“Independent?” Really?! Says who?
There are lies that don’t matter much, but then there are lies that matter a whole lot. This lie matters a whole lot: Kim Johnson has been spinning a web of lies about her “independent” campaign.
Why? She doesn’t want to be associated with WNW — but she’s been working with them for months.
You see, Johnson was mentioned as a potential candidate in a Nov. 4, 2014 meeting of Jeffco Republicans. On Dec. 13, Johnson met with the Jeffco Republican group and introduced herself “to the team.” The minutes also noted:
Kim expressed her strong desire to be part of this process regardless if she is the candidate or not
You can read the emails containing the two sets of meeting minutes at this link, thanks to our friends at Support Jeffco Kids: http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Opposition-meeting-minutes-1.pdf
Months later, Denise Mund — who previously co-owned Charter School Solutions with Jeffco board attorney Brad Miller, sent this June 29 email stating that Johnson was selected by the same “team” after an extensive, months-long vetting process:
After months of meetings, about 12 Jeffco conservative education leaders have selected a candidate for the Jeffco school board, to represent District 3 (Arvada).
Five prospective candidates participated in an extensive vetting process that included weekly meetings for five months and mock interviews, speeches, and responses. These people were grilled!
Following this extensive vetting process, the team selected Kim Johnson.
In a recent blog post on her campaign website, Johnson readily admits that she was asked “early on” to be part of a team. She says she “chose not to, because it would undercut my goals in running.” Then she goes on to say that “members of that group decided to support me, but saying anyone selected me is not accurate.”
We don’t buy it. And we especially don’t buy it because Johnson filed her campaign with the Colorado Secretary of State on June 19 — a mere 10 days before Mund sent her email stating that Johnson had been selected after a five-month vetting process. If Johnson knew she wanted to run as an “independent candidate,” why did she wait until she had the approval of the GOP selection committee? She could have announced her candidacy months earlier — but she didn’t.
And Johnson wasn’t picked by just ANY group. According to emails from Jonah Hearne, an officer with the Jeffco Republican Party, a group of “about 12 Jeffco conservative education leaders” convened to “contact the potential candidates for District 3 and 4 to invite them to a potential candidate meeting to discuss ideas and reach a consensus on who will be in it to win it with our support.” Other emails confirm this information. They included:
- Sheila Atwell – executive director of Jeffco Students First, who publishes the Jeffco Observer, defends WNW at every turn, and who was often seen as the only face opposing the recall on the news over the summer (also the group to which the .com version of our domain name and the Support Jeffco Kids domain name redirects to trick recall supporters)
- Ben DeGrow – the Independence Institute’s Education chief, who is also a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies
- Laura Boggs – former Jeffco School Board member censured twice for her reprehensible behavior
- Denise Mund – former co-owner of Charter School Solutions with partner Brad Miller, (see above)
- Preston Branaugh, Brett A. Moore, Rachel Swalley, Dan Green, David Brazzell, Jim Powers and Mary Everson.
The connections among the group involved in selecting Johnson run deep. Several of them ran for open seats on the Board of Education in 2011 or have been appointed to serve on district committees by WNW.
But now, because she says so on her website, we are to believe that Ms. Johnson is running an “independent campaign?”
No, ma’m. At this point, probably the worst lie you could tell when running for school board in Jeffco is to say that you’re independent when in fact you’re collaborating with WNW’s team. Hiding your intentions, again. We fell for it in 2013, but we won’t fall for it this time, Kim Johnson!
This is why JCSBW has been starting to use the term WNW + Johnson + Merritts.
If leaked memos aren’t convincing enough, consider that Johnson and Merritts both recently had ads in Atwell’s WNW/Koch mouthpiece (and newspaper wannabe) The Observer, and both candidates’ yard signs are appearing together. Jeffco Students First is also endorsing both of them.
The email string about Tori Merritts’ selection process just hasn’t been leaked yet.
It’s time for a clean slate — and we have just the ticket. So when you receive your ballot:
- Vote for Ali Lasell in District 3
- Vote for Amanda Stevens in District 4
- Vote YES to recall Julie Williams
- Vote for Brad Rupert as District 1 successor candidate
- Vote YES to recall John Newkirk
- Vote for Susan Harmon as District 2 successor candidate
- Vote YES to recall Ken Witt
- Vote for Ron Mitchell as District 5 successor candidate
Jeffco voters will start receiving their ballots this week. When you receive yours, please vote! Every vote counts, and we need yours.
Keep fighting, JeffCo!