Farah-TV-ad

Republican gubernatorial candidate Barry Farah kicks off TV ad campaign ahead of state assembly – Colorado Politics

Republican gubernatorial candidate Barry Farah, a businessman and author, introduces himself in a 30-second TV ad that began airing in Colorado on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (Via Vimeo)

 

 

Colorado Politics reports on Barry’s TV ad buy ahead of the state assembly – Link here!

Republican gubernatorial candidate Barry Farah kicks off TV ad campaign ahead of state assembly

Author: Ernest Luning – April 10, 2018 – Updated: April 10, 2018

Republican Barry Farah is launching a brief, statewide TV and digital ad campaign Tuesday aimed at boosting his chances of landing a spot on the primary ballot at Saturday’s state GOP assembly, his campaign said.

Farah, a wealthy Colorado Springs businessman and author who joined the crowded primary field just three weeks ago, plans to air the ad nearly 300 times over a three-day period, a campaign spokesman told Colorado Politics.

“I’m running for governor to champion individual liberty for all Coloradans, so each of us can follow our own dreams without being overtaxed, over-regulated or over-controlled by those elected to serve us,” Farah says in the 30-second spot. “We don’t need a tax increase — we need better budget priorities.”

Compared to other gubernatorial candidates, including a couple who have already spent or reserved more than $1 million in airtime in the run-up to the June 26 primary, Farah won’t be spending much on the ad campaign — around $10,000, a Farah advisor says — but is confident he’ll be reaching the voters who can put him on the ballot.

“I’m in this race to win,” Farah said in a statement announcing the ad buy.

His campaign manager, Jefferson Thomas, said the ad was part of an ongoing campaign focused on Republican primary voters.

“We have nearly 300 spots statewide with an opening ad that reinforces the principled candidate many know Barry Farah to be,” Thomas said in a statement.  “We are looking for a positive outcome going into the state assembly on April 14 and are setting the stage for the primary with this initial buy.  The campaign will do what’s needed to be competitive.”

So far, the only Republicans running for governor who have spent heavily on advertising are candidates pursuing the ballot by petition and skipping the caucus and assembly process.

Victor Mitchell, a Douglas County entrepreneur and former state lawmaker, has been introducing himself to voters since the day before Farah got in the race with TV ads costing about $180,000 a week. Mitchell, who is pitching himself as a businessman and outsider, seeded his run a year ago with a $3 million check and is expected to spend more than $1 million on the ad campaign.

Along with State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and retired investment banker Doug Robinson, Mitchell has submitted petitions to qualify for the primary. Stapleton learned Friday he submitted enough signatures, while Robinson and Mitchell are awaiting completion of a review by state officials.

For the other seven candidates seeking the nomination through the GOP’s state assembly in Boulder — including Farah — it’ll take the support of at least 30 percent of the roughly 4,200 delegates to make the ballot. Farah’s chief rivals are likely to be Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, former Trump campaign organizer Steve Barlock and Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter III.

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Battle for the Ballot: Republican Spots Up for Grabs in Boulder – Colorado Politics

Then U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser and his family speak during the El Paso County GOP assembly in 2016. (Colorado Politics file photo)

 

“Barry Farah might scramble the equation at the state assembly,” says Colorado Politics – Link here!

Battle for the Ballot: Republican spots up for grabs in Boulder

Author: Ernest Luning – April 10, 2018 – Updated: 21 hours ago

Colorado Republicans are set to designate candidates to the statewide primary ballot at the GOP’s state assembly April 14 in Boulder, and party officials say delegates who recall meeting at the same venue four years ago can look forward to some major changes at this year’s gathering — including plenty of food and water, as well as nearly instant results.

But anyone who’s been to a few Republican state assemblies can also attest that the meeting at the Coors Events Center on the University of Colorado Boulder campus could yield some surprises.

At press time, the Republicans were only planning on deciding which candidates to place on the primary ballot for two statewide offices at the assembly — governor and state treasurer, although in both races, leading candidates are also pursuing the June 26 primary ballot by petition.

Three of the statewide races set to be nominated out of the assembly were uncontested as of April 6: Secretary of State Wayne Williams is seeking a second term, prosecutor George Brauchler is running for attorney general, and retired corporate executive Ken Montera is the lone candidate for University of Colorado regent at-large.

Republicans allow nominations from the floor — something made possible because the party isn’t using pre-printed ballots this year — but it’s considered unlikely those three candidates will face viable last-minute challenges.
In the governor’s race, it’s another story, with seven candidates so far lined up to ask delegates for support amid rumors an additional candidate or two might emerge at the assembly.

According to the math — it takes the support of 30 percent of delegates to land a primary spot — as many as three gubernatorial hopefuls could emerge from the assembly to join the same number who were awaiting word at press time whether they’ll qualify by petition.

Meanwhile, four candidates for state treasurer are vying for primary slots, while two others have submitted petitions and should know by later this month whether they’ve made it.

Because the Republicans won’t be voting with paper ballots the way they have at previous state assemblies but will instead be using hand-held clickers similar to remote-control devices, they should be able to view results in the contested races almost instantly.

The party has tested the system at central committee meetings, and Hays is enthusiastic about shaving the usual lengthy ballot-counting stretches from the schedule, though he notes they’ll have back-up paper ballots on hand in case the radio-controlled devices don’t work.

The process to elect 4,206 delegates and an equal number of alternates started at precinct caucuses March 6 and continued through the month at county assemblies across the state.

While the Democrats select delegates based on results of preference polls gaging support for candidates for the top statewide office, Republicans abandoned that practice several cycles ago, and so don’t have a firm indication who has the most support for governor in this year’s most hotly contested race.

It’s anybody’s guess how delegates might tilt for governor. Up until a couple of weeks ago, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman was the only prominent Republican in the field seeking to assembly path to the ballot.

But a late entry by wealthy Colorado Springs businessman and author Barry Farah, who said he got in the race because there wasn’t a credible, solidly conservative candidate in the mix, might have scrambled the equation.

Others seeking the nomination through assembly are Steve Barlock, who is playing up his role two years ago with the state Trump campaign; former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez; Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter III; and two novice candidates, Teri Kear and Jim Rundberg, who have been campaigning quietly for the nomination.

Meanwhile, the gubernatorial candidates who are petitioning on are State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, wealthy entrepreneur and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell and retired investment banker Doug Robinson, who is Mitt Romney’s nephew.

The field for state treasurer is less crowded but, observers say, no less up for grabs.

The candidates going through assembly are state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud; state Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton; Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn; and prosecutor Brett Barkey.

Petitioning onto the ballot for state treasurer are state Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park; and Brian Watson, a real estate developer and former legislative candidate whose signatures were under review by state officials at press time.

In addition to helping pick the primary line-up, GOP delegates will be voting on the party’s platform planks, including a proposal urging Colorado to join the call for a so-called Article V convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

On the day before the state assembly in Boulder, several Republican congressional and other multi-county legislative district assemblies are scheduled at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, where the party is also throwing its annual Centennial Dinner fundraiser. This year’s keynote speaker is humorist and conservative scholar Dr. Thomas Krannawitter, known for his satirical take on national politics.

As for the promise of ample food and water at the Coors Events Center, Colorado Republican Party Chairman Jeff Hays said that will be a top concern, since both were in short supply the last time the party held its state assembly there in 2014.

At that gathering, Republicans sent former state Sen. Mike Kopp and then-Secretary of State Scott Gessler to the gubernatorial primary ballot, where they joined petitioning candidates Tom Tancredo and Bob Beauprez, both former congressmen. (Beauprez won the primary but lost in November to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited this year.)

Ryan Call, then-state GOP chairman and a former head of CU Boulder’s chapter of College Republicans, poked fun during his remarks at their host city’s reputation as a liberal bastion. Asked whether he was prepping similar banter, Hays chuckled and demurred.

“People do make the jokes about the People’s Republic of Boulder,” Hays said. “We certainly have our ideological differences, but we’re honored to be in Boulder. And who knows, they might vote Republican sometime in the future.”

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Candidate Stapleton dumps petitions, accuses signature-gathering firm of ‘misconduct’ – Colorado Politics

State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican candidate for governor of Colorado, addresses a state GOP meeting on Sept. 23, 2017, at Colorado’s Finest High School in Englewood. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

 

Colorado Politics reports on Stapleton’s withdrawal from the petition process, and gathers comment from Barry – Link here!

Another candidate going through the GOP assembly, Colorado Springs businessman Barry Farah, said he looked forward to asking delegates for their votes. “What I have to share with the delegates at the assembly on Saturday will not change,” Farah said in a statement. “And, I imagine that more than one candidate will borrow my heartfelt conservative talking points. But delegates can see through that, and are aware that my executive leadership experience and commitment to founding principles are the real deal.”

Candidate Stapleton dumps petitions, accuses signature-gathering firm of ‘misconduct’

Authors: Ernest Luning, Mark Harden – April 10, 2018 – Updated: 5 minutes ago

In a startling turn in Colorado’s race for governor, Republican candidate Walker Stapleton said Tuesday he is withdrawing petitions that won him a spot on the June 26 primary ballot, accusing the firm that gathered signatures on his behalf of engaging in “fraudulent conduct” and lying about it to Stapleton’s campaign and state officials.

The Colorado secretary of state’s office certified April 6 that Stapleton’s campaign had gathered more than the 10,500 valid signatures needed to make the ballot.

But Tuesday, in a hastily called press conference, Stapleton told reporters he was backing away from the petitions submitted on his behalf and instead would try to qualify for the ballot by seeking support from GOP delegates at Saturday’s state party assembly in Boulder.

Stapleton, the state treasurer and presumed GOP front-runner in the governor’s race, will likely face seven other Republicans at the assembly, where it will take support from at least 30 percent of delegates to get on the ballot.

Two other GOP candidates, Doug Robinson and Victor Mitchell, have submitted petitions, which are still under review by election officials.

There was no immediate response to Stapleton’s accusations Tuesday from Dan Kennedy, who runs Colorado Springs-based Kennedy Enterprises, the company hired by Stapleton to conduct his petition drive.

Previously, Kennedy denied that his circulators did anything improper or against the law, telling Colorado Politics in an email: “[T]o the best of my knowledge, ALL of the petition circulators are Colorado residents. And ALL the signatures were gathered legally.”

It’s the latest chapter in a controversy over signature gathering on behalf on candidates in Colorado races — and whether the gatherers in some cases were legally qualified to circulate petitions.

Before Tuesday’s announcement, Stapleton had asked to intervene in a lawsuit filed last week seeking to remove U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn from the 5th Congressional District’s GOP primary ballot — a suit that alleges some signatures on Lamborn’s petitions placing him on the ballot were gathered improperly.

Lamborn and Stapleton both employed Kennedy Enterprises to gather signatures, potentially putting Stapleton’s petition at risk if a judge agreed with the lawsuit against Lamborn.

Five Republican voters had sued Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, alleging that several paid circulators hired by Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, didn’t satisfy legal residency requirements. That lawsuit was being heard Tuesday in Denver District Court.

But Stapleton’s attorneys switched course and withdrew their motion to get involved in the Lamborn lawsuit, just hours before the candidate made the announcement about his petitions.

In a strongly worded letter delivered to Williams asking that his petitions be rejected, Stapleton said his campaign learned Monday that allegations leveled last month by the Robinson campaign raising questions about a Stapleton circulator had merit.

Robinson and the head of a firm he hired to gather his petition signatures — Republican consultant Dustin Olson — charged that at least some of Stapleton’s signatures had been gathered by a Miami resident named Daniel Alejandro Velasquez, who admitted in a phone call recorded by Olson that he collected signatures without meeting legal requirements.

Until Stapleton’s announcement Tuesday, his campaign maintained there was nothing to the complaints about Velasquez, noting that Kennedy roundly denied anything improper had taken place and that Williams had said his office had found no evidence to back up the claims. But Stapleton switched course Tuesday, alleging Kennedy repeatedly lied about Velasquez’ involvement in the petition drive.

“Last night, my campaign learned that Kennedy Enterprises, LLC, the signature gathering firm we retained to conduct and manage our petition gathering process, engaged in fraudulent conduct when gathering signatures in support of my candidacy for Governor,” Stapleton wrote. “Specifically, Kennedy Enterprises employed a ‘trainee circulator’ by the name of Daniel Velasquez and allowed this individual to circulate petitions which were then executed by another circulator as though that circulator — and not Mr. Velasquez — had circulated them.”

“Kennedy Enterprises repeatedly lied to my campaign when we asked them about news reports alleging this conduct weeks ago. Until last night, Dan Kennedy and those working for him insisted that no such individual had ever worked for Kennedy Enterprises. Worse than lying to my campaign, they lied to your office when your office specifically asked about these news reports.”

In a statement to Colorado Politics, Robinson cheered Stapleton’s move but didn’t let him off the hook.

“I applaud Walker for doing the right thing and for withdrawing his petitions,” Robinson said.

He added: “However, this does not change the fact that this fraud was perpetrated right under Walker’s nose. This fraud was so egregious that my team uncovered it as part of the due diligence of our own operation. It strains credulity to believe that no one on Walker’s team was aware of these abuses before last night.”

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a gubernatorial candidate likely competing for delegate support with Stapleton at Saturday’s assembly, argued that Stapleton’s announcement demonstrates “he can’t be trusted to play by the rules.” She also swung at Kennedy and suggested Williams and the state GOP should refuse to allow Stapleton to shift course.

“Once again Walker Stapleton has shown his true colors,” Coffman said in a statement. “He’s proven to Colorado voters that he can’t be trusted to play by the rules. The truth is, Walker tried to avoid addressing Republican delegates and got tripped up in the execution of his own political strategy.

“A candidate shouldn’t be rewarded because he couldn’t buy his way onto the ballot. Walker is stuck with the consequences of his decisions and the Colorado State Party and the Secretary of State should not be in the business of picking winners and losers by manipulating the caucus and assembly process after the fact. We all knew the rules and presumably we all abided by them. If they allow Walker Stapleton to go through the Assembly now, they are violating their obligation to the delegates to have a fair and neutral process.”

Coffman continued: “Walker chose to hire a group of shady petitions gatherers with a notorious and sordid past. Now, in the 11th hour, he once again shows no respect for the rules, the party or Republican delegates. Now, it will be up to the delegates to decide who they trust to represent their interests in the primary elections.”

Another candidate going through the GOP assembly, Colorado Springs businessman Barry Farah, said he looked forward to asking delegates for their votes. “What I have to share with the delegates at the assembly on Saturday will not change,” Farah said in a statement. “And, I imagine that more than one candidate will borrow my heartfelt conservative talking points. But delegates can see through that, and are aware that my executive leadership experience and commitment to founding principles are the real deal.”

Farah’s campaign manager, Jefferson Thomas, took a shot at Stapleton’s petition problems.

“I see no logical reason to withdraw from a petition process that has been certified by the Secretary of State unless some very serious issue is in play,” Thomas said. “Barry would never spend $250,000 of anybody’s money without personally ensuring the process was managed professionally and handled legally.”

Colorado Democrats, meanwhile, described the situation as “an epic disaster for Stapleton” in a statement after his announcement.

“Walker Stapleton has been running a sleazy campaign since day one, and now we can add petition fraud to the list,” Eric Walker, Colorado Democratic Party spokesperson, said in the statement. “This is an embarrassing belly flop into the heart of campaign season. Stapleton knows he doesn’t have the support of the Republican base, and was terrified to go through the state assembly. Now he has no choice.”

For a congressional candidate, it takes 1,000 valid signatures from fellow party members to get on the ballot; for statewide candidates, including governor, it takes 10,500 — 1,500 from each of the state’s seven congressional districts.

According to the Colorado secretary of state’s office, Lamborn submitted 1,269 signatures that passed muster, while Stapleton submitted 11,325 valid signatures.

Michael Francisco, the Colorado Springs attorney representing the Republicans suing Lamborn, said investigators have determined that nearly 700 of Lamborn’s signatures were gathered by paid circulators who registered to vote in Colorado but “lack any real connection to Colorado” and don’t qualify as legal residents.

Using the same criteria, Francisco is alleging that more than 8,000 of Stapleton’s signatures were gathered by circulators whose claims of residency “don’t pass the smell test.”

In a statement issued last week, Lamborn said he was certain the lawsuit challenging his petitions lacked merit.

“This lawsuit will be dismissed soon. I have spoken to the company that gathered signatures and have been assured that all applicable laws and regulations have been followed. I look forward to continuing this spirited campaign,” he said.

The dispute revolves around a longstanding practice employed by petition-gathering firms of hiring temporary workers, many of whom travel from state to state working petition drives.

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