Windels’ CORA Came From GOP Activist With Ties to Former Opponent

When a Web site posted an inflammatory e-mail sent by Democrat Rep. Michael Merrifield last week, documents show it was obtained through a public records request.

It was filed against Sen. Sue Windels by a local attorney named Richard W. Daily, on behalf of the Web site Face The State, which Daily reportedly called a “a brand new news organization….”The site is registered to Brad Jones, a Republican operative and former associate of the conservative Independence Institute.

Click here to read CORA documents.

The request was delivered in February by hand, and demanded that Windels’ office release all media (from e-mails to cover letters) regarding communications between the senator and numerous education entities such as the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Association of School Board Executives.

Also included were communications between Windels and anyone employed by the General Assembly.

According to a Legislative Legal Services employee, Daily told them:

He said he did not represent the Jefferson County Learning Centers, but some of the individuals behind or funding those learning centers.

Colorado Media Matters also reports that Jones worked with Jessica Peck Corry, a former opponent to Windels in the 2004 Senate races:

In its articles about Merrifield’s resignation, the News did not reveal that Jones has worked with Windels’ former state Senate opponent Corry, who is director of the Independence Institute’s Campus Accountability Project. Jones had the title research assistant, as evidenced by a brief biographical note at the end of an online article that Jones co-wrote with Corry. Jones also has a byline on another article posted on Corry’s website. Furthermore, according to a February 10, 2004, KMGH 7News report, as a member of the College Republicans at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Jones participated with Corry in a controversial anti-affirmative-action activist bake sale which charged different prices for baked goods depending on a customer’s skin color.

Windels defeated Corry in the 2004 state Senate District 19 race, winning 31,200 votes to Corry’s 26,905 votes.

Full report coming soon.

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 erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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