Archive for July, 2016

Delta GOP chair resigns at suggestion of sheriff

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Linda Sorenson took the advice of Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee and resigned last week as chair of the Delta County Republican Party.

Sorenson has been embattled since she shared a Facebook meme, first reported on this very blog, comparing Obama to a Chimpanzee.

Asked about the meme in May, Sorenson told me it was a joke and that she didn’t care if “people are offended by it.” Later, Delta Republican Party officials told the Grand Junction Sentinel that Sorenson’s Facebook page had “definitely” been hacked.

All this led to calls for Sorenson’s resignation last month by the local chapter of the NAACP and the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance.

State Party Chair Steve House, along with Vice Chair Derrick Wilburn, said racism has no place in the Colorado Republican Party and promised racial sensitivity training. But they never publicly called for Sorenson’s resignation.

Rep. Scott Tipton made similar comments after the meme surfaced and again after Sorenson resigned, telling the Colorado Statesman through a spokesperson Thursday that he “condemns any comments, social media posts or statements that have any racist connotations.”

As the Sorenson issue percolated, Tipton and other Republicans did not respond to Facebook posts by the Otero Country GOP chair, one of which referred to the “black population” as “hatred filled beings.”

It looked like Sorenson would remain in her position until a committee of Delta County Republicans apparently investigated the incident, at the suggestion of Sheriff McKee, and issued a report June 30. The Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning reported Thursday:

Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee at a closed-door meeting attended by Colorado GOP chairman Steve House earlier in June proposed that the county party establish a committee tasked with investigating the incident, saying he had been hearing from local Republicans “concerned about our reputation,” according to an account in the Delta County Independent.

The local party’s accountability committee had until the end of the month to complete its investigation and deliver a report…

Before he met with Sorenson and other local Republicans on June 6, House told The Statesman he expected the meeting — held while House was on a tour to meet with state Republicans — would “yield a resolution on the future of the Republican Party leadership in Delta County.”

A state party spokesman emphasized that House didn’t intend to ask Sorenson to resign, but House added, “To be clear, we do not support any action that is racially insensitive by any member of the Colorado Republican Party.”

Sorenson submitted a terse resignation letter, obtained from a source:

June 30, 2016

Delta County Republican Central Committee

After meeting with the Accountability Committee this evening, Sheriff McKee recommended I resign.

I resign my position of Delta County Chairman as of 7:45 PM, June 30, 2016.


Linda Sorenson

The trail of evidence that Mizel, Co-Chairs Trump fundraiser today, owns Colorado Statesman

Friday, July 1st, 2016

It’s no surprise that Colorado Republican kingmaker Larry Mizel is a co-chair of today’s $10,000-per-couple lunch for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump at the home of former Broncos’ coach Mike Shanahan.

But it inspired me to check out a tipster’s suggestion that I lay out a public trail of evidence showing that Mizel controls the Colorado Statesman, a political weekly that’s inserted as an ad in The Denver Post on Thursdays.

A search on the Colorado Secretary of State website reveals that the “trade name” of the Colorado Statesman is owned by “Mistro, LLC.”

The registered agent for Mistro is CVentures, Inc., and a simple Google search turns up numerous references to Larry Mizel as a director and chairman of the board of CVentures.

In 2008, Larry Mizel of “CVentures, Inc.,” gave $4,600 to Republican senatorial candidate Bob Schaffer, according to (So keep a close eye on the Statesman if Schaffer jumps into the U.S. Senate race next time.)

CVentures is located at 4350 S. Monaco St., Fifth Floor, which happens to be the corporate address of the giant homebuilding company, MDC Holdings. which Mizel founded in 1972 and for which he currently serves as director and chairman of the board.  MDC Holdings did not return a call from moi, if you can believe it.

A phone message at a number listed for CVentures on a Bloomberg “Company Overview of CVentures, Inc” was not returned either.

Why does this matter if Mizel owns the Statesman? Unlike me, who admits to a progressive orientation, the Statesman is claiming to be a traditional news outlet without any internal pull one way or the other. Playing it straight.

I trust some of the reporters at the Statesman and want to believe editor (and former GOP state legislator) Jared Wright when he says his goal is fairness, though anti-journalistic incidents, like one fill-in reporter doubling as a conservative political operative, have emerged. As well as other strangeness. And Wright doesn’t talk about Mizel.

So, to lesson concerns about Mizel hosting Trump fundraisers and to honor the journalistic ethics it aspires to reflect, the Statesman should tell its readers that it’s owned by one of the most powerful Republicans in Colorado. Better yet, give Mizel a space to explain his intentions with the Statesman. And let readers take it from there.