GUILTY! Bob Beauprez Group ‘Colorado Pioneer Action’ Commits Multiple Violations of State Law; Nets Largest Campaign Finance Penalty in State History, Ordered to Disclose Finances
Putting an exclamation point on months of pre-trial proceedings and days of hearing evidence and witness testimony, the case against “Both-Ways Bob” Beauprez’ political action committee (by another name) ‘Colorado Pioneer Action’ (CPA) resulted in a Final Agency Decision (FAD) released today finding the organization guilty of multiple violations of state law.
CIW’s Complaint alleging Colorado Pioneer Action’s failure to register 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) acting to “support or oppose” candidates for elective office to register and disclose campaign activity in Colorado was found to be meritorious, and the group has been ordered to register as a “political committee”, file reports disclosing the organization’s finances (including the identity of CPA contributors) and pay penalties in the amount of $17,735 (a 90% reduction from the amount allowed by statute, which would have totaled $177,350).
The Administrative Law Judge found the explanations of Bob Beauprez that CPA’s activities were not intended to support or oppose candidates “not persuasive” – noting that Beauprez “admitted that CPA and its contributors found certain candidates acceptable and others not” – in finding that CPA’s “major purpose” was indisputably focused on influencing elections.
CIW’s Director (and non-attorney representative) Matt Arnold stated, “At long last, this much-delayed case has resulted in judgment against the guilty parties, and serial violators are finally brought to account. Getting to trial after months of delay as CPA’s attorneys fought to delay, deny, and to suppress evidence – is already a “win” for transparency and accountability.”
“This ruling will not only shine a light on the dark-money special interests attempting to buy our elections, but also expose as #FakeNews some purported “journalists” who have in reality been hired shills producing paid infomercials masquerading as “news” and editorials in one of the state’s largest daily newspapers,” he continued. “Failing to disclose such conflicts of interest – being paid by special interests supporting or opposing candidates while “covering” elections in which those candidates are competing – is grossly unethical, strikes at the very core of the First Amendment, and even further undermines public trust in the mass media.