Lana Fore is well known in Colorado Springs Republican circles as a contrarian conservative activist who operates well outside the mainstream of the El Paso County GOP. Just how far outside the mainstream she really is, however, only came to light this week when opponents of her bid to be the next county Republican chair uncovered some eyebrow-raising revelations about her past and shared them with the party’s central committee.
In advance of this Saturday’s vote by the committee to pick the county party’s new leadership, Springs-area attorneys and longtime GOP loyalists Duncan Bremer and John Buckley sent an email to the central committee’s several hundred members on Monday disclosing the findings of a private investigator they hired.
The upshot, as noted in their email:
…If Ms. Fore becomes Chair, will her history of financial trouble (deferred sentence for writing multiple bad checks, multiple bankruptcies including one in 2014-2015) strengthen our party’s ability to convince donors to entrust their money to the County Party?…
Buckley and Bremer’s letter includes a link to the investigator’s three-page report detailing his findings. The data also suggests that Fore, who says she is 46 years old and was born in Sunnyvale, Calif., may have used various aliases, including Lana Kaye Kirkland, and two other Social Security numbers over the years. The findings also indicate: that authorities in the bad-check case against her in Putnam Co., Florida, agreed not to prosecute if she made restitution; that in addition to her 2014 bankruptcy, she filed for bankruptcy in 1994; that she went through a foreclosure on her Colorado Springs home with her then-husband in 2008, and there were multiple civil judgments against her in actions brought by creditors in the 1990s.
ColoradoPolitics.com has independently verified one court document detailing a bad-check case against Lana Kaye Kirkland in Putnam Co., Florida.
What happened next raised even more eyebrows: Fore followed up with an email of her own to the central committee, denying the allegations — and contending it was all due to a case of mistaken identity:
Dear John Buckley III and Duncan Bremer,
I received your libelous email against me. I’m sorry to throw a kink in your attempt to keep true conservatives out of party headquarters, but your allegations against me are false. In the early 90’s, my wallet and identity were stolen. The woman who stole my identity is listed in the documents that you so carelessly and unethically provided to the entire central committee. Any of the charges listed in the documents are against that woman, not me. I will bring evidence of this with me on Saturday, if anyone cares to see it.
And that wasn’t the end of it. Buckley and Bremer (a former county commissioner) shot back with another email to central committee members that read in part:
…Help us make sure that we understand you correctly.
1. If some other woman wrote bad checks in your name in 1993, why did prosecutors pursue charges against you, as opposed to that other woman? Are you saying that some other woman impersonated you in court and agreed to pay restitution in your name?
2. Even if there was another woman involved, yet the DA still chose to prosecute you, why were there five civil judgments against you in 1994 and 1995 unrelated to the criminal charges? Were these incorrect as well? Was this other woman also involved in those cases?
Reached Thursday for comment, Fore acknowledged the 2014 bankruptcy but repeated her assertion that the rest of the allegations against her stem from a stolen wallet and an assumed identity.
“I’ve never been in front of a judge. I’ve never paid anyone restitution,” she said. “It’s news to me.”
She denied ever having lived in Florida, saying when she wasn’t in Colorado or California, she was living overseas.
“I’ve lived in 27 countries,” Fore said, including Spain, Germany and Nigeria.
How it’ll all shake out in Saturday’s vote of course remains to be seen. Fore, who entered the race late in the game, is vying for the chairmanship with Springs business entrepreneur Trevor Dierdorff and military retiree Charlie Ehler.
Current Chair Jeff Hays is leaving the post as he mounts a bid to become the state Republican chair.
While being county party chair is widely viewed as the proverbial thankless task — like chairmanships at every level in both major parties — the position also is coveted for its influence on party politics statewide. El Paso County’s Republican Party is the state’s largest and plays a prominent role in all things GOP in the state.