DENVER—State and national labor unions have sunk $100,000 into the campaign to save Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak from a recall, according to a campaign-finance report released Tuesday.
The Democracy Defense Fund, an issue committee opposing the recall effort in Senate District 19, has collected $120,145 since Oct. 25, the vast majority from labor unions, for a total of $145,145 since the committee’s formation Oct. 11.
Another issue committee, Stand with Evie, has raised $25,428. The group’s next report isn’t due until Dec. 5, or two days after the recall petition must be turned in to the Secretary of State’s office.
That means the anti-recall groups have collected $170,573, or nearly double the $86,489 raised by Recall Hudak Too, which filed its last report Nov. 21.
Recall organizer Mike McAlpine said the latest fundraising figures demonstrate that “it’s exactly as we’ve been saying all along.”
“You’ve got big, out-of-state, union money trying to take away the voice of Colorado citizens,” said McAlpine. “This is another sign of out-of-control government funded by big-money interests coming into our state and trying to take it over. Thank goodness we have the recalls.”
Contributions include $25,000 from the National Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education in Washington, D.C.; $10,000 from the International Association of Firefighters in Washington, D.C., and $20,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Washington, D.C.
Meanwhile, the Colorado AFL-CIO Labor 2K donated $25,000, and the SEIU Local 105 in Denver gave $10,000, according to reports on the Colorado Secretary of State’s TRACER website.
The labor presence has been evident throughout the campaign to gather valid 18,900 signatures to force a recall election. Dozens of Hudak supporters, many wearing union hats and T-shirts, can be found on weekends lining Wadsworth Avenue waving “No Recall” signs at the petition sign-and-drive sites.
Hudak proponents say they’re standing behind her votes in favor of three gun-control bills passed in March, as well as her support for environmental legislation. The latest filing shows Conservation Colorado donated $10,000 to the pro-Hudak Democracy Defense Fund, while Coloradans for Civil Justice kicked in $15,000.
McAlpine said the anti-recall forces have become increasingly aggressive about trying to counter the signature-gathering effort.
“We have as I speak [people in] two vehicles filming us in our parking lot,” said McAlpine in a Tuesday phone interview. “This basically goes on all the time. Based on what I’ve been told, the union has full-time surveillance of Colorado citizens, which police have done nothing about about.”
The anti-recall camp has invested in robocalls, doorhangers and signs urging residents of the Jefferson County district not to sign the petitions. One petition-gatherer was threatened recently by a Hudak supporter in an episode caught on tape.
“They’re trying to intimidate us,” said McAlpine. “Their tactics are brutish. Evie’s goons are trying to intimidate the voters of Colorado.”
Recall Hudak Too has until Dec. 3 to turn in its signatures. McAlpine says the group is close to its goal, although it has lowered its original target of 25,000 signatures.
“We have huge interests fighting against us, and we’re in a squeaker,” he said. “This is going to be a close one.”