Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Nearly $73,000 in dark money flows into Colorado Springs city election

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 3:42 PM

With Wednesday's filing of a campaign finance report, we learn just a tad more about Colorado Citizens Protecting our Constitution, an outfit based in Greenwood Village that's fiddling in the Colorado Springs City Council races.

click to enlarge cityelectionsbug-web_360.png
CCPOC Independent Expenditure Committee reports raising $90,000 from the CCPOC itself and spending $72,934.

Some of that spending, $10,334, went to Percipient Strategies, Washington, D.C. This is the political consultant and opposition research firm we wrote about here, and also in Wednesday's edition. ("The negative side of local campaigns," News, March 15, 2017)

Oddly, the maestro overseeing this spending, as we understand it, is Dede Laugesen, wife of Gazette editorial page editor, Wayne Laugesen, via her Windover Media consulting firm. And she's been paid only $2,000.

All of the spending, except for payment to Laugesen has gone to out-of-towners, and all but about $16,500 has been spent out of state. CCPOC IEC operates under rules that allow it to keep the names of donors a secret, so we'll never know who gave money to this effort.

Here's that filing if you want to read it:

All to promote the candidacy of those chosen by developers and business folk for district seats on Council that pay $6,250 a year.

CCPOC has issued fliers against Richard Skorman, running in District 3 against the developer-backed Chuck Fowler.

CCPOC has also bought television time to promote Lynette Crow-Iverson, another developer-backed candidate, who's challenging incumbent Jill Gaebler.

Somewhat surprising is that CCPOC is mailing fliers on a positive note on behalf of incumbent 
click to enlarge Andy Pico: Dark money is on his side and so far isn't maligning his opponents. - COURTESY OF THE CANDIDATE
  • Courtesy of the candidate
  • Andy Pico: Dark money is on his side and so far isn't maligning his opponents.
Andy Pico, who has three challengers: Melanie Bernhardt, Robert Burns and Janak Joshi.

We'll catch up on other campaign finance filings in a few days, but it appears Greg Basham, another developer-backed candidate who's challenging incumbent Don Knight in District 1, has raked in another $9,000 or so, most of it from developers and the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs.

Oh, and the Police Protective Association PAC has jumped on board with developers and business, including politically active group Colorado Springs Forward, to back Basham, Fowler, Crow-Iverson and Deborah Hendrix in District 4 by giving each $1,000.

It's worth noting that this city election is becoming a rather costly one for developers, considering they've given the bulk of another $37,300 to Committee for Ballot Measure #2. This is the measure that seeks voter permission to let the city keep $6 million this year and $6 million next year in excess revenue collected in violation of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights revenue cap.

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