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Colorado city council member agrees to unblock fracking foes on Facebook

Author: Mark Harden - October 23, 2018 - Updated: October 23, 2018

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A member of Thornton’s city council has agreed to unblock two anti-fracking activists from her Facebook page.

The stipulation, agreed to by both sides in a lawsuit filed by the two activists, was approved by a federal magistrate and applies while their suit is pending.

The Denver Post reports that the agreement comes amid a pending lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against Jan Kulmann, a Thornton council member and mayor pro tem.

The suit — filed on behalf of fracking foes Clifton Willmeng of Lafayette and Edward Asher of Thornton — alleges that Kulmann essentially silenced the pair from commenting on public matters by blocking them from posting comments on what they allege is her official city council Facebook page.

Willmeng and Asher disagree with Kulmann on Proposition 112, a statewide ballot measure that would expand setbacks for new oil and gas development from occupied buildings to 2,500 feet. The councilwoman opposes 112 and Willmeng and Asher objected to her stance.

The lawsuit itself is still pending. The councilwoman’s attorney, Stan Garnett, calls the suit a “complete publicity stunt” and argues that the page in question is not official, but rather for campaign purposes, the Colorado Independent reports.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.