Wealthy Pueblo family supporting ballot initiatives

July 31, 2010

Members of a wealthy Pueblo family have given $10,000 of the roughly $12,000 in campaign contributions received by CO Tax Reforms, a political-issue committee that supports three ballot issues that would reduce taxes and limit government borrowing.

Ali Hasan, a fiscal conservative who lost his bid this spring to become the Republican nominee for state treasurer, contributed $5,000. His mother, Seeme Hasan, also contributed $5,000, according to interviews and campaign finance records.

Born in Pueblo in 1980 on the Fourth of July, Hasan is the son of Dr. Malik Hasan, a Pakistan-born neurologist who moved to Pueblo, in the 1970s with $32 in his pocket and subsequently built one of the largest health maintenance organizations in the country.

The Hasans are large contributors to Republican candidates and causes. In 2008, Seeme Hasan was appointed to the finance committee of the McCain-Palin campaign and raised $1 million in the Vail Valley, according to the Muslims for America website, an organization cofounded by Ali and his mother.

The Hasan Family Foundation, according to the Denver Post, gave Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis $300,000 several years ago to write articles on water and do speaking engagements.

Some of his writings were found to be nearly identical to material written by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, the Post reported.

“I’m very shocked and upset over the entire matter,” said Ali Hasan. “Most of the foundation members were also upset.”

Hasan, a filmmaker and screenpay writer, said in an interview this week he strongly supports Amendment 60, Amendment 61 and Proposition 101.

Hasan maintains the three ballot issues would put an end to fees that he believes are essentially taxes, force local and state governments to live within their means, and greatly strengthen the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Hasan is not only a fervent supporter of TABOR, but also considers its author -- Colorado Springs resident Douglas Bruce --  one of his mentors and political heroes.

 “He’s one of the finest conservatives since Ronald Reagan,” he said. “I love him like a family member and he loves me very much.”

Asked about the $4.1 million raised by opponents of three ballot issues, Hasan said they are going to need the money to defeat the measures. “These are incredibly popular issues,” he added.

Call the writer at 476-4825

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