Dudley Brown jumped on a conservative radio show this morning to respond, for the first time, to a Republican’s accusation that his organization, which is aligned with the right wing of the Republican Party, is “Colorado’s Taliban.”

Patrick Neville and Dudley Brown talk recalls
Brown and Neville

Joshua Hosler, the former chair of the El Paso County Republican Party, expressed the view in a Denver Post opinion piece, in which Hosler also accused the State House Republicans’ Chief of Staff of threatening to spread rumors about Hosler unless Hosler agreed to stop attacking Brown’s group, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

“[Hosler] is speaking for the left side of the Republican Party,” Brown told KNUS 710-AM’s host, Peter Boyles. “We call that the establishment. He might as well admit that Bob Beauprez is his puppet master.”

Brown called Hosler a “very very minor player” in the Republican Party and a “failed state house candidate,” who is “a little butt hurt because we endorsed his opponent,” State Rep. Dave Williams.

The dispute between Hosler and Brown reflects wider divisions within the Colorado Republican Party over whether to moderate hard-line stances, stop using losing consultants, distance themselves from Trump, and other issues in the wake of devastating losses in last year’s election–as well as the prospect of another blue-wave thrashing at the ballot box next year.

“I think the frustration for both Bob Beauprez and little players like Joshua Hosler is that the [Republican] Party has moved pretty substantially to the right on guns, and that’s been due to us,” said Brown on air. “Setting all humility aside, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is the group that given [Republicans] a spine. And Greg Brophy, the former state senator, has talked about that frequently.”

While it appears that the GOP has moved rightward on guns, the wider public is now more sympathetic to gun-safety legislation in the wake of repeated mass murders, according to recent polls.

Brown said that Hosler is upset that Rocky Mountain Gun Owners never compromises on gun issues.

Brown told Boyles that The Denver Post had offered him the opportunity to write a response to the Hosler opinion piece, but Brown has yet to decide if he’ll take The Post up on its offer.

Hosler didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Unmentioned in the KNUS interview was the accusation about the alleged threat of a smear campaign against Hosler.

The Republican state house leader Patrick Neville addressed the threat yesterday in a statement to KMGH Channel 7.

“My Chief of Staff made amends and publicly said so. He has done a great job with this caucus. Unfortunately, we still have some in the GOP who would prefer to divide us. It is unfortunate, but it will not deter us,” Rep. Neville’s statement to Channel 7 read.

Listen here to Brown on KNUS July 7: