Progressives call for apology for Coors’ disparagement of gays, disclosure of funding of right-wing groups, and tax records

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DENVER: As local media continued to report that wealthy retiree and country club president Joe Coors, Jr. is preparing to run for Congress in Colorado’s seventh congressional district, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, offered a preview of issues Coors is likely to face appealing to suburban working families.

“That the right wing is placing its hope for victory—in Colorado’s foremost middle-class congressional district—in a retired millionaire Coors family member and country club president shows how out of touch they really are,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Joanne Kron. “To put forward this man as someone who can speak to the needs of suburban working families in the seventh district raises serious concerns.”

Kingpins of the Extreme Right<span style=”colo
r: #222222; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-ali
gn: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; background-color: #ffffff; display: inline ! important; float: none;”>. The Coors family, including Joe Coors, Jr., beginning with his father Joe Coors, Sr., is one of the leading funders of right-wing causes and candidates in America. The Coors family’s Castle Rock Foundation has funneled millions of dollars in Coors beer money into such organizations as the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, and the American Legislative Exchange Council. 

Joe Coors, Jr. Condemns Gays and Lesbians. In 1988, a Los Angeles Times article quoted Joe Coors, Jr. harshly condemning gays and lesbians, and describing their lives as a “sin,” saying “the Bible specifically outlines certain sins, and it calls them that. Not just homosexual behavior, but anything else that gets in the way with your walk with the Lord.”

Funneling Profits Into Right-Wing Propaganda. In 2004, investigative journalist Joe Conason wrote for Slatethat “the Coors heirs maintained their political ties with far-right and religious-right outfits…Using [a] skillful strategy, the Coors interests have managed to mute harmful publicity while pursuing their traditional political aims. They could market their brews to minorities, gays and environmentalists while funneling the profits into right-wing propaganda that those consumers would consider obnoxious or worse.”

“Blinded By Greed.” Also in 2004, Joe Coors, Jr. lost millions in a financial scam described by the Securities and Exchange Commission as “blatantly false claims,” and which “should have raised red flags from the get-go.” Coors was ridiculed by Denver Post<span style=”color: #222222; font-family: a
rial,sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-w
eight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; background-color: #ffffff; display: inline ! important; float: none;”> columnist Al Lewis for being “blinded by greed” while failing to prevent the criminal misuse of millions of dollars in investment capital.

“The right wing is turning to Joe Coors because he has millions in the bank to fund his own campaign,” said ProgressNow’s Kron. “We call on Mr. Coors to apologize to the people of the seventh district for his past disparagement of gays and lesbians. If he does decide to run, we demand that Mr. Coors immediately disclose donations made by himself and other Coors family members to right-wing organizations that may be involved in his campaign for Congress. And especially necessary in the case of such a wealthy candidate, Mr. Coors must make a full disclosure of his financial and tax history to ensure he is free of conflicts of interest.”

“Welcome to politics, Joe Coors,” said Kron. “You’re not going to enjoy this.”

###