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February 02, 2024 12:05 PM UTC

Colorado Republican Party "Outraises" Democratic Party (Ignore the Fine Print)

  • 4 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

The Colorado Republican Party had a rough year in 2023 in more ways than one, but particularly when it comes to finances. The State GOP reached an all-time low in fundraising and had trouble coming up with enough money to even keep the lights on in their South Denver office, while Chairman Dave Williams created a “consulting” business in order to pay himself a salary without actually saying he was paying himself a salary.

Grift me some money?

Things appear to have gone from bad to “less bad” for the State GOP. As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, the Colorado Republican Party appears to have outraised out-grifted the Colorado Democratic Party in the last two months of 2023:

The Colorado GOP outraised the Colorado Democratic Party in December for the second month in a row, though about two-thirds of the $121,000 raised by Republicans came from three presidential candidates who paid a fee to get on the March primary ballot.

Ryan Binkley, a Texas pastor, paid the Colorado GOP $40,000 while former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson each paid $20,000. Christie and Hutchinson have suspended their campaigns, but will still appear on Colorado’s ballot.

The party is requiring the Republican presidential primary candidates either pay $40,000 or pay $20,000 and visit Colorado or hold a fundraiser for the party to be on the March ballot. The money is nonrefundable. [Pols emphasis]

In the last two months of 2023, the Colorado Republican Party reported raising a total of $312,807…but more than half of that total ($160,000) came from the Colorado GOP’s bizarre ballot access fee grift for Presidential candidates (including this “Ryan Binkley” person). Without that money, the Colorado GOP actually raised $152,807 in November and December 2023. Here’s what the contributions and expenditures for each major political party in Colorado look like without the GOP grifting:

 

No refunds for you, Ron DeSantis!

As The Colorado Sun also makes clear, fundraising numbers from the State GOP should also be taken with some healthy grains of salt considering their overall lack of transparency:

Hutchinson’s payment wasn’t revealed until The Sun asked about it and the Colorado GOP consequently amended its December campaign finance report, which was filed this week.

Additionally, former UN ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley paid the Colorado GOP $40,000 on Nov. 1, 2023, but the state party didn’t report the payment in its last two monthly campaign finance filings with the Federal Election Commission until The Sun asked about the money.

Party Treasurer Tom Bjorklund told The Sun the contribution “was simply missed,” and that he amended the party’s November report Thursday to reflect the payment.

The Colorado GOP has received a total of $220,000 in ballot-access fees from seven presidential candidates since September. [Pols emphasis]

Oh, you mean THAT $20,000 check!

Colorado Democrats ended 2023 with about $194,000 cash on hand, compared with $664,000 for Colorado Republicans. But, again, it’s important to remember that Colorado Democrats and Chair Shad Murib have been spending money to put organizers and campaigns in place in battleground congressional districts (in CO-03 and CO-08) and in swingier areas of the state (like Pueblo).

It remains to be seen whether or not the Colorado GOP can figure out a way to keep the checks coming now that there is no further way to extort money from Republican Presidential hopefuls in 2024. Because when it comes to the nuts and bolts of campaigning, Colorado Republicans only have the nuts.

Comments

4 thoughts on “Colorado Republican Party “Outraises” Democratic Party (Ignore the Fine Print)

  1. I must ask, why does it even matter if the state GOP did truly have more cash? It clearly hasn't helped them. The GOP had heavy funding and cash at hand back in 2018, 2020, and even 2022. That didn't get them anywhere. Most funding seems to come from prominent Republican and conservative groups or individuals from outside the state. There's been nothing but stories of local conservative groups and personages ditching or refusing to donate or fund the state GOP. If anything, the fact that outsiders have to fund the GOP here is a testament to the lows the party has achieved. I guess throwing money at the problem and expect the state electorate to suddenly vote for far-right anti-abortion extremists is more realistic for these people than nominating true moderates and adapting their policies. 

  2. Also, Williams and his far-right cronies will hail this as proof that his preferred toxic and extreme brand of politics is actually popular and will definitely lead to more Republicans being elected if they keep pushing it. Regardless of whether Republicans win or even make inroads in red-leaning or swingy competitive races in 2024, Williams will hail it as victory for his cause (despite the myriad of reasons proving otherwise) and will quadruple down heading to 2026. I won't be surprised  if they nominate people like Bimbobert as governer, a election denier for secretary of state, or a anti-abortion extremist for attorney general. Maybe the Treasurer candidate may be the most sane but they'll likely find a way to mess that up too. 2026 and years soon beyond that is going to be a huge rude awakening for the Colorado GOP that they'll ignore it once again.

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