John Zakhem’s Political Motivations

Republican attorney John Zakhem seems to have a short memory.

Back on October 21, 2005, when Zakhem was the attorney for failed Republican gubentorial candidate Marc Holtzman, Gigi Dennis refused to hear a complaint filed by the Beauprez campaign alleging Holtzman was violating campaign laws when he appeared in television ads urging Coloradans to vote “no” on Referenda C & D. 

At the time, Zakhem hailed Dennis’ decision, saying Beauprez’s campaign was using Dennis for “political manipulation”, according to the Rocky Mountain News.Fast forward to today.  Democrats are crying foul over Republican Secretary of State Gigi Dennis’ recent changes to the way unions and small donor commities do political work in the state.

The decision came only after Zakhem personally lobbied Dennis, an Owens appointee, to make changes which disproportionately harm Democratic-leaning groups.

Scott Gessler, another Republican lawyer who personally lobbied Dennis, explains his and Zakhem’s motivation in today’s Post

“[Political manipulation is] not my sole motivating factor to help Bob Beauprez, but was I conscious of it? Yes,” Gessler is quoted. 

So from this we get the Zakhem philosophy: Using the Secretary of State’s office for political manipulation when it harms his candidate: bad. But when it helps his candidate: good.

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Paul Preston

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