In a flurry of social media posts following a controversial opinion piece exposing rifts in the Colorado Republican party, leaders and officials are leveling serious accusations at one another.
Among these is the claim that state Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) attempted to blackmail the author of the opinion column, and the author saying the state will investigate the state house minority leader’s chief of staff for threatening him.
Former El Paso County GOP Chair Joshua Hosler called Dudley Brown’s Rocky Mountain Gun Owners group the “Colorado’s Taliban” in a guest column for The Denver Post. In it he accused House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s chief of staff Jim Pfaff of threatening to smear and extort him.
Hosler wrote in The Post:
Jim Pfaff works directly for House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. He asked when I was going to stop attacking RMGO and Dudley Brown. I responded, “I am not going to stop.”
Pfaff then threatened to smear me with rumors…I told Pfaff that I had already heard those fake rumors and it was old news. Pfaff stated, “I am sure I will find more on you.”
… I will not sell my soul to a devil like Jim Pfaff and not stand up to the cancer that is RMGO.Josh Hosler, guest commentary for the Denver Post, July 7, 2019.
In a subsequent July 10 Facebook comment, Hosler claims that “the state is going to investigate Pfaff” for his alleged threatening conduct.
Following publication of Hosler’s column, Missy Ward, president of the El Paso County Republican Women, commented on Facebook that she heard State Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) on a phone call in which he shared “rumors” about Hosler in an attempt at blackmail “to get Josh off RMGO.”
Missy Ward did not respond to a request for comment on her statement. Rep. Williams and Josh Hosler likewise did not reply to requests for comment.
Another El Paso County GOP activist, Dylan Sparks, whose LinkedIn page indicates he served as a 2019 Colorado House legislative aide, offered his opinion of Brown and State Reps. Neville, Williams, and Steve Humphrey (R-Severance). Sparks, whose controversial social media posts have been covered by Times Recorder, posted a meme picturing the four men with devil horns:
For his part, Dudley Brown took to the airwaves on July 10 to call Hosler a “very very minor player…who is a little butt-hurt because we endorsed his opponent [Rep. Dave Williams, who defeated Hosler at the 2016 assembly for the House District 15 nomination]. He might as well admit that [former Congressman] Bob Beauprez is his puppet master.”