Trailhead Involved In Effort Against Unions

The Denver Post is reporting that internal e-mails show individuals connected to the 527 Trailhead Group were involved in an effort to discredit labor unions through the issue of illegal immigration.

From the article:

“We (potentially) have a very rare opportunity to take a hard whack at the unions, using illegal immigration as the blunt instrument and our legal prowess as the surgeon’s knife,” said an e-mail from Jack Stansbery of the Trailhead Group, a GOP political group founded by Gov. Bill Owens, money man Bruce Benson and beer magnate Pete Coors.

“Ideally, we can come up with a coordinated legal, political, media and policy plan to present to a larger group for buy-in,” Stansbery wrote.


Republicans hoped to use the lawsuit, filed this summer, to “paint all unions with a broad brush” and “illustrate unions as facilitators of illegal immigration,” according to internal e-mails obtained by The Denver Post.

Alan Philp of Trailhead – a key player in the e-mail talks – said candidates who have received money from groups that don’t certify the donors are legal “should return the money.”

The Republicans were also working to change campaign-finance rules to effectively crack down on unions. Republican lawyers attended a meet-and-greet with Dennis before going over their proposed rule changes with her in February.

Despite the meeting, Dennis is saying that she was unaware of the GOP strategy.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

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