Rocky Mountain Heist, directed by Jason Killian Meath. Written by Jason Killian Meath and Michelle Malkin. Distributed by Citizens United, 2014. Unrated. Running time: 40 minutes.
Rocky Mountain Heist tells the story of a conspiracy—one that happens to be real. Specifically, as its opening segment relates, it is “the story of three multimillionaires and a billionaire . . . pushing a top-down, vindictive agenda” in Colorado to oust Republicans and install Democrats in state government. “This is how a tiny club of secretive elites assumed control over a state of five million people” to implement a “radical, far-left agenda.”1
This “secretive elite,” or the “gang of four,” as it is sometimes called, consists of Congressman Jared Polis, who made his millions selling Internet businesses; Tim Gill, creator of Quark design software; Rutt Bridges, who wrote software for energy exploration; and Pat Stryker, heir to the Stryker medical technology corporation.
This group helped organize and finance a slew of leftist organizations in the state to promote “progressive” policies and candidates and to defeat conservative ones. And it was remarkably successful, helping to shift control of state government and of several congressional seats to Democrats. Over the past few years, left-leaning politicians in state government have passed legislation to regulate firearms more severely, to require more (and more expensive) “renewable” energy, to raise various taxes and fees, and to allow voter registration on election day (as prominent examples).
So successful was this so-called “Colorado model” for leftist political activism that it inspired similar efforts elsewhere, including in Texas and Virginia.
The documentary, produced by Citizens United (the group at issue in the Supreme Court’s decision of the name) and narrated by Michelle Malkin, presents some of the relevant history behind the gang of four’s political success. However, the documentary also ignores much of the relevant history, particularly how Republicans alienated many voters by advocating abortion bans, antigay legislation, and more. In short, Colorado voters turned against Republicans not primarily because of Democrats, but because of Republicans.
One of the opening lines of the film illustrates the problem. It shows Gill, who is gay, saying, “The Republican Party is controlled by a bunch of bigots. The only way the bigots are going to learn is if we take their power away from them.” The film uses this line to try to make Gill out to be irrationally vindictive. The problem with the film’s narrative is that the Republican Party in Colorado was, in fact, controlled largely by a bunch of bigots. For example, Colorado Republicans long opposed recognition of same-sex marriage and even civil unions. A few years ago, one independent group distributed a mailer attacking a Republican state senator for supporting civil unions; the ad featured two men kissing.2 Just this year Republicans ran a candidate for statehouse who called Polis (who is also gay) a sodomite and who claims to have exorcized lesbian demons.3 Is it any wonder that many voters run screaming to support the Democrats? . . .