Casper Stockham, the Republican who lost to U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) by a 63% to 37% margin, is blaming the Colorado GOP and for refusing to allow much-needed money to flow to his campaign.
Appearing Monday on the conservative Chuck and Julie Show, Stockham told hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden that he believes the Colorado Republican Party purposely blocked funding from the national GOP sources.
“I have evidence from a firsthand person who was involved firsthand in this–was trying to get my campaign money from D.C.–and they were told, ‘No money is gonna flow to Casper Stockham,’ by the state party,” said Stockham. “The state party put the kibosh on it.”
Stockham didn’t reveal his source on the Chuck and Julie Show, but he assured viewers that the person who had informed him about the funding block is a “very respected individual nationwide.”
“Ok, so I can tell you my source off the air–I’m not gonna say it right now–but I have that person’s name, and it’s a very respected individual nationwide,” Stockham said. “They have a PAC; they went to D.C. to get more money and endorsements for my campaign.”
Stockham told the Colorado Times Recorder today he did not have permission to pass on the person’s name.
Stockham pointed to its Colorado GOP chairman, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), as the person who likely blocked the funds, and Bonniwell and Hayden seemed to wholeheartedly agree.
“[Stockham’s source was] told by D.C. that the state party [blocked Stockham’s funding], and Ken Buck is the state party, I mean… he runs the state party,” Stockham said. “So if Ken is not the one, then he needs to come out and say that…”
“So I’m saying it’s Ken Buck until we prove otherwise, but I have firsthand knowledge that the state party put the kibosh on more money coming to my campaign,” Stockham continued.
Stockham told Ballotpedia ahead of his 2018 campaign that the representative, past or present, who he wants to model himself after is Buck.
Stockham’s platform this election focused on attacking Perlmutter for having “little to show for 14 years in Congress,” and being “missing in action.”
He also emphasized maintaining security and safety by upholding the police, promoting education through school choice, encouraging freedom of speech, promoting free market healthcare, and advocating to reopen the economy and create more jobs, according to an interview with Patch.
Stockham thinks he had a real chance at beating Perlmutter.
“…I believe [the Colorado GOP blocked funding] because even though it was a hard win, it was doable. I think they saw that I could possibly do it. I think I had a better chance of beating Ed Perlmutter than Steve House had at beating Jason Crow,” Stockham said. “And had I had money, I could’ve run TV ads, and my ads would not have been little flowery, soft ads. They would’ve been the ads that Cory Gardner should’ve run against John Hickenlooper.”
“And I expected them to not help me because they’ve never helped me. Ever. Ever helped me. I expected that,” said Stockham. “But what I did not expect is that behind the scenes, they are trying to take money away from my campaign and make sure that I am not successful. That sinks to a whole new level.”
Nevertheless, Stockham announced that he had raised $100,000 “without the help of the party.”
Hayden said Stockham likely didn’t receive adequate support from the State GOP because he’s “a grassroots guy” and the GOP “can’t control him.”
Stockham faced allegations of misusing his campaign funds this summer.
Joe Jackson, the spokesperson for the Colorado GOP, declined to comment on the matter.
ColoradoPolitics reported that Arapahoe County Republican activist Garry Kirkland discovered that Stockham had been putting campaign donations towards personal expenditures unrelated to his campaign–including a company that he owns. And while candidates are allowed to use campaign funds towards a personal salary with a ceiling, Stockham failed to mark any of these transactions as a personal salary–meaning he’s not being taxed based on that income.
“It’s on a small scale,” Kirkland told ColoradoPolitics. “He hasn’t cost anyone their life’s savings. But what he’s doing is, he has learned over three election cycles how to milk the system.”
Kirkland also criticized conservatives, especially the Tea Party, for not speaking out against Stockham’s actions of non-transparency.
Stockham’s campaign Facebook page, Casper for Colorado, created a post last Saturday, which reads:
“Just found out yesterday the CO state GOP blocked funds and endorsements to my campaign from DC and other PACs who wanted to help me win! More details coming soon.”
FEC Colorado, a conservative group with ties to the Colorado Republican Party, posted the exact sentences in a recent post, without mentioning Stockham.
Stockham said he personally posted this message on the FEC site.
In 2016 and 2018, Stockham ran against Democrat incumbent Diana DeGette in CD1, losing badly both times. This year, he started out running as a Republican candidate in CD6, before withdrawing prior to the primary and switching over to CD7.
Jason Salzman contributed to this report.