of illegal coordination going on since I actually know Laura Carno.

Unfortunately for the left, the actual facts don’t line up with the hasty press release produced during a panic attack. Laura Carno has never worked for Americans for Prosperity. She did volunteer one day to attend a press conference in Denver when I was out of town – and she went there on her own dime but was not compensated in any way for her attendance. Let’s take the charge that Carno “simultaneously works as a producer” of my radio show- wrong again. While Carno has volunteered as my radio show producer for over a year now, she took a leave of absence once the mayoral runoff started and has no part in the show since and she has never been compensated by myself, Americans for Prosperity or Citadel Communications for her effort. But you know the left – they’ll never let the facts stand in the way of their efforts to destroy someone’s reputation.

Their attempts to use my acquaintance with Laura Carno as evidence of coordination doesn’t hold water – partly because their facts are just plain wrong. However, it did lead me to begin questioning the affiliations between the Skorman campaign and the new group that is making the charges – Citizens Tired of the Status Quo.

Keep in mind that the same rules of illegal coordination would apply to the Skorman campaign and Citizens Tired of the Status Quo (which I shall hence refer to as Citizens). Let’s also try to apply the same standard – that knowing someone in the campaign means that you are illegally coordinating with them and see what we find.

According to campaign reports filed with the city of Colorado Springs Michael Duncan is the registered agent for Citizens Tired of the Status Quo. A quick check of the Colorado Secretary of State’s office reveals a business filing showing the same Michael Duncan at the same address as the registered agent for the Colorado Springs Sun. I wonder who owns the Colorado Springs Sun? A few more clicks of the mouse brings us this interesting filing with the Secretary of State– also with the name of the same Michael Duncan which shows the Colorado Springs Sun is owned by John Weiss, the campaign manager for Richard Skorman for Mayor!

I wonder if Duncan has been paid by Weiss at some point to file the paperwork for the Colorado Springs Sun? The same standard of no coordination applies to them. I wonder if they have a firewall agreement in place like I have since our AFP effort began? I wonder if they have ceased their contact (as I have) in order to prevent the appearance of a conflict?

Now, let’s look at the chair of Citizens Tired of the Status Quo – a gentleman named Frank Wimberley. It seems that Frank is a long-time supporter of Mr. Skorman. Here is a 2003 Colorado Springs campaign finance report which shows Mr. Wimberley contributing $50 to the Committee to Elect Richard Skorman eight years ago. Then, in November of 2010 Mr. Wimberley was so overcome with Skorman’s leadership that he wrote this letter to the editor of the Gazette in support of Skorman to try to draft him to run for mayor. Low and behold, Skorman ran for mayor. Still thrilled with Skorman’s leadership abilities, Mr. Wimberley opened the checkbook according to this campaign finance report and wrote a check to Mr. Skorman’s mayoral campaign on January 31, 2011.

Now, do all the above facts mean that there is illegal coordination going on between the Skorman campaign and the Citizens Tired of the Status Quo? No. It just means that Mr. Duncan has done legal work for Mr. Weiss who happens to be the campaign manager for Richard Skorman and that he has also formed the issue committee which is now working to help Skorman and neither Citizens nor the Skorman campaign can coordinate their efforts. The facts also show that the Chair of that committee, Mr. Wimberley, has been a long-time supporter of Skorman. That’s it. Nothing more.

Perhaps now that the left’s hypocrisy has been exposed on this topic we can put this issue to rest. In fact, perhaps now that this has been settled maybe the Citizens Tired of the Status Quo can finally get around to addressing the facts laid out in the AFP ad – that Richard Skorman’s policies of supporting tax and spending increases are bad for our economy. That’s what the citizens want – not this silly, petty, amateur game of “gotcha politics.” Oh yes…back to the question: What exactly is untrue about those AFP ads anyway? The clock ticks and the crickets chirp.

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