According to data released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, ProgressNow Colorado, the self-described “state’s largest and most effective multi-issue progressive organization,” received a taxpayer funded forgivable loan of between $150,000 and $350,000.
ProgressNow Colorado is well known in Colorado political circles as a dark money organization funded by ultra-liberal billionaires, so we aren’t exactly sure why they need money from hardworking taxpayers to continue their work attacking Republicans during a global pandemic.
ProgressNow Colorado is no stranger to controversies. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, in August 2018, “an adviser to a Democratic legislative leader in Colorado has been punished for helping a progressive group put a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin on brief display at the state capitol building near a spot reserved for a portrait of President Donald Trump. The prank, which made international news, happened in July after reports that Republicans hadn’t raised the $10,000 needed to commission a presidential portrait. Aide Katie March used her security badge to allow a member of ProgressNow Colorado into the Capitol with the picture of Putin, KUSA-TV reports.”
At the time, ProgressNow’s unhinged Executive Director, Ian Silverii, told the Akron Beacon Journal, “the Putin portrait was meant to raise public awareness of the danger of Russian influence over Trump.”
However, this wasn’t the only time Silverii floated a baseless conspiracy theory. He once suggested U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner has a direct line to the Kremlin, and even tweeted that if you support President Trump, you support “pipe bombs in the mail,” “mass murder by anti semites during a bris,” and “Nazis in the streets.”
Silverii used to be a political analyst at 9News, but following the Putin portrait stunt, and an incident where the organization shared a horrific image of Gardner’s hands covered in blood following a tragic school shooting, 9News released a statement saying they were “evaluating the roles of our political analysts.” And, low and behold, Silverii is no longer a political analyst at 9News.
Although Kyle Clark won’t be able to ask Silverii any of these questions during the next 9News political segment, we are still curious why ProgressNow Colorado felt the need to take a taxpayer funded forgivable loan? Was their business model really negatively impacted by COVID-19? Did the billionaires paying Silverii’s salary finally cut him off? Or could ProgressNow just not resist the irony of a progressive liberal organization mooching off taxpayers to pay for their next digital attack ad against Gardner?