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October 06, 2006 09:06 PM UTC

Colorado SOS Shrugs Off Inaccuracies

  • by: Colorado Pols

As Colorado Confidential reports, Colorado’s Secretary of State is having a hard time keeping track of balance sheets…and they really don’t seem to care all that much about it:

Colorado Confidential looked at reports filed by the major committees for each party: The Colorado Democratic Party committee and the Colorado Republican Committee. Each report shows the beginning balance and ending balance for a particular period. The ending balance for one period should match the beginning balance for the next.

For example, if a committee has $1,034 at the end of a period on July 31, it should have $1,034 as the beginning balance of a new period on August 1. There’s no reason that these figures shouldn’t be the same, said Christi Heppard, campaign finance lead at the Secretary of State’s office.

“Yes, the ending balance of a committee should definitely equal the beginning balance of the next reporting period,” she said.

But, often they don’t. In July, the Colorado Republican Committee lost a whopping $26,024 overnight. On April 1, almost $15,000 mysteriously appeared.

The Democrats’ numbers have been off several times, too, but not by nearly as much. The largest discrepancy for the  Colorado Democratic Party committee was a 2006 New Year’s Day surprise of an extra $3,514. The committee’s figures didn’t align a few other times throughout the year by amounts ranging between $1,000 and $2,000.

Heppard said sometimes committees accidentally send the wrong report, which the Secretary of State’s office then posts on its campaign finance Web site.

“The system is not perfect,” she said. “If people send us the wrong information, we have to apply what they send.”

So, what’s the point of even having campaign finance filing regulations if the Secretary of State’s office will just shrug it off if you don’t make an accurate report? Why not just report $1 each period if nobody is ever going to call you out on it? How is it an acceptable excuse to say “If people send us the wrong information, we have to apply what they send”?

Laws? Laws are for sissies.


18 thoughts on “Colorado SOS Shrugs Off Inaccuracies

    1. I dont think you stand on much higher moral ground than being an incompetent liar.  His contributions are not from PAC, but individuals.  Some of the addresses or occupations were not filed, but that doesn’t mean he misfiled or committed a crime or even lied. 

      This is the worst find of the day. 

      1. In fact, his campaign has and is based on this.

        Check this out:

        And even the front page of his website has a “I take no PAC money” logo on it. 

        The man is totally misleading and doing a typical, lawyerlike dodge when he HAS taken PAC money and is raising money through the websites of PACs. He is a liar and should not be trusted.

        That, on top of being deceptive and incompetent disqualifies him from being a serious choice for Secretary of State.

        1. You let a typo slip in to your hatchet job:

          This link you provided is a wonderful and accurate summary of why Ken Gordon will be an outstanding secretary of state.  Let me quote from your source:

          Ken is the current Majority Leader of the Colorado State Senate and has recently received an award from Leave No One Behind, an organization that works to facilitate bipartisan cooperation in politics. Prior to his service in the State Senate, Gordon served as House Minority Leader. In 1999, the Sierra Club selected him as ‘Legislator of the Year.’ Ken is known throughout Colorado as a hard working legislator and a champion for environmental, education and campaign finance reform issues.

          As a legislator, instead of giving up when the legislature killed one of his campaign finance reform measures, Ken Gordon collected signatures to place the initiative on the ballot, where Colorado voters approved it. In the State Senate, he passed a bill that would require that every voting machine contain a verifiable paper record and that election officials conduct a random post-election audit of voting results. He has also carried legislation that toughens the disclosure requirements for lobbyists in Colorado.

          Ken Gordon will be the best Secretary of State we’ve had in Colorado.

          1.   Last year, when a Democratic state Senator committed an ethical violation which was relatively minor compared to the disgusting stuff we’ve seen coming out of D.C. this past week, Ken Gordon didn’t hesitate to tossed Deana Hanna overboard even though it jeopardized the Democrats’ one-seat majority in the Senate.  Ken Gordon put the integrity of the legislature ahead of his own position as Majority Leader. 
              Contrast that with the sorry, sordid spectacle of Hastert and Reynolds covering up the antics of Mark Foley hitting on children working at the Capitol in order to hold their majority.  Under their set of priorities, their personal survival trumps the public good.

        2. So, If I’m just completely missing it, I dont think you provided any evidence to back up the claim against Gordon acceptinng PAC money.

          You provided his statements against, and his logo, but nothing to persuade me to believe he has lied, or incompetent.

          Actually, you have brought me to the conclusion that a redmapter is a liar and incompetent, who is only pushing rumors.

    2. not rightwing blogs!

      Ken Gordon has NEVER taken PAC money.  Mike Coffman has taken tens of thousands of dollars from oil & pharmicutical PACs over his career.

      This thing about Ken not filling out the paper work is a big lie!  Employer & occupation are only required if the contribution is over $100.  Most of Ken’s contributions are small and therefore by law don’t require the employer occupation.

      The heartland PAC endoresed Ken sure, but I challenge you to find one penny that they gave to Ken?  You can’t because he hasn’t taken it.

      If you want to talk about money in politics lets talk about the fact that Mike Coffman was using his name to cozy up to George Bush and raise money for BB.  That makes me sick.  If Coffman wants to believe he’s not like every other repug out there then he should seperate himself from those two losers.

      1. because he did take money from Clean Water Action (and if you check the IRS website, you will see that Clean Water Action and Clean Water Action PAC have the same tax id number).

        But to keep things simple for everyone, here is the pertinent text:

        PAC Donation From Ralph Nader-linked Lobbying Group

        Despite Gordon’s claim of never taking PAC contributions, on Oct. 23, 1992, his state House campaign accepted a contribution of $1,058.58 from Clean Water Action. Although it has a rather innocuous name, Clean Water Action is a liberal environmentalist group with extensive ties to ulta-liberal Ralph Nader. The organization was incorporated in 1971 in Washington, D.C., as a PAC and lobbying group.

        NOW and CAPE: It’s Different If We Just Force Our Members To Give Directly — Really It Is

        In 1998, the National Organization of Women PAC figured out a clever loophole in Gordon’s “pledge”: It could just have its members give directly to Gordon. The Colorado Association Of Public Employees also caught on to this technique, directing CAPE union members to give directly to Gordon’s campaign. Like most reasonable people, we fail to see the distinction between having a union give directly from its coffers and a union coercing its members to hand over checks.

        1. if I can find a 14-year-old, $1,000 perfectly legal contribution to Mike Coffman from, say, Friends of David Duke…would you quiet down for a bit?

        2. Show where a Political Action Committee has donated.

          I dont care about your theories of who constitutes a PAC and who doesn’t. I want to see actual evidence.

        3. The 92 contribution was an in-kind contribution from clean water volunteers who went door knocking for Ken.  Clean water never even gave Ken a penny they just worked for him.  Ken then wrote them a check for the amount valued as to not accept their contribution. 

          Coffman’s you are going down regardless of how much spin and lies you try and throw out!

    3. That’s just not fair to say.

      Nor is it remotely accurate.

      You’re quoting “”  The geniuses who breathlessly announced Beauprez’s “big surprise” press conference this week?  That messenger is shot.

      The only actual PAC donation cited in your articles is a 1992 contribution from Clean Water Action for $1058.58.  I can’t corroborate it anywhere, but it may be true.  The rest of what you cite is total bullshit, forgive my French:

      But information made known to reveals not only is his claim patently false, but Gordon and his friends employ all manner of shady bookkeeping to hide special-interest contributions to him.

      Is it your website?

  1. Does this mean that campaigns that violate the law aren’t being called out?

    Other than coming up with zany new rules to thwart unions, what are they working on over at the SoS office?

    1. I appears to be up to “the public” to enforce campaign finance laws. There does not seem to be any action taken unless someone files a complaint. The process for handling a complaint has become unnecessarily cumbersome so it discourages complaints, the end result being campaign finance violators generally get away with it.

      Having said that, I have to admit that I am not in SoS’s office so there may well be follow up that I don’t know about, but I personally have not seen any sign of it.

  2. Colorado Leadership Fund was running TV over on the Western Slope for the last two weeks in August/first week in September.

    Go look at their SoS filings.  They reported no expenditures.

    1. As I read the rules, the only thing that kicks in at 60 days is whether it’s an electioneering communication or not.

      It’s still an expenditure.

      There are no expenditures reported.  None.  Zip.  Nada.  Their balance hasn’t changed, whether they have spent money or not.  I don’t think that’s accurate.

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