GOP rivals favor bailouts, treasurer candidate claims

One of the three Republican candidates running for state treasurer is turning the normally quiet race into a real scuffle.

The swinging started almost immediately when Ali Hasan entered the race earlier this year. He repeatedly has accused his two GOP opponents, J.J. Ament and Walker Stapleton, of being in favor of federal bailouts.

Hasan says he deserves the GOP nod to run against Democratic Treasurer Cary Kennedy because his opponents won’t vow to divest from companies that received federal bailouts.

But both say Hasan doesn’t know what he’s talking about. One is even questioning why Hasan would say that while having his own personal investments in bailed-out companies.

“He’s saying that he’s divested from these companies, and we find that he hasn’t,” said Jesse Mallory, Ament’s spokesman. “He says he’s not doing business with these guys, and we find out he is, and that’s just another untruth.”

Stapleton said Hasan’s position on bailed-out companies is just flat wrong. He said many of them not only have paid back the money they received, they also paid interest.

“It’s not responsible to make blanket statements that you’re going to simply divest from all bailout companies,” Stapleton said. “The notion that every bailout company is evil, and we should divest and never invest with them again is not a prudent way to go about investing the taxpayers’ money.”

The three will be in town Friday attending the Mesa County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner at Bananas Fun Park, 2469 Riverside Parkway.

Mallory said it’s disingenuous for Hasan to rail against bailout companies while he has investments with Merrill Lynch and Gamco, two of several companies that accepted bailouts. Hasan also has credit cards with Chase Bank and a home mortgage with Wells Fargo, other companies on the bailout list, Mallory said.

Drew Dougherty, Hasan’s campaign manager, said his boss has moved all of his personal investments to a company that took no bailouts, and while he acknowledged Hasan does have the mortgage and credit cards, “so does everyone else.”

“Ament receives an income from two bailout banks, including one that is a major subsidiary of CitiGroup, (and) he continues to collect an income from a major subsidiary of CitiGroup,” Dougherty said. “In contrast, Hasan is not beholden to any financial company in any manner.”

Hasan has aired numerous radio ads statewide saying Colorado has $3.5 billion invested in bailout companies, but Mallory said that isn’t true.

Kennedy agreed, saying there’s a difference between getting a bond through a company and holding stock in it.

“Any proposal to move public taxpayer money from the safest and most highly rated position to investments of questionable quality is irresponsible,” she said. “Throughout the economic downturn and one of the most volatile economies in half a century, we’ve maintained positive earnings on taxpayers’ money.”


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