There’s a hot hearing down in Arizona that hasn’t made its way to Colorado media…yet. A federal grand jury is hearing evidence against executives with the lurid Backpage.com website, which powers those raunchy classifieds in places like the Village Voice in New York City, in preparation for a potential indictment after a report alleged that “the website knowingly accepted ads offering sex with underage girls,” according to The Arizona Republic.
But who cares what happens to some folks in Arizona, right? Wrong. Backpage.com executives, Michael Lacey, James Larkin, Scott Spear, and John Brunst, as well as their wives, Margaret Larkin, Ellona Spear, and Mary Ann Brunst, were all max-out donors to the Colorado Senate Victory Fund, giving $88,200, or $12,600 each, in the 2014 election cycle. To put this in context, the $88,200 sent to Colorado was more than half of all of Backpage executives’ total state and federal contributions of $162,200.
At the heart of the allegations is a damning U.S. Senate report that offers a scathing rebuke of Backpage.com’s business practices:
“The editing and moderation [of illegal phrasing] practices described above make clear that Backpage knew of, and facilitated, illegal activity taking place on its website. But in addition, the Subcommittee’s investigation has revealed additional evidence showing that Backpage is acutely aware that its website facilitates prostitution and child sex trafficking.”
Holy sh!t. Let us break this down for you. Essentially, the largest donors to the Democrat’s Colorado Senate Victory Fund, an arm of the State Party, in 2014 knowingly provided a platform for facilitating child sex trafficking.
We just threw up.
To add to this pile of disgusting, when the Arizona Republic asked whether the Arizona State Democratic Party, which received significantly less than the Colorado Dems, would return the funds potentially from child trafficking, here’s what the Arizona Dems said:
“Asked if the party intended to keep the $40,000, a spokesman, Enrique Gutiérrez, said the money had already been spent.”
So, here’s the question for the Colorado Democratic Party and its new leader, Morgan Carroll: Will the Colorado Democratic Party return the money? If past behavior is any indication of future behavior, the answer is no. But the Colorado Democratic Party, at the very least, must contribute the $88,200 to a nonpartisan (yes, an actual nonpartisan organization, not one of its fake ones) organization to stop child trafficking.
If the Colorado Democratic Party doesn’t send these donations back, every one of their executives and elected officials should be shunned from society because this is just too much.