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Fundraising for Trump portrait at Colo. Capitol is finally underway

Author: Marianne Goodland - July 31, 2018 - Updated: August 1, 2018

portraitSenate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, keeps an eye on the upper chamber Wednesday. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

After international news poked fun at a prankster’s placement of a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the state Capitol last week, Senate Republican President Kevin Grantham of Cañon City has initiated an effort to raise the $10,000 necessary to commission a portrait of President Donald Trump.

Grantham is spearheading the fundraising through a account. It has so far raised $390 from seven donors, all in about two hours on Tuesday. The first $100 came from Grantham.

Last Thursday a prankster set up an easel with a portrait of the Russian president in the Capitol rotunda’s third-floor hall of presidential portraits. Putin’s portrait was placed right below the spot where a portrait of Trump will be hung someday. A photo of the stunt, taken by an aide to Democratic Sen. Steve Fenberg of Boulder, immediately went viral after Fenberg tweeted it out.

“If only I got this much press for my bills last session…” Fenberg later tweeted.

The prank drew international media coverage, including from RT, the state Russian TV network.

In a video linked on the fundraising page, Grantham said, “We’re going to take the reins on this and raise the $10,000 necessary to put up President Donald J. Trump’s portrait in the hall of portraits right here in the Capitol rotunda of the Colorado State Capitol.”

Presidential portraits are not paid for by the taxpayers. Instead, they’re funded by private donations routed through Colorado Citizens for Culture. But as of last week, Jay Seller, the group’s president, said not one donation had been received for a Trump portrait.

Grantham noted that the portrait of President Barack Obama was funded by just one person. But for “a populist president … the grassroots, the everyday citizens of Colorado, should have a part in this,” he said.

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.