A new conservative political group, FEC United, alleges antifa members are embedded in the press corps to report negatively on the organization.
The liberal Colorado Times Recorder discovered that much information before its reporter was identified and escorted out of a meeting at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison on Thursday.
The group's founder, Joe Oltmann, reportedly had a message for reporters: "We’re coming for you."
You can read the Times-Recorder article by clicking here.
Oltmann told Colorado Politics on Friday that he has a list of reporters who are antifa members, but he did not reply to requests to share names of journalists he viewed as radical.
"We uncovered 13 ‘journalists’ who are actually activist reporters working with Antifa," he said in a Twitter direct message. "I have pictures, videos and enough information to bury them heftily and for some create a massive problem for the news organizations that employ them. Lawsuits to follow. It’s going to be a season of lawsuits ... get ready for it."
(Disclosure: The reporter of this story is not an antifa member.)
Oltmann said he didn't mind criticism of the organization.
"We just don’t want the lies," he said in the Twitter exchange.
FEC stands for faith, education and commerce, according to the organization.
The Times Recorder's Erik Maulbetsch reported Friday that Oltmann said FEC United would settle scores with reporters by exposing private, presumably embarrassing information about them, a tactic called doxing.
“I’ll put them on billboards,” Maulbetsch quoted Oltmann telling the crowd of Republican elected officials, candidates and supporters. “… If you’re part of the media and you write something bad about us, better take your byline off it.”
Maulbetsch identified a number of prominent Republicans in attendance: state Reps. Lori Saine and Mark Baisley, legislative candidates Lynn Gerber, Bob Roth, Vanessa DeMott, Tony Caputo, Larry Braig and Jonathan Woodley, as well as Casper Stockham, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter in the 7th Congressional District.
Joe Jackson, a spokesman for the Colorado Republican Party, told Colorado Politics on Friday, "There is no formal relationship between them and the Colorado GOP.”
Colorado Times Recorder editor Jason Salzman said Friday he was puzzled by Oltmann's threat.
“When he says he’s coming for us, I assume he means he’ll be sending over a letter to the editor?" Salzman said in an email. "Or a suggested correction? Bring it on, but be accurate, please. And if he puts our names on a billboard, I hope he spells them correctly. I’ve seen so many errors by amateurs.”
Maulbetsch said the meeting Thursday evening was "patrolled" by numerous FEC United members, some in golf carts, bearing pistols and semiautomatic rifles.
Oltmann founded Reopen Colorado in March to challenge the state's shutdown order.
Here is a video of him speaking with Jon Caldara of the conservative Independence Institute in August.
Oltmann spoke then about the constitutional rights people have to assess their own risks.
"Frankly, we're run by the Constitution," he told Caldara. "By having a constitution you have a right to life. You have a right to certain freedoms that are being stripped from us."
Last month FBI director Christopher Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee that antifa is more of an umbrella term applied to far-left protesters.
“It’s not a group or an organization," he said. "It’s a movement or an ideology.”
That afternoon, President Trump used Twitter to public chastise his FBI leader. The next day Trump replied to a reporter's question about the separate views of the president and his FBI director.
“I did not like his answers yesterday," Trump said. "I'm not sure he liked them either. I'm sure that he probably would agree with me.”
A week later, Wray clarified to say, "We don't view how nationally organized something is as a proxy for how dangerous it is."