January 26, 2023
By Representative Ken DeGraaf
As an elected leader in El Paso County, and the State House, it’s important for me to set the facts straight for all of you before you vote online during the January 31, 2023, special meeting.
The complainants, including KBB’s dad, which is a huge conflict of interest, are trying to get control of our county’s $70K bank account and desperately win back power when their neighbors rejected them originally… and they want the state party to usurp our voters to do it.
You need to vote "no" and reject their illegal attempts.
The purpose of the meeting is a violation of both bylaws and CRS, making it unwarranted and illegal. Further, the desired outcome the complainants seek would create a precedent subjugating ALL county parties to the state. That is the antithesis of Republican governance.
The purpose of this meeting is invalid and a colossal waste of time.
Specifically, the purpose of this special meeting violates Colorado Revised Statutes 1-3-106, 1-3-102 (2)(d), and 1-3-103. Furthermore, it violates our own party bylaws as it creates an end run around the lawful process for resolving party controversies.
Any plain reading of that law and our bylaws will immediately show that the state party ONLY engages in a county-level controversy if it is unresolvable at the county level.
Nowhere in the law does it authorize the SCC to usurp a duly elected county chair and appoint someone of their choosing with the authority “to appoint ALL committees,” which would include credentialing committees to decide who gets to vote, and teller committees to decide who counts the votes. (“It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes.”-Stalin)
Our bylaws provide for a specific procedure in these conflicts, even for calling an assembly of the state executive committee, and then the central committees if necessary, but not until the processes have been exhausted. To date, no request for such a meeting has been made.
We must follow our own rules. We must follow the CRS. If they don't like the current rules then they should seek to change them, not violate them.
While the state party chair is empowered to call a special meeting anytime, we all should object to what the state committee is being asked to do, which is to subjugate county parties to the state party. While the intent might only be to seize control of the El Paso this go around, the precedent would be comprehensive in the future and the damage done.
All efforts must be made to resolve controversies at the local level first. From there, any decisions rendered can be appealed to the state executive committee and then the entire state central committee. Since there has been no complaint filed in that order, the effort to initiate a resolution at the state is both a violation of our bylaws and CRS, making the purpose for calling this meeting is both unmerited and illegal.
Again, nowhere in law or our own rules does it empower the state party to preemptively remove a chair from her duties and strip the voting rights of precinct committee persons.
In a time when Colorado Republicans are facing historic losses, it makes no sense to embroil the state committee into a local dispute that would undermine the majority will of the El Paso County Central Committee voters and disenfranchise volunteer PCP’s who represent thousands of voters in their precincts.
The state chair is asking us to shrink the party and turn away volunteers. We shouldn’t go along with it.
If we really want a special meeting to address the problems in our party that are leading to disunity and discord, then let’s use this special meeting to address the state chair’s actions to violate the law and create a kangaroo court to punish political rivals.
The decision to call a special meeting by Kristi Burton Brown for an unlawful purpose is unprecedented, unfair, and lacks transparency.
Furthermore, this action by KBB is in service to a group of disgruntled elitists who lost an election 2 years ago and are desperately trying to get back into power by hook or by crook.
This is merely their most recent attempt to undo the caucus and assembly process and regain control. Make no mistake, this is about power and money.
These individuals routinely sow division and disrupt meetings and then run to the leftist media to talk about the dysfunction they created in hope that you will be manipulated into believing it’s not their fault.
Every accusation they formally submitted is baseless and cannot be substantiated. They make wild claims that are easily disproved.
For example, they claim that El Paso County finances and books are being managed by a felon when in fact our party’s finances are managed by our county Secretary, Sheryl Glasgow, and retired businessman, John Coyle, neither of whom have ever been convicted of such a thing.
These people are trying to deceive you.
They are slinging mud up against the wall and seeing what sticks because they want you to violate the law and the will of the voters to help them orchestrate a coup in El Paso for their failed party officer candidates and agenda.
Please join me in doing two things for the January 31, 2023, special meeting:
1. Demand Kristi Burton-Brown cease this illegal coup and follow legal processes.
2. Demand a recorded roll-call vote for all votes. There is no “secret” electronic ballot.
3. Reject, and vote “no”, on any attempts to strip voting rights of precinct committee persons and to violate the majority will of El Paso County Republicans by removing the ability for our chair to perform her duties.
4. Demand Kristi Burton Brown to recuse herself from chairing the special meeting because her father (Mike Burton) is one of the primary complainants to this controversy. Kristi Burton Brown has a clear conflict of interest and cannot avoid the appearance of favoring one side of another.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please remember: We are a party of order, not one of mob rule.
Representative, HD22 (R)
Colorado General Assembly