Federal Politics

Published — October 22, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Furniture king a celebrity in Colorado

Jake Jabs Courtesy of Montana State University

Jabs pledged $300K to secretive nonprofit

Introduction

Jacob “Jake” Jabs is not quite a national figure, but he is a celebrity in Colorado — so much so that he was featured in the animated comedy series “South Park,” which is set in the state.

A cartoon version of Jabs made a cameo appearance in 2007, according to Furniture Today. Kyle, one of the main characters, is at a party for high-rollers when he spots a man in a yellow suit with a white tiger in his lap.

“Look over there, it’s that Jake Jabs guy from American Furniture Warehouse commercials!”

Jabs, 81, owns Colorado’s largest furniture chain and is probably best known for his commercials featuring the big cats.

While his commercials are amusing, he is serious about his politics. A document from the Internal Revenue Service shows Jabs pledged $300,000 in seed money to American Tradition Partnership. ATP is a secretive pro-energy nonprofit that’s taken the state of Montana to court three times challenging the state’s campaign finance laws.

Jabs, through a spokesman, on Monday said he did not make a donation and has “never heard of” ATP or the group’s previous incarnation.

“He did not commit to the funds indicated by Athena Dalton in the filing so clearly he did not give them funds,” wrote Charlie Shaulis, director of communications for American Furniture Warehouse, Jabs’ company, in an email to I-News Network in Colorado.

Dalton wrote a letter to the IRS asking the agency to speed up the process for awarding it nonprofit status. The letter states that the approval was needed quickly, otherwise Jabs would not make a contribution. The agency gave it the thumbs up four days later.

In 2008, he paid for ads supporting a ballot initiative that would have made Colorado a “right-to-work” state, a measure opposed by unions. There were tigers in those ads, too.

Jabs said in a press conference posted on YouTube that he wanted to “hurt the pocketbooks of the unions so they don’t have the millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars to spend.”

He is a prolific Republican donor, having given about $150,000 to GOP candidates and parties since 1997, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The son of immigrants, Jabs grew up in rural Montana in a house without electricity, indoor plumbing or running water. His father had only a second-grade education.

Jabs tells his rags-to-riches story in his books, “An American Tiger” and “Thriving In Tough Times.” The cover of An American Tiger features Jabs with one of the animals.

His giving extends beyond politics.

In 2010, Jabs gave $3 million to the Montana State University’s business school. He is a 1952 alumnus of the university (then called Montana State College), where he studied vocational agriculture and was on the rodeo team.

Update (Oct . 22, 7:00 p.m.): This story was updated to reflect that Jabs, through a spokesman, denied making a contribution to ATP.

John Dunbar contributed to this report.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Martin Shellabarger
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J. Stevenson, what are you drinking? Trump has more lobbyists in his administration than probably any other president. Trump is totally “for sale”, and the corporations know it. Grow a brain!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.