Larry Wayne Lindsey showed up at the Colorado State Republican Assembly on Saturday looking to vote for Donald Trump. Only problem? He wasn’t listed as a delegate. He posted videos to social media about how he believed he was a victim of an elaborate conspiracy to disenfranchise Trump voters. Though no substantiating evidence was provided and without talking to members of the Colorado Republican Party, Drudge Report picked up his story. It went viral. Trump personally called him and tweeted out his belief that the Colorado election was unfair. On his Facebook page, Lindsey says he’s arranged interviews with NBC, MSNBC, FOX News, and a bevy of other media outlets.
I debunked the story yesterday, thanks to a series of phone calls with local GOP officials in Douglas County, Colorado. Colorado republicans nominate candidates at regional and state assemblies, and delegates are picked for assemblies at local caucuses and regional assemblies. Lindsey did caucus with his neighbors and was even elected to be a delegate at his county assembly. But he never showed up at that assembly, and he was not elected a delegate at the state assembly.
Lindsey’s story is a great anecdote for helping explain why Trump’s operation was not up to snuff in the delegate game for Colorado, but it’s not the story of disenfranchisement that national media are running with.
Early on in the saga, Lindsey wrote, “This year, I decided that as important as this election is to the future of our nation, that I needed to be involved in the Colorado Caucus. I attended the Douglas County Assembly, and then the County Caucus and was elected as a delegate.”
OK, hold up right there. Lindsey would have had to first attend a precinct caucus before a county assembly. Douglas County caucuses are actually held by precinct, an administrative district set by the county clerk. The Douglas County GOP divides into a few dozen districts, each of which contain a handful of precincts. Lindsey did attend his caucus on March 1. And he was even elected to serve as a delegate to the Douglas County Republican Assembly.
But he never showed up to that assembly. Lindsey later wrote, after the GOP revealed he hadn’t shown up to his county assembly, a few different versions of events.
In one Facebook update he said that he was accused of having not shown up to the state assembly, even though he had video evidence of trying to get in. But no one claimed he hadn’t showed up to that assembly. They noted that he had not shown up to the prerequisite event — the county assembly.
I did find out just today, that I missed a precinct meeting, but only because this person had called me and told me that the meeting had been cancelled. She told me not to worry, because she said I was already a delegate and all I had to do was to show up at the State Convention.
There is no evidence to support his claim, and much to counter it. In addition to previously revealed information, one elected official says he personally talked to Lindsey about the importance of going to the county assembly — and has the phone record to back it up.
State Rep. Patrick Neville (HD-45) represents Castle Rock, the county seat of Douglas County. Neville’s website describes his political position. “I am a principled conservative with a passion for protecting life, liberty and the Constitution,” he writes, listing among his core beliefs:
- The size and scope of the government must be decreased.
- School Choice is a Civil Right.
- I am 100% Pro-Life with no exceptions.
- The Business Personal Property Tax should be eliminated. Fees should only be collected for their intended purpose, not used as a revenue stream for politicians.
- Colorado needs to reject Obamacare by repealing its health exchange program and promoting cash services.
Republicans pick who they want to run for HD-45 at the county assembly. In the weeks leading up to the county assembly on March 19, Neville called delegates to ask for their support at the county assembly. According to phone records, he had an eight-minute phone call with Lindsey on March 15. Neville says that they talked about his positions and areas of shared concern, as well as the importance of showing up at the assembly. Indeed, that was the main purpose of the phone call — to ensure delegates showed up at the county assembly and voted on the HD-45 race. Neville was surprised when Lindsey didn’t show up. (Neville ended up winning the nomination by acclamation.)
“Apparently, there was no lack of knowledgeable counsel available for Cruz supporters, since it seems only Trump supporters had problems with the rules. Since I don’t believe in coincidence, it reeks of something more. I’ve been around enough cows to know when someone is shoveling bullshit!” Lindsey wrote on Facebook.
Indeed, manure does seem to be flying around.
Later, Lindsey wrote, “In reality, it matters not whether I was mislead out of incompetence, or maliciously lied to, the result is the same. I was disenfranchised, and so was every voter in Colorado whom I would have represented!”
Not showing up to an event that other delegates had no problem getting to — among them quite a few Trump supporters — isn’t disenfranchisement. Particularly when elected officials have had detailed phone conversations with you about the importance of the event. Perhaps the media should consider the prudence of running with a story that is false.