Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor says someone has been attempting to mar his well-earned liberal reputation by sending right-wing groups money in his name.
Toor, former mayor of Boulder, says he and his wife started receiving letters from conservative organizations in late March regarding donations they never made.
First there was a letter from the John Birch Society on March 28, thanking Toor’s wife for her $20 gift.
Then came a letter from the Tea Party Patriots thanking the couple for their “very generous and much-needed special gift of $20,” Toor says, laughing. “I’m pretty sure we’ve never given anything to the Tea Party Patriots.”
The unknown person tried to send a contribution in Toor’s name to FreedomWorks, but the mailing address was incorrect, and since the return address was Toor’s, it arrived in his mailbox. He says the envelope contained a $20 bill wrapped in a yellow sheet of paper with the handwritten sentiment:
“To help defeat Hussein Obama.”
Finally, on May 9 he got a very nice brochure and letter from the Heartland Institute thanking him for his donation of $100.
“So it’s gone up,” Toor says. “They said my generosity is greatly appreciated and much needed.”
He adds that he has no idea who would be trying to link him to such groups. At one point he thought it was a practical joke.
“I tried to think if it was the sort of thing my brother would do, but he would never give money to those groups,” Toor says.
He has discussed the situation with District Attorney Stan Garnett and Cynthia Taylor in the community protection division of the DA’s office, and on their advice he plans to write a letter to each organization informing them that his name was used fraudulently and asking them to remove him from their lists. Toor also plans to report the matter to the postal inspector in case it qualifies as mail fraud.
“My biggest concern is that I don’t want my name associated with these groups,” says the term-limited commissioner, whose tenure ends this year. “I don’t know whether I’ll run for anything in the future, but if I do, I sure wouldn’t want somebody looking up that I’m a member of the John Birch Society. It made me wonder if they’re doing this to other people.”
Boulder County Democratic Party Chair Dan Gould told Boulder Weekly that he has not heard of any other similar cases. Garnett said Tuesday that his office is still looking into whether there is legally any criminal charge to pursue, but most likely, Toor’s remedies would fall under civil law — assuming the person is identified, that is.
Toor says he wanted to go on record exposing the fraud before the perpetrator tries to use the fabricated ties against him.
And he’s got plans for the money that was in the envelope.
“The $20 that was returned is going directly to the Obama campaign,” he says with a laugh.