Christie funneled campaign cash to hurt conservative Republican Colorado candidate

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This Denver Post photo shows Gov. Chris Christie with Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez on July 23, about a month after a group the New Jersey Republican leads funnelled money to defeat former Congressman Tom Tancredo in that state's primary election.

This Denver Post photo shows Gov. Chris Christie with Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez on July 23, about a month after a group the New Jersey Republican leads funnelled money to defeat former Congressman Tom Tancredo in that state’s primary election. (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)

A national Republican organization headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie funnelled money to support GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez in his Colorado primary campaign against former Congressman Tom Tancredo.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, said the Republican Governors Association (RGA) contributed money to the Republican Attorneys General Association just a few days after the AG group donated to a third party that helped fund attacks against the former Congressman.

Tancredo was long considered the front-runner in the four-way GOP primary, but he finished second in the June 24 contest to Beauprez, who now faces Democratic incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper in November.

“The RGA wanted to play in the Republican primary without anyone knowing about it,” CREW executive director Melanie Sloan said.

“To avoid any fingerprints, the group ran the money through RAGA, an organization that typically doesn’t weigh in on gubernatorial races. Despite a public posture to the contrary, it seems the RGA is, indeed, willing to pick sides in at least some Republican primaries,” Sloan said.

Gail Gitcho, the RGA communications director, said Monday that her organization regularly works with the Republican Attorneys General Association, which did not respond to requests for comment.

Tancredo is calling on Christie to “come clean” about donations the RGA made to a group that ultimately helped support attack ads against his campaign in the state’s Republican primary, according to Fox 31 in Denver.

“Governor Christie was previously accused of using political power as governor of New Jersey to block bridges as an act of political retaliation,” Tancredo said. “So I’m sure he will relish this opportunity to ‘come clean’ and to ‘clear the air’ to avoid new allegations of using his elected position at RGA to carry out a political vendetta in Colorado.”

“Now that we know who was behind many of the false and slanderous ads that were purchased in Colorado in the final days of our primary season, there are many questions that Colorado Republicans deserve to have answered,” Tancredo said. “Voters deserve transparency and they deserve to have a full accounting as to why the RGA would secretly funnel money into our Colorado Republican primary.”

“I want to blow the whistle on these people,” Tancredo said. “They are despicable.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics said in a report that the Republican Attorneys General Association on June 17 contributed $155,000 to the Campaign for Jobs and Opportunity, a super PAC based in Massachusetts with ties to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Massachusetts super PAC contributed to two Colorado groups, which were behind attacks broadcast through automated calls and radio ads. Tancredo decried those attacks as “extreme, dishonest exaggerations.”


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