Invest funds with state companies, treasurer candidate says

Colorado’s investments should be made with Colorado companies, one of three Republicans running for state treasurer said Monday.

Ali Hasan also said that the current treasurer, Democrat Cary Kennedy, has invested heavily with companies that received federal bailout money.

Hasan, a 28-year-old Pueblo native who lives in Eagle, criticized his GOP opposition as “fiscal liberals” during an appearance before more than 120 people at the Mesa County Republican Women’s monthly luncheon at Two Rivers Convention Center.

Hasan said he estimated some $3.4 billion of $6.3 billion the state treasurer has invested was placed with companies such as Goldman Sachs, Citbank and JP Morgan & Chase and government-sponsored companies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

He wants the state to divest itself of those companies and said he would encourage Colorado-based companies such as Vail Resorts and Delta Petroleum to offer the kinds of low-risk investment instruments that the state could buy.

Hasan said he is familiarizing himself with a plan supported by the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association to stabilize the pension system, but that he favors raising the retirement age and boosting employee contributions to the program.

“Over my dead body will PERA be bailed out by the taxpayers,” he said.

A spokesman for Kennedy’s campaign said state funds have been well invested.

“While other states lost hundreds of million of public dollars in this economy. Colorado’s public funds have enjoyed modest gains, which is no small feat, and Cary Kennedy is looking forward to running on that record,” said Tyler Chafee, a campaign adviser.

Firms such as Citibank and Wells Fargo were “forced to take bailout money” and are huge Colorado employers, said Jesse Mallory, spokesman for Republican treasurer candidate J.J. Ament.

Hasan makes “absurd accusations because he has no experience” in finance, Mallory said.

Phone calls to campaign headquarters of Walker Stapleton, the third GOP contender, weren’t immediately returned.

Hasan, a filmmaker now working on a biography of assassinated Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, ran as a Republican in Colorado House District 56, which encompasses Summit, Eagle and Lake counties.


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