Wednesday, February 20, 2013

UPDATE: The godfather's slate for City Council

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Just when you think you know something, you find out otherwise, and this is what happened when we reported last week that Steve Schuck had been through bankruptcy. Although he told the Indy years ago that he lost "fortunes" during tough times as a developer, Schuck says he never declared bankruptcy. We are sorry for our erroneous report, and we've apologized to him. We offer no excuses for getting that wrong.

Here's what he told us via e-mail:

"Once again, you proved to be duplicitousl [sic]," he writes. "You claimed that I went bankrupt - not true, never happened. You claimed my support of, and advocacy for, selling CSU - you already know that such a claim is not true."

We have tried to reach him by phone to ensure we get the facts right in future reporting — including those regarding his take on selling Utilities — but have been unsuccessful.

Schuck also wrote, "Your offer to correct just one of your multiple misstatements, the one about my having filed bankruptcy and left creditors holding the bag, after you already inflicted damage that you clearly could have avoided if you had awaited my return call and pursued the real truth before going to press, does not merit a response."

Also in regard to Utilities: Micah Will, who's working on the campaign of District 6 City Council contender David Moore, tells us via e-mail that the candidate, if elected, would support retention of Utilities, regardless of what those who have endorsed him might want. Here's Moore's statement as conveyed by Will:

"My endorsers haven't given me their views on the utilities. My views are my own and I do not believe that selling the utilities is the way to go."

————— UPDATED POST THURSDAY, FEB. 14, 4:17 P.M. —————

Here's another disavowal, this one from Al Loma through a spokesman via e-mail:

While I hold Steve Schuck in high regard, I am not affiliated with any candidate. I am running for City Council as an independent voice for District 5. In regards to selling Colorado Springs Utilities, I have never committed to this position, nor would I committ [sic] to selling CSU at this stage. With that being said, any immediate decision to sell CSU would be I'll [sic] advised.

———ORIGINAL POST WEDNESDAY, FEB. 13, 4:12 P.M.———

Daniel Cole, who's working with the campaigns of Keith King and Deborah Hendrix, says the two have strong feelings about issues regarding Colorado Springs Utilities.

Keith and Deborah are opposed to selling or leasing utilities and closing Drake barring extraordinary, undeniable evidence that suggests their positions should change. As Keith expressed to you, that evidence would have to include proof that we could guarantee low rates, i.e., that Colorado Springs ratepayers could retain control over rates.

——- UPDATE: THURSDAY, FEB. 14, 11:29 a.m ——-

City Clerk Sarah Johnson says the HBA's political action committee does have to file campaign finance reports and that the first is due Feb. 15, under the following provision of the City Code:

G. A committee that is formed or that meets the filing threshold more than thirty (30) days before the election is not required to file disclosure statements on any disclosure reporting dates that occur less than twenty (20) days after the committee was formed or met the filing threshold. A committee that is formed or that meets the filing threshold on or less than thirty (30) days before the election is required to file its first disclosure statement commencing twenty four (24) hours after the date the committee was formed or met the filing threshold, and all subsequent disclosure statements on the dates due.

The first reporting period shall commence on the first day of the election cycle and shall end five (5) days before the first applicable reporting date that a disclosure statement is due. Subsequent reporting periods shall commence on the day following the end date for the previous reporting period and shall end five (5) days prior to the next reporting date.

—————————ORIGINAL POST: WEDNESDAY, FEB. 13, 4:12 P.M.——————————————-

April 2 city election Steve Schuck HBA
  • 401(K) 2013's photostream

The great and powerful Oz, I mean, Steve Schuck, has issued his recommendations for how people should vote in the Colorado Springs City Council races for six district seats, according to his lengthy message on the topic obtained by the Independent.

They are the same as those endorsed by the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs: Tim Leigh, Angela Dougan, Keith King, Deborah Hendrix, Al Loma and David Moore.

Schuck, a developer who's been through bankruptcy some time ago and saw his house go into foreclosure last year on which he owed nearly $2 million, according to Public Trustee records, is a chief consultant to and supporter of Mayor Steve Bach. In fact, Bach, a commercial real estate broker, used to work for Schuck in the 1980s.

Schuck and Bach have been pushing behind the scenes to consider selling Colorado Springs Utilities' electric division. Schuck hosted a meeting at Penrose Library attended by Bach.

So you can bet that members of Schuck's slate support such a move.

On Jan. 22, we asked the HBA's Ralph Braden him to explain to voters why the HBA chose to support the candidates it chose, and when I reached for the recorder, the following conversation ensued:

Braden: We're done.
Indy: Really, why are we done?
Braden: I am not going to talk to you on the record.
Indy: Why not? People don't deserve to know why you're supporting these people?
Braden: Our membership is the one that we're making the recommendations to.
Indy: Not the public at large?
Braden: No.

The take-away from this is that unless you're an HBA member, nevermind. If you are an HBA member, get out your checkbook.

We'd like to tell you who has given money to the HBA Political Action Committee, but there's been no campaign finance report filed anywhere that we can find. We presume as soon as the HBA starts making contributions, it will follow the law and file something. Oh, wait, the HBA has already paid out money.

Dougan in District 2 and Moore in District 6 report receiving $2,500 each from the HBA on Jan. 22. Hendrix in District 4 reports receiving $2,500 on Jan. 17. Yet, there's been no campaign finance filing by the HBA's PAC.

The most recent campaign filing deadline has come and gone — Feb. 1, and the City Clerk's Office website states the timeframe covered by the report is January 11 through January 26.

And here's what the website says about filing reports by committees:

Do political committees and issue committees file the Report of Contributions and Expenditures?

Yes. Once the political committee or the issue committee receives more than $200.00 in contributions or spends more than $200.00 it must file the Report of Contributions and Expenditures, and must continue to file the Report on each of the remaining reporting dates for the election.

When is a political committee or an issue committee required to file the Report of Contributions and Expenditures?

A political committee and an issue committee are required to file the Report of Contributions and Expenditures on the same dates and for the same periods as a candidate or a candidate committee.

We've asked City Clerk Sarah Johnson about the lack of an HBA campaign finance report. If and when we hear back, we'll let you know.

Here's the HBA's response to why they haven't filed:

With the city's new campaign finance rules, we are awaiting an opinion from the City Clerk about our required compliance. Once we receive the City guidance, we will assure the HBA PAC is in compliance with any City disclosure requested. Thank you for your inquiry.

Regards,
William Mutch

Anyway, now Schuck, too, is asking people to put their cash where the HBA's and Schuck's mouths are, so their slate can flood the airwaves and mailboxes with campaign messages.

Here's part of Schuck's message:

To say that our City’s future is at a crossroad is an obvious understatement. It is hard to imagine a time when we faced as many critical issues as are currently on Council’s agenda. They all need new, visionary, thoughtful, and responsible leadership, making the upcoming City Council elections so very, very, important. Ballots will be mailed March 7th for the 6 newly formed Council districts, presenting an unprecedented opportunity to set our community on a new course characterized by opportunity and prosperity.

Many people have asked for advice about who to support. Fortunately, and by no accident, there are 6 outstanding individuals who, in my opinion, merit your enthusiastic support and to whose campaign you should seriously consider contributing generously. They are not running as a slate, but rather as 6 individuals, so please feel comfortable selecting favorites from among this list if that is your desire. But they all have been interviewed and vetted extensively and will represent and fight for the values and actions that are so critical to our City’s future.

Oh, and about the foreclosure of Schuck's home. Before the bank foreclosed, William Miller bought the house for $1.23 million on July 3, county records show. Schuck is reportedly still living in the house. We tried to reach him but he never called us back.

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