A GOP leader in Colorado is facing backlash for using Wednesday’s shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, as an excuse to raise funds for his political action committee.
Twelve hours after the shooting, Republican state Rep. Patrick Neville, the minority leader in the Colorado House of Representatives, sent out a fundraising email from Colorado Liberty PAC with the subject head “They’re targeting you [Name of recipient].”
The letter starts off by playing to the fears of potential donors.
Unruly protesters trashing Civic Center Park and clashing with cops in the streets.
Mock beheadings of President Trump by Kathy Griffin.
And now an ASSASSINATION attempt on Republican lawmakers!
The hate-inspired violent rhetoric against conservatives and Republicans was already at an all-time fever pitch before today, but now it just got very real.
The left is out of control. Their violent actions are un-American, and it needs to stop!
After that, Neville offers “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of the shooting and their family members before getting to his request for money.
Here’s what you can do to help:
First, join me in praying for a speedy recovery for Congressman Scalise and the staff and law enforcement who were wounded in today’s attack.
Second, join me in calling on the media to denounce horrific attacks like this and to call for an end to the violent political rhetoric on the left that they’ve inspired.
Your contribution today will help us advance our conservative values through passionate and peaceful civil discourse that makes our country great.
The hyperlink leads to this donation page:
Colorado resident Dave Maney told HuffPost his first reaction to the fundraising email was that it was in “extremely poor taste.”
“I thought, ‘They can’t be stupid enough to do that,’” said Maney, a digital marketer and Daily Beast contributor. “I thought this is a moment when we should come together and not go white-hot partisan.”
Maney then posted the email on Twitter:
Neville didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the fundraising letter, but he did attempt to justify it to Denver station KUSA in this statement:
I wouldn’t consider it a pure fundraising email. The main purpose was to encourage people not to be silenced by fear. This issue is a difficult one for me. As a former Columbine student I have experienced a mass shooting and lost friends. I also saw political terrorist acts, like this one, used in Iraq as a way to silence the citizens of that country. I never want to see that here in America. I think it is important to stand up against them immediately.
Maney, who has donated to GOP causes and says he agrees with the party on economic issues, had this reaction to that statement: “That’s bullshit!”