Kristi Burton Brown, current Colorado GOP Vice Chair, is running for Chair in 2021, as she announced this week via Facebook. Burton Brown lays out her plans as GOP Chair, which mostly entail finding “quality candidates” to run for office, especially “military veterans, police officers, and teachers.” She fails to mention that she’s part of FEC United, which aims to fill precinct chairs with its far right members in order to propagate the now cash-strapped, media-trodden group’s values across the state.
As reported by Colorado Times Recorder, Brown heads up FEC United’s Law & Policy center. She gave an impassioned speech on October 6th to Joe Oltmann of FEC United, several elected officials, and a small crowd of listeners.
Brown is a figurative anchor for FEC United, often speaking at the group’s events. In order to gain traction, the group attracts elected officials with promises of grassroots campaign assistance and financing, which haven’t materialized for any candidates or officials who signed the FEC United pledge. In fact, FEC leadership, who will remain anonymous, admits they have zero cash to spend and have no financial resources to contribute to any campaigns in 2021. Their lack of resources is curious since they allegedly raised $100k in June, 2020 to form FEC, the organization that has no overhead. It’s even more curious that Burton Brown would associate with such murky finances.
According to Oltmann in June, he “put up $50k,” and an “anonymous” person put up another $50k to found the group, whose funding goal was $1M at the time. The old “company structure” of FEC United operates like a pyramid scheme, with promises of a financial return and monthly dues for militia members (UADF). When Burton Brown entered the picture, allegedly, the “company” changed to a non-profit. If FEC raised over $100k, in fact, it only gave back $8k to conservative DougCo candidates in the 2020 elections, and those were made on behalf of Oltmann
While most elected officials towards late 2020 and into 2021 haven’t associated with the group, Brown’s FEC connections are strong. In late September, Brown was one of several speakers at an FEC United “Counties Against COVID Chaos” rally. Officials like State Rep Mark Baisley and State Rep, former minority leader Patrick Neville, also haven’t been seen at recent FEC events or within social media posts.
Most of the feedback on Kristi Burton Brown’s Facebook announcement is positive, though a few negative remarks call for her answers about climate change and denouncing Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. RMGO has received a lot of bad press in the last several years as gun control becomes a priority in a blue state, and rumors about its new alliances with FEC United and other fringe groups cause concern for more moderate conservatives.
So far, Brown’s opponent, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler, hasn’t mentioned Burton Brown’s other commitments in a negative light.
Colorado elected officials who have glommed onto the radical patriot group have discovered that doing so does not bode well for them; Parker Mayor Jeff Toborg, a close friend of FEC United’s Joe Oltmann and frequent FEC meeting attendee over the summer, was recently slammed on local media outlets for his association with the group.
Toborg was asked by social media commenters if he had attended the Capitol Breach in Washington, D.C., as Oltmann was in D.C. on the 6th of January. However, Oltmann preemptively posted that he was at a State Department meeting, though no information or proof was ever posted of such.
Additionally, El Paso County Republican Chair Vickie Tonkins experienced harsh backlash after attaching the El Paso County GOP to several FEC functions, including a Christmas toy drive, in December.
Several of our writers reached out to Kristi Burton Brown to inquire as to whether or not she’d be denouncing and/or abandoning FEC altogether as she gears up to run for State GOP Chair. She didn’t return calls or text messages about the matter, and she has not made any announcements regarding her involvement with the far right, militia-equipped group whose leader is now a co-defendent in a $1.3 billion dollar lawsuit and on the radar of the FBI for an “innocuous conversation” according to Oltmann himself.
Eric Coomer, a target of Joe Oltmann and FEC, has fled his home after he and his family received hundreds of death threats from across the country, all based on Oltmann’s unproven assertion that someone named “Eric from Dominion” claimed “Trump won’t win…I made f’ing sure of that” during a call in which Oltmann allegedly “infiltrated Antifa.” Whether or not that call actually happened is up for debate, but the ramifications of the allegations spread far and wide left one man in hiding and fearful of his life…not the type of politics that the Colorado State GOP should embrace, exactly.
State and local GOP officials’ willingness to entertain far right wing groups, especially those with militias and membership fees, exposes a core weakness in the party itself; it’s dying. And like an abusive husband, instead of looking in the mirror and assessing its own weaknesses, such as social media and outreach, the party is reaching for straws like sensational organizations that propagate division and attack respected members of the community who don’t subscribe to the militia type mentality.
Burton Brown granted an interview to Colorado Politics:
“In an interview with Colorado Politics, Brown said she’s running on a two-pronged platform — communicating the party’s principles more effectively to voters and doing a better job recruiting candidates.”
At a January 15th meeting of FEC members in El Paso County in which attendees were told to bring ID’s, and phones would not be permitted, FEC leadership laid out plans to send its members to fill over fifty empty precinct leader positions in the state, “to get rid of RINO’s” and ensure that FEC would have ample representation in county and state Executive committees. Burton Brown would likely ensure that empty precinct leader and local positions are filled with her type of candidates…FEC-affiliated people.
“RINO” is an acronym for “republican in disguise,” a term used by Republicans who don’t feel other Republicans are “conservative enough.” It’s a term typically used by those with minimal political wherewithal and a tendency for infighting.
With Vickie Tonkins running for El Paso County GOP chair again, FEC United needs to ensure robust representation in County voting mechanisms so that Tonkins maintains her leadership role. Tonkins has frequently latched onto Charity McPike’s (FEC fundraising) rallies and and other El Paso County FEC functions in order to generate more positive press for the party, which hasn’t done anything positive or received any positive press since Tonkins assumed her role.
The last thing the Colorado Republican Party needs is more FEC members in elected roles. When the legal, moral, and financial ball drops on Oltmann and FEC United, the Colorado GOP, riddled with corruption and infighting, needs to be as far away from the drama and repercussions as possible. Electing Burton Brown, FEC law and policy leader, essentially thrusts the entire state party into a whirlwind of very serious issues.