Five more City Council candidates are adding their names to a request to Secretary of State Scott Gessler to send an observer to monitor the city’s April 5 election.
“The Reform Team is a group of five candidates, including me, running together for five citywide seats on the city council in that election,” activist Douglas Bruce said today in an e-mail to Gessler.
We unanimously join that request for your office’s assistance and protection,” he wrote. “That now makes 10 candidates who ask for your official aid. In my 25 years in Colorado politics, I have never heard of such a widespread request for intervention from so many credible sources.”
Bruce has no made no secret of his dislike of City Clerk Kathryn Young. In the e-mail, he describes a recent encounter between the pair at the City Administration Building.
“When I politely asked her in her office lobby one question about the reporting period for campaign finance reports, which was nowhere listed on her site, she said I was ‘like a baby crying on the floor,’” he wrote in the e-mail.
Bruce also told Gessler that the slate of candidates doesn’t trust Young to conduct
“Our city clerk is a bad and malicious person and utterly incompetent,” he wrote.
Here is the full text of Bruce’s e-mail to Gessler:
Dear Secretary Gessler,
Your office received earlier a request from five city candidates for your official secretary of state intervention, monitoring, and overall review of the April 5th mail ballot election in Colorado Springs.
The Reform Team is a group of five candidates, including me, running together for five
citywide seats on the city council in that election. See ReformCityHall.com. We unanimously join
that request for your office’s assistance and protection. That now makes 10 candidates who ask
for your official aid. In my 25 years in Colorado politics, I have never heard of such a
widespread request for intervention from so many credible sources.
In addition to the reasons given by the other five candidates for mayor and a district
council seat, which we agree with, we add the following ten reasons:
1. The city clerk has been hostile to me for years. She issued facially defective petitions
to me in the past, hoping I would not notice and would circulate them. She could then
throw them out when they were filed. Those were petitions that reduced city revenue.
I rejected the defective blank forms and forced her to redo the 800 forms on the two petitions.
2. She knew the Reform Team opposed pending ballot issue A1, which would break up the Reform Team retroactively. Under A1, no one would know until after the election whether they had won a four-year term, as advertised, or a two-year term. She changed “A1″ on her website description to “1A” just last week after our team had already printed thousands of mailers that had the old ballot designation of A1. I have a print-out of the old designation from her web page.
3. She briefly tried to prevent the Reform Team from stating its purpose included opposing that team-busting issue, and told me she had not wanted to let the Reform Team register.
4. She tried to impose preconditions on issuing blank petition forms to members of the Reform Team, contrary to how she had treated other members who filed to collect qualifying signatures before the team’s formation was announced.
5. Her office refused to give a receipt to Reform Team members for the number of signatures they filed, nor to photocopy and mark as received those few signature pages for the 100 valid lines required. She insisted we trust her, which we don’t, with having the sole copy of qualifying entries.
6. She refused to enforce campaign finance rules on the Reform Team’s opponents, and ignored written complaints filed with her office. She said publicly she would not enforce election law violations. The violations were later filed with your office and the four candidates admitted their violations in open court. One of them was an incumbent council member, her “boss” as a political appointee.
7. She would not allow team members to list the team website, ReformCityHall.com, on the clerk’s website unless they went to her office and filed a whole new original declaration of candidacy, which would replace the old one and thus be filed after that deadline and thus invalidate their candidacy.
8. In a prior election, she “forgot” she had many additional marked ballots in her office that had not been counted at the time election results were announced.
9. When I emailed her questions about election law, she refused to answer, telling me to look it up. When I complained to the city council days later, the mayor directed her to answer me in a “timely” manner. She waited a week and then gave more opaque answers, showing she did not understand that 1-45-116 C.R.S. and Secretary of State Rules 7.1 and 7.2 make it clear that state statutes do not govern a home rule city that has its own campaign finance ordinance. She refused to fill in the procedural gaps in that amateurish ordinance.
10. When I politely asked her in her office lobby one question about the reporting period for campaign finance reports, which was nowhere listed on her site, she said I was “like a baby crying on the floor.”
I could list other examples, but the point is made.
Our city clerk is a bad and malicious person and utterly incompetent. The Reform Team does not trust her to conduct this election in a fair and competent manner. We do not believe we would get an honest ballot tally based on many years of official hostility towards me by her, the city attorney (who would not ever answer my written election questions), and the city council and mayor, who despise and routinely undermine TABOR and my latest city petition (which lowered city revenue and passed with 55% of the vote).
You could easily direct our county clerk-recorder to handle the return and counting of the ballots and all other procedures from now through the end of the election, and for the mayoral runoff that is likely. Several mayoral candidates have joined in this complaint and would also be vulnerable to retaliation by the city clerk. I have copied Wayne Williams on this email. We trust him to be fair.
Please ensure the democratic process works in this political subdivision of the state. I need not remind you, that is your primary job. That is why Elections are Title 1 in the C.R.S.