January 25, 2023
By Todd Watkins
Good Evening To Members of the Central Committee,
There are numerous problems with the allegations brought against Vickie Tonkins by the 13 members of the Pikes Peak United Republicans.
Here is one—and a rather important one at that. The very first allegation leveled is that “Chairwoman Tonkins was found guilty by a court of law…” This is patently false for a number of reasons. To begin with, in order to be found guilty in a court of law, there are a few criteria that must be met. First of all, one must be accused and charged with a crime. Next, one must also be presented to a criminal court. And, finally, one must be found guilty of a criminal offense.
The court case that the 13 Pikes Peak United Republicans cite as evidence of Chairwoman Tonkins’ guilt is a civil proceeding. Civil cases do not hear criminal matters and do not find guilt. The case in question has to do with an assembly election for HD21 in March of 2022.
Apparently, a delegate was omitted (erroneously, and probably by mistake) by the HD21 chairperson, Theresa Cheek. Upon discovery that their favored delegate was not able to vote for Mary Bradfield, the HD21 leadership leveraged Brenda Miller (candidate for El Paso County Secretary) to file a lawsuit to overturn the election. Why? Because Mary Bradfield was rejected by the delegates present and voting.
The only way to correct what Bradfield and her supporters undoubtedly felt was a travesty was for Brenda Miller to file a lawsuit to convince a judge to overthrow an election and correct Chairwoman Cheek’s mistake. Three people were named as respondents in this case: Jena Griswold, Vickie Tonkins, and Theresa Cheek. The judge did order that the election be redone, but it was Theresa Cheek who carried out the judge’s order.
Not to spoil the ending, but after overthrowing the election, Bradfield eked onto the primary ballot and went on to be reelected as the Representative for HD21 and introduce a bill that would permit former legislators to wear their name tags in public. Critical legislation, indeed, as we face shortages, inflation, and constitutional overreach by a radically Marxist state government. She also voted for a Democrat Speaker of the House. Tell me, is a bad Republican still better than a Democrat when the Republican votes for and with the Democrats? Thanks, Theresa Cheek. Thanks, Brenda Miller. And thank you, Mary Bradfield.
While all of this is compelling, we mustn’t overlook the fact that falsely accusing another of being a criminal is defamation of character… in this case, it’s called libel. This is really all the 13 Pikes Peak United Republicans have: ad hominem attacks predicated on lies and grossly exaggerated events. And this is what the state chairwoman has deemed to be credible reasons to call a special meeting and seize control of the largest county in the state: falsehoods, gross exaggerations, character assassination, and tortured readings of statute and bylaws.
The takeaway here is the glaring and inconvenient fact that the Pikes Peak United Republicans (the disgruntled group formerly known as the Peak Republicans) filed a lawsuit to overturn an assembly election whose outcome they believed was impacted by the absence of a voting delegate. In other words, this group went to court to correct what they believed amounted to the disenfranchisement of one voter.
Now, this same group wants to co opt the CRC to disenfranchise 60+ legally and properly seated PCPs in El Paso County. Ironic, isn’t it? They cried “disenfranchisement!” when it suited their goals, and now cry “disenfranchise them!” in order to achieve their goals and they will do this by any means. Though they certainly behave like they are special, this "special" hearing is not legal. Please vote no on this motion.
To learn more about the circumstances in El Paso County please visit mycoloradogop.org