The Wild and Wacky World of Colorado and Teller County Politics

From Gun Rights to Pride Month

Rick Langenberg

The current group of Teller County leaders can’t be accused of shying away from hot, sizzling issues in the state arena.

The Teller County commissioners and the sheriff have continued to pound away at state lawmakers over what many perceive as an anti-rural agenda, mostly highlighting the majority party’s assault against gun, private property and constitutional rights, along with efforts to pursue aggressive super-green policies and unfunded law enforcement mandates that could seriously impact our area.

Now, the focus has changed to a subject many thought that area leaders would never get involved with, the defense of Pride month and standing up for the rights of the LGBTQ-plus community

In a rare sense of unity county-wide, key political leaders from Teller County and the cities of Cripple Creek, Woodland Park and Victor have endorsed a letter, actually penned by Teller County Commission Vice-chairman Dan Williams (no relation whatsoever to Dave Williams), that took strong aim at an outright anti-LGBT hate campaign orchestrated by Dave Williams, the state GOP Party chairman. This generated much outrage with his call to burn all Pride flags, under the theme, “God Hates Pride.” This amounted to Act Five or possibly Act 10 of a slew of nonsense Dave Williams has tried as GOP chairman, including cute tricks to use party funds to benefit his own campaign for the 5th Congressional District. (Dave Williams is one of two Republicans vying for the party’s nomination for the congressional seat, being vacated by Doug Lamborn.)

Teller leaders have also led the charge in requesting the immediate ouster of Dave Williams. The door is closing on “Scumbag Dave,” and local leaders have one basic response, “Good Riddance, Dave. Don’t let the door hit on the way out of town.”

We strongly applaud this stance, and contend that this unified effort was impressive, and a tactic that is needed on more regional and state issues of concern.

In fact, in the last week, Dave Williams has taken punches from a variety of people in his own party. But the knock-out blow from the Teller folks, known for their conservative GOP views, must have him gasping for air, shaking his head and wondering what the Heck is going on in the Teller High Country. What is going on Dave, is you are done in using your warped version of God as a weapon.

You have lost the battle, so move on.

Dave Williams captured national attention with comments like the following, “The month of June has arrived and, once again, the godless groomers in our society want to attack what is decent, holy and righteous so they can ultimately harm our children,” part of an email, entitled “God Hates Pride.” Moreover, he referred to LGGTQ-plus people as “creeps, degenerates, godless and reprobates.” This coupled with a post by the GOP state party (which Dave Williams feels he controls) to burn “Pride” flags ignited outrage, even among many church leaders across the region.

But good old “Scumbag Dave” has not wavered in his stance, one bit, as has even released follow-up emails that are more shocking and offensive equating his stance to standing by the hand of God.

Teller became one of the first counties to join the effort, organized by key Republican leaders across Colorado, aimed at ousting Dave Williams. Then came a strongly crafted letter, signed by all top elected leaders in Teller, that even made their points even clearer, maintaining their intent to uphold the constitution (see full text of letter in this week’s TMJ).

This actually took a bit of guts, considering the heavily predominance of conservative Republicans in the area, including many who side with Dave Williams on many issues. He has aligned himself, as with many Republicans, with former President Donald Trump who actually has endorsed Dave Williams in the current congressional race. But Dave Williams has played the Trump card way too many times, almost trying to duplicate Trump’s 2016 attack-oriented campaign style.

However, this is now 2024.  Many Republicans forget the fact that Trump had a major ace card up his sleeve during that election cycle:  His opponent was Hillary Clinton, who was one amazingly smart candidate on many domestic and international issues, but very lacking in the political and personal skills exhibited by her husband, Bill Clinton.

Right is Right

Dan Williams, who has been a staunch Republican, frequently challenging the Dems on many issues at the state level, had this to say about the situation.

“Not at all worried (about any possible backlash).   Right is right and the GOP is not the party of hate.   All of our elected officials were on board from day one and angry that our party was used for hate. As elected officials, we have to uphold the constitution.”

“Also, we need to rebuild our party and hate will not be part of that platform…it’s about good governance.”

Besides the moral outrage expressed by Teller leaders, Dave Williams has actually become the real pariah of the state GOP Party, and a symbol of a losing strategy. And it is because of scumbags like Dave Williams that the GOP Party continues to get trounced in state and national elections. The current lineup of state lawmakers and Congressional and U.S. Senate leaders now heavily favors the Democrats. They have the largest super-majority since I have lived in the area.

It marks almost a 360-degree from the lineup of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when GOP leaders fared much better in congressional and senate seats and in state’s general assembly.

Yet, most county governments are heavily dominated by Republicans. Figure that one out.

In other words, the ultra-right fear-mongers, like Dave Williams, are sabotaging the state’s Republican Party. When are other Republicans in the state and county going to wake up?  Give Dave Williams his walking papers and a bus pass to some other hate-monger area where his views will gain more support.

We hope this reality is realized by the voters down the Pass in the forthcoming Primary Election.

Unfortunately, Teller voters can’t partake in the choices for this seat due to the redistricting that occurred several years ago, knocking us out of the 5th Congressional District and putting us in District 7. That’s another story entirely, and yes, the Dems, are quite guilty of radical nonsense themselves.

We will get to that in future columns.

But for now, pat your local leaders on the back for taking a strong stand on this issue, and cheer when Dave Williams gets his walking papers.

Also, don’t forget to vote in the forthcoming primary election.  All registered voters are eligible to partake in the election, regardless of whether you are a certified member of the two major parties.  Unaffiliated voters just need to decide whether they want to cast tallies in the Republican or Democratic contest.

Ballots are due back on June 25 at 7 p.m. Even though we don’t have that many contested seats, primary elections will set the stage for the forthcoming November presidential contest, which appears like it will become a zany of madness.