One of the many mailers sent out to voters in recent days features a photo of Councilmember Bob Yates with the backdrop of protesters waving Trump flags and storming the nation’s Capitol. The mailer states “Bob Yates was a registered Republican until May of 2022 — 16 months after the January 6th insurrection.” This rare example of negative campaigning warrants some explanation.
It was the result of a $6,500 independent expenditure by the Working Families Party, a New York-based left-leaning political party, according to city campaign finance records.
Yates, now registered as unaffiliated, said he did not attend the Jan. 6 insurrection. “The attack on our nation’s Capitol was abhorrent and criminal. Those involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he told Boulder Reporting Lab.
The mailer was not coordinated with any of the four candidates running for city mayor. Councilmemember Nicole Speer is endorsed by the Colorado Working Families Party, a local branch of the national party. But she said she did not coordinate with the party in sending it out. By definition, an independent expenditure is “not controlled by, coordinated with, or made upon consultation” with any candidate or campaign committees.