Man behind ‘Protect Wichita Girls’ video breaks silence
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - For the first time since a false attack ad aimed at, then mayoral candidate, Brandon Whipple made news, the man responsible for making the video sat down with Factfinder investigator Alex Flippin.
The claims made in the Protect Wichita Girls video, that began circulating just ahead of the 2019 Wichita mayoral election, were not true.
Whipple filed a lawsuit against its creators, but that’s where things hit a snag.
The only person listed on the suit is Matthew Colborn, the then-21-year-old man, who shot and edited the video. The persons responsible for its content hid behind an out-of-state LLC as Whipple’s attorney worked to discover their identities.
Matthew Colborn says he already knows them.
Often through tears, sitting at his home, Matthew Colborn admits he’s the man who made the false attack ad, and he says he’s ready for the scrutiny surrounding his part in making it to end.
“I was reached out to to make a video and it was a negative piece so they provided me with the script and the newspaper articles and they basically said we just need a video made for this,” Colborn explained.
He was given three days to complete the project and promised $20,000 to do it. He’s said in court documents, Sedgwick County Republican Party chairman Dalton Glasscock was the person who originally asked him to make the attack ad paid for by a group called “Protect Wichita Girls.”
“He’s (Glasscock) the first one to come up to me for requesting me to make videos for the mayoral election. Yes,” Colborn said.
Shortly after the ad was circulated on social media, Glasscock called for Kansas House representative Michael Capps to resign after he says he determined Capps had played a role in producing the video. But Colborn says Capps was not involved.
“Capps I think was, I feel guilty about this unfortunate circumstance, because he’s the one person who didn’t fire me when the article came out. And he actually wasn’t any of...the people that tried to get me to participate in the video if that makes sense,” Colborn said.
Colborn says after being promised the $20,000 he was given an envelope containing script. He says the man who handed him the script was Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell. But O’Donnell isn’t the only public figure he now names in connection to the video...adding to the list, city councilman James Clendenin.
“I know O’Donnell, Clendenin and Glasscock were involved,” Colborn said. “I can’t distinguish the extent to who was involved with what because so much was kept from me.”
Colborn’s mother Denise, sat in on her son’s interview. She says, at this point, he is the only person owning up to his role in the scandal and that it’s time for that to change.
“I’m mad because you have some Republicans…grown men, Michael O’Donnell, Michael Capps, James Clendenin and Dalton Glasscock who saw an opportunity to take advantage of this young kid,” she said. “I’m very angry about that. And not only that, they won’t do the right thing. Just come forward and own your stuff.”
Councilman James Clendenin, County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell, and State Representative Michael Capps did not respond to requests for comment. Sedgwick County GOP chairman, Dalton Glasscock says he was not involved in the production of the video and his story has not changed since last year. Brandon Whipple’s attorney tells Factfinder 12 that Matthew Colborn’s story has changed three times since the lawsuit was filed and he doesn’t know what to believe.
Whipple also said in an email response, “Finding the truth and exposing corruption is the motivation for this case. Since it’s an ongoing lawsuit, it’s best that my attorney comments instead of me. I’m focused on my job as Mayor.”
Colborn says he only ended up receiving about $10,000 for his work on the video. The check, he says, came from a company owned by Michael Capps.
Now, he says, he’s out of money and earlier this year he fired his attorney and now represents himself.
The case will not go in front of a judge until sometime next year.
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