the True and the Grey about the Elizabeth School District’s Director Andrew “Chip” Swan

by Aaron Brachfeld - - - Chip Swan wants you to know he thinks that I am an idiot.  I want you to know I have a higher opinion of him than he does of me.
        This is a difficult story to tell because it reflects more than a year of conversations and experiences.  Ultimately, however, it is best expressed through my relationship with Elizabeth School Board Director Andrew “Chip” Swan.  He gave me crucial insight into the culture corruption and bullying that defines the Elizabeth School Board, and it is through his political career that the progress of the Board over the last decade from embezzlement to oppression is best observed.
        I first met Chip Swan last September. 
        Back then, he had sought out the Herald to communicate with the community about the proposed school bond after having been banned from Brooks Imperial’s facebook page for cyberbullying.
        For what it is worth, Chip has been accused of bullying often.  I, myself, experienced what could be described as bullying from him, but after more than a year’s observation, I would describe his behavior as more of a kind of intense aggression rather than bullying: there is no intention of domination or extortion, only heighted anger motivated through paranoia. 
        At the time, he was so aggressively rude to the Herald readers participating on a facebook forum that he created opposition to whatever he was attempting to proponent, inspiring a reaction of anger from his own anger.  I believe it is too much to credit him alone for the failure of the bond, but appropriate to say that he exemplified or embodied the reasons for the community’s lack of support.
        Chip’s aggression resulted in threats and other hostility to students, parents, community members and even teachers who were, at first, even in support of the bond, and had presented “soft” questions to the School Board for the purpose of helping the bond pass.  His threats resulted in students, teachers and community members writing in about their similar experiences with the Board.
        It was largely healing for the victims to share their stories with each other, as they began to comprehend that the School Board was an institution and, though the members on it were badly behaved, the institution itself was not to be blamed.  But some victims failed to find that solace, and instead attempted to lash out at Chip – and other school board members. 
        I was encouraged to print about his arrests and financial struggles.  After finding even the incident reports from the several police agencies involved, and reading the court records, I was convinced that Chip Swan had never been convicted, and that the financial troubles he experienced were not his fault.  In fact, he had managed to resolve his numerous problems with such delicacy and thoroughness that, if anything, he was worthy of praise and the public’s trust: the Elizabeth Schools was suffering from similar criminal and financial troubles, and if this man could resolve his own so well, he would likely be a key asset in the success of the District.  He put his house in order; he was innocent and blameless.
        Yet there is a difference: when working for the public, skill in politics is required.  And Chip is no politician.  He had never served as a civil servant before, though he did act as a DA’s Investigator – an occupation where aggression is sometimes of some benefit, or at very least, encouraged.  In politics, aggression is damaging and self-defeating: the objective of politics is to achieve those objectives you mutually share with your opponent, and this requires establishing and expanding common ground.
        When I talked with Chip about his past, and what I had learned, I was threatened by him in an outrageous and offensive way.  But, understanding he intended no oppression or wrong by it, and understanding his background, I took little of the insults proffered to me.  In this respect, he stood in contrast to both the likes of School Board President Deb Spenceley who, writing official letters to threaten members of the public who had looked into and had questions about school finances, demonstrated both the intent and effect of intimidation.  Evidence of the monitoring of both faculty (and more disturbingly) student emails and phonecalls for political dissonance, political hirings and terminations, and other oppressive activities by the Board and the Administration aside, I had come to the conclusion Chip was rough around the edges, but unlike the rest of the board, and far from malicious.
        I had in the past attempted to help this investigator by facilitating dialogue with the district he represented, as well as those conservatives with whom he so often had disagreements.  I soon found help from Chris Richardson, who also believed that a politically diverse environment was an asset to the district.  He also felt the media was not an enemy, and facilitated the inclusion of the Herald in a “Good News Bulletin” designed to help get some of the good news about the district into the public’s awareness. 
        Richardson confirmed for me most of my understandings about the Board, and re-inspired my hope in a Board that was progressing away from embezzlement, away from oppression, toward fairness and lawful behavior. 
        I enjoyed printing the good news about the District.  However, after I also published information about some of the bad things President Spenceley and the Administration had done, I was no longer allowed to cover school events and stopped getting the good news bulletins. 
        This year, I printed an op-ed designed to raise unanswered questions about the recent tax increase the Board desired.  I explained dialogue and debate is essential to the democratic process, and since there was no opposition to the tax increases printed in the Election’s Blue Book, I would shoulder the burden of raising the critical questions – while supporting the tax increase despite these lingering questions.
        Because we have such a high standard of truth – that something must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt – it is important to present not only what is known beyond doubt, but also what is in question, and to raise what questions remain for debate and consideration.
        Chip Swan contacted me again on November 22 to share with me that the School Board had been honored – some good news that the Elbert County News (a newspaper out of Centennial) had been given in press release, but which the Herald (an Elizabeth newspaper) had not.   
        I took the opportunity to ask whether I might be included in the good news bulletin again? But Chip said, “Probably not” because of my coverage of the “school iniatives [sic].”  The Board apparently felt it was “biased and riddled with inaccurate information.” 
        Also, Chip felt that I was wrong in reporting that Norm Happel had been banned from the school grounds after inquiring into the District finances.  Despite my having a copy (and printing a copy) of the letter, signed by President Spenceley, from the School District banning him.  And on February 13, at 11:48pm, Chip Swan wrote to me about it, saying “he has a letter that forbids his presence on district property.”
        Chip may very well be a competent investigator.  But he should apply his skills toward the betterment of the District.  He is surrounded by scoundrels, thieves and criminals of numerous kinds.  As just one elected official to a large board of elected officials, he can hardly be blamed for the company he keeps.  However, he must keep the public’s trust.  He is obligated by law to report the crimes he observes, and not perpetuate them. 
        I would take this moment to encourage Chip further: penalizing media from printing good news about the District because they hold contrary opinions or print unflattering news about the District you care about is not going to make the District better.  Nor is it going to improve the coverage of the good news about the District.  Improving the District, and generating better and more good news will accomplish your goals.
        You admirably cleaned your house.  Now, clean up the District.

Chip Swan wanted me to print in full our conversation on this past weekend. 

Chip Swan - - - There is a good story for you.
Aaron Brachfeld - - - Hey, Thanks. Any hope of being re-added to the update email list that Michele puts together? Richardson says that I am not being included because I had called for comment about stories that might have negatively impacted the district before printing them (and which I ultimately did not print).
Chip Swan - - - Probably not.  Your post on meadowlark Herald about the school iniatives, in my opinion was based and riddled with inaccurate information.   The county does not run the school district election.   The county doesn't put together the pro or con.  Biased not based and riddled
Aaron Brachfeld - - - You know, Chip, between you and me, it seems quite contrary to our American values to punish media when stories are printed that are not to their liking.  And you apparently didn't even read the story: it was prefaced with the intent to provide dialogue and debate, since everyone else was supporting the measures.
Chip Swan - - - Sure but you reported inaccurate information.   You can "report" facts when they are bad I don't mind factual information that points out faults.  But publish inaccurate information is not what a professional media type does.
        Fact:  it is not the job of the county clerk to solicit PRO and CON for any one issue.  It is the duty of the district of voters.  Anyone residing in the voting district can submit a pro or con for the issue.  Nobody submitted a con, therefore it was left blank.  Also because there was not another county issue the only issue was Elizabeth School District.
        The information you published about the citizen being banned appeared to me to be a bad rendition of the two Frank Reeves and Norm Happel letters combined.   Norm was not banned from the schools.
Aaron Brachfeld - - - When you choose to actually read the stories I print, I am sure we will have a more intelligent conversation about the subjects they cover.
Chip Swan - - - I read them well!!  Aaron go to print!! Make sure you include what I really said.  Please add that I think you are an idiot.
Chip Swan [several hours later]  - - - Why did you delete your post that I referenced.   Hmmmm glad I took a screen grab.

Aaron Brachfeld - - - Chip, you're paranoid. I have not deleted anything. And I will gladly include everything you have written.

Here is something to think about: Chip Swan posted on November 5 on his facebook page:
Here is my epiphany on Elizabeth Schools 3A and 3B ballot questions.
The board of education consists of 5 members elected by residents of the district.
We 5 members of the BOE drink from a fire hose of school knowledge for the first few months after being elected on how schools work.
It would stand to reason that the 5 of us know more then the average citizen of our school district. It also stands to reason that if we were elected that somebody trusted us to have the elected position.
So when I get statements to me on Facebook or what ever media source. Statements that seem to be great question/statement from the average citizen about how school funding happens it would take me turning on the fire hose of knowledge and drown you in all sorts of funding factoids.
So my conclusion is just trust who you elected to guide the schools and when we say we need to vote yes on something just vote yes.
Or please get ready for the fire hose!

Volume 5 Issue 47

SPECIAL REPORT: 100 years of #HoodsOff and #OpKKK . Ghostly orb photographed at Cave of the Winds - Elbert County requires $150 to bid - Anonymous v KKK - Eloy’s new jam No good news about Elizabeth Schools - Remembering the 1967 Earthquake - Buddhism - Our friend the coyote - and so much much more!
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No good news about Elizabeth Schools?

By Aaron Brachfeld - - - Hey everybody! I need your help. The Elizabeth School District has not been sending me "the good news bulletin" written by Michele McCameron because, according to two Boardmembers, I print not only the good news in the bulletin, but also sometimes "bad" news about abuses of power by the School Board, and printed an op-ed raising questions about the tax increase.  Will someone give me the good news about the Elizabeth School District so that neither I or my readers will think there's only bad things going on there and have a more balanced view of the matter?

Remembering the first #HoodsOff #OpKKK campaign

In 1870, the KKK was declared to be a terrorist organization by the Federal Government, who recognized the group as essentially the insurgency of the defeated Confederacy.  Like our present War on Terror, things did not go well, and by the early 20th Century, the Klan - by rhetoric, corruption and violence - seized power throughout the West.
Here in Colorado, as Denver, Pueblo, Grand Junction, Canon City and scores of other towns and cities succumbed to the Klan, only one major city resisted domination: Colorado Springs. Then as now, El Paso County was a Republican stronghold, and the party leadership actively opposed the KKK which had taken over the Republican and Democratic Parties throughout the rest of the State. 
Then, as now, the extreme wings of both parties did not represent the true will of the People, or even the basic philosophies of their political affiliation.
Law enforcement was targeted for infiltration and many Police Chiefs across the State became Klan members, but Colorado Springs Police Chief Hugh Harper fought the Klan from the moment it arrived: he did not know it for what it was or would become, but sensed it to be no good, and a “temptation to the hot-heads and the firebrands.” 
Within a month of the Klan’s arrival in the Springs, the police department had the Klan under surveillance so that its membership list could not stay secret.
Under the belief that “there is a good prospect that the new Ku Klux Klan may take men into its roster who act first and think afterward” and “that can only mean a calamity in any community, sooner or later,” he scoffed at the Klan's claim to support law and order.  “Thieves and crooks join the Klan to secure the protection of Klan police officers,” he later explained of his beliefs at the time.
In his beliefs, he was joined by C.C. Hamlin, publisher of the city's two leading newspapers, The Gazette and the Evening Telegraph. Hamlin publically spoke out against the Klan in his editorial pages. “Its code is such that few save the most viciously biased would openly subscribe to it. The protection of anonymity, the refuge of moral cowardice, alone brings members to it.” 
So Hamlin purposed himself to remove that protection, and had his reporters infiltrate the local klavern; he published a list of leaders, and threatened to print the name of every member.  Just as, today, Anonymous has begun a #HoodsOff and #OpKKK campaign.

Both Hamlin and Harper were Republicans.  Hamlin was a national committeeman and he told his readers that being loyal to the principles of the Republican Party meant voting for Calvin Coolidge for president in 1924, but against Klansmen Morley and Means for governor and senator.  We should, today, too closely examine the politics of those men and women we elect to serve us.  And those which, unelected, should remain heedful of the Public's interests.

Eloy Oliveira prepares another album

by Aaron Brachfeld - - - I’m not getting tired of Eloy Oliveira’s jam of the week.  Posting them for free online at youtube he displays a wide variety of styles to showcase his talent.  The first series (of 8 weeks: represents his preparations for a new album he is just beginning to contemplate.  His fans, who enjoyed his previous album, “Burn in Flames,” anxiously watch for clues as to what he is intending in the future.  While saving his original works for his albums, he has historically trained his skills by studying the work of other guitarists and composers.

        Oliveira comes from a background of classical guitar in a city known for its Italian masters.  But being wholly of Buenos Aires, he cannot seem to help but infuse his work with the vibrant sounds of tango, and other South (and North) American sounds.  

Our friend the coyote

Photograph by Sheila Brachfeld, Story by Aaron Brachfeld - - - Coyotes were seen on Butterfly Hill after the most recent snowfall.  One, using the path up there, left these tracks.  The Coyotes were observed from a distance, but even at that distance their difference from foxes and domesticated dogs were evident: a different gait, a different behavior, and even the different proportionate size of their several body parts immediately indicated “coyote.”
        Though recently vilified because of their occasional predation of small breeds of domestic dogs or cats, may be readily defended in that regard by recalling that they only opportunistically seize dogs or cats that wander into their wild territories.  In this respect, coyotes actually cause less harm to dogs and cats than the sun or snow does – or the masters of those dogs or cats who cruelly expose their pets to the unrelenting summertime heat  and wintertime cold.  Adequate precautions against weather, coyotes and other natural phenomenon will protect both cats and dogs.
        An individual who has a surplus of food will share with the rest of the coyotes in the area by advertising the food through singing.  They care for their wounded and elder fellows, and will adopt babies belonging to other parents if the need arises.  In these – and other respects – they present an example of better humanity than some of our own species.
        Coyotes have adapted to a vast variety of wild – and urban – environments.  They are semi-social scavengers who sometimes hunt insects, rodents, rabbits – and the smallest size cats and dogs.  Though shy and afraid of humans, even when cornered they present no threat to people and often perform as great a service to humanity through the extermination of vermin as domestic cats or dogs. 

        Coyotes utilize complex communication in the form of singing.  Different songs communicate information about the individuals both singing and sung to, the presence of specific opportunities and threats, and sometimes the emotional state of the coyote singing.  Duets during mating season are very common, and very beautiful.

KKK and Anonymous

Anonymous is undertaking to expose the identities of KKK members in the Saint Louis area. In doing so, they have illuminated the fact that some police officers and other officials are Klansmen (a partial list posted by Anonymous on is included at the bottom of this story).  With similar allegations made against law enforcement agencies in Colorado, most notably after the arrest of the Arapahoe County Sheriff by independent journalists like Jon Ellinoff, and across the nation, it is interesting to observe that Anonymous, for whatever reason, has succeeded in engaging the Klan in dialogue where traditional journalism has failed.

The beginning of any non-violent resolution is dialogue, and there is hope that, while each party has declared a cyberwar upon the other, and the Klan has even made death threats against Anonymous, a non-violent resolution may indeed be possible - though perhaps not immediately.

The Klan's response (also included in this story) was also posted to - which has become a neutral forum for both parties to express themselves, one of the most necessary elements to a successful dialogue between antagonistic parties.

There are other signs that dialogue may result in non-violent resolution through long-term diplomacy.  Both the Klan and Anonymous are expressing their fundamental values to each other, and also the reasoning behind those values - and this opens the door for common ground to be sought and subsequently found.

However, without a desire for limitations to the engagement, it is unlikely that there will be non-violent resolution: at this time, the Klan has openly planned assaults against neutral safe places in the Saint Louis vicinity (including Churches), and while Anonymous has declared limitations to their aggressions against the Klan, without the Klan expressing similar limitation, the next object of Anonymous should be to engage the Klan toward limiting the use of force against willing combatants only.

Here is the Klan's Response:

Greetings anonymous and its supporters.

The KKK has been bringing a message of hope and deliverance to a white, Christian America now for a number of years, we preach a message of love, not hate.

However there is only so much abuse we will sit and take from these would be revolutionary left wingers. If you poke the hive enough, the wasps will sting. That's what this is; payback for all of the disinformation and attacks from the group known as anonymous.

I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together. Why the group of wannabe hackers are targeting us is not clear, however we do not have time to ask these questions when we are constantly under attack.

Your attempts of as you call it "doxxing" on official  members of the Klan mean nothing. We're not trying to hide, and you're  posting information that is public on the web. We don't care.
But you, you're hiding behind pathetic masks, trying your best to disable to the Klan, which will never happen.
Now let us tell you, we've paid people inside your  little pathetic group "Anonymous" for your information, and from what has been given to us already, the main leaders of this #OpKKK have already been identified.

A few names have been obtained by us already, including  that of a supposedly high ranking anonymous member  Commander X, aka Christopher Doyon, aka The Grand Wizard Of Anonymous.  Another name we have been given is that of one Robert Allen Mitchell who goes by @TrezSec. Robert has been brought to our attention by a few of our members for prick waving. This is just the tip of the iceberg. You pathetic nigger lovers are going down, we're NOT HIDING. WE'RE NOT ASHAMED OF WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE REPRESENT. THE INVISIBLE EMPIRE CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE OVERTHROWN. 

We held a Klan wide meeting today with the Imperial Wizard, who has decided if you want war, we will give you war, not online, but on the streets, we will hunt you down and tear those masks from your face. You'll be strung up next to the chimps. On display for the whole world  to see. The Klan is to be feared, not threatened. Turn away, or face the  consequences. 
We would like to wish Officer Darren Wilson and his family all the best in the future. To Anonymous and the people of  Ferguson, we will see you on the streets.

Signed and dated
The Grand Wizard - 
Frank Ancona
Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.

Here is Anonymous's initial posting (numerous subsequent postings followed on Twitter and Facebook, including several inflamatory images of violence to Klansmen).  

Contact Address;
Imperial Office PO Box 54
Pelham NC 27311

Klan Hotlines (24/7);
(336) 432-0386
(804) 248-2557
/************\END OF CONTACT_DETAILS/************\

Elena Haskins
101 W McKnight Way
Grass Valley, CA 95949 -
Ruth Castle
P.O. Box 130723 
Roseville, MN 55113        
(763) 434-3518
Willis Frazier
Int. Keystone Knights

56 CR 327
Cherry Valley,
AR 72324
Name: Patryk Doba
Works at Noble Waste Managment
Past: McDonald's
Studied at ZS 3 im. Stanisława Wyspiańskiego Jastrzębie Zdrój
Past: III LO w Jastrzębiu Zdroju
Lives in Wakefield
From Jastrzebie Zdroj
Family Members:
Name - Paul LaMonica
P.O. Box:
National Office
P.O. Box 2147
Church Hill, TN 37642
Address - 1835 Benton Young Rd
City - Cookeville
State - Tennessee
Zip - 38501-8010
Email -
Social Media:
Former Employer - Rencol Components
Occupation - Retired. KKK member.
Name - Paul Thomas DeCoste
Age - 70 - 75
Email -
423-357-3552 (should be primary)
713-574-5287 (secondary)
802-476-3006 (alternate)
City - Church Hill
State - Tennessee
Zip - 37642
220 Park Ave
158 N Seminary Street, Barre, Vermont (former)
Associated with:
Betsy DeCoste, Jessica DeCoste, Anne DeCoste
Name: Karolina Mloda
Boss at Pierce Your Life
2013 to present
Studied Art & Design, Graphics, drama , french at Wakefield City Academy
Past: Wakefield City Academy
Lives in Wakefield
From Elblag
Current City and Hometown
Wakefield, Elbag
Basic Information
Interested In
English · Polish · French
Rachel May Pendergraft
Age: 43
DOB: Dec 31st, 1968
Phone: (870) 427-1611
Adress: 6377 Lead Hill RD Harrison, AR 72601
Name: Grzegorz Cepowski
Kierowca at MPK-Łódź Sp. z o.o.
Past: Hollister Co.
Studied at NEW College Pontefract
Past: Wakefield College and Szkoła Podstawowa nr 35 w Łodzi
Lives in Normanton, Wakefield, United Kingdom
From Retkinia, Lodz, Poland
Little Sister:
Dalton Stout

Father : George Stout

Business Address:
10362 Hwy 82 West
De Kalb,
TX 75559

Brother : Evan Stout
Born: February 15, 1992 (Age: 22)
Education: James Bowie High School & Lincoln Technical Institute
Occupation: Ledwell & Son
Texarkana, Texas
/************\END OF PERSONAL_DETAILS/************\

"Roy Armstrong"
"Mike Zaric"
"Mark Webe"
"Marge O'Brien"
"Kay Jordan"
"Kanga Roo"
"Julia Pechkovskaya"
"John Hill"
"Christine Epperson" /
"Elena Haskins"
"Craig De Mott"
"Chris Brand" /
"Bob Whitaker"
/************\END OF MAIL_DETAILS/************\

/************\WEBSITE_IPS/************\ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
/************\END OF WEBSITE_IPS/************\

/************\WEBSITE_OWNERS/***********\ - Rachel Pendergraft         Primary Contact -  Don Black              Primary Contact - Paul DeCoste  Registrar of multiple.
/************\END OF WEBSITE_OWNERS/***********\


Volume 5 Issue 45

SPECIAL REPORT: Elbert County’s dangerous roads. News and Information - signs off, 50 shades of red, A free movie in the depression, Remembering the Denver City Hall War. Features - Giving up anger Lady bug’s bible with Linda Hobden, Dumb laws  Buddhism, and so much much more!
Thank you for supporting local, independent journalism. Tell your friends you heard it in the Herald, and to subscribe.

We are community supported, and appreciate your support! Tell your friends to subscribe! Subscriptions are only $12 per year for the electronic edition, $45 per year for the paper. We also have very affordable advertising rates, as well.

Elbert County's dangerous roads

by Aaron Brachfeld - - - Elbert County’s roads, which have been the frequent cause for complaint among residents for their poor maintenance, may not have actually been built to code, nor may be being maintained to code, either.
        Harmony Estates near Road 5 was denied access to the County’s gravel pit because the gravel did not meet code requirements.  The gravel from the County pit is frequently used for construction projects throughout Elbert County.
        Also, a visual inspection by the Herald found that the roads failed the requirements regulated by County the International Building Code section 1804.1. 
        While the construction of the roads may have been exempted (as allowed under IBC) by the Elbert County Building Department, there is no evidence of that exemption from meeting records.
        However, because Elbert County’s zoning and building regulations have been declared void by a Federal Judge, the impact of these shoddy roads may only be limited to the commuter forced to drive on roads built without codes, and which would not conform to codes even if they had been.
        The Elbert County Zoning and Building codes have recently come under fire in Federal and State courts where they were shown to be “fictitious.”  The knowledgeable fraud of the Commissioners, Planning Departments and their legal counsel – admitted in depositions to the Court and from authenticated meeting recordings – has resulted in a situation where Elbert County does not have a legally enforceable code.
        Admissions by former building and planning department officers have also shed light on a systematic obstruction of justice, tampering of physical evidence, and other misdemeanors and felonies by the County’s leadership.

        These and other felonious ambitions by the County resulted in a Federal Judge voiding Elbert County’s zoning regulations in 2011.  And a similar finding in the Colorado Appeals Court in 2008. 

Remembering the City Hall War

Above: The Colorado Militia, occupying Lawrence and 14th, awaits reinforcement by the US Army. Pictured are 2 cannons and 2 gattling guns aimed at Denver’s City Hall.  Below: Sketch made by the Rocky Mountain News from the windows of the Chamber of Commerce moments before Denver City Hall was ordered shelled.
By Aaron Brachfeld - - - Colorado Governor Waite prepared for his war against Denver a long time: the superior strength of Denver, together with its advantageous position and political influence throughout the State presented a formidable challenge.  Eventually, Waite felt he was ready and attempted to reform the prison system, which, through the likes of Lou “the Fixer” Blonger, allowed speedy release to the organized criminals. 
        The wardens and police resisted his reforms, so Waite called up the State Militia (which he had been secretly preparing for that moment) and undertook a furious blitz against Denver City Hall.  He quickly occupied most of the City.  Denver Mayor Van Horn was caught by surprise, but, Colonel “Soapy” Smith of the Denver Militia rescued the Town Hall with his crack force of 200 heavily armed mobsters, his “Bunko Boys”, and successfully held back the State Militia until the Denver Militia arrived with help from the Arapahoe County Sheriff. 
        Boss Soapy was an interesting man.  He had gotten his start in the short con, when his ambition grew and developed an illegal lottery scheme in which (supposedly) one bar of soap in a lot of thousands had a large denomination bill in the middle while a few

Left: Jefferson Randolph “Boss Soapy” Smith II.  Right: Louis “the Fixer” Blonger

had smaller notes (this later was admitted to be a lie: few of the bars had any money at all).  Victims of the scheme paid extraordinary prices for the soap, and found nothing.  He later developed a fake stock exchange (which made illegitimate sales of legitimate stocks and legitimate sales of illegitimate stocks), bogus diamond auction, and, in his more proud moments, sophisticated big cons.  But he remained famous for his soap.
        The Blonger Brothers had experience controlling towns.  Sam Blonger had been the crooked Marshall of Albuquerque who had given Wyatt Earp and his posse refuge against the retributions of both the law and criminal elements he had angered in the OK Corral shootout.  He knew Earp from Dodge City, where Sam Blonger and Bat Masterson would ensure the votes were counted correctly.  Sam was a rough man, and wore blue glasses to conceal the wounded eye he received after a shootout in Denver during his efforts to wrest Colorado’s capitol city from fellow gangster and competitor “Big Ed” Chase. 
        The arrangement Soapy Smith and the Blonger Brothers had come to was to divide the several executive authorities of the Town into independent jurisdictions.  This was expedient during their power struggle, but proved disastrous when Denver was forced to react as a unified City in defense against the Governor Waite and the State of Colorado.
        While Colorado waited for reinforcements, the Blongers fought the Denver Militia and Arapahoe Sheriff and mined the streets and parks.  They then booby-trapped the Town Hall with dynamite – threatening to destroy the City Hall with Colonel Soapy inside.  But Soapy had already booby-trapped Town Hall threatening to destroy it if it were invaded.
        Governor Waite held back and let the gangsters weaken each other.  He had reason to be patient: he had, in anticipation of his blitz requested reinforcements from the United States Fort Logan and timed his final assault to coincide with their arrival. 
        Reinforced, with his forces assembled and his enemy weakened, Waite coldly ordered the destruction of Denver City Hall, together with the militias of the City of Denver and Arapahoe County.  Cannon were already trained on the doorways of City Hall, Gatling Guns trained on the Denver and Arapahoe Militias outside when the Officers loudly relayed the Governor’s orders.   The orders were heard inside City Hall.  Vastly outgunned and outmanned, in an indefensible position, the mobsters ceased their infighting and at once flew a white flag and surrendered to Waite.
        Federal negotiators arranged armistice, and all parties agreed the Colorado Supreme Court would decide the outcome of the war.  The mobsters knew that they had bought the Court, and were confident, but had not counted on the influence of the Federal presence in Denver.  The court acted according to law and betrayed the mobsters who had bought or threatened them in the past.  Accordingly, the Governor won, reformed the prisons, and the entire City Council and most of the office holders of Denver were arrested or removed from office.

        Yet some of the gangsters, including the Blonger brothers, escaped justice and retained power, and thus the Denver Militia was directed to revenge their City in the Battle of Cripple Creek – by assassinating the Governor.