Why A Billionaire Is Interested In The Jeffco DA’s Race

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The race for Jefferson County District Attorney pits Republican incumbent Pete Weir against Democrat Jake Lilly. But there is another force in the race. Direct mail ads and commercials are coming to voters labeled from “Colorado Safety and Justice.”

The ads attack Weir, the current DA. One radio commercial features an announcer stating, “This election say no to Pete Weir. We aren’t safe with Weir as DA. Paid for by Colorado Safety and Justice, Whitney Tymas registered agent.”

Jeffco DA Pete Weir (credit: CBS)

Jeffco DA Pete Weir (credit: CBS)

Weir says outside influences are being used to try to oust him, “We have a billionaire and a Washington DC power attorney that has projected itself into a local race here in Jefferson County.”

What the critical ads do not say is who is behind them. The registered agent for Colorado Safety and Justice Whitney Tymas does not live in Colorado. Election records show $100,000 in monetary donations by George Soros with $39,000 more in other contributions.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Soros is the multi-billionaire who has put his fortune into liberal causes. The ads against Weir are so negative his Democratic opponent Jake Lilly wants to distance himself from them.

Lilly told CBS4, “I don’t approve of the tone. I don’t approve of the negativity. I think people should be focusing on things that are important.”

Jake Lilly (credit: CBS)

Jake Lilly (credit: CBS)

Weir calls the Soros ads absurd, “They are a slim resemblance to the truth, negative attack ads that really do not reflect the nature of this office.”

“It’s a matter of trying to upset voters and it does not reflect the type of policies he would want if there were a new DA,” said Weir.

George Soros (credit: CBS)

George Soros (credit: CBS)

Weir was first elected DA in 2012. He has served previously as a district court judge and as executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

Lilly is a former military prosecutor and is currently in private practice as a defense attorney.

The Jefferson County District Attorney race is one of several around the country that Soros has poured money into to try to influence the criminal justice system. Among the items on Soros’ agenda is getting rid of racial disparity in sentencing and getting drug offenders into diversion programs rather than jail.

Weir responded, “As far as sentencing, I have been both a judge who has imposed sentences and a prosecutor who has recommended sentences. Racial disparity cannot be tolerated and each sentence must be predicated on the circumstances of the crime committed and the unique history of each defendant. I was a leader in reforming our drug laws. In 2013 our drug laws were revised to distinguish between individuals with addictions and those criminals, the manufacturers, dealers and distributors who prey upon those with addiction.”

The Soros Foundation and Colorado Safety and Justice have not yet responded to requests for comment from CBS4 News.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.


One Comment

  1. Greg says:

    I’m sure I would have voted for Lily until I started getting the absurd postcards slandering Weir. Lily needs to distance himself further from this garbage. I’ll be voting for Weir.

  2. Lynn says:

    This is not a “Jefferson County” race.The race is for the First Judicial District, which is comprised of Jefferson AND GILPIN counties. Sallinger should definitely have known better.

    I have not seen the anti-Weir material. Weir has been a competent DA. But Lilly will bring a refreshing new aspect to the position. Please ignore the negative junk, and check out the 1st Judicial District District Attorney Candidate 2016 Voter Guide.

  3. I just want justice for Shannon Smith who was killed by Dr. Bear by Coumadin/Warfarin/Rat Poison. The D.A.’s office blew me off even though I presented the evidence of 18 months of research on this issue. If you prescribe a drug, you better know the side effects created by the use of that drug.

  4. rapidrob says:

    This does not help clarify Soros in trying to influence this election. Weir claims to be for the causes that Soros is ostensibly trying to advance. This article says nothing about Lilly’s stance on this issue. I suspect he too will claim to be against the racial disparity. If so, nothing is learned from this article other than Soros is involved.

    Rick Sallinger, you may have won a Peabody Award but it certainly wasn’t for this piece.

  5. I am also not very political, but if not for this man and his wonderful team, The Offender in our sweet Jessica Ridgeway’s case would still be wandering the street and possibly murdering and abusing other young girls. He was a serial killer in the making that is now behind bars or life. They need support from there leader not out of state billionaire looking to make a name for himself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

Marijuana In Colorado: Talking With Youth
Send A News Tip

Listen Live

AM/FM Stations

Featured Shows & Multimedia