Attorney General's office investigating Caldara vote

The Colorado recall elections over gun rights, the first-ever state lawmaker recalls in Colorado history, spurred a flurry of lawsuits before Election Day. The legal wrangling shows no sign of ending any time soon.

Last week, Senate President John Morse’s campaign manager Christy Le Lait filed a complaint with Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May, calling for an investigation of political stunt man Jon Caldara, the Independence Institute director and Boulder County resident who made a show of committing “gypsy” voter fraud and casting a ballot in the El Paso County election.

Caldara believes state election laws passed last spring aimed at increasing voter turnout are subject to fraud and he set out to prove it. He rented an apartment in El Paso from Republican Rep Mark Barker days before the election that he transparently had no intention of making his permanent residence.

Caldara has since announced that the flooding in Boulder had made it clear to him he shouldn’t move away from his children, who live there. He said, upon reflection, he won’t be moving to Colorado Springs after all.

May seems to be at least taking the complaint seriously. His office told the Colorado Independent that he was passing the case to the Attorney General’s office.

“I can confirm that this matter was referred to our office by District Attorney May,” wrote Carolyn Tyler, a spokesperson for the Attorney General. “However, we do not comment on investigations, except in certain instances involving public safety, which do not apply here.”

Meanwhile, The Colorado Springs Gazette has called on Gov. John Hickenlooper to convene a special session of the General Assembly to address what the paper asserts are serious flaws in the election reform legislation Caldara was protesting, HB 1303.

“Any question about the biggest flaw in HB 1303 was eliminated when Jon Caldara, a Boulder resident and president of Colorado’s Independence Institute, cast a blank ballot in the District 11 recall to make a point,” read the editorial.

The Governor’s office was not available to comment Monday afternoon on the Caldara case or whether it has any real bearing on the recent election reform.

“We are 100 percent focused right now on the thousands of Coloradans who have been affected by flooding in various areas of the state,” a spokesperson said.

Hickenlooper has been vocal in his critique of what he called Caldara’s illegitimate disruption of the voting process.

Also trickling through the DA’s office: a complaint filed by Morse’s campaign earlier this summer calling for the investigation of petition gatherers for allegedly forging signatures. Le Lait highlighted a case in which a woman named Twila Peach supposedly signed a petition for the recall of Morse. Twila Peach died in 2011.

“The evidence that I have provided the District Attorney’s office calls into question the validity of the entire petition gathering process,” wrote Le Lait in a July 22 statement. “There should be a swift and thorough investigation. Any incidents of forgery and perjury should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to Le Lait, the DA’s office did investigate the issue but decided to withhold any findings until after the recall election.

A week after the election, the office declined to comment on the current status of the case, saying only that the matter is “still being reviewed.”

Editor’s note – Caldara issued the following reply to the above story, “Not only did I intend to move to Colorado Springs, I did move to Colorado Springs, then legally cast a blank ballot.”

NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Colorado Independent, available by clicking this hyperlink.

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