2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Council President King not intimidated by ‘hushmail’ on eminent domain

Published: May 12, 2014, 4:58 pm, by Monica Mendoza

Despite recent calls for more civility in the local political scene, the mud still is slinging.

Someone is circulating anonymous emails accusing Colorado Springs City Council president Keith King of being a “traitor” because he has raised concerns about a proposed eminent domain ordinance.

The email subject line says “Keith King is a traitor,” but in the body of the email the writer asks if King will vote against the proposed ordinance or “stand up for conservatives?” The council is expected to vote on the issue Tuesday.

Council member Joel Miller has proposed changes to the city’s policy on the use of eminent domain. Some council members have said there is no need for the added restrictions and have called it an unnecessary law.  Other council members say the ordinance will prevent abuse of government power when it comes to property. By most counts, King is expected to be the deciding vote.

On Monday, King said he has concerns about the ordinance and is hopeful Miller would make some changes to allow more flexibility on when the city can use the power of eminent domain, for example when it comes to public buildings. King also said the ordinance is unclear if it would apply to a Stormwater Authority or the Urban Renewal Authority.

But he said, most certainly, the anonymous email with a “hushmail.com” address – a website that promises unlimited email aliases — has not intimidated him.

“I’ve been in politics a long time,” he said.