A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a minor party candidate that accused U.S. Rep. Jason Crow of having “stolen my valor” and asked the court to order a televised debate for the 6th Congressional District.
U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore signed off on Thursday on a recommendation to dismiss the complaint from Jaimie Lynn Kulikowski, the Unity Party candidate, for failure to state a claim.
The Unity Party of Colorado, which indicates it “fights for Centrist values in the heart of the country,” had 2,432 registered, active voters statewide as of Oct. 1. Kulikowski is one of three candidates, along with a Libertarian and a Republican, challenging Crow this year.
Writing in her federal complaint from July 2 that she served in the Army on active duty from 1999 to 2003, Kulikowski said she attempted to obtain Crow’s military personnel file. She indicated she was “ready to rightfully claim the valor and seat he has stolen from me.”
Crow, a first-term representative, was an Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kulikowski's original 10-page complaint contained a single paragraph questioning the nature of his service.
In his request to throw out the complaint, Crow explained that the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 made it a crime to fraudulently represent military decorations or medals. “There are no allegations in the Complaint regarding Defendant’s service medals or badges,” wrote Thomas M. “Trey” Rogers III, Crow’s attorney. “Moreover, Plaintiff’s requests for relief have nothing to do with the Act or the Defendant’s service awards and demonstrate that she has not been harmed or suffered damages in any way.”
Kuikowski, a supporter of President Donald Trump who called herself a “one-woman campaign,” subsequently asked the federal court to make the candidates debate and accused Crow of being “insubordinate” and “playing God” by encouraging people to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also asked for $2 million in damages.
On Oct. 1, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang observed that Kulikowski’s complaint “is being presented for an improper purpose.” She did not believe that Kulikowski’s motive was to address specific injuries, but rather to use the court as another campaign tactic.
“In light of Plaintiff’s pattern of filing frivolous claims against Mr. Crow and her repeated refusal to address Defendant’s substantive legal arguments, this court finds that sanctions in the form of reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by Defendant in filing the instant Motion are warranted,” Wang wrote. However, because Crow’s request for attorney’s fees did not follow protocol, she did not recommend that Kulikowski pay.
Kulikowski responded to the magistrate judge’s recommendation by accusing Wang of having “no clue how to lead or protect our country” and being “out of her league on this case.” Moore declined to find Kulikowski’s objection a basis for modifying Wang’s recommendation.
The day after Moore issued his order, Kulikowski alluded to the decision on her Facebook page. “I endured a pretty big defeat with my opponent, Jason Crow, yesterday,” she wrote. “Here’s the leadership insight that came from it: In life, you win some and you lose some. The key is to always stay in the game.”