Author: Todd Watkins, former Republican Candidate for Sheriff, Candidate for Bonus Member, El Paso County, CO

Dear Republican voters of Colorado and more specifically, El Paso County,

It should be abundantly clear that our Republican elected officials have distanced themselves from the party platform and, consequently, the founding principles of our nation. There has been little resistance from GOP officials to expanding state and federal governments, unconstitutional mandates from an unbridled executive branch, Marxist laws passed by a radically leftist legislature, and a judicial branch that is equally poised to support whatever the other two (corrupted) branches foist upon We The People. Frederick Douglass famously said that man’s freedoms reside in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. The ballot box has been stolen from us by treasonous actors from both parties; the jury box has abandoned us by jurists who are either too cowardly or too corrupt to even hear our cases against this long train of abuses. But before we arrive at the cartridge box, I want to suggest one last course of action: Take back our party…a kind of Republican reformation around the Constitution and the GOP platform.

Because of the caucus and assembly processes, the political system in Colorado is designed to support the will of the people—but we have to wield it. The first step is to neutralize The Establishment Republicans—the Republicans in Name Only—the RINOs. These are the status quo political class holding office right now. If they don’t hold office, they lose their influence within the party. Don’t vote for them; don’t contribute to their access and placement to erode our rights and freedoms. I can assure you that none of the RINOs holding office in El Paso County have done anything even remotely supportive of the party platform…or you...unless it coincided with their own self-serving agendas.

Not one of them resisted Polis’ COVID overreach. They masked you and your children, closed schools, businesses, and churches…all while complaining about Jared’s mandates…but they still obeyed them. They can be vociferous about how they oppose and detest the radical left, but they certainly don’t fight back or encourage you to fight back. Instead of listening to them wail and gnash their teeth, look at what they do. Is there really a difference between the RINO establishment and the Democrats? In the state legislature there is only a handful of representatives who actually vote for American principles; the vast majority have failing scores according to Liberty Scorecard. There are no acceptable state senators.

“If we don’t vote for the Republicans, the Democrats will win.”

Show me how the Democrats aren’t already in charge. It would be more effective to rid ourselves of corrupt and impotent RINOs than preserve the status quo.

“Even a bad Republican is better than a good Democrat.”

Bad is bad; evil is evil. Selecting the lesser of two evils is still selecting evil; in a compromise with evil, only evil advances. Better to let the cabal fall so that we can rebuild the GOP as an America First party. If we preserve the RINO establishment, they will forever hold sway over the party, and we will never be able to change course.

“No Republican would ever vote for abortion or gun control.”

That’s not true. Both Heidi Ganahl and Joe O’Dea have openly supported “right to choose.” Besides, the last legislative session enshrined feticide in statute, so that debate has ended for the time being in Colorado. As for gun control, whatever this next legislative session does will become law and none of these establishment Republicans will lift a finger to protect you from it. Will your sheriff refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws? Will your sheriff oppose the ATF’s arbitrary rule changes in order to disarm Americans? I know mine won’t. My sheriff and his heir apparent value federal partnerships. The truth is, we all have local governments who feel obligated to comply with the federal government if only because they want federal money—ARPA anyone?

Keeping RINOs in office isn’t helping the party and surely won’t save us from tyranny. The current breed of RINOs have done nothing more than provide a façade behind which Democrat policies are advanced. They are more like the Vichy French than American patriots; their primary concern seems to be retaining their positions rather than serving the people or preserving American ideals. They have to go.

The goal is to take back the GOP and promote candidates and policies that serve America. In order to do this, we have to get the RINOs out of the GOP decision cycle. All Republican elected officials have a voice in the Republican committees. Thus, if they aren’t in office anymore, they aren’t part of the committee processes. So don’t vote for them; let them lose. Simultaneously, we fill vacant precinct leader spots with America First patriots. This will give every county GOP central committee a stronger voice when electing party officers and forming a truly Republican executive committee. Without the presence of RINO elected officials, the likelihood of a patriot majority in your committees is much better. It’s a simple calculus: Increase our (patriot) footprint while decreasing The Establishment's footprint.

RINO losses at the polls will also give our reformed county GOPs a bigger footprint at the state central committee. The state central committee is massively important as that is where party leadership is elected—chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary. This is also where we (the conservative, patriot side of the GOP) could close our primaries. The fact that we have open primaries at all is due to the will of The Establishment; it has afforded them a larger population of registered voters from whom to skew our elections and ensure their retention of power. Closing our primaries (limiting the primary electorate to only registered Republicans) also avails us of another very important possibility: eliminating the practice of petitioning on to the ballot. We could end pay-to-play candidates and make the caucus/assembly process the sole method of selecting candidates; there would be no end-run by RINO politicians paying their way out of facing the party assemblies.

*BEWARE: The establishment is very eager to end our caucus/assembly processes for the express purpose of eliminating grassroots influence and participation. They are very concerned by the awakening of grassroots Republicans and our involvement in the political process. In order to silence and disenfranchise us, they will likely move to abandon caucus/assembly: Pay-to-play will be the only pathway to the ballot and the establishment has the money and resources to keep us out. Eli Bremer has been very outspoken about this, and mainstream media has echoed the RINO fears of grassroots influence via caucus/assembly *

We can direct our future, but we have to muster the courage and the confidence to let the RINO establishment lose. In June, we presented grassroots, America First candidates who were not tethered to any major financial or political interests; who genuinely sought to preserve our rights and limit the role of government in our lives. They were all defeated by RINO establishment collaborators, most of whom avoided our assemblies and paid petition gatherers ensure their places on the ballot. This was our last opportunity to turn our party and our government around through a single electoral cycle. If you want to change the status quo, these people must lose. If you want change, we all have to be the instruments of that change. It will take effort and might include some suffering, but in order to keep the republic, we have to do the work.