VIDEO: Brian Watson Grilled on Conflicts of Interest, Tax Liens in Interview

VIDEO: Brian Watson Grilled on Conflicts of Interest, Tax Liens in Interview

VIDEO: Brian Watson Grilled on Conflicts of Interest, Tax Liens in Interview

Yesterday, GOP Treasurer candidate “Dead Beat” Brian Watson was grilled in an interview by KDVR’s Joe St. George about his conflicts of interest, tax liens, shady business deals, and other concerns about Watson’s ability to oversee the state’s finances as state Treasurer.

Watch:

Earlier in the campaign, Watson’s Republican opponents and the Colorado Democratic Party both created websites to document the tax liens, legal troubles, and failed businesses in Watson’s business history.

Watson, who has been shopping for political office for years, is no stranger to having his shady business practices exposed during a campaign. A mountain of tax debt kept Watson from winning election to the State House in 2012. In an effort to cover up his tracks, Watson paid back some of that seven-year-old debt just days before filing to run for State Treasurer, a position tasked with keeping track of the state’s money.

Watson has also taken heat for his refusing to put his commercial real estate business into a blind trust. This is a major conflict of interest given that 8.9% of PERAs $50 billion investment portfolio is invested in real estate assets just like the one he refuses to relinquish.

In yesterday’s interview, Joe St. George dug deeper into Watson’s conflict of interests and tax liens. The full video doesn’t paint a rosy picture for Watson. St. George asked, “You’ve had some issues with your personal finances, you have bankruptcies, you’ve had the IRS asking for money, why should the people of Colorado trust you if you can’t manage your own money?”  Watson’s reply leaves a lot to be desired as he dodges the question saying “They weren’t personal bankruptcies” and “We’ve released a statement about that.”

When pressed about his run-ins with the IRS, Watson goes on to explain how in one instance Watson paid back the taxes that his business owned; conveniently omitting that the seven year old debt was paid back just days before filing to run for office. Watson also failed to mention that he has still has $147,000 in tax liens still outstanding related to one of his businesses, 237 AMS LLC.

“Coloradans shouldn’t have to worry that their tax dollars are being mismanaged by someone who doesn’t pay his taxes, stiffs his business partners, and won’t take steps to eliminate conflicts of interest,” said Eric Walker, Colorado Democratic Party Spokesperson. “If Dead Beat Brian Watson can’t handle his own personal finances, how can he be responsible for the finances of the entire state?”

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