Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock thinks “establishment Republicans” don’t support efforts to recall Democrats from office because the establishment Republicans aren’t “profiting from it.”
While Neville said his organization, RecallColorado.com, is “willing to work with anyone and spend money on any of these recalls” in Colorado, “there’s a lot of different establishment Republicans out there trying to discourage that, because they’re not profiting on it.”
Neville made the comments during an interview on KLZ AM-560’s Rush to Reason show Thursday.
It’s not news that Colorado Republican Party leaders are bitterly divided on whether Democrats, including state legislators and Gov. Jared Polis, should be recalled from office.
What’s new is Neville’s accusation that opposition from establishment Republicans stems from their not making money from the recalls.
So-called establishment Republicans who’ve come out against the recalls include Ryan Call, who’s a former leader of the Republican Party; Cole Wist, a former state lawmaker; State Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale); and Tyler Sandberg, a prominent GOP political operative.
Sandberg did not immediately return a call seeking to know whether he opposed the recall efforts because he was not profiting on them.
But some folks who could arguably be called “establishment Republicans,” such as state GOP vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, appear to support recalls, so the division between establishment and grassroots Republicans on the recall question may not be so stark.
In addition to Neville, recall campaigns have been supported by non-establishment Republicans such as pro-gun activist Dudley Brown.
Journalists have raised questions about whether Neville’s family members and their allies are themselves profiting from the recall campaigns.
9News’ Marshall Zelinger questioned GOP state leader Ken Buck on the topic in April:
Zelinger: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville has come out supporting recalls. His family could benefit from recalls because that’s their business. Should it be appropriate for elected officials and their families to profit off of recalls and elections? By being hired for election purposes–this is an added election outside of a cycle–perhaps this is being done in a way that benefits the family business?
Buck understood the logic behind the question but didn’t answer it.
Buck: So, Patrick’s brother is a consultant in the business and certainly there were some resources from the House fund that were used in the last cycle and his brother ran some of that political operation. I think that is something that Patrick and the elected Republicans in the state House will have to decide. It’s not something the state party will intervene in in any way
9News anchor Kyle Clark raised the profit issue after Brown and allied Republicans, like Burton, dropped their plans to recall Aurora Democratic lawmaker Tom Sullivan in July.
KYLE CLARK: The failed attempt to recall Democratic State Rep. Tom Sullivan did not raise one dollar and it did not spend a dollar. We learned that from some financial filings. Now that sounds funny unless you heard us saying weeks ago that this recall was really about a gun rights group called Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. The head of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners says, they funded the entire recall and guess what? They don’t have to disclose their donors.
So we are left to take that special interest group at its word that this was not just a fundraiser designed as a recall that was never going to succeed. We are left to take them at their word that they took in $30,000 and spent more than that $45,000 on a failed signature-gathering effort.
If those happen to be your dollars, and your trust, my condolences.