Pro-Red Feather group banks on MidFirst

Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The pro-Red Feather Ridge political group Neighbors for Responsible Planning declared Wednesday that funds for its campaign come directly, and almost exclusively, from Oklahoma City-based project developer MidFirst Bank.

“It is no secret that funding for our factual campaign comes from MidFirst Bank, the proponent of the Red Feather Ridge project. We are not soliciting contributions from individuals,” said Carole Brown of Glenwood Springs, treasurer for Neighbors for Responsible Planning treasurer, in a statement issued Wednesday.

MidFirst Bank representative Guy Harrell said Brown’s statement responded to a Post Independent editorial asking NRP to “come out of the shadows to reveal themselves and their funding sources.”

“We want equal time,” Harrell said.

“To counter all of the misinformation spread before we engaged in this campaign, and to set the record straight, we have and will continue to purchase ads in your paper and send informative mailings directly to Glenwood voters,” Brown said.

Brown said NRP is not soliciting contributions from individuals because “we are unwilling to subject the citizens of Glenwood Springs to the type of intimidation and retribution that supporters of the project have experienced, including the withdrawal of business from such supporters.”

Brown and Harrell did not cite specific incidents of intimidation or retribution. Michael Larime, spokesman for the Red Feather Ridge opposition group Community Voices for Responsible Growth, said Wednesday that nobody in the group has heard of any incidents of intimidation or retribution.

“We’ve talked about this issue many times,” he said. “All I can say is that we’re unaware of any incident of this nature that’s occurred.”

Larime said the CVRG campaign is being run with “transparency” and as an “open debate.”

“As far as we’re concerned, we’re running an exemplary campaign,” he said.

Larime said his group plans to step the campaign up in May by running more advertisements, sending out direct mail and going door to door to pass out educational materials about the group’s mission.

But no matter what they do, Larime said CVRG can’t keep up with MidFirst’s spending.

“In one day they outspent our whole campaign,” Larime said.

Even though NRP officials admitted that all the group’s money comes from MidFirst Bank, Harrell said he doesn’t have “the slightest idea” how much has been spent so far.

In the statement, Brown wrote that NRP will “fully comply with reporting requirements and disclose all contributions and expenditures by the required date.”

Those financial reports aren’t due until June 3, just a week before mail-in ballots are to be sent out to voters. The special Glenwood Springs election is June 24.

Red Feather Ridge is a 149-unit subdivision that was approved for annexation and zoning by the Glenwood Springs City Council on Feb. 20. Council in turn put the matter to the voters.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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