Mike Britt file: Bad-acting Penry manager casts shadow on campaign

Josh Penry’s gubernatorial campaign manager Mike Britt has been playing on the edges of the law again in the world of email. This time he reportedly paid someone $500 to download the names and email addresses of Colorado Republicans from a list owned by the Republican National Committee. According to the contract outlining the way the data should be shared out, the state party was allowed to email the names on the RNC list but not allowed to take possession of the information. Britt at the time was executive director of the Colorado GOP. He paid someone to manipulate the proprietary software of the list and make a disc containing the 160,000 Colorado names and addresses.

The RNC says it’s not a big deal. Dick Wadhams head of the Colorado GOP says it’s not a big deal. We’re all Republicans looking to get Republicans elected, they said. But the disc made its way into the hands of a former state GOP employee who tried to sell it for thousands of dollars to state Republican political campaigns this summer, doing exactly the sort of thing, that is, that the use-contract was meant to prevent. Britt violated the contract and is now fudging to say there were surely amendments that gave him the right to do so.

When asked specifically about whether he had the right to the list, Britt said, “I’m not going to get into specific list exchange agreements. They are working documents, living documents and there are amendments made to them throughout the election cycle.”

He would not provide any amendments to the contract to 9NEWS.

Josh Penry (Jason Kosena: TCI)
Josh Penry (Jason Kosena: TCI)

Britt knows what he’s doing. He knows how campaign laws work and he knows about laws governing email. He was a district manager for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He worked as a Karl Rove acolyte in the political office of the Bush White House. He was investigated there for illegally using RNC email for government purposes that were then deleted from RNC servers when investigators came looking for them. In Colorado, Britt paid someone $500 to jigger with the software of the RNC email list. He surely knew the state of the “living” contract when he ordered the jiggering– which is why he wouldn’t provide any of the contract material when 9News asked him for it.

For political watchers, it seems clear that at age 30, Britt is already becoming a symbol of old-school Rovian dirty politics. Penry’s campaign of late has likewise demonstrated signs of fudging. High-flown accusations repeated by Penry again and again about Gov, Ritter freeing dangerous inmates and running silos of patronage have proved unsupportable distortions and are coming to harm his candidacy and his personal credibility.

Penry’s seemingly desperate silly season stretches bear the mark of Britt.

Colorado GOP website, 6 November 2009
Colorado GOP website, 6 November 2009
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