Sunday, April 21, 2013
CONTACT: Alan Franklin, Political Director at [email protected]

DENVER: Learning today of attack mailers sent from Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s former law firm, targeting county clerks over an election modernization bill Gessler opposes, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, released the following statement:

“Dishonest and racist attack ads from Scott Gessler’s old law firm against fellow Republicans who support reforming Colorado’s election process prove the fears and criticism of Gessler’s tenure all along were justified,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “Not only did Gessler’s old firm conjure up nonsensical charges against the election reform bill for this false attack mailing, but they even altered photos used in the mailing to remove African-American faces from a crowd of voters.” 1

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Mesa County, where one such mailer was delivered this weekend, has an African-American population of less than one percent. 2

“Republicans at Scott Gessler’s old law firm seem to think African-American faces in their attack mailers to Mesa County would not send the right message,” said Franklin. “Remember that these mailings were sent by the same Hackstaff Law Group, formerly known as Hackstaff Gessler, that Gessler tried to ‘moonlight’ for after taking office. Gessler also has continued to show income from Hackstaff on disclosure forms. The group named on the mailer is reportedly unregistered. 3 How can anyone say with confidence that Gessler was not directly involved in these attack mailings against fellow Republican clerks originating from his former law office, when Gessler is the foremost opponent of the bill in question?”

“First, Scott Gessler must immediately disavow and condemn these false and racist attack mailers,” said Franklin. “We then demand Gessler release any and all correspondence between his office and the Hackstaff Law Group related to House Bill 1303, the Colorado Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act.”

“These dishonest and racially-charged attacks from Republicans against fellow Republicans are beneath contempt,” said Franklin. “It is truly shameful the depths Gessler and his cronies will descend to in order to prevent common-sense reforms meant to improve access for legal Colorado voters. To say that Colorado deserves better than such shameless treachery is an understatement.”