A man who owned a taxi service and storage facility in Aspen, Colorado, has claimed on video tape to the Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) campaign and in a separate exclusive interview with Breitbart News he allegedly blackmailed high profile congressional candidate Democrat Adam Frisch with surveillance footage of him showing up to a storage unit facility where, according to the business owner, Frisch was caught allegedly having an affair.
The wild story stands out even in this crazy election cycle. Democrat congressional hopeful—Frisch (pictured) is currently challenging Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) in the upcoming November midterm election—has yet to respond to the allegations when Breitbart News asked his campaign about them.
The business owner, a man named Todd Gardner, alleges on video shown to Breitbart News that he successfully blackmailed Frisch, then a city councilman in Aspen, Colorado, into changing his vote on the Aspen City Council regarding a crucial multi-million dollar transportation project. Gardner has reaffirmed those allegations to Breitbart News in a separate interview.
Gardner has provided emails which purport to back up his claim. And, Gardner points to a friend who wishes to remain anonymous but who also separately confirmed to Breitbart News that Gardner told him about the alleged affair incident contemporaneously – this all allegedly happened a few years ago. To be clear, the friend was unaware of any alleged blackmail, but does remember hearing about—and joking with Gardner about—the alleged affair in a rented storage unit.
“It absolutely was blackmail,” Gardner incredibly told Breitbart News. “I’m a straight shooter. Was it the right thing to do? No, it probably wasn’t the right thing to do. Was it a necessary thing to do based on the situation and me fighting for our survival and the fact that the city was trying to totally go above and beyond any purview they had to put me out of business basically? It was my fight for survival. I made a choice, just like Adam made a choice to sleep with the woman in the storage unit. I made a choice to use the information I had for my benefit.”
Gardner claims to dislike Boebert but says he approached Boebert’s campaign because he thinks the public needs to know this information.
“I don’t like her. I don’t think she has a clue,” Gardner said. “I would never donate to her.”
Boebert’s team recorded a video in which Gardner direct-to-camera explains what happened, and that video is being released here on Breitbart News exclusively for the first time.
Gardner has also conducted an exclusive interview with Breitbart News recounting the episode and provided email evidence which purport to back up his story.
Watch the exclusive video below:
Video Courtesy of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s Campaign
“Yeah, it’s me on the video and those are my emails,” Gardner told Breitbart News when asked about the video.
Approximately 45 minutes after Breitbart News first inquired about the matter with Frisch’s campaign on Wednesday, the Democrat seemingly attempted a prebuttal of the publication of this piece by releasing his most-coveted endorsement yet: Boebert’s primary opponent GOP state Sen. Don Coram. Coram, who Boebert beat by more than 30 percent in the primary, told Breitbart News on Wednesday afternoon when asked about his thoughts on these then-forthcoming revelations about Frisch that “I didn’t know anything about it” when he endorsed Frisch.
“It’s all news to me,” he said, adding however that even showing proof of not just an affair but blackmail with it would “probably not” change his mind.
The reason why that endorsement rollout is significant is because his endorsement fits the narrative that Frisch is going for with his congressional campaign: that Boebert is too much in favor of former President Donald Trump and that he is a consensus-building moderate Democrat who will work across the aisle on major issues. The Democrat’s campaign slogan is literally: “Colorado First. America Strong.” But this story could majorly disrupt that carefully crafted image.
Boebert’s campaign spokesman Ben Stout provided this statement when asked for comment by Breitbart News: “Adam Frisch changing his vote as an Aspen city councilman so he could hide an extramarital affair makes it clear Adam Frisch has no business being in public office. His wife and children do not deserve to be dragged into his mess. That said, Adam Frisch should absolutely be held accountable for being a corrupt politician.”
Until recently, Gardner was the owner of a taxi service in the Aspen area called High Mountain Taxi. At his dispatch center for his taxis, where he said he had about 50 drivers as employees in the region, he also had two floors of storage units he rented out to people in the community. Gardner has since moved to northern California where he owns a ranch. Frisch was a member of the Aspen City Council from 2011 to 2019.
According to Gardner, on the morning of May 8, 2017, Frisch rode his bicycle up to the building that doubled as both his taxi business dispatch center and his storage unit facility. Gardner happened to be on site unloading items from his pickup truck into the dumpster, and he said he found it odd that a well-known city councilman was riding around like a child on his bike.
“I just pulled up to work in my pickup and I had some stuff from my house that couldn’t go in the standard garbage can so I just brought it in my pickup there to go in my dumpster,” Gardner told Breitbart News. “I just backed up to the dumpster and pulled in and here he is riding his bike in circles around the parking lot and the street like you do as a little kid with your buddies. I look over and I’m like ‘gee, that’s Adam Frisch. What’s he doing?’”
Moments later, a woman pulled up in a white van. She parked the van, got out, and headed inside the building to a storage unit she rented from Gardner. Then, according to Gardner, Frisch parked his bike between two taxis and headed inside.
“I got out of the pickup and started unloading the stuff and then all of a sudden the white van pulls in,” Gardner said in an interview. “I knew who that was—that was the woman who had the storage unit. Interesting. All of a sudden she gets out and goes in and he gets off his bike and parks it between two taxis and he goes in. Now, that’s really interesting right?”
In the taped video, Gardner describes what happened next.
“I thought it was very odd. I parked the pickup and I went upstairs and grabbed my set of keys because there were two floors of storage units and I said ‘gee I wonder what’s going on?’” Gardner said. “I went and walked through our lower level because you can hear up to the upper level through the vents and I didn’t hear any noise. I went upstairs and was talking to my general manager about it and said ‘why don’t you go look?’ My general manager went and checked and she initially didn’t see anything and so I said ‘oh why don’t you go do another one?’ My general manager went and did another walk-through and saw a door that was cracked. We knew the storage unit number that was rented and the door was cracked and my general manager opened the door and my general manager saw Adam having sex with the woman that rented the storage unit. My general manager came back upstairs and came running into the office and was red and laughing hysterically. We continued to laugh hysterically in the office for quite some time. I called a few of my buddies and they got a laugh out of it. Sex in a storage unit? Who wouldn’t?”
Gardner would not provide the name of the woman when asked because he said she is not running for office. “Adam chose to run for politics. She’s not running for anything,” Gardner said. “She has a family. I will tell you this: It’s a very well-known name. You would know it the minute I said it who it was…. It’s a very well-known name.”
Gardner also would not provide contact information for or the name of the general manager who allegedly walked in on Frisch and the woman allegedly having sex in the storage unit.
“It’s a small town. She’s retired. She’s going to live there the rest of her life. I don’t want to make her life really crappy,” he said.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has vowed to take legal action against what she described as “false and disgusting” claims she was an escort. https://t.co/IKf7mtS8o7
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 16, 2022
But here is where the story turns from an alleged affair to alleged blackmail.
Gardner claims he sat on the information for nearly a year and did not do anything with it. But the following spring, in 2018, when the Aspen City Council was considering a proposal he deemed harmful to his taxi business prospects, Gardner says he pulled out the surveillance video of Frisch arriving at his facility the previous May on his bicycle to use it against Frisch to get him to change his vote and allegiance on the issue.
The City of Aspen was in 2018 beginning an experimental transportation project called a “mobility lab” that it would test in the summer of 2019. Local news outlets and business associations extensively discussed the proposal publicly at the time.
The project, called SHIFT, was according to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association “an initiative to test new modes of transportation in and around Aspen” for a three-month period in 2019. In short, it was a proposed special partnership with Lyft to offer Aspen residents, commuters, and visitors a multimodal experience that would assist people in booking and using electric bikes, electric scooters, dog-friendly shuttles from what’s called the Intercept Lot in Aspen.
The Chamber release touted a quote from the then-mayor of Aspen Steven Skadron essentially acting as though this was a done deal. “Transforming the transit experience is one of the City Council’s top nine goals and we’ve been working toward the SHIFT project for two years,” Skadron said. “The partnership with Lyft is an incredible opportunity to mobilize Aspen’s in-town and commuter drivers to proactively choose from many viable options other than their personal vehicles. The whole idea of SHIFT is to realize what is possible and set an example for other small size cities. This partnership with Lyft, the country’s leading-edge mobility company, will help provide opportunities for Aspen residents, commuters, and visitors that would not have been possible otherwise.”
Gardner says he understood the SHIFT project as a direct threat to his taxi service and opposed the initiative. So, according to Garner, he sent Frisch an email with with the implication being that if Frisch did not change his allegiance and vote against the project, Garner would reveal the alleged affair.
The first email, sent from Gardner to Frisch on April 10, 2018, shows Gardner expressing concern with Frisch’s position on the project from the previous night’s city council meeting and encouraging him to take his side instead. He ends the email with the not-so-veiled blackmail threat.
“And I’ve attached a short video clip from our security system you might be interested in,” Gardner wrote to Frisch. Gardner attached to the email surveillance footage of Frisch arriving on his bicycle at Gardner’s taxi dispatch and storage unit facility the previous spring.
That alleged video of Frisch on the bicycle is viewable at around 20 seconds into the 5-minute video Gardner recorded with the Boebert team.
In response to that email, Frisch responds in part: “I’ve been working with staff about my concerns that I think overlap with yours, other transportation providers, and some in general public about the city subsidies.”
Gardner told Breitbart News about Frisch: “He went to survival mode. Politically, he’s pretty savvy. He came out and worked hard lobbying against it. He was very vocal out there lobbying against it and showing up to meetings.”
Several other emails over the ensuing months allegedly show Frisch working against the program on behalf of Gardner’s concerns, continually updating Gardner on developments in the negotiations process. For instance, in an Aug. 2018 email, Frisch tells Gardner late at night after a city council meeting that he thinks he is “finally making progress.” In November 2018, Frisch emails Gardner with a breakdown of where the entire city council stands. Then, finally, in January 2019, the local news reported that the city had canceled the project.
“Aspen parks its $2.6 million transit experiment,” was the headline in The Aspen Times.
“We have stopped all work on it,” the project director Ashley Perl said. “There is not a project called SHIFT in 2019.”
A few paragraphs into the story is a particularly interesting analysis —the local news outlet says while Frisch initially supported the project at the outset and during its development, the lack of outreach to local transportation providers from the city led to him turning against it.
“Frisch said while he had supported the project as it was developing, he became frustrated with the lack of public outreach with local transportation companies and others that would be impacted,” the Aspen Times’s Carolyn Sackariason wrote. “He had voiced his displeasure and said it should’ve been clear to Skadron that he might not have the support he needed to carry the project to fruition.”
Sackariason then quoted Frisch directly mocking the mayor for not having the vote locked down: “One of the things on the mayor’s agenda is to make sure the thing is baked.”
Gardner told Breitbart News that he came forward with the evidence and allegations because he thinks the public needs to know that he thinks voters cannot trust Frisch if elected to Congress. He insists he is not a Boebert fan either, and tends to be more of a libertarian even though he likes former President Donald Trump too.
“You have two really crappy candidates,” Gardner told Breitbart News on Wednesday morning. “I’m not for either one of them. I roll more in the libertarian camp. I’ve given up on the Republican Party because I think they’re just as bad as the Democrats. Adam is an elitist. I don’t think Boebert has a clue what’s going on. It’s unfortunate.”
Regarding Boebert, he again reiterated “I can’t stand her” multiple times throughout the course of a nearly hourlong interview but added he thinks Republicans need to hold this congressional district because he said the GOP needs her vote to counter Democrat President Joe Biden’s agenda.
“I don’t know what she’s a product of,” Gardner said. “My only horse in this race is a vote in the House. We are losing this country and we cannot continue down this path of losing. My only interest in getting this out there is one, Adam is a piece of crap and all he’s going to do is go to Washington and screw more women. But I just don’t want to see the conservative party lose another vote. We need the vote. Adam is a rubber stamp for the left.”
Since Gardner moved to California, he does not get a vote in this race. Internal polling from Frisch’s campaign that he has released publicly has showed the race within the margin of error with a slight Boebert lead.
Many Never Trump and other establishment Republicans—like Coram and like Bill Kristol—have been trying to steer people in Colorado to support Frisch over Boebert.
What effect, if any, the Gardner allegations will have on the race is unclear.
“Well, okay I think it’s unfortunate but what we have in Colorado right now I think is a major disappointment and maybe he is not the best candidate but if that’s the case maybe he will be gone in two years himself,” Coram told Breitbart News on Wednesday when asked if he is okay with Frisch winning despite all of this just to get rid of Boebert.