Members of Colorado’s Bikers for Trump group have been serving as an informal security force for the Recall Polis campaign. Recall proponents have posted images of BFT members at signature gathering locations as well as at other pro-recall events.
Organizers have made requests of the group to attend upcoming events, both for general support but also to protect signature gatherers from recall opponents.
On Facebook, the Bikers for Trump page describes itself as dedicated to “rallies and events nationwide and voters on issues confronting America.” It has over 300,000 likes.
In the Centennial State, Bikers for Trump Colorado – a local page tethered to the national one – is modest in size but very active.
The site contains numerous posts featuring racist, sexist and Islamphobic content.
Among the Facebook group’s roughly 1,000 members, are Colorado Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone), Colorado Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) and University of Colorado Regent Chance Hill.
Chance Hill and Casper Stockham, a candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House east of Denver who’s also in the group, both acknowledged that they had joined the group but said they were unfamiliar with its content.
One recall-related post promoted a “Recall Polis Poker Run” motorcycle ride through northeastern Colorado. Its artwork displayed tire tracks across Governor Polis’ face.
Although it’s never been an organized effort, some members of the group have provided security of sorts to signature-gatherers in the recall campaign.
“We have security where it’s needed but it’s all informal,” said Kristina Finley, Recall Polis board member and manager of El Paso County recall effort.
“Some biker friends of mine… went around on Saturday and checked on all of our locations to make sure everyone is OK,” she said. “I also have friends in the El Paso Bikers for Trump that will be ready if I need them.”
Finley said the effort is “not coordinated with the state group,” but that “some of us have friends who happen to be part of Bikers for Trump.”
Early last month, Finley created a private Facebook event with the BFT group, asking for bikers to “check on the volunteers throughout the event.” She noted that the request was “due to concerns over leftist attacks.”
She said she has bikers friends who aren’t part of the group who have helped her out, too.
“They’re rough and rugged and they’re big guys and that’s usually pretty intimidating to what we like to call our ‘communist kids.'”
Although Finley said none of these “communist kids,” or simply canvassers to most people, have been physically aggressive, she did describe them as hostile if not outright intimidating.
“They have not attacked anyone, but at the Cheyenne Library they were standing so close to people signing that they could lick their ear,” she said.
Recall proponent Nancy Pallozzi, a former candidate for Colorado House District 28 west of Denver, made the only reported claim of physical interference by an opponent. She says she was accosted by someone on the left while gathering signatures.
Interestingly, the Colorado group doesn’t seem to contain much discussion of motorcycles.
“I don’t think it’s the motorcycle riding part” they’re collectively attached to, Stockham said. “I think it’s the freedom and liberty part.”
“They identify with Trump because he talks about that.”
Hill said as a political figure of note he gets a lot of invites to like or join things on Facebook and will often do so without much thought.
Erik Maulbetsch contributed to this report