• December 15, 2023

    Preserve All Records, The Colorado GOP Civil War May Be Heading To Court

    December 15, 2023
    1 Comment
    Colorado GOP Fight

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    Article by Ashe in America, Colorado Free Press Contributor

    I am not a Republican and, if you read my political commentary, you know that I am hyper critical of the Republican Party apparatuses, particularly in Colorado. 

    I lived through the Tea Party, and I became unaffiliated back in 2011 after watching the Party stand in opposition to the people — throwing the will of the people under the bus to protect their phony baloney jobs. 

    My reporting over the past couple years in Colorado has earned me the distinction of being hated by both parties, along with most of those in positions of power within Colorado’s state and local government. 

    I’m pretty proud of it.

    “Did you write checks to yourself?”

    I got into it with former GOP Chair and current listless vessel Kristi Burton Brown on X a couple weeks ago, when I repeated a rumor about her supporting Nikki Haley

    “I just got a text that @KBBColorado is on local radio, and she’s all in on Nikki Haley.

    So predictable 🤣

    Kristi is less than irrelevant, so no reason to tune in. Just giggling bc she got her talking points, and it’s clear the regime has moved on from Rob.”

    I didn’t listen to the interview. I still haven’t. I couldn’t care less about who KBB — or anyone — politically supports. Until we have free and fair elections, candidates are irrelevant. 

    But she misunderstood me mocking her for me reporting on her, and she fired back:

    “Literally said the opposite. Pro tip for you: get better sources 😉”

    I think Kristi supporting Haley is predictable — and it’s still early, let’s see what happens. But regardless of its memetic value, that’s not newsworthy. 

    If I was going to report on Mrs. Burton Brown, I would report on her massive financial scandal — which I have reported on here, here and here — so I took the opportunity to ask her about it. 

    “I wasn’t reporting on you before, Kristi, I was laughing at you. But I certainly can report on you. Consider this an official request for comment…

    1. Are you running for CD4 or any other office in 2024?
    2. Have you been contacted by state or federal investigators for the 2022 GOP transfer of power financial scandal?
    3. Did you ever provide new GOP leadership with the payroll system credentials? 
    4. Have you disclosed who received the $45k in bonuses in Dec 2022 after suffering humiliating defeat (in an election season that was supposed to be a red wave)? 
    5. What was the rationale for paying $45k in bonuses before paying $9K owed in rent? 
    6. Did you receive a bonus? That is, did you pay yourself when you drained the party’s resources before the transfer of power?
    7. The new GOP administration claims they had to explicitly make a new rule that, “No employee writes a check to her/himself again.” Why didn’t you have this rule in place? 
    8. What was the frequency with which your employees wrote checks to themselves? 
    9. Did you write checks to yourself? 
    10. Do you believe the party ‘buck’ stops with the party chair? If not, where does it stop?”

    She claimed that because I didn’t bother to listen to her on the radio talk about Nikki Haley, that I’m not worth conversing with, and she declined to answer my questions: 

    “So, you admit you don't listen, quote accurately, or look at the record. I don't converse with people who don't do their basic job.”

    To be clear, I never expected her to converse with me to begin with. Through her actions as GOP Chair, Kristi proved herself to be an establishment puppet and, as chair, she repeatedly stood against the majority of voting members within the party. I’ve been very vocal about my disdain for her betrayal of Republican voters. 

    Anyway, she declined to answer my questions on X, but based on new developments, she may be answering them in court. 

    Breaking Legal Action in the CO GOP Civil War 

    Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams issued a statement Tuesday about his intention to pursue legal action against Mrs. Burton-Brown and former party leadership: 

    “As a result, your State Executive Committee has directed and authorized me to pursue civil and potential criminal complaints against those who broke the Party's trust. 

    We have taken the next step in this accountability process by having our attorney send a letter to former Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown requesting all evidence in her possession be preserved. You can review the letter by clicking on the buttons below and above or viewing the attachment after this message.”

    The letter, in part, reads:

    “This letter is to formally demand the preservation and relinquishment of certain evidence identified below relevant ot [sic] the allegations described above. The destruction, alteration, or loss of any of the materials or information requested below constitutes a spoliation of evidence under Colorado Law.” 

    The specifics include:

    “…documents, communications, and records pertaining to Party finances, transactions, and financial decision-making processes during your term. (The Party indicates it has reason to believe that information and documents from your time as Chair are still stored on your personal computer(s) and mobile device(s) or physically stored ni [sic] file folders at your place of work or residence.”

    They’ve asked for a response by December 27, 2023 due to the urgency of the matter. 

    What's the Scandal?

    I’ve been reporting this story for months, but let me quickly recap.

    The prior State GOP administration left a huge financial mess for the new administration sworn into office in 2023, despite making public statements of a financial surplus. They also obstructed visibility into bank accounts, financial ledgers, and payroll software, hiding massive waste, fraud, and abuse. 

    Waste: The party was paying nearly $800/mo for three storage units that were mostly empty. One of the storage units appears to be full of garbage from the images. That’s $9,600 per year in wasted funds!

    Fraud: The day before the election, emails show that the statements for the health insurance were changed to go to the administrator’s home address, and the financial account was changed to one of the hidden accounts. The administrator prepaid a year of insurance premiums, at a time when there were no employees, and then hid the transactions and the statements. The premiums were also significantly larger.

    Abuse: In the month of April, an undisclosed person charged hundreds of dollars to the party’s FedEx account. There was no activity from the new administration, no official party business that explains these charges. This person appeared to be using the account for personal reasons more than a month after the election. Of course, abuse also comes from the fact that they paid themselves bonuses after suffering a horrifying defeat in the 2022 midterms.

    The December 2022 statement indicated a “payroll bonus” of $45,000.00, but the specifics of how this sum —comprising nearly half of the previously reported funds — was distributed. Those specifics would need to be pulled from the payroll system — which Burton Brown’s administration has refused to turn over. 

    The new administration also had to explicitly make a new rule that,

    “No employee writes a check to her/himself again.”

    Hard to imagine a serious professional environment with such a practice. 

    Kristi may object to me mocking her politics, but she has yet to dispute the GOP’s allegations or answer my — or anyone’s — questions about the scandal. Given the damning evidence — again, here, here and here — it’s no wonder she’s deflecting.

    Answer the questions, Kristi. 

    Accountability? Is that you? 

    The development that Chairman Dave Williams is pursuing legal accountability for the actions of Burton Brown’s administration is an encouraging move from the party, and it reinforces Williams' stated commitment to bring accountability for the past in an effort to restore trust in its future. This is the only way to restore the party — and it’s not a guarantee.

    I look forward to following the party’s legal action against Kristi Burton Brown, and I’ll continue to bring you updates as I learn them. 

    I’ll also continue mocking any neocon warmonger as I see fit. 

    Neither Kristi Burton Brown nor Dave Williams responded to request for comment. I will update if I receive any response. 

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    Ashe Epp

    Ashe Epp is a local writer and a Colorado Free Press contributor. You can find more from Ashe at linktr.ee/asheinamerica.
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