GOP race for Colorado Treasurer heats up as Hasan and Ament trade barbs

In advance of the GOP state assembly this weekend, where delegates will vote on the list of candidates for the August primary ballot, candidate for treasurer J.J. Ament, a financial adviser-investment banker money man, has become the target of radio attack ads and an attack website launched by opponent Ali Hasan, scion of the wealthy Beaver Creek Hasans and a politically active film person and sometime comedian.

Hasan has reportedly spent more on his campaign than any other candidate for treasurer in state history. The Hasan radio ads and website describe Ament as a big bank defender and big government spender. If Hasan’s record in this race is any measure, voters would do well to take the ads with more than a grain of salt. Hasan has more talent at flair than accuracy. Indeed, Ament clearly relished red-pencil editing the 25-page mailer Hasan sent around in April outlining his ideas on how to handle the state’s cash.

Ali Hasan

At the attack website, Hasan makes some big claims. He says Ament supported Ref C, that he “advocated circumventing the Taxpayer Bill of Rights” and would invest in the Wall Street bailout banks, which Hasan alleges pay Ament and so represent corruption before the fact.

Ament has discounted some of these allegations in the past and he is no doubt writing another Hasan fact check blog at his campaign website even as I complete this post.

The war of words between the two has already been fairly ugly. Ament’s response to the April Hasan mailer included lines of argument that suggest Hasan is too cozy with Iran and will invest Colorado money in supporting the threatening Ahmadinejad regime.

False Claim: Muhammad Ali Hasan will only invest in Colorado Winners.

Reality: The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that Hasan is on record, and still supports, investing with the genocidal regime controlling Sudan. Hasan is also on record supporting the removal of the economic sanctions that prohibit investment of Colorado state funds in Iran.

Dangerous Claim: “Do we really need to worry about an Iranian bomb? The answer is ‘no.'”-Muhammad Ali Hasan writing for – News and Commentary on the Middle East.

Reality: Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is perhaps the greatest threat to real and lasting piece in the Middle East. Economic sanctions should be strengthened and enforced – and Colorado taxpayer money should not be invested there.

That stinks like an unfair Muslim terrorism-tarring, a low blow for a treasurer’s race, but the Hasan mailer is ripe for other kinds of criticism and Ament takes apart some of the basic factual blunders with glee. The tone of the mailer, though, is the thing disturbs most. Hasan has no relevant professional financial management experience and his bluster only seems to underline that fact. He sounds less like a treasurer and more like a time-share condo salesman who has trapped you on a coast to coast flight.

“Again, the following pages list Colorado bonds that will create local jobs while offering great returns that are guaranteed. Personally, I am excited that there are so many bonds available, geographically, all over the state.”

They’re available geographically all over the state. That does sound good! Where do I sign?

Ament and Hasan and Walker Stapleton, a Bush family scion, are battling for the chance to run against popular Democratic incumbent Cary Kennedy in the general election.

Major hat tip to the ex-pat ex-lawyer, who promises regular updates on the story.

Got a tip? Freelance story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.


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