Lawyer representing Hislop: Scott’s tactics may be illegal
Kevin King has used his website, http://www.notoHislop.com, to attack House District 54 candidate Bob Hislop by using innuendo and rumors, and it may be illegal, Grand Junction attorney Erik Groves said.
Groves, who is representing Hislop in a campaign-finance complaint King filed with the state, said he is close to filing counter charges against King and the other candidate in the GOP primary race, Ray Scott, saying they may be coordinating campaign efforts in violation of the very laws Hislop is accused of breaking.
“If Kevin King’s working with Ray Scott and spending money on a website that’s meant to promote his candidacy or challenge the candidacy of his opponent, that’s a contribution and that needs to be reported,” Groves said. “The irony here is if anyone’s guilty of violating campaign finance law, it’s Kevin King and Ray Scott. A complaint against them is definitely on the table at this point.”
King did not respond to messages for comment Thursday.
For months, King has used his website to attack Hislop.
It began when King called Hislop a Republican Independent Democrat based on an Internet posting Hislop wrote about himself nearly two years ago. More recently, though, King has tried to tie Hislop to a Florida-based investment company that’s under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
King implies that Hislop is tied to Kenneth Wayne McLeod, who created a bond fund that really is a Ponzi scheme, according to the SEC complaint filed last month against McLeod’s estate and his two companies, F&S Management Group and Federal Employees Benefits Group.
McLeod committed suicide a few days before the SEC filed charges against him in Florida federal court.
King’s website shows a picture of McLeod, Hislop and several others at a 2008 luau in Hawaii during a conference for the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service. Hislop was president of that group at the time.
Hislop said McLeod was at the conference attempting to sell the group on his company’s investment program, something it didn’t agree to do.
King’s website also says a fellow board member on Hislop’s association was on the board of McLeod’s benefit group. As a result, King concludes on the website, Hislop “had to know” what McLeod was up to, implying he had a hand in the alleged Ponzi scheme.
“It’s cockroach politics,” Hislop said of King’s accusation. “That’s his whole website. That’s why I don’t even go there. I don’t even read it. It’s all these innuendos and half-truths and lies.”
Richard Coolidge, spokesman for Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, said there are state laws making it illegal to knowingly make false statements about political candidates, but Groves said he likely wouldn’t file a complaint under it because he thinks that law is unconstitutional.
That’s why Groves said he is investigating whether King is coordinating his efforts with Scott’s campaign. Scott said there is no coordination going on.
“Kevin King, he does what he does,” Scott said.
King’s website also has questioned the religious beliefs and professional credentials of Hislop’s wife, Krysstine Gubser-Hislop, even though it’s normally considered out-of-bounds in Colorado state politics to attack a candidate’s family.
“It’s poor taste to besmirch my wife and her beliefs and our beliefs and try to associate us with people that we don’t even know and various religions that we’ve never even heard of,” Hislop said. “It is really just going back to this Kevin King cockroach politics that he thinks is necessary.”
Scott said if someone went after his wife in a campaign, he wouldn’t like it, either.