April 10, 2018
By Chuck Parks, Editor
A lawsuit challenging the validity of Michael Finn ’s candidate petition for District 2 of the Weld County Commission was filed today in District Court. The suit filed by David Kisker, founder of PURG-People United For Responsible Government alleges Mr Finn hired out of state polling workers to collect the required signatures for his petition onto the primary ballot and that their residency status doesn’t meet the requirements set forth by Colorado State law.
The requirements for residency are located in Colorado Revised Statutes 1-2-201 and clearly state that:
To be a registered voter in Colorado an individual must have their “principal or primary home or place of abode” in Colorado, to which that person “whenever absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure or absence…” To determine what counts as the principal or primary home “the following circumstances related to the person shall be taken into account: Business pursuits, employment, income sources, residence for income or other tax purposes, age, marital status, residence of parents, spouse or civil union partner, and children. If any, leaseholds, situs of personal and real property, existence of any other residences and the amount of time spent at each residence, and motor vehicle registration.” C.R.S. § 1-2-102(1)(b).
Furthermore, to determine “principal or primary home” in Colorado the “residence given for voting purposes shall be the same as the residence given for motor vehicle registration and for state income taxes.” And “A person shall not be considered to have gained residence in this state … while retaining a home or domicile elsewhere.” C.R.S. § 1-2- 102(c), (d).
Seven of Mr Finn’s professional signature gathers list The Quality Inn & Suites located at 3910 Outlook Boulevard in Pueblo as their primary residence and an 8th worker listed a homeless shelter in Colorado Springs as his residence. At the time of this posting, we have learned that three of those workers currently reside in Florida.
In an interview last week with Bob Grand the Publisher of The Lost Creek Guide, Mr Finn told Mr Grand that “he and his wife and friends worked hard on gathering signatures. It was a lot tougher than he originally thought it would be”. There was no mention of hiring a professional signature-gathering firm.
Walker Stapleton withdrew his petition for Governor when the professional firm he hired, Kennedy Enterprises, was found to have engaged in the same practices as Finn’s. At this time it is unclear if there are any ties between the two organizations.
Stapleton called their tactics, “fraudulent”. Stapleton will try and get on the Republican gubernatorial ballot through this weekend’s state assembly. “At the end of the day, the most important thing to me is to look at my wife and my three young children and say dad did the right thing. In good conscious, I cannot be put on the ballot in this manner and I will not.”
Michael Finn recently moved from his longstanding residence in Greeley to another residence inside District 2 so he could qualify to run for Weld County Commissioner against Johnstown Mayor Scott James. It is still unclear which of the two residences Finn actually reside at raising questions about the validity of his own residency claims.