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Michael Fields leaves Americans for Prosperity to lead Colorado Rising Action

Author: Joey Bunch - July 30, 2018 - Updated: July 30, 2018

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Michael FieldsMichael Fields (Photo courtesy of Americans for Prosperity)

Michael Fields is leaving Americans for Prosperity to head up a conservative organization that aims to press Colorado liberals on the issues.

Colorado Rising Action announced Fields as its executive director Monday. The organization is a state-based offshoot of America Rising Squared, which is an offshoot of America Rising, a group known for tracking candidates and opposition research.

The nonprofit is much like the liberal nonprofit ProgressNow Colorado, except for the right.

Colorado Rising Action said in a press release it plans to “advance conservative principles through cutting-edge research, rapid response communications, a nationwide tracking network, and digital platforms.”

Fields, 31, previously was state director for Americans for Prosperity Colorado. Last year he became senior director of issue education nationally for AFP’s foundation.

“Michael has years of experience at all levels of government and brings incredible insight into Colorado politics and policies,” Joe Pounder, America Rising’s founder and president, said in a statement. “Colorado is in danger of its status as a ‘purple state’ turning blue, but Colorado Rising Action has even more talent on the ground now to make sure that liberal politicians and special interest groups answer to Coloradans.”

To be clear, Colorado Rising Action is not affiliated with Colorado Rising, a group seeking to get an initiative on the November ballot to require 2,500-foot setbacks from homes and businesses for oil and gas operations.

Colorado represents the organization’s second foray into state politics, joining Missouri. Colorado, however, becomes the only state with an executive director and a press person, Lindsey Singer, the niece of billionaire investor Paul Singer, who is a major donor to America Rising. Lindsey Singer grew up in Boulder and attended Fairview High School and the University of Colorado Boulder.

They are joined by adviser Matt Connelly, who formerly worked on Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton’s campaign. Though he continues to work for Denver-based Clear Creek Strategies, the firm running Stapleton’s campaign, he cannot by law coordinate between the campaign and the nonprofit.

“Colorado is a great place to live and raise a family, and the work I’ve done with AFP and will continue to do with Colorado Rising Action will ensure it stays that way,” Fields said in a statement Monday. “As a new part of the incredible network of conservative organizations in Colorado, we will make sure that Coloradans know what liberal special-interest groups and their politicians are doing, and the impacts they’ll have on our state.”

A former pitcher at Valparaiso University and teacher in Aurora, Fields joined AFP after working as a policy aide for Republicans in the Colorado legislature and for Wyoming Republican Sen. Mike Enzi, as well as working on local, state and federal political campaigns.

ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii was amused by his conservative competition, characterizing it as “Regress Later.”

He pivoted to the November election. It’s what political advocacy groups do.

“This Washington, D.C.-based organization is a front group to help Walker Stapleton continue to fall upwards in his so-far disastrous career,” Silverii said in response to Fields’ announcement. “All the out-of-state money in the world can’t cover up the fact that Stapleton is an absentee treasurer, a sloppy campaigner and a vocal Trump supporter who does not deserve the promotion he’s asking Coloradans for.”

Singer responded to Silverii’s take:

“We’re looking at races from the governor’s race, AG race, some congressional, and state house, state Senate and even watching the ballot initiatives and what liberal groups are doing in Colorado It isn’t about one candidate or one race, and we’re going to be around long after the 2018 election season.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.