In a recent interview with a member of The Gazette’s editorial board, Wayne Williams was asked to explain his appearance in a “bizarre ad” with Democrat Secretary of State Jena Griswold backed by $1.1 million in taxpayer dollars.
To explain away his participation, Williams focused on the fact that the request from Griswold to appear in the ad came during primary season, and said he had “no idea” Griswold would spend $1 million on the ad after her primary.
“I was thinking it might be something like a Facebook video during the primary. I don’t know that I was misled,” Williams told The Gazette editorial board member. “I may not have been fully informed, but I did not ask what they might spend on this. Bernie and I spent nothing, so I wasn’t visualizing anything like this when I agreed to it.”
In a separate interview with KRDO News, Williams told Spencer Soicher, “My preference would have been that this would have run much earlier in the cycle.”
An email obtained through a CORA request and provided to Campfire Colorado by a third-party shows that Williams wasn’t being totally forthright in his comments to The Gazette and KRDO.
According to an email between Wayne Williams and Griswold’s Chief of Staff Michael Whitehorn, Williams was asked on July 11th if it was ok for Griswold to use the ad on television.
Williams replied, “Yes”.
The response from Williams on July 11th giving permission to run the ad was almost two full weeks after Colorado’s primary election occurred on June 28th, 2022.
The email from Whitehorn also indicates that Williams spoke personally with Secretary of State Griswold after the primary about the advertisement going on television when the two were attending the National Association of Secretaries of State 2022 Summer Conference the previous weekend in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Whitehorn also promises in the email to update Williams as soon as the details are finalized on the television ad. At the time, Whitehorn notes the Secretary of State’s Office was, “still in the final stages of RFP” (Request for Proposal).
Campfire Colorado reached out to Team Williams last night about the email and his team said there is no contradiction between Williams’s public statements and the private email.
Team Williams also said they do not believe that Williams saw the RFP.
The authenticity of the email was not questioned at any time by Team Williams during any exchange with Campfire Colorado.