Hill takes issue with Liston donors

Posted by Chet Hardin on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Owen Hill, candidate for Senate District 10
  • Owen Hill

For the past few weeks, the race in Senate District 10 has been quiet. Friday, that quiet ended.

Rep. Larry Liston, who is running for the Senate now that he's term-limited out of the House, was the guest of honor at a fundraiser in Denver that was hosted by a number of state lobbyists. And a number of these lobbyists, say the the campaign of Liston's opponent, Owen Hill, were big-government, pay-to-play liberals.

And as we'll find out, it's not just Liston who the Hill campaign believes has some explaining to do.

The groups represented by these lobbyists include some of the most ardent supporters of big government, liberal causes, and pay-to-play politics, including:

- Planned Parenthood
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Trial Lawyers
- Obamacare proponents
- Union bosses

The host committee also includes my favorite of the group, the Director for a special interest group formed to support “the election of Democrats to the office of attorney general in all of the states and territories of the United States.”

Now why would these people want to support a Republican candidate for office? Perhaps it is because he is closely aligned with the big-government agenda? Perhaps because they can trust him to remain silent on issues that are importantant [sic] to conservatives?

Hill has a link to the flier for the event on his website, and from the list of 42 people endorsing the event, he pulled three who have represented the "liberal agenda."

Liston lobbyist/donor Jeff Thormodsgaard – Notable principals/clients and liberal causes include ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Trial Lawyers, Obamacare, and One Colorado (Homosexual Advocacy). See a complete list of Jeff’s clients here.

Liston lobbyist/donor Fofi Mendez – Notable principals/clients include Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU. See a complete list of Fofi’s clients here.

Liston lobbyist/donor Diana Protopapa – Notable principals/clients include the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL Pro-Choice America). See a complete list of Diana’s clients here.

"There are some lobbyists who have some very clear progressive ties that are supporting Larry Liston," says Hill's campaign manager, Jeremy Isaac. "Whatever the merit of their positions aside, it's somewhat of an odd marriage."

But politics does make strange bedfellows, a point that is clearly made when you scan the contributions made by many of the attendees at Liston's fundraiser.

Let's take, for example, Thormodsgaard. In the past, he has donated money to the campaigns of Republicans Rep. Marsha Looper and House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, as well as Democrats Senate Majority Leader John Morse and Sen. Pat Steadman.

Looper and Stephens are locked in a heated primary of their own in House District 19, and it is doubtful that either would appreciate being painted as sympathetic to Planned Parenthood, or the gay-rights organization One Colorado.

"This just shows how desperate my own opponent is," says Liston. "Two years ago, these very people who he is trying to condemn me for, he was taking money from."

While Hill never took money from the three lobbyists he highlights on his website, it appears that he has taken money from some of the people in the past who were at this event: Dan Anglin; Jason Hopfer, who also donated money to Hill's 2010 state Senate opponent, Democrat John Morse; Jenifer Brandeberry; and Julie McKenna, a supporter of Democrats Michael Merrifield and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

"Were there some there [at the fundraiser] that you would be on the same side with, possibly so," says Isaac. "I am not going to say some of them don't lobby for some good causes. But clearly some of the associations ventured quite far to the left."

Why, Issac asks, is someone lobbying for Planned Parenthood supporting a candidate who purports to be pro-life?

"Perhaps," he says, "they see something that we don't."

Does that mean that, perhaps, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Thormodsgaard sees something in Reps. Looper and Stephens as well?

"I'll let them answer for themselves," Issac says. "Every candidate has to answer for the donations that they receive."

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Where does Owen Hill Live?
In October 2011 Owen Hill filed papers to run for a seat in the Colorado House. Owen filed his papers prior to the final determination by the Colorado State Supreme Court regarding redistricting. Since Owen actually lives right on the border of HD 16 he seemed to be taking a big chance in filing for a district he ultimately did not reside in.
But Owen Hill had a great plan – file using the address of his inlaws and be assured that he would be well within the bounds of his district! To heck with violating election laws by signing an affidavit affirming all information is true and correct, to heck with being true to the values he purports to, and to heck with violating the trust of his supporters!
When candidates file for any political office the “investigative journalists” of this city are eager and ready to review all information for research, review and analysis. But it took me, a housewife to find the information.
It’s not that hard to check vital statistics, real estate transactions, interview neighbors and observe where Owen and his family live on a daily basis.
Once Owen Hill realized in January that running in Senate District 10 was a viable alternative he could not now go in and change his address back to the actual address where he resided – once a lie is out there it is next to impossible to pull it back!
Hill stated to a writer that the Colorado Springs Independent and Gazette knew this information since last fall and apparently they have kept it under wraps. Were they planning to release once the primary was over if Owen was the Republican nominee? Would this belated information then ensure a Democratic winner in Senate District 10?
I wonder.

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Posted by colorado on 05/20/2012 at 9:08 AM

Another sad, pathetic attempt by Owen Hill to distract voters. Mr. Hill, let us consider Representative Liston's voting history when we contemplate who has earned our vote. Answer persistent questions regarding why you have been untruthful on everything from your residence/address to Representative Liston's record, which you have misrepresented time over time. Perhaps your attempt at subterfuge will work for your core, but it will not work for the reasoned and reasonable voters of Senate District 10.

Representative Liston has a lengthy record of representing our region exceptionally well. He is a proven conservative--and, that he is respected by both Republicans and Democrats is actually (take notes here, Mr. Hill) a good thing...it's actually how one governs--and will continue to build on his already impressive record in the Senate.

You have a close race against Sen. Morse in your record book. Hardly enough to run on, let alone be elected on. Stop lying. Start answering questions on your record, on your apparent propensity to stretch incredulity, and on how you'll actually govern. Perhaps you can, by doing so, retain a shred of credibility.

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Posted by Alan65 on 05/21/2012 at 10:02 AM

these lobbyists represent a varietyy of organizations, some of whom may agree with Liston, some of whom dont. Owen Hill shows his ignorance of the legislative process by not understanding that.

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Posted by Alma swenson on 05/21/2012 at 11:22 AM

Colorado, Owen has always lived within the district. If this is the best talking point Liston can provide, Liston must be pretty bad off.

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Posted by Isaiah on 05/21/2012 at 9:11 PM

Alan65, you clearly haven't paid a lick of attention to the race. Owen has been talking about Liston's record - that's been almost exclusively what he's talked about (in addition to his own views, of course). This issue is just another example of Liston's record.

Also, Liston's record has not been so good. Here's Liston's record:
-Voted for SB200 a.k.a "Amycare" a.k.a Obamacare
-Voted to kill E-Verify
-Voted for Colorado's version of cap-and-trade (HB1365)
-Flip-flopped on Referendum C
-Voted to give a $30 million subsidy to Hollywood

For conservatives, that's an ugly record. For liberals, that's a terrific record.

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Posted by Isaiah on 05/21/2012 at 9:16 PM

Alma, the difference is that Larry actually was hob-nobbing around with those folks. I understand if he had a few liberal donors - that's bound to happen. But to socialize with them as if you are one of them?

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Posted by Isaiah on 05/21/2012 at 9:30 PM
Showing 1-6 of 6

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