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Home / Articles / News / News /  Montana-based org. pours cash into conservative coffers in Longmont City Council race
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Thursday, October 29,2009

Montana-based org. pours cash into conservative coffers in Longmont City Council race

By Jefferson Dodge

WTP in Garfield County

One of those races was in Garfield County.

According to a WTP press release, the group mailed tens of thousands of letters and other materials into key districts, targeting Democratic candidates Steve Carter and Stephen Bershenyi. Daniel Reed of WTP commented in the release that, “with only the early votes counted, anti-development apologists Steve Carter and Stephen Bershenyi and their extremist friends thought they had the race in the bag, but Election Day results showed the pro-responsible growth and development candidates won.”

According to reports, Shires was also campaigning against Carter in that race as the head of another group, the League of Taxpayers. In April, Shires was fined $7,150 for failing to file an election communications report for the $2,300 he spent to help defeat Carter, according to The Colorado Independent.

Carter, who was running for county commissioner at the time, told Boulder Weekly that WTP and the League of Taxpayers engaged in dirty campaign tactics.

“They go in and slime somebody and disappear,” Carter says. “They get paid for it by someone, but no one knows who.

“I can’t limit my disdain for that person,” he says of Shires. “He subverts the American way; he’s anti-American. It’s no different than stuffing a ballot box.”

Shires did not answer phone calls from the Boulder Weekly. Gessler, the attorney representing the Longmont plaintiffs, has served as attorney for at least one of Shires’ groups as well, according to media reports. Gessler, whose office address is listed as the principal street address for WTP in Colorado Secretary of State documents, is currently the only Republican running for Secretary of State. Gessler declined to provide an alternate phone number for Shires. He and WTP Executive Director Jacob Leis told Boulder Weekly that Shires is not involved in the day-to-day operations of Western Tradition.

Leis, who, according to The Colorado Independent is a former congressional staffer for Republican Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, says Shires just specializes in regulatory compliance for WTP. When asked about Shires’ past campaign-finance issues, Leis says WTP has never had any problems.

“Western Tradition Partnership has never been convicted of any violations,” he says.

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This campaign is a repeat of the last - tons of deep-pocket money, anonymous attackers and right-wing candidates coyly denying complicity.

The trail of connections is quite clear - the group trying to worm their way onto Longmont's Council are working together with the obvious assist of rightwing power brokers.

Hopefully the residents of Longmont will see the truth and deliver another decisive blow to the Old Guard and help Longmont shake off the ghosts of the past.


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This is a good article.  I'm glad somebody finally wrote a substantive piece about the sleazy groups that are trying to buy the Longmont election.  I urge all Longmont voters not to be fooled by rightwing propaganda - vote for Lange, Benker, Fissinger and Van Dusen.