Democrats in Colorado’s state legislature accused a Republican member from Colorado Springs of inventing a fake controversy Friday involving a “planned protest from Democrat Legislators who intend to ‘take a knee’ during the beginning of the special session” which begins on Monday.
State Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) blasted out a mass email, without including any evidence to support what he said, claiming to “expose” the “despicable political stunt” being planned by Democrats.
Democrats say there is no such plan and the only political stunt involved is Williams attempting to stir up a divisive hot topic for his own political gain.
Williams’ email did not name any lawmakers involved in his alleged demonstration and said he learned of it from “capitol insiders familiar with these Democrat efforts.”
9NEWS attempted to reach Williams to ask him for evidence of his claims via text, call, email, and Twitter on Friday night—and received no response.
Williams represents house district 15, winning the seat after the departure of the wildly controversial Gordon Klingenschmitt—a firebrand televangelist who goes by “Dr. Chaps” and whose religious organization has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Democratic members of the Legislative Black Caucus of Colorado responded by calling Williams’ accusation and “false statement” and “fake news.”
“Rep. Dave Williams has issued a false statement alleging that Democrats intend to take a knee when the legislature convenes in special session on Monday,” Rep. Jovan Melton (D-Aurora) said in a written statement Friday. “Without identifying any verifiable source, it appears Rep. Williams would rather cause more divisiveness than build relationships in the Colorado House.”
"No member of the Black Legislative Caucus has spoken with Rep. Williams about this issue,” said Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver.) “ We are focused on the work at hand and will not be distracted by fake news.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) called the session to address a mistake in a newly-enacted tax law that accidentally cut off so-called “special districts” such as RTD from being able to collect sales tax on recreational marijuana.
Republican leaders have cast the special session as wasteful and unnecessary.