Campaign Integrity Watchdog (CIW) continued a streak of prosecutorial victories with a just-released ruling entering judgment against the Committee to Elect Tim Dore (CETD) for multiple violations of state campaign finance disclosure laws, and imposing a $2,000 penalty.
Former state representative Tim Dore (HD64), represented by ousted former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call (entering his appearance the day before trial), was found guilty of failing to disclose the money spent by or on behalf of his candidate committee during his failed re-election bid in the June 2016 primary elections.
Dore’s failures to disclose campaign expenditures were characterized by the judge as “misleading” since the committee’s reports “effectively obscured the dates and purposes” of campaign activity, violating the transparency and accountability to voters that is the core purpose of the Colorado constitutional and state law provisions regulating campaign disclosures.
The judge further noted,
“The purpose of article XXVIII, in part, is to foster transparency in campaign financing through “full and timely disclosure of … funding of electioneering communications.” CETD’s reporting failures compromised that purpose.”
According to state law, the statutory penalty for such violations amounts to $50/day for each violation, which would have led to a total of $19,100 in penalties assessed against Dore. However, the judge exercised his authority to impose a reduced penalty for Dore as a first-time offender, and imposed a reduced total penalty of $2,000 – payable within 30 days of the decision.
CIW’s officer, Matt Arnold, stated that “candidates for office who deliberately evade the legal disclosure requirements for campaign activity betray the public trust. Elected officials – and those seeking to obtain or retain elected office – cannot be above the laws they impose on the rest of us. Such “official” violators must be held accountable to the law, so that ‘some animals – are not more equal than others’ – and this ruling against Tim Dore’s campaign does just that.”