They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Colorado GOPer Bob Schaffer Tied to Federal Criminal Investigation

Schaffer's campaign did not respond to our call Monday for comment, but Schaffer's campaign manager, longtime GOP operative Dick Wadhams, told Roll Call in a story posted online today that Schaffer joined NAFF in part because of his interest in the development of alternative fuels:

Schaffer is "intrigued by the technology that the company was working on ... the fact is Bob has had a longstanding interest in renewable fuels technology," Wadhams said.

Wadhams also said Schaffer's interest in NAFF -- and his decision to join the board in 2004 -- came about on the recommendation of longtime political associate Scott Shires.

Shires ran some of Schaffer's local and statewide political campaigns, including fundraising operations and campaign committees. ...

Wadhams said his departure was a direct result of news that federal investigators were looking into the group and Orr's handling of the earmark.

"As soon as he learned of the investigation, he resigned. He was barely on the board," Wadhams said.

Scott Shires was indicted in the case along with Orr back in 2006 and has since pleaded guilty to knowingly failing to file a tax return and agreed to testify against Orr. Shires was the treasurer for NAFF and the registering agent on Schaffer's successful campaign for the Colorado Board of Education in 2006. Shires has not yet been sentenced in the case.

Among the questions that remain: Did Schaffer play any part in securing the earmark for Orr in 2000, when Schaffer was still in the House? Among those also appearing on a witness list for the trial were Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA).

[Late Update: Schaffer was added to a defense witness list in the Orr case, not the prosecutors witness list, as reported in a previous version of this post]