As one of only four states where the No Labels Party has made the 2024 presidential ballot, Colorado is a hotbed of debate over the potential impact of this largely Republican-funded political party, which bills itself as a centrist alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties.
While No Labels does employ handful of former Democrats, past and current reporting on the group’s board members, staff, funders, and now vendors consistently show a conservative partisan lean. Here in Colorado, both of the party’s state co-chairs, Roger Hutson and Jenny Hopkins, are Republicans.
More evidence of the party’s rightward lean emerged last week when Mother Jones’ David Corn reported that a No Labels-funded dark money group, Insurance Policy for America, paid the Colorado GOP’s preferred field firm, Blitz Canvassing, $107,000 to gather the signatures required to secure ballot access. Blitz, owned by former GOP state senator turned longtime GOP operative Josh Penry, has handled field operations for nearly every major Republican candidate in Colorado for the past decade. The firm is also working to elect Ron Desantis; it’s currently hiring canvassers in Iowa and South Carolina on behalf of the pro-Desantis Never Back Down PAC.
Corn’s latest discovery comes just two weeks after he reported that No Label is using another Republican vendor, Anedot, to process its online donations.
“According to its website, Anedot typically charges political groups a 4 percent fee plus 30 cents per transaction, wrote Corn. “Under that formula, when an online contributor sends No Labels $100, Anedot pockets $4.30. That money bolsters Anedot’s mission to raise funds for the right and the GOP.”
No Labels won’t disclose its funders, but multiple reports over the past few years have found GOP donors’ signatures on very large checks. Notable names include conservative billionaires Louis Bacon and Nelson Peltz, as well as Harlan Crow, whose other hobbies include showering Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with expensive gifts and collecting Nazi memorabilia.
Last week in Colorado, former U.S. Senator Mark Udall pulled no punches in a column calling No Labels a spoiler that “risks dividing the mainstream majority of Colorado voters and tilting the election to Trump.”
Over the weekend, No Labels Colorado Co-Chair L. Roger Hutson responded by insisting without evidence that “a [No Labels] Unity Ticket is likely to pull from Republicans and Democrats evenly.”
Among those who disagree with his viewpoint are Republican pundit Bill Kristol, who pointed out that No Labels’ own map of its path to victory “projects to win 2/3 of their electoral votes in states that Biden won in 2020. So, by their own admission, their prime targets are voters who would otherwise back the Democrat.”
Joining Never-Trumper Kristol in his assessment is Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams, who recently said he welcomes a No Labels candidate.
“I’m fine with No Labels putting a candidate up, said Williams. “I’m fine with the Green Party putting a candidate up. We just want to make sure that we don’t have third parties that are going to adversely affect the Republican nominee… And so I’m for it. I think if it does occur, that’s what would happen: It would hurt them more than us.”
In his column Hutson also stated, “The two-party system has served up progressively worse and more extreme candidates year after year, abandoning the commonsense majority in the process.”
Asked via email how he reconciles that statement with the four separate thousand-dollar contributions he’s made to Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s campaign, Hutson declined to respond.