Manchester, NH – A recent report by WMUR’s John Distaso revealed that Corky Messner began his run for U.S. Senate in Colorado, where he owns a business and lived prior to recently changing his New Hampshire vacation home to his place of residence.
In the story, it is revealed that Corky has only voted in New Hampshire once and began his campaign here with money from Colorado.
According to the report:
“Messner made recent campaign contributions from a Colorado address. He gave $1,000 to Manchester mayoral candidate Victoria Sullivan on July 15, 2019 – about a week before he filed his Senate campaign committee – from an address in Greenwood Village, Colorado.”
“The Messner NH Exploratory Committee remains listed on the website of the Colorado Secretary of State as a “nonprofit corporation” in good standing.”
“I spent quite a bit of time at my home at Lake Wentworth, New Hampshire, thinking about what I wanted to do now that I was an empty nester,” Corky said.
(Full Story Below)
Why Don Bolduc Is The Clear Choice To Beat Shaheen
General Don Bolduc was born and raised on the family farm in Laconia, New Hampshire. He knows and cares about the issues that are important to Granite Staters.
Following in the steps of his father, who served as a long time Laconia city councilor and Mayor, Don began a life of selfless public service began as one of the youngest officers in the state with the Laconia Police Department. He then spent 33+ years fighting for our country, working his way to the rare achievement of a US Army General. He received two awards for valor, five Bronze Star medals, and two Purple Hearts. He led one of the first groups in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, riding on horseback to take control of the southern Afghan region from the Taliban. He was also one of the few survivors of both a helicopter crash and a 2,000-pound bomb that inadvertently targeted on his position by friendly fire.
During his time of service, Don voted in New Hampshire.
After returning home to New Hampshire, General Bolduc has been a tireless advocate to combat the stigma around and treatment of post-traumatic stress (PTS). He was one of the few senior military officers and the only active duty general officer on record at the time to discuss his own struggles with PTS. His leadership on this issue and others earned him the nickname of “Captain America” and “Everyone’s General” by his fellow officers and soldiers.
He has been awarded the Defense Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device and numerous awards from our allies.
General Bolduc has 3 children, is a dedicated and active grandfather to 3 and lives in Stratham, NH with his wife Sharon and his service dog, Victor.
Full WMUR Story: Messner’s campaign received early boost from Colorado-based nonprofit ‘exploratory committee’
MANCHESTER, N.H. — As Republican Bryant “Corky” Messner prepares to file his candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, an email written a year ago by a co-worker at his Colorado law firm has surfaced and is sure to fuel the continuing criticism by Messner’s opponents that he is a “carpetbagger” with no genuine ties to the Granite State.
Messner sharply disputes that line of attack and says his home in New Hampshire and community activism in the Lakes Region shows that he understands the essence of the state and would serve it well on Capitol Hill.
“I love New Hampshire. I will be in New Hampshire forever,” Messner said Monday. He said he first came to the state more than 40 years ago when he was a West Point cadet, “and I committed then as a young, dumb, blue-collar kid who didn’t know much about anything that I was going to come back to New Hampshire.”
Messner has owned a home in Wolfeboro for 13 years. He registered to vote there on Aug. 1, 2018 and his first vote was cast in New Hampshire in the November 2018 general election.
Messner filed his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in September 2019 using his Wolfeboro address, but his campaign appears to have received impetus from the Rocky Mountain State.
In late May 2019, Michelle Harden of the Messner’s law firm — Messner Reeves LLP — in Colorado emailed to friends and would be supporters inside and outside of the law firm that Messner was contemplating running for the Senate from New Hampshire.
“His decision to run will be largely determined by the support he receives from the National GOP Party,” Harden wrote.
Harden solicits contributions payable to the “Messner NH Exploratory Committee, 1430 Wynkoop Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO.”
The Messner NH Exploratory Committee remains listed on the website of the Colorado Secretary of State as a “nonprofit corporation” in good standing. His U.S. Senate campaign committee is a separate entity.
Messner said in an interview the nonprofit “was created by volunteers that work in the law firm.” He said he was honored by the move, adding, “Thank you to those who volunteered to help me.”
“It just so happens that I’m a rags-to-riches story and I built a national business,” Messner said. “I have nine offices and if people wanted to volunteer and help me early on, they volunteered and helped me.”
(UPDATE:) After this report first appeared, a review of the nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation showed that Messner himself was the incorporator. The Colorado Secretary of State defines an incorporator as, “One of a number of persons who gets a company incorporated; may be one of the original members of the corporation” or, “The person or entity that prepares and files the Articles of Incorporation.”
In response, Messner campaign senior adviser Michael Biundo said, “The nonprofit was put forth by volunteers who believe deeply in Corky and his integrity. He was asked to sign the paperwork and he did.”
“No matter how many ways they try to splice this, facts are facts,” Biundo said. He reiterated that Messner “fell in love with New Hampshire over 40 years ago. He’s owned his home for over 13 years and plans on spending the rest of his life here. As a matter of fact, he’s had his head on the pillow in New Hampshire more than anyone else in this race over the last decade.”
Biundo referred to “anonymous attacks,” which he said are “baseless and cowardly.”
Messner made recent campaign contributions from a Colorado address. He gave $1,000 to Manchester mayoral candidate Victoria Sullivan on July 15, 2019 – about a week before he filed his Senate campaign committee – from an address in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
A series of contributions to the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, including the most recent one listed on the Federal Election Commission website as June 24, 2019, lists his city and state as “Denver, Colorado.”
“It just so happened that the account I used for those contributions was from an account out-of-state,” Messner said. “It’s not unusual for successful business people to have accounts elsewhere, especially in this technological age.”
Democrats have long been focusing on Messner as they defend Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s bid for a third term in the Senate. They view him as a potential threat to Shaheen largely because of his deep pockets.
Messner had loaned his campaign more than $3 million of his own money as of the end of the first quarter on March 31.
One of several Democratic themes of attacks on Messner is that he’s a carpetbagger. The term “Colorado Corky” has become regular moniker for him on Democratic social media pages and in press releases.
The party has shared social media posts by Messner from Colorado, including a photo showing Messner in full Denver Broncos garb.
“Being a Colorado multi-millionaire with money to burn doesn’t qualify you to be New Hampshire’s U.S. senator,” NHDP Chair Raymond Buckley said in July 2019.
Recently, Messner’s Republican rival, retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc of Stratham, indirectly referred to Messner as a carpetbagger.
“Another thing it’s going to take to beat Jeanne Shaheen is I’m from the state of New Hampshire,” Bolduc said during a virtual forum hosted by the New Hampshire Legislative Beer Caucus. “She cannot characterize me as a carpetbagger.”
“It’s going to take somebody from New Hampshire that has that New Hampshire presence to be able to beat her and she’s only won her elections by running against other politicians that she’s been able to define and running against people that she has been able to define as a carpetbagger. She can’t do that with me.”
Bolduc noted during the forum that Shaheen successfully used the “carpetbagger” theme to define and defeat Republican former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown during the 2014 campaign.
Messner’s reaction was pointed.
“This whole allegation is in my opinion just a cheap shot from people who don’t know my history here,” he said. “When people hear the entire story, the reaction I get is, ‘You’re one of us,’ and I very, very seldom get the question anymore.”
Attached to the Harden email is a “Dear Potential Supporter” message from Messner, in which he describes his interest in the New Hampshire Senate seat and indicates that he was gearing up for a possible candidacy, while not having yet made a final decision.
He wrote that after his youngest son went to West Point in 2018, “I spent quite a bit of time at my home at Lake Wentworth, New Hampshire, thinking about what I wanted to do now that I was an empty nester.”
He wrote that he “began researching the political landscape in New Hampshire to determine whether public office was an option.”
He wrote that he “discovered that Shaheen was up for reelection for a third term in 2020 and she is a typical career politician. As I studied her record, it became clear to me that she is the type of politician who hides in the fog of Washington, D.C. politics and is a loyal foot soldier for the Democratic Party.”
He wrote that he began “assembling a team of advisors and consultants to help me understand what a senate campaign would entail … I will need a team to train me as a candidate and ultimately help me decide whether I could be elected and serve as a United States Senator for the State of New Hampshire. My team includes political consultants, strategists, public relations, media and social media specialists, polling experts, a fundraising consultant and an opposition research firm.”
He goes on say he had met with “top conservative policy leaders,” as well as Sen. Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and officials of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Messner, in an interview, said he was well-acquainted with strategy being used to attack him, noting that he has received endorsements from a wide range of Granite State Republicans. He has also received endorsements from outside of the state, including Citizens United president David Bossie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
“I’m passionate about the nature of New Hampshire,” Messner said. “I’m passionate about the beauty of New Hampshire. I’m a conservative conservationist.”
“I love the simplicity of New Hampshire. I know all the owners of the small businesses in town. I support them. They’re my friends. I love it here and I’ll always be here.”
“I love the people here,” he said.
And, Messner noted, “60 percent of Granite Staters were not born here.”
He said that for the past seven to nine years, he has often worked remotely from his home in New Hampshire, by choice.
“I could do my work from wherever I wanted to be and I wanted to be in New Hampshire,” Messner said.