Some Comments About Rules… And Residency
Dave Kisker
People United for Responsible Government

Today has been an interesting one in the world of Colorado politics. We learned that Walker Stapleton has withdrawn his petition to get onto the ballot for the Governor race. Apparently he felt that the Colorado law that requires the signature gatherers to be residents of our state superseded the “victory at any cost” that guides so many these days. We are, after all, a nation of laws.

Stapleton is getting criticism from many quarters, but my personal opinion of him has grown substantially. He stepped up and did ”the right thing”. Here’s respecting the Assembly process. If he makes the ballot, I don’t know if I’ll vote for him, but it’s more likely than it was.

For those who have not been following this saga, the issue is that apparently the company that was collecting Stapleton’s signatures was blatantly hiring folks from out of state who would live in hotels, register as Republicans and then go collect signatures for the next outfit that would pay them. This appears to be illegal in Colorado, as these folks are clearly not residents.

How does Weld County fit into this story?

You may remember that we had major concerns a few weeks ago when Mike Finn suddenly jumped into the District 2 Commissioner race. Mr. Finn clearly lived in District 1, but explained his decision by pointing out that he ”almost lived in District 2. He could throw a baseball into it.”

In other words, “close is good enough” when it comes to the Charter requirement that he live in the a district for which he is running. While he has apparently now rented a home in D2, Finn’s compliance with the spirit of the rule remains questionable.

Which brings us back to today’s news. We have discovered that a large majority of Finn’s signatures were gathered by likely non-residents. At least 3 are from Florida. And 7 of them gave their residence as a Quality Inn hotel in Pueblo. These people would appear to be the “carpetbaggers” of the petition world.

Since each set of petitions collected by these folks would be completely invalidated if these folks are truly not legitimate residents, Mr. Finn’s position on the June ballot would be tenuous at best. In fact, he would have fewer than 500 valid signatures of the roughly 1500 that he needs.

Because of the urgency of this matter, we decided to immediately file a complaint with the District Court regarding this issue, as we believe that having another Commissioner that is so willing to play ”fast and loose” with the rules should not even be an option. We’ve seen the negative impact of this behavior after having had the current Board in place for nearly 4 years.

I’m sure we’ll be subjected to extreme attacks from certain quarters. But folks, that’s part of what we signed up for when we decided to “sow the seeds of change in Weld County”. We can take it.

In the meantime, you can read our complaint here: https://tinyurl.com/yb48ukz8

And, if you would like to help defray our legal costs for this effort please consider making a confidential contribution. You can learn how to do this at our web site, www.weldpeopleunited.com.

FINN COMPLAINT.pdf

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