Sketchy Pro-Fracking Donations Attract Interest in Ft. Collins City Council Race


Ft. Collins City Council candidate Ray Martinez.

A heated race for a seat on the Fort Collins City Council is attracting lots of attention from outside groups — including some that may not even exist.

Reporter Nick Coltrain of the Coloradoan has been doing a good job in covering the intricacies of the Ft. Collins municipal elections, which are rapidly drawing to a close (mail ballots are due by Tuesday). One of the more interesting races is in District 2, where frequent candidate Ray Martinez continues to be dogged by charges first leveled his direction when he first tried running for City Council 20 years ago (and later during an attempted campaign for the state legislature).

But perhaps the most curious story of the District 2 race was reported by Coltrain in today’s Coloradoan:

A pro-fracking group has spent $20,000 to support Fort Collins city council candidate Ray Martinez, city campaign finance records show.

Larimer Energy Action Project, whose website declares “We can frack safely in Larimer County,” spent the money to canvass and distribute literature in District 2, the east-central district Martinez hopes to represent. Martinez, a former mayor, is facing Poudre School District Board of Education member Nancy Tellez in the contest.

LEAP’s phone number on its website has been disconnected. Representatives from LEAP did not return an e-mail asking for comment Thursday. [Pols emphasis]

Martinez served as a paid consultant for a Colorado Oil and Gas Association-backed group that fought a 2013 ballot measure seeking a five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in Fort Collins.

Now, Martinez supporters are quick to point out anti-fracking groups have also spent large sums of money opposing his candidacy or supporting opponent Nancy Tellez, but that’s not the point here. Obviously both candidates are going to have different levels of support on different issues, but thus far, only one of those organizations (LEAP) has all but vanished since spending $20k supporting Martinez.

Perhaps LEAP just spent so much money backing Martinez that it couldn’t afford to pay the phone bill?

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    Where’s Scott Gessler and the dunk tank fundraiser when you need him?

  2. ElliotFladen says:

    Speaking of mysterious funders, who on the left donated to do those ads that were aimed at helping the Tancredo campaign last year?

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      Hey look, it’s Elliot showing up to throw chaff! That’s how I know a story is worth following.

    • BlueCat says:

      Thanks Elliot. Your look over there/Johnny does it to response pretty much proves there’s a there there. Otherwise you wouldn’t have any trouble explaining this situation with facts. Clearly and as always when you employ this defense, which is about 95% of the time, you’ve got nothing. Just your usual loyal, if very lame, IOKIYAR Apologist Team attempt at the “These are not the droids you’re looking” ploy and you, sir, are no Alec Guiness. He made pulling that one off believable!

      Happy Passover. Just taking a break between cooking and

      • ElliotFladen says:

        Look, if you want to be “Colorado Democrat Underground” knock yourselves out.  If you want at least a microscopically thin veneer of professed straight shooting you need to at least occasionally, maybe with the frequency of on at least the eve of an eclipse, hold Democrats to the same standards that your seek to impose on Republicans.  

        • Pikes Piqued says:

          The irony that Elliot Fladermaus would accuse anyone of falsely claiming to be independent is staggering.

        • taterheaptom says:

          Neither a shrink nor shyster I, but I would say that is projection, counselor, in a feeble attempt to ‘pound the table.’  

        • BlueCat says:

          If by “you”, you mean me personally I can refer you to the many, many comments I’ve written both recently and going back for years, highly critical of various Dem pols, the Dem party in general, Dem ops,  Dem candidates and the comments of some of my fellow left leaning posters here with whom I sometimes strongly disagree. You pointing to me as an example of someone in need of a thin veneer of straight shooting is ridiculous beyond belief.

          I simply have an orderly mind and high standards in presenting arguments for or against anything. An inability to discuss any given subject, action, policy or incidence of misconduct on its own merits, as you constantly demonstrate, makes reasonable the assumption that you have nothing concrete to offer in reference to same and that’s why you so often can only resort to the irrelevance of bleating about others doing or saying the same thing. This propensity of yours would win you no points in any debate and shouldn’t from any sensible intelligent person.

          I always address the matter at hand on its own merits and the matter at hand often results in my finding Dems and fellow left leaners at fault. My comment history backs that up. You are completely and unambiguously full of it to imply otherwise. You are also apparently burdened with a very sloppy, undisciplined mind. For that, you have my sympathy.

          Happy Passover and/or Easter and here’s wishing you a speedy recovery from your unfortunate chronic, clueless lameness. Al the best, darlin’.

  3. Progressicat says:

    So, the LEAP I remember was fronted by BJ Nikkel and was called the Loveland Energy Action Project.  They leaped (pun intended) into action to stop a fracking moratorium on that city’s ballot.

    There was another group in that election called Protect Colorado who failed to file local disclosure forms with the city but did with the state.  They spent a couple million that cycle.

    Apparently the new LEAP runs in the same circles as Protect Colorado, since they seem to have used the same firm, JDS,  to act as a registered agent.

    From Protect Colorado’s TRACER filing:


    Address of Committee/Person: 10303 EAST DRY CREAK ROAD SUITE 400

    City, State & Zip Code: ENGLEWOOD CO 80112

    From LEAP’s Secretary of State filing (apparently they just sprang into existence Wednesday):

    Registered AgentName Jacquie NoonanStreet address 10303 E. Dry Creek Road, Suite 400, Englewood, CO 80112, United States

  4. ParkHill says:

    As a register (Dem) voter in that district, I’ve been receiving quite a bit of emails and door-to-door action. Ray Martinez himself even showed up. 

    I did get a robocall about “extremist environmentalists trying to smear Ray Martinez”. Clearly that was an effort to trigger outrage or voting for conservatives.

    I must say the pro-Nancy Tellez mailers are a bit over the top with attacks on Ray. They say negative campaigning works, but I’d much rather see affirmative statements about protecting the environment, and continuing Fort Collins strong commitment to renewables.

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