Jeff Crank said on his radio show this morning that mayoral candidate Richard Skorman “has come out of his skin” over TV and radio ads that portray Skorman as a tax-and-spend liberal.
“My ads are honest, and they’re truthful,” he said.
“The truth hurts.”
Crank invited Skorman to appear on his show two weeks in a row. But in a sharply worded email Friday, Skorman flatly rejected the offer, saying he wouldn’t appear on his show this Saturday or any Saturday.
Crank responded to Skorman’s email last night. In it, he questions the role that Indy publisher John Weiss is playing in Skorman’s campaign given that Skorman questioned the ties between Crank and his organization Americans for Prosperity and Laura Carno.
Carno is a producer on the Jeff Crank Show — unpaid, according to Crank — and she also works as chief of staff for Steve Bach, Skorman’s opponent in the mayor’s race.
“You are wrong in your assertion that she is or was an employee of mine and, frankly, you owe her an apology,” Crank wrote in the email to Skorman.
“Now, how about John Weiss’ arrangement with the Independent and your campaign? Is he a paid employee of either? Might there be an appearance of impropriety there? I don’t know but there certainly would be much more than exists between Laura and I when there is no business or financial relationship. None,” he wrote.
Here is the full and unedited text of Crank’s email:
Thank you for the response. While I appreciate the time you took to repeat your false charges, I noticed that you still have not challenged the truthfulness of the claims made in the ad. The ads are based on your record and your policies. Period.
Taking your email point by point, you claim that my show is “simply a vehicle to espouse my biased views.” Yes, it is. I have never claimed to be journalist. I am a commentator on political issues. You didn’t seem to mind when you came on the mayoral forum I hosted a few months ago (where you were treated fairly). In any case, of course it is my biased view. That is what I am paid to do. Given that, I have a reputation and track record of allowing those I don’t agree with the time to talk and respectfully defend their positions. If you listened to my show you wouldn’t be able to find a single example of a guest who I disagree with that I have been rude or disrespectful to.
With regards to my comments about out-of-town 527’s, yes, I did say that. You seem to be under the false impression-perhaps guided by the hysteria on the left about Americans for Prosperity – that this is an “out of town” or out of state operation. First, AFP is not a 527, we are a 501(c)4. Second, the Colorado chapter is fully funded by contributions within Colorado. The money I have raised to fund AFP Colorado was raised right here. I know that might not match the view that George Soros has pounded into you, but it is the truth. The statement I made was about groups that come in, make unfounded allegations and nobody knows who the group is. Well, you know exactly who is behind the AFP ad – me and the 6,000 AFP members in Colorado Springs. Reporters can call me and get my comments – hardly a “fly-by-night operation” or an unaccountable one.
You are irresponsible in your charge that Laura Carno is now, or ever has been, an employee of mine or of Americans for Prosperity. The information that you apparently Googled about her appearance at an AFP press conference does not mean that she worked for the organization. She went to the press conference on her own time and own her own dime – one time and one day. In your zeal for a “gotcha moment” you made an inaccurate portrayal. You are wrong.
In addition, Laura is not an employee of mine on the radio show. She is and always has been a volunteer radio producer for me – not an employee. She also took a leave of absence when the runoff began and has not done any work for the show on-air or off. You are wrong in your assertion that she is or was an employee of mine and, frankly, you owe her an apology. Now, how about John Weiss’ arrangement with the Independent and your campaign? Is he a paid employee of either? Might there be an appearance of impropriety there? I don’t know but there certainly would be much more than exists between Laura and I when there is no business or financial relationship. None.
I’ve already explained that AFP Colorado is funded by Colorado contributions – much like the police and fire union which funded an ad as well. I don’t anticipate you will ask them to disclose all the police and firefighters who contributed to the ads that were run in your campaign, so let’s be honest about a membership based organization being able to use their First Amendment right to run ads. Americans for Prosperity ran those ads with funds raised inside Colorado. I ran them and am fully responsible for them.
Your comment trying to connect me to Doug Bruce is clever, but inaccurate. I have a long and well-documented history of fighting with Doug Bruce.
Finally, Richard, on a personal note- and you may not want to hear this, but here goes. Every candidate for office (me included) faces a decision about whether they are going to do things in a campaign that they are not proud of – things they later regret. Perhaps things like accusing an opponent of being a developer when you voted for 50 developments between 2001 and 2003 on council or implying in an ad that you opponent is responsible for the scar on the mountain when it is actually the registered agent for your campaign who worked on the project. Perhaps the regret would be making charges that your opponents chief of staff worked for a group running an ad when they really didn’t.
I hope you will finish this race standing tall and standing strong and being able to look into the mirror feeling good about the way you ran the race.
I know I have no regrets about running the ads that my organization, Americans for Prosperity, is running right now. They are truthful, they talk about your record, they are well sourced, they are not a personal attack on you, and they ask citizens to contact you about your policies. I understand why you wouldn’t like them, but they are truthful and the fact that you haven’t challenged me as to their truthfulness is proof of their validity.
I’m sorry you’ve decided not to be a guest on my show.