GUEST POST: An Open Letter to Senator Jessie Ulibarri Regarding “Fighting Words”

The Colorado Independent received this letter from veteran lobbyist Chuck Ford in response to our June 23 story, “Fighting words: Lobbyist throws down on Colorado lawmaker,” which describes an email altercation between Ford and Democratic Rep. Jessie Ulibarri. After getting a fundraising email from Ulibarri, Ford sent back an expletive-laden reply that the lawmaker found threatening. 

June 26, 2016

Senator Ulibarri:

I’ll start my letter by apologizing for my use of the word “fuck.” It was inappropriate and ultimately distracts from the real issue. I objected to your letter to me titled “656” because in the same breath that you denigrate the right to redress of grievances for hundreds of thousands of hard working Coloradans through their registered lobbyists you ask some of those same lobbyists for money.

I don’t have any issue with Erin Bennett and I certainly don’t have any issue with the lobbyists she helped to employ through her work at 9to5 Colorado. It does seem to me that both Erin and her lobbyists would be well advised not to allow you to write letters for them anymore. That’s right. The candidate you have endorsed in Senate District 31 actually employed three of the 656 lobbyists you take issue with in her capacity as Colorado Director at 9to5. I’ll let that sink in.

You were unwilling to accept my challenge which, while regrettable, was not unexpected. I, however, will accept your challenge and attend your kangaroo court where we can discuss the ethics of soliciting what you infer are bribes from known lobbyists then putting them on trial for saying “no.”

What you will quickly learn next year in your position as Vice President of External Affairs at Wellstone is that the biggest difference between you and other lobbyists is that other lobbyists will choose to follow the letter and the spirit of the law while you, sir, will act as a lobbyist while using your title to avoid the legal requirements of registering. I’m sure you’ll do that because, as we’ve learned, you’re just another coward and hypocrite.

Best wishes and good luck in the lobby next year. I’m sure you’ll be popular.

Chuck Ford

Registered Lobbyist

Photo credit: Raelene Gutierrez, Creative Commons, Flickr