As announced on the Peter Boyles Show (AM710, KNUS) this morning, the state’s premier campaign-accountability organization, Campaign Integrity Watchdog, has filed a campaign finance complete alleging multiple violations of the Colorado Constitution and state law (collective, the ‘Fair Campaign Practices Act’ or FCPA) by Bob Beauprez’s unregistered political committee ‘Colorado Pioneer Action’ (inclusive subsidiary/alias ‘Colorado Right Now’).
CIW’s Complaint alleges that Colorado Pioneer Action’s failure to register the entity with the Secretary of State as a “political committee” violates state law requiring federal entities (CPA is registered as a 501c4 “social welfare organization” enjoying tax-exempt status) actively participating in “supporting or opposing” candidates for elective office to register and disclose their campaign activity.
CIW’s Complaint alleges over a dozen willful failures to disclose campaign contributions and disbursements to “support or oppose” candidates in state elections, as well as massively violating contribution limits applying to such organizations under state law (per the FCPA, a “political committee” may only accept contributions from single sources at or below $575.00 per person per year; CPA has accepted and made contributions easily exceeding $250,000).
Under state law, failure to provide required disclosures are penalized at $50/day per violation, while exceeding contribution limits mandates penalties of 2-5X the amount by which each contribution exceeds allowable limits. Accordingly, CPA faces potential penalties ranging from $500,000 to over ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
Resolution of the Complaint in court is likely to be drawn out over several months, as the attorneys representing CPA have a documented history of failing to comply with subpoenas and court orders – on at least one occasion, narrowly escaping “contempt of court” charges. Given the extent of the violations, and potential penalties – this may be the campaign finance case of the year in Colorado.