Congressional Candidate attacks RMGO staff

April 26, 2002 - Using a third party to do his attacking, 4th Congressional candidate Jeff Bedingfield (a Greeley attorney) filed a complaint with the Colorado Sec. of State, alleging RMGO Executive Director Dudley Brown violated state campaign law. Bedingfield, who has been smoked out by RMGO and Gun Owners of America as an opponent to gun rights, has decided to trample on First Amendment rights to free speech on his way to shredding our gun rights.

The complaint specifically states that while being a registered lobbyist Brown raised money for 4th Congressional District candidate Marilyn Musgrave, who also happens to serve in the Colorado Senate. But state law doesn't apply to federal candidates, as no less than 4 federal court cases have proven.

Bedingfield hid behind noted Fort Collins anti-gunner John Knesovich to file the complaint, but Knesovich himself is a liability: in 1996 Knesovich - who claims to be a Republican - lead a group called "Republicans for (Democrat) Guy Kelly", who ran an anti-gun campaign against Bob Schaffer, who has been a solid vote for gun owners. Kelly lost, but that didn't deter Knesovich, who later supported anti-gun Democrat Susan Kirkpatrick against Schaffer in 1998.

Gun Owners of America has sent two nationwide e-mails on this Congressional race, urging support for gun rights heroine Musgrave while exposing Bedingfield's anti-gun views. Bedingfield is reported by gun rights activists to have said "You shouldn't be allowed to bring a gun into an establishment that serves alcohol", showing his support for a restaurant ccw ban. Bedingfield has also been quoted as supporting a National ID card and a criminal safezone for schools.

Some believe Beddingfield’s attack is a way to silence gun owners in the election, who he must realize are squarely against him.

“I think Beddingfield wants to bleed RMGO dry with attorney fees and court costs,” said RMGO Chairman Damien Veatch. “This is the kind of thing we expect from Sarah Brady, not a Republican candidate for Congress in a strongly pro-gun district.”

Finally, GOA reported that "Bedingfield has hired liberal political consultant Steve Durham, who wrote in a 2000 memo that Republican leaders must urge pro-gun candidates 'not to run' for office."

Meanwhile, it looks like the more pro-gun candidate is running away from the pack.

A March poll of likely Republican Primary voters showed Musgrave at 39% support, with Jeff Beddingfield 3% and Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez at 16%. 36% of those polled responded that they were undecided at this time.

Though Ray Martinez dropped out of the race, it doesn't seemed to have helped Bedingfield: the newest poll shows Musgrave with an even bigger lead.

The latest available financial reports show the Musgrave campaign outdistancing her opponents at a strong pace as well.

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