A Republican advocacy group that claims in a new TV ad that mayoral candidate Richard Skorman’s “liberal policies” would kill jobs in Colorado Springs is drawing sharp criticism from Skorman, who says the group has “close ties” to opponent Steve Bach.
“This attack by a shady political action committee must end immediately,” Skorman said in a statement.
“The Bach campaign must come clean about its role in running these negative ads,” he said. “Steve Bach should speak out now to keep secret, out-of-state interests from influencing a Colorado Springs election.”
The ad, being funded by Americans for Prosperity, uses the word “liberal” four times.
Click here to watch it.
“Do Colorado Springs citizens think Richard Skorman’s policies are liberal?” the voiceover asks at the beginning of the ad.
Then, the ad flashes to a picture of Skorman and uses Skorman’s own words.
“I’m not sure why people call me liberal,” Skorman says.
“Maybe it’s because Skorman has been a longtime advocate for higher taxes, higher sales tax and higher property taxes that would hurt our economy. Or maybe it’s Skorman’s liberal spending policies that include salary increases for bureaucrats,” the voiceover says.
“Richard Skorman’s liberal policies would hurt working families with higher taxes, more spending and fewer jobs. Call Richard Skorman and tell him liberal policies kill jobs and are bad for Colorado Springs.”
In an email Tuesday announcing the new ad, conservative radio host Jeff Crank, state director for Americans for Prosperity, said the ad highlights Skorman’s votes during his time on City Council as well as previous statements.
“The Skorman record is one of higher taxes and bigger government. Whether it was votes on City Council or statements Richard Skorman has made – even in the last few months – he has not been bashful about his support of a big-government policy agenda. Skorman needs to hear from citizens that these policies will destroy jobs and hurt our families,” Crank said in the email.
The Skorman campaign fired back today, saying Bach has ties to Americans for Prosperity.
Crank is the Colorado state director, and Laura Carno, who is Bach’s chief of staff, is a producer on the Jeff Crank Radio Show.
Crank and Carno also hold leadership positions with the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition, which has endorsed Bach for mayor.
“In a campaign with no contribution limits, the only reason a candidate would allow an independent expenditure is to hide the source of its funding,” Skorman said. “The obvious connections between the Bach campaign and AFP also raises some serious questions.”
The Skorman campaign provided what it called a “detailed fact sheet” showing those ties. They include:
Radio Host Jeff Crank Is State Director For AFP. According to his profile on the AFP Colorado website, “Jeff is currently the Colorado State Director of Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots free-market, free-enterprise organization. Jeff also hosts The Jeff Crank Show, a conservative talk radio show on Colorado’s 740 KVOR.”
Bach’s Campaign Chief of Staff Simultaneously Works As A Producer for AFP Colorado State Director Jeff Crank. According to her LinkedIn page, Laura Carno is presently a producer for Jeff Crank’s radio show. “Associate Producer Jeff Crank Radio Show, Media Production industry, March 2009 – Present (2 years, 2 months).” At the same time, she serves as “Chief of Staff” for “Steve Bach for Colorado Springs Mayor.”
Multiple Reports Show Laura Carno Worked For AFP as Recently as Last Summer. Reported KRDO, “Laura Carno of Americans for Prosperity Colorado said her organization has grown from 1,400 members to 30,000 during the time-out period.” According to a blog post by the National Taxpayers Union, “On Tuesday, I was in Colorado to speak at a press conference, along with Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute, Marty Nielson with the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, Joshua Culling of Americans for Tax Reform, State Senator Shawn Mitchell, Amy Oliver with Mothers Against Debt, and Laura Carno with Americans for Prosperity Colorado, recognizing the return of TABOR.”