The state GOP is celebrating like it was in 2002, the last time the party was so broke it didn’t pay salaries.
According to a May 2023 filing with the Federal Election Commission, as first reported by The Colorado Sun, the Colorado Republican Party raised less than $15,000 in April and made no payroll expenditures. By comparison, the state’s Democratic Party raised nearly $92,000 that month and supported half a dozen staffers.
The shortage of donations is not surprising given the new management. In March, party loyalists chose former state Rep. Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams, a far-right MAGA 2020 Holocaust denier to lead the Colorado GOP. He has since invited ankle sportswoman Tina Peters to join the management team hoping she will bring his “national network of well-funded friends”. Judging by the latest financial news, Sugar Daddy Mike Lindell has yet to open his wallet.
Williams tried to raise funds via email with ridiculous and hyper-partisan subject lines like “Democrats stand up for pervs,” “They hate you,” and “Democrats witch hunt Trump.” Capitalize them, add excessive punctuation and funky syntax, and they could be Trump tweets. It is impossible to take them seriously.
In March, Williams said Colorado’s GOP electoral losses were not due to a “branding issue” but “a problem with irresponsible leadership.” The statement has aged badly. Now that’s a both/and situation.
The Colorado Republican Party was once the party of ideas and it can be again. In the future, when the economy slows, inflation and crime rates remain high, and new property taxes come due, the GOP will have an opportunity to win legislative seats and take the 8th district of the Congress. To capitalize on the moment, the party must shed the Trump fixation — it’s anathema to most Colorado voters — and come up with real governance solutions.
Assuming a Williams team can indeed rebrand, and that’s unlikely, the party will need funds to get its message across the state. Right now it doesn’t even have a good website. Compare the Colorado GOP website to its Democratic counterpart. The latter contains much more useful information and does not appear to have been created two decades ago. The amateur-hour website contains nothing to inspire interest or confidence in the GOP.
Instead of photos of Williams and useless petitions, the site could explain how Democratic initiatives have contributed to increased inflation, property taxes, health care premiums, crime rates and urban camping; or how government shutdowns have harmed school children, businesses and families; or how Democrats managed to cut TABOR refunds in their new ballot initiative; or how several bills signed by Polis violate 1st and 2nd Amendment rights and head to court; or how GOP solutions reduce crime, taxes, health care premiums, inflation, debt and unemployment; or how State House Minority Leader Mike Lynch and State Senate Minority Leader Paul Lundeen and their GOP colleagues fought the good fight in the last legislative session.
A few paragraphs on just one of these topics would be an improvement. But that requires staff. Staff must be paid. Paying requires fundraising. Fundraising requires effective leadership and a winning message. Currently, the Colorado GOP is down 0 to 4. Williams is expected to step down.
Krista L. Kafer is a weekly columnist at the Denver Post. Follow her on Twitter: @kristakafer
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