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May 02, 2012 10:32 PM UTC

Ethics Watch Takes On OGI Colorado

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: This could be about to get even worse for Jessica Peck. Another video clip forwarded to us of Ms. Peck at the same Colorado Republican Business Coalition luncheon appears to show her bragging about making a political donation that “will not be reported.” This is, safe to say, odd behavior for the executive director of a “nonpartisan ethics watchdog group.”

JESSICA PECK: Um, we’re gonna take care of some business really quickly, I am going to give money for two, the, uh, two groups that solicited before, uh, we all sat down. So, bottom line, you have to get in people’s face and ask for money. [unintelligible]

So here is for Danny, please note it’s $19.99 so it will not be reported [Pols emphasis] to the Federal Election Commission. [laughter] Sorry, Danny. And here is for CRBC… [applause]

We assume that “Danny” is Danny Stroud, a candidate for Congress in CD-1.

She’s terribly clever, isn’t she?


Ethics watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service, asking for an investigation of another purported “nonpartisan” ethics watchdog group, the Open Government Institute of Colorado–based on a video of remarks by executive director Jessica Peck originally posted to our blog last week. from CEW’s press release today:

Today, Colorado Ethics Watch filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against the Open Government Institute of Colorado (OGI), asking for an investigation of actions taken by OGI to benefit the re-election campaign of Representative Mike Coffman, which could call into question the organization’s pending non-profit 501(c)(3) status.

A video posted on the political blog shows Executive Director Jessica Peck’s remarks at an April 20 Colorado Republican Business Coalition event. Ms. Peck was recorded on video camera saying “Congressman Coffman, we’re working on some things that may, in a very non-partisan way, benefit you in your endeavors in November, so I’ll talk a little about that.  So, I come here as a partisan Republican…,” which can be interpreted as stating that OGI has already taken specific actions to “benefit” U.S. Rep. Coffman’s “endeavors” in November, i.e. his reelection.  Ms. Peck’s remarks also allude to future activities that will be conducted by OGI between now and Rep. Coffman’s November election.

“Ms. Peck’s remarks are tantamount to telling a roomful of potential donors that a contribution to OGI is a tax-deductible way of supporting Rep. Coffman’s reelection campaign,” said Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch.  “The IRS has made it clear that 501(c)(3) organizations may not support or oppose candidates for office. There are many non-profit organizations in Colorado, representing every point of view, who take care to follow these rules, and none of us want one bad apple to spoil the bunch.”

…Based on the information Ethics Watch has received and researched, Ethics Watch has requested that the IRS carefully examine the activities of OGI before considering approval of OGI’s pending application for 501(c)(3) status.

We thought that video might be a bit problematic–this really might not have been the wisest thing to say as the executive director of a pending 501(c)(3) nonprofit, folks. Stay tuned…


15 thoughts on “Ethics Watch Takes On OGI Colorado

          1. …on you RG, but really, what’s more likely- that Arap copied that straight from CPP, or that a metaphor, even a cliche, occurred to him?

  1. $19.99 is not a reported donation; $20 is.

    The comment is tasteless, as is the reaction, but how many small party events wind up with $19.99 donations (and the corresponding $0.01 donation from some other person) because someone forgot to bring a reporting form of any sort?

    The first clip of her was much more damning.

    1. But morally and taken together, from the ED of a so called ethics watchdog, it’s about as hypocritical as it gets. It obliterates her credibility to file ethics complaints against anyone.

        1. The only way she ever would’ve pulled that off is if we’d all moved under power lines for a few years. It was a ridiculous thing when she started, it’s ridiculous now. Morally.

          Legally, well, I hope she gets whatever’s coming to her, whether something or nothing, just like anyone else. (Added as a disclaimer. My dislike of the woman doesn’t mean she’s violating anything but my common sense.)

    2. I’m non-partisan.  My name has never showed up on a donation list so now you must believe everything I say as true because I’m non-partisan.

  2. I hate when I’m given snippets. It’s too easy to take things out of context when you only see 30 seconds at a time.

    This looks like the same video from earlier. Post the whole damn thing already.

    1. Her statement about doing non-partisan type things to help Rep. Coffman sounds an awful lot like her speaking in her role for OGI Colorado, not personal.

      Of course she’s trying to defend herself, but she’s going to have to do better than that.

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