DENVER – Refusing to accept campaign contributions from special interests and political action committees (PACs) has been a hallmark of Democratic House candidate Andrew Romanoff’s campaign for the 6th Congressional District. But critics say Romanoff has broken that pledge, and they are now accusing the former four-term lawmaker of hypocrisy.
“Andrew Romanoff deceitfully demonizes the same special interest groups that pad his campaign coffers,” said National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) spokesman T.Q. Houlton in a statement Wednesday.
Romanoff’s pledge not to accept PAC money has earned him the praise of many who champion tighter limits on campaign contributions. But Houlton says Romanoff’s first fundraising report, filed with the Federal Election Commission, doesn’t live up to that promise.
The NRCC’s press release says Romanoff is breaking his pledge to avoid special interest money by taking money from “registered lobbyists, trial lawyers, corporate bigwigs and even the head of a special interest PAC.”
According to a review by The Colorado Observer, Romanoff took at least $14,800 from lobbyists. The head of the special interest PAC is Ken Gordon, who ran a group called CleanSlateNow in 2012 and is himself a candidate for Secretary of State in 2014. Gordon donated $5,000 to Romanoff’s campaign.
“Andrew Romanoff has already broken his pledge not to accept special interest campaign contributions just two months into his campaign for Congress,” said Houlton, citing the FEC report. “Hardworking Colorado families know Andrew Romanoff is just another professional politician bought and paid for by Washington special interests.”
Romanoff’s campaign did not return a request for comment.
The hypocrisy charge regarding Romanoff’s special interest pledge is not new. When Romanoff ran against U.S. Senator Michael Bennet in a Democratic primary in 2010, Bennet’s campaign hit him in a web ad for taking “tens and tens of thousands of dollars from corporate PACs.” The ad ends by noting that Romanoff even ran his own Political Action Committee for five years, including for four months after he entered the U.S. Senate race.
Romanoff, who represented Denver during his eight year career in the legislature, is seeking to unseat GOP incumbent and Marine Corps veteran Mike Coffman in the Aurora-based 6th Congressional District.