Scott Gessler improperly takes piles of Westwords...so he can autograph their covers?

Scott Gessler image 1.jpg
Scott Gessler.
As if Scott Gessler didn't have enough trouble. The Secretary of State is already being investigated by theIndependent Ethics Commission to determine whether he violated the law by using office funds on a trip to Florida. (Gessler has sued the commission; a hearing is set for Thursday). Meanwhile, the Denver District Attorney's Office is still looking into whether Gessler misappropriated taxpayer dollars.

And now come suggestions that Colorado's Secretary of State might have violated another state law.

Yes, the Honey Badger has allegedly been flaunting this state's newspaper-theft statute -- by taking more copies of Westword than he is entitled to.

And he's even advertising this dastardly deed on Facebook, promising to autograph the cover of the January 10 issue -- which featured a caricature of the Secretary of State to go with our feature story -- for "anyone who stands with Secretary Gessler and donates $50" to his re-election campaign this Friday during a "Honey Badger Money Bomb."

scott gessler honey badger screenshot.png
The nine-year-old law that makes it a crime to take more than five copies of free-distribution newspapers in certain circumstances has been in the news lately; after a legislative commission recommended repealing Colorado's newspaper-theft statute this summer, sixty papers around the state ran editorials objecting to such a move. Instead, Representative Claire Levy and Senator Mike King are now sponsoring a proposal that would change the name of the existing statute to "interference with the lawful distribution of a newspaper" and move it to a different section of the criminal code; HB 1014 has already passed out of the judiciary committee.

The proposal would retain the language that makes it unlawful to take more than five copies "with the intent to prevent other individuals from reading that edition of the newspaper."

And Gessler hangs his defense on those words. "I'm distributing the papers," he points out. "Of course we intend to have people read them."

So apparently this Honey Badger does give a shit. And because he responded to our queries so promptly -- after we put in a call to his attorney, David Lane (yes, that David Lane) -- we're going to forget the fact that every copy of Westword also includes these words: "No person may, without prior permission of Westword, take more than one copy of each issue."

We added that language decades ago, to guard against people unhappy with coverage taking piles of the free paper straight to the dumpster, burning them or subjecting copies of Westword to numerous other heinous actions.

But handing them out to supporters of Gessler's re-election bid? We never dreamed that anyone would go so far....

More from our Politics archive: "Scott Gessler's suit against Ethics Commission about protecting his rights, spokesman says."

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22 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

"No person may, without prior permission of Westword, take more than one copy of each issue."

Under penalty of what? ... an angry editorial in the next edition?

LOL!


BrianMartinez
BrianMartinez

We needed a law to cap the number of free newspapers one can take? Seriously?

DOOMED.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

Laws that rest on "intent" are hard to enforce, as criminal intent is difficult to prove.

Gma8x
Gma8x

Where is it posted a person can only take one copy??  Surely not on the box where it would be seen?  If it is on the paper, I have never read it.  Besides, the more he takes the less you guys have to pick up and trash.  You guys need to get a life and get writers that know what is important and not.  I haven't seen anything anti Obama in these, but then I don't have time to read the Enquirer and other trash papers.!!  Articles like this make me believe you are for gun control and voted for Obama!!

Testecleese
Testecleese

Lil' Scotty is the incredibly typical republican. Lie, cheat, steal and then try to make money off the backs of those who actually produce the work. 

He should also remember it is very unwise to start a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

Damn this whole time I have been using them to line my cat box, stuff packages, clean windows and use as emergency toliet paper. Little did I know that when I grab a stack of these rags I am breaking a law. This is the poster child for stupid laws!! Question Westword, how many people have ever been charged with this stupid law? How do you know he personally took the papers? I think it is funny as hell that he has turned your heavily biased reporting against you to make campaign funds!

Chris Estus
Chris Estus

Seriously liberals, stealing newspapers? I laugh at how low you really can go. How can you steal a free newspaper?

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

So apparently this Honey Badger does give a shit. Your fucking kidding me right? § 1-13-109. False or reckless statements relating to candidates or questions submitted to electors - penalties - definitions (1)(a)No person shall knowingly make, publish, broadcast, or circulate or cause to be made, published, broadcasted, or circulated in any letter, circular, advertisement, or poster or in any other communication any false statement designed to affect the vote on any issue submitted to the electors at any election or relating to any candidate for election to public office. What did the proponents and the state say about A64? Oh yeah, it would be confusing or misleading to call what we are doing legalization or regulation like alcohol. What did the Wasteword, continually market as? ¨The Campagin to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.¨ So apparently this joke of an editor does not give a shit becasue she is a company, Village Voice Media, woman to the end! Profits over journilistic integrity! ALSO WHY IS THE WESTWORD COVERING UP FOR GOV. NIXONLOOPER AND NOT DEMANDING THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN NIXONLOOPER AND THE FEDS REGARDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A64? Is Patricia Calhoun too confortable with the government she preports to ethilicly cover?

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

So apparently this Honey Badger does give a shit. 

Your fucking kidding me right?

§ 1-13-109. False or reckless statements relating to candidates or questions submitted to electors - penalties - definitions

(1)(a)No person shall knowingly make, publish, broadcast, or circulate or cause to be made, published, broadcasted, or circulated in any letter, circular, advertisement, or poster or in any other communication any false statement designed to affect the vote on any issue submitted to the electors at any election or relating to any candidate for election to public office.

What did the proponents and the state say about A64?  Oh yeah, ¨it would be confusing or misleading to the public to call what we are doing legalization or regulation like alcohol.¨  

What did the Wasteword, continually market as?  ¨The Campagin to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.¨

So apparently this joke of an editor does not give a shit becasue she is a company, Village Voice Media, woman to the end! Profits over journilistic integrity! 

ALSO WHY IS THE WESTWORD COVERING UP FOR GOV. NIXONLOOPER AND NOT DEMANDING THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN NIXONLOOPER AND THE FEDS REGARDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A64?

Is Patricia Calhoun too confortable with the government she preports to ethilicly cover?

Tired
Tired

Who cares?  People do this everyday, especially those who may have their pictures in the paper.  Nothing to see here move on, jeez.  It's a free paper, having people take multiple copies should be expected when you put it in a non-locked container or out in the open.

Justin Jones
Justin Jones

What a dbag. Someone should take a brown bag of poo and light in on fire on his door step. I bet he would stomp it out.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

@BrianMartinez To imagine that once committed to giving stuff away free, one can turn around and say you took too much. I think that could be reasonable if there was someone giving them away, but dumping them off at restaurants en mass...I'd say you get what you get. To say otherwise makes it other-than-free.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JimTom ... Westweed has no problem promoting the Continuous Violations of Federal Drug Laws ... for their own pecuniary gain.


Gma8x
Gma8x

@CoreyDonahue They like Hicky because he doesn't know the US Constitution.  They like him because he is an ahole that doesn't care about any one below Colorado Springs with all their crooks and land grabbing aholes!!  www.not1moreacre.net

Gma8x
Gma8x

@BackOffImStarving @Tired The law that says Obama can give weapons to our enemies and take our guns (HE WISHES)  I don't have cold dead hands but anyone who tries to get my weapon will have cold dead hands.  Seems this is a very ignorant liberal rag seeing who the bloggers are!

Tired
Tired

@BackOffImStarving @Tired right let's use all available resources to prosecute a punish the guy because he took some extra copies of a magazine with his pic on it. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Gma8x ... you appear to be suffering from ODS.

Obama Derangement Syndrome


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