#COpolitics outside $$ hits primary contests beyond #COgov

Print More

Gubernatorial candidates aren’t the only ones with super PAC cash backing them up for the June 26 primary contests.

Candidates for treasurer, attorney general and state legislature are also getting endorsements – and sometimes slams – from big money groups.

Outside groups must report how much they spend, on what and which candidates they support or oppose within 48 hours of such spending in the last 30 days before a primary.

Here’s a look at those outside spenders through June 10:

And here’s the rundown on who’s supporting whom, based on those reports.

Attorney general

Democratic state Rep. Joe Salazar and law professor and former Obama administrator Phil Weiser are competing in this contest.

On Weiser’s side is Justice Colorado, which spent nearly $47,000 on radio ads for Weiser. The groups donors are all named individuals, mostly from Colorado.

Colorado Working Families Party spent more than $15,000 for door-to-door canvassing on behalf of Salazar and Senate District 34 candidate Julie Gonzales. The Service Employees International Union gave the group $100,000.


UPDATE: Now comes the super PAC www.deadbeatbrianwatson.com, with Alan Philp, a former staffer for GOP Gov. Bill Owens, as the registered agent. 

With $17,500 from nonprofit Citizens for a Sound Government (also operated by Philp), they’ve created a website and are apparently paying for other internet ads taking aim at businessman Brian Watson, who’s spent more than $700,000 on his race.

Philp is also the agent for a new group, Conservative Polly Lawrence, which reported Monday spending $32,000 on internet ads supporting Lawrence. That group formed June 7.

Then there are sharp knives aimed at both Republican state Rep. Polly Lawrence and businessman Brian Watson.

They’re kinda cheap knives though.

Colorado Liberty PAC reports spending $3,440 on Internet ads opposing Lawrence and Watson and supporting state Rep. Justin Everett. One disclosure notes the slogans “Say no to shady businessman Brian Watson” and “Say not tax increaser Polly Lawrence.”

The Facebook ads lead to a website criticizing Lawrence and Watson, both of whom are airing TV ads supporting their campaigns. Lawrence is spending nearly $86,000, while Watson is spending at least $57,000.

Colorado Liberty PAC takes over where last fall’s JET PAC left off. JET PAC started out attacking Lawrence on the web, originally fueled by $5,800 from the Western Liberty Alliance, then $10,000 from GOP real estate developer Larry Mizel.

But JET PAC shut down in mid-May, transferring $5,000 to the Liberty PAC, having paid nearly $9,500 to Rearden Strategic and Marketing and Mail, both businesses sharing the PACs address. Rearden Strategic is operated by Joe Neville, brother of House Minority Leader Patrick Neville and son of state Sen. Tim Neville.

Colorado Liberty also employs Rearden and lists Joe Neville as the filing agent.

State Senate

The spending supporting Senate District 32 candidate Zach Neumann may be the biggest eyebrow-raiser here.

Three groups report sending mailers supporting Neuman in the three-way Democratic primary.

Assuring Quality Healthcare Access for Colorado reported sending two mailers supporting Neumann at a cost of more than $20,400. Assuring Quality Healthcare Access for Colorado is the independent spending committee for COPIC, which provides liability insurance to doctors.

Prosperity Through Property Rights and the National Association of Realtors PAC each reported spending nearly $39,000 on mailers supporting Neumann, for a total of more than $77,000. Both groups are funded by real estate interests.

And Raising Colorado is also running Facebook ads supporting Neumann, though they haven’t reported the spending yet. That group’s money comes from Education Reform Now Advocacy, a New York group, affiliated with Democrats for Education Reform.

The spending on behalf of Neumann far surpasses outside spending for any other office other than governor.

Other spending in state Senate contests:

  • A Strong Colorado spent nearly $10,000 on radio ads supporting incumbent GOP Sen. Ray Scott in Grand Junction. That group received $10,000 from Extraction Oil & Gas.
  • Rocky Mountain Gun Owners reported spending nearly $4,000 on mailers opposing Scott’s primary opponent, Republican state Rep. Dan Thurlow. That group’s money came from an affiliated small donor committee.
  • As mentioned previously, the Colorado Working Families Party is supporting Senate District 34 Democratic Julie Gonzales.
  • Blueflower Action spent more than $7,700 on a mailer supporting Gonzalez,
State House

Raising Colorado is spending in several House contests:

  • More than $19,000 on internet ads and nearly $12,000 on two mailings supporting Kerry Tipper in JeffCo’s three-way House District 28 primary.
  • More than $19,000 on internet ads and more than $13,000 on two mailers supporting Alex Valdez in the four-way House District 5 contest in Denver.
  • Nearly $8,000 on internet ads and nearly $6,600 on mailers supporting Kyle Mullica in his Adams County House District 24 contest.

Other spending in House contests:

  • Assuring Quality Health Care Access spent $25,000 on door-to-door canvassing on behalf of Colin Larson, a Republican facing Frank Francone in the open House District 22 seat in Littleton.
  • Better Schools for a Stronger Colorado spent more than $6,400 on a mailing supporting Larson.
  • Meanwhile, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners spent more than $6,100 on mailers opposing Larson and supporting Francone.
  • Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado spent more than $20,000 on two mailings supporting Ashley Wheeland in her House District 9 contest against Emily Sirota. The latter has been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who ran for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Assuring Quality Health Care Access also spent nearly $3,500 on a mailing supporting Democrat Jim Riesberg in his Greeley House District 50 race.
  • Blueflower Action spent $4,245 on a mailer supporting Meghan Nutting in HD 5 and $6,111 on a mailer supporting Monica Duran in JeffCo’sHouse District 24. 
  • National Association of Realtors and Prosperity Through Property Rights spent $11,175 each on mailers supporting GOP Rep. Lois Landgraf in her Colorado Springs District 21 contest.

Finally, unaffiliated candidates aren’t on the primary ballot. Still, Unite Colorado reports spending $6,850 each on canvassing for two candidates, Maile Foster in Colorado Springs House District 18 and Thea Chase House District 54 on the Western Slope.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *