Media omission: Conservative Jeffco education group has anti-gay lawyer

Failed state senate candidate Tony Sanchez, who lost the SD-22 Jeffco race last year to Democrat Andy Kerr, is now directing an organization whose registered agent, Barry Arrington, has a history of making anti-LGBT comments and working for extremist groups.

Sanchez’s organization, Freedom for Education, was formed in May to “strive for greater transparency in the policy process and empower local parents/communities.”

Since then, according to its Facebook page, Sanchez has been representing the organization at Tea Party and Republican events, offering conservative perspectives on Jeffco education issues.

Arrington, the registered agent for Sanchez’s organization, surfaced earlier this year after Twin Peaks Charter Academy blocked its valedictorian from giving his graduation speech, in which the valedictorian planned to announce he was gay.

During the ensuing controversy, the school hired Arrington, who heads the Arrington Law Firm, to represent them in the matter, and Rep. Jared Polis asked that Arrington be fired because, “…some political agenda that I don’t understand might be clouding the quality of your advice to the Twin Peaks board.”

The “political agenda” was presumably Arrington’s history of anti-LGBT comments, such as his blog post last year in which he wrote:

“A man’s body is designed to be complementary with a woman’s body and vice versa. All of the confusion about whether same-sex relations are licit would be swept away in an instant if everyone acknowledged this obvious truth.”

Sanchez did not return a call seeking comment on whether his organization would be promoting Arrington’s views, given that the group’s name, Freedom for Education, is a bit of a head scratcher.

Asked by phone whether he would be promoting anti-LGBT ideas to Sanchez’s 501c4 organization, Arrington told me, “I don’t have a substantive role with that organization. I’m just a lawyer, helping them get their paperwork done.”

Arrington has served as a lawyer for a string of right-wing groups.

Arrington represented Dudley Brown’s Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, an extremist anti-gun control group, when it faced charges for inserting a gay couple’s photo in a political ad without permission.

From 2007 through 2011, he was the registered agent for Colorado for Family Values, Inc., an organization long known for its right-wing social agenda.

Last year, Colorado for Family Values produced an ugly advertisement attacking state senate candidate Mario Nicolais, who was running against Sanchez in the Republican primary in Jeffco (SD-22) last year.

In the ad (here), Nicolais was pictured next to openly-gay Democrat Pat Steadman and accused of advancing the “radical agenda of gay marriage” by supporting civil unions. The intent was obviously to turn anti-gay GOP primary voters against Nicolais.

After 2011, the registered agent for Colorado family Values became Mark Hotaling, who, along with his brother Jon, has been accused of orchestrating numerous shocking political tricks, including an anti-gay attack in support of Rep. Doug Lamborn in 2006. The organization also played a prominent role in running the initial 2008 personhood initiative in Colorado.


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