The threats made against Gessler, the state's chief election officer, and the investigations into how he has spent state money both date back to August, when the Secretary of State traveled to Florida, where he attended a Republican National Lawyers' Association event and then the Republican National Convention in Tampa to support Mitt Romney.Colorado Ethics Watch, a watchdog group that has closely scrutinized the Secretary of State, obtained information about how he funded that trip through Open Records requests and then argued that he broke the law by using government money for a trip that was for his own personal, partisan activities. Those accusations led to an ethics inquiry by the Independent Ethics Commission and a criminal investigation by the Denver District Attorney, both of which were announced just before Election Day.
Late yesterday afternoon, Gessler's attorneys filed a lengthy response to the Independent Ethics Commission, a day before the deadline. This is the first time that Gessler, who has always said he is innocent but not gotten into specifics, has formally offered a thorough, written account of why, from his perspective, he has not broken any laws.
So what does this investigation have to do with the threats against Gessler?
Two separate death threats were made while Gessler was in Florida on the trip in question -- and once he learned of the second one, which we outlined in great detail on Wednesday, he and his staff decided he needed to fly home early for safety reasons. That contributed to his expenses, which the DA's office and the Independent Ethics Commission, or IEC, are both scrutinizing.
In the filing, full version on view below, Gessler also argues that his spending practices have always been within the boundaries of the law.
But first, the details of the e-mail threat, which was sent on August 23 -- four days before the angry phone call from a man who said he knew where Gessler lived.
It is still part of an open Colorado Bureau of Investigation case.
Here's the e-mail in full, which is included in his official filing (warning: graphic and profane language):
Although you are part of a cabal, with Ohio & Florida, to suppress and steal voting rights you are in the crosshairs of the media: you are being watched and we are going to be watching the punk-ass Republic CONnies that will try to intimidate and harass voters. You are going to be captured on video wherever you drag your racist, unAmerican Republic Party offal.
I know pieces of shit like you sleep very well at night because your parents were mentally-ill enough to neglect teaching the basic precepts of fairness, freedom, civility and general tolerance. You, obviously, are a DSM-3 addled sociopath that would -- had you your druthers -- impose theocracy under some delusional aegis of "founding fathers federalism."
So getting your fat, white pink fingers into the cunts and uteruses of ALL women -- clearly a little-dicked inadequacy that led to misogyny (I'm sure you can't stand that women will fuck whomever they want, whenever they want it, and wherever the urge strikes them: fuck your paternalistic, radical-mongering jay-zoos, who you follow when self-serving while quoting millenia-old ravings of people who barely used the wheel!) Here's what I earnestly and gladly wish upon you: that your daughter/s or wife or other female family member get raped -- either "forcibly & legitimately" or otherwise -- and then that yoy get to watch the barbarism of forcing them to incubate an abomination that certainly scars their psyche for life.
But they won't have to: you cannot intimidate the American voter with your feckless little Truther (and most likely birther, too) co-conpirators. We -- meaning America -- are watching you and your egregious unAmerican strategems to rob this country of its basic building block of democracy. No Florida, no Ohio, now no Colorodo, and NO WAY.
-- Member of a watchdog group that will be watching and doging your felonious assaults on voting.
The e-mail came exactly one week after Gessler sent out letters to nearly 4,000 registered voters asking that they prove their citizenship or remove themselves from the voter rolls -- a key part of the Secretary of State's efforts to prevent fraud. The letters were part of Gessler's controversial anti-fraud crusade, and his critics, including Ethics Watch, accused the Secretary of State of embarking on a wild goose chase that had the potential to intimidate legitimate voters.
Continue for more of Gessler's response to the ethics complaints and full documents in this case.