Colorado Republican Party Chair and U.S. Congressman Ken Buck pressured Eli Bremer, the GOP chairman for state Senate District 10 and local volunteer, to submit incorrect election results to set the primary ballot for a state Senate seat. Audio has been released that plainly indicates Buck pushing Bremer to commit the crime, reports The Denver Post.
“You’ve got a sitting congressman, a sitting state party chair, who is trying to bully a volunteer — I’m a volunteer; I don’t get paid for this — into committing a crime,” Eli Bremer, the GOP chairman for state Senate District 10, told The Post on Wednesday, confirming the authenticity of the recording. “To say it’s damning is an understatement.”
Buck defended himself, saying that he was only requesting Bremer abide by a committee decision. But the language of the audio says differently.
BUCK: “Do you understand the order of the executive committee and the central committee that you will submit the paperwork to include Mr. Stiver and Mr. Liston on the ballot, with Mr. Liston receiving the top-line vote?”
BREMER: “Uh, yes, sir, I understand the central committee has adopted a resolution that requires me to sign a false affidavit to the state,”
BUCK: “And will you do so?”
BREMER: “I will seek legal counsel as I am being asked to sign an affidavit that states Mr. Stiver received 30% of the vote. I need to seek legal counsel to find out if I am putting myself in jeopardy of a misdemeanor for doing that. “
BUCK: “And you understand that it is the order of the central committee that you do so?”
BREMER: “I will consult with counsel. Yes, sir, I understand the central committee has ordered me to sign an affidavit stating that a candidate got 30% who did not. And I will seek legal counsel and determine if I am legally able to follow that.”
BUCK: “All right, Mr. Bremer, I understand your position; we will now move on.”
“What I was asking Eli to do was not to commit fraud, I was asking Eli if he understood the decision of the central committee and if he was willing to follow the request of the Republican central committee,” he said. “It wasn’t like I was asking him to do something because I have a personal stake in the process.”
District 10 seat currently held by Sen. Owen Hill. Hill’s position is term-limited, so State Rep. Larry Liston and GOP activist David Stiver both ran for the seat. To qualify, each had to receive at least 30% of the vote. Liston received 75% of the vote and Stiver only got 24%. Stiver played his only hand and said the election was “unfair”.
Stiver will not move forward after District Court Chief Judge Michael Martinez ruled it would violate state law to put him on the ballot. But it begs the question: how many times has something like this happen but never been recorded?
“How in the heck is the Republican Party going to go out and say we’re for the rule of law except when it applies to us — we can do whatever we want to?” Bremer said. “That’s not my Republican Party.”