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March 15, 2011 08:30 PM UTC

Tipton To Otero County GOP's Rescue?

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Fort Collins Coloradoan has been on a tear in the last few days publicizing huge fines faced by a couple of county Republican Party organizations–and yes, the Larimer County Democrats appear to have some bookkeeping issues too. On Sunday, discussed in this space, the Otero County GOP was reported to owe at least $50,000 in fines, having basically filed no disclosures with the Secretary of State since 2007.

Chairperson Judy Reyher, who amusingly blames her inability to file the reports most other county parties managed to file without incident on Democrats and “unionized state workers,” says that the county party only has about $200 in the bank. Apparently she never changed the registered contact for the party from the guy she ousted “Tea Party”-style, and if you read the whole story by editor Bob Moore, you kind of get the impression that no Republican in Otero County knows how to use a computer anyway.

As for that meager bank account balance, there’s one detail we wanted to make sure wasn’t lost:

She said the party doesn’t seek donations, though it does raise money through events, such as the upcoming Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday featuring Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo. [Pols emphasis]

What a relief! If they play this right, Colorado’s freshman Rep. Scott Tipton should prove quite a draw–which means a hefty boost for the aforementioned bank account. On Monday, Ms. Reyher can direct her check for $50,800 (plus $300 a day from last Sunday, tick tick tick) to:

Colorado Department of State

ATTN: Elections Division

1700 Broadway

Denver, CO 80290

Alternatively, she might see if the newly-friendly Secretary of State’s office knocks that fine down to something manageable, which for these folks is evidently no more than a couple of wooden nickels. All the same, we’d say this is a fine test of whether or not someone is “blowing off” the law, which Gessler has said merits a stiffer penalty–don’t you?

You’re right, Tipton can’t raise $50,000–definitely not in in La Junta.


23 thoughts on “Tipton To Otero County GOP’s Rescue?

  1. It appears it’s been a little longer than 2010 since Ontero filed a finance report. It appears they haven’t filed one since they first registered with the state in 2007.

      1. From Bob’s article,

        The Otero GOP has accumulated $50,800 in potential fines for not filing the required 2010 reports, and the fine is growing by $300 a day. No estimate was available on the accumulated fines from earlier years.

        So, if I’m reading this right, the total they owe could be much higher, if SoS factors in 2007, 2008 and 2009?

        1. The total theoretical fine is north of $300,000. State law changed in 2010 to give the SoS enforcement responsibility over county parties; prior to that it rested with the county clerk. As best I can tell, the Otero County clerk never sent a delinquency or penalty notice to the county Republicans.

          The Otero GOP, with help from the state party,has begun filing reports, starting with the 2008 filings. But all six reports filed yesterday show zero donations or expenditures. This is likely just a placeholder to stop the fine meter from running.

          Early version of my latest story here; more details tomorrow.

          1. And wow. That’s a serious sum of money. Would there be any leeway for that, since they never received a delinquency or penalty notice prior to 2010?

              1. I honestly don’t believe they’ve been aware of any fines until I contacted them last week. The delinquency notices were going to an ex-chair (because the party failed to update its registered agent with the SoS) who apparently wasn’t passing them along to anyone. That chair, by the way, would have been responsible for the 2008 filings that never got done. There’s no sign the Otero County clerk sent any delinquency or fine notices in 2008. I don’t even know that the clerk will levy a fine now.

                The 2010 fines will be decided by Gessler’s office. The party can’t seek a waiver until it files its overdue reports, which hasn’t happened as of a couple of minutes ago.

          2. I do believe the treasurer must sign the reports representing that they are true and accurate under penalty of perjury.

            Putting zeroes is knowingly putting false information. I’m not a lawyer, but my guess is that was a dumb move.

              1. Because the reports they are amending were true and accurate to the best of the filer’s knowledge at the time they were filed, and then new information came along or a mistake was discovered and an amendment is filed.

                They do not, however, get filed fraudulently and knowingly false under penalty of perjury in order to get out of paying a fine.

        1. The SOS (yeah, I know not this SOS) has already settled a $500,000 fine for roughly $8,500.

          Let’s say Gessler decides to get tough on this egregious violation — let’s make it a punitive $.02 on the dollar — that $300,000 fine should net the Colorado coffers a cool $6,000.

          Now that’s the kind of money that Tipton could raise — even in La Junta.

          It’s called “precedent” people — counting down the days to the announcement.  

  2. for being die hard conservatives who don’t follow the rules.  That is just chump change for the brothers.

    It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that these folks are fiscally responsible people who are law abiding citizens.

    Of course if it was a Democratic group it would be throw the book at those voter fraud scum.  There would have been all kinds of wringing of hands over how horrible Democrats are to ignore the rules.

  3. We first noticed, at least in detail, what a confused and disorganized collection of incompetents is the Otero County GOP about this time last year. Reyher’s shrill defense of the indefensible is hardly anything new. What was surprising, back then, was that the state and national GOP organizations defended Reyher and her band of political buffoons. Well … considering the gubernatorial candidate(s) put forward by the state party, perhaps it isn’t all that surprising. Meanwhile, this one:

    has some links within that give a pretty good background on the sorry state of GOP affairs in Otero County.

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