DENVER – Democrats Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron decried the costs of their recall elections – an estimated $200,000 each – but they apparently don’t mind spending $1,077,398 to fight being booted out of the Colorado Senate.
“Senator Morse listens to the community and understands that jobs are our number one priority,” proclaims A Whole Lot of People for John Morse website.
“However, a small but vocal group of people are seeking to try and force us all to foot the bill for an expensive taxpayer-funded recall election.”
“Sen. Angela Giron has committed her life to making Pueblo a better place for our families to live and work,” states the Pueblo United for Angela website. “She listens to the community and has spent time working to create jobs in Pueblo…”
Yet, the Morse and Giron defense campaigns paid nearly $1 million to political consultants outside of Colorado – and that figure doesn’t include expenditures by other political committees.
Giron’s Pueblo United for Angela” campaign raised nearly $586,188 in cash contributions through Aug. 22, and spent $575,668. But 78.2 percent – $450,257 – was paid to entities outside of Colorado.
A whole Lot of People for John Morse garnered $606,113 in cash contributions and spent $501,730. Of that sum, 75.6 percent – $379,309 – was paid to consultants in other states.
Yet, Giron and Morse sponsored House Bill 1292, “Keep Jobs in Colorado Act of 2013,” which requires Colorado labor to perform 80 percent of the work on state and local funded public works projects.
More than $2 million has been amassed to defeat the recalls of Morse and Giron on Sept. 10.
Taxpayers for Responsible Democracy raised $708,000 – mostly from billionaire philanthropists including $250,000 from Eli Broad of California and $350,000 from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Of that sum, $270,000 was contributed to Pueblo United for Angela and $150,000 to A Whole Lot of People for John Morse.
Julie Wells, now living in Kentucky, is the registered agent for Taxpayers for Responsible Democracy, We Can Do Better 527 committee, We Can Do Better IE (independent expenditure) committee and We Can Do Better Issue Committee.
We Can Do Better 527 committee raised $395,000, mostly from unions, and transferred $248,681 to other We Can Do Better committees, and paid nearly $100,000 to Washington, D.C. –based The Strategy Group.
The Strategy Group is a target mail firm whose clients include the campaigns of President Barack Obama’s and President Bill Clinton, unions and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC).
We Can Do Better IE committee raised $97,760 – all paid to Chicago-based Adelstein Liston, a media and political consulting firm whose clients include President Obama, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennett on behalf of AFSCME and other labor unions.
We Can Do Better Issue campaign raised $274,124 including $225,000 from the DLCC, and paid $24,440 to Adelstein Liston and $24,684 to The Strategy Group.
Of firms outside of Colorado being paid to fight the Morse and Giron recalls, Adelstein Liston received roughly $750,000, mostly from the Morse and Giron defense campaigns. The Strategy Group was paid about $300,000, nearly half from Democrat lawmakers’ campaigns.
Giron and Morse claimed organizers of the successful petition drives were amassing huge sums of money from outside interests. Though Americans for Prosperity and National Rifle Association have made independent expenditures, the recall issue campaigns have operated on shoestring budgets.
Pueblo Freedom and Rights, organized by three plumbers, raised $24,206 and spent $26,702. Just 23 percent of that money went to out-of-state vendors, including $5,000 paid to Texas-based Lamar Advertising to rent a billboard in Pueblo.
El Paso Freedom Defense Fund raised $19,750 in cash contributions, and every cent was spent in Colorado. I Am Created Equal gave in-kind contributions of $64,368 in-kind contributions for the recall petition circulators. The El Paso Freedom Defense Fund terminated its existence Wednesday.
Committee to Recall John Morse was recently formed and raised $10,200 – all but $100 from Colorado members of the Basic Freedom Defense Fund. The committee spent $9,470 – all in Colorado.
A total of $54,156 spent to recall Morse and Giron compared to $2 million to fight it.
“Coloradans have demonstrated in election after election that they cannot be bought by elitist out-of-state billionaires like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg,” said Kelly Maher, Compass Colorado executive director. “…It is Colorado voters who will have the final say on September 10th.”