Questions rise over Democratic groups’ campaign finances in state senate races


STRATEGY SHAKEDOWN: Democratic-supporting 527s and independent expenditure committees may be in violation of Colorado campaign finance law.

By Joshua Sharf |

The famed Colorado Blueprint may have hit campaign finance snag.

Close inspection of a set of Democratic-supporting 527 groups — tax-exempt organizations created primarily to influence the selection of candidates to all levels of public office — and independent expenditure committees raises a number of questions about both the mechanics and the politics of the Colorado Democracy Alliance’s decade-old strategy.

The organizations in question first came to Watchdog Wire’s attention when they produced an ad critical of state Senate candidate Tim Neville for his stand on federal budget issues. The ad itself was produced by the Citizens’ Alliance For Accountable Leadership and was featured on the You Tube channel of Colorado Voters’ Voice.

Those two organizations appear to be part of a group of teams devoted specifically to swing State Senate races, also including Mainstream Colorado, and the Colorado Voter Information Project.

Here’s how the money flows:

TRACER records show that Mainstream Colorado has contributed $100,000 to the Colorado Voter Information Project, which has passed that along to Colorado Voters’ Voice (CVV). The national Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has contributed $200,000 to CVIP, which has passed that along to CVV. This $300,000 constitutes CVV’s only funding for this cycle.

At the same time, Mainstream has contributed $1.2 million to the Citizens’ Alliance for Accountable Leadership (CAAL), which constitutes that organization’s only funding.

An FEC search finds at least three campaign committees named “Fair Share” – Fair Share Action (Denver), Fair Share Alliance (Washington, DC), and Fair Share Alliance PAC (Boston).

Read the complete story on