GUILTY! Ryan Call Group ‘Citizens for Reasonable Rational and Responsible Governance’ (CRRRG) Commits Multiple Violations of State Law; Nets New Record for State’s Largest Campaign Finance Penalty, Ordered to Disclose Finances
Coming close on the heels of Campaign Integrity Watchdog’s epic “David vs. Goliath” victory over Bob Beauprez’s ‘Colorado Pioneer Action’ political committee masquerading as a 501(c)4 “social welfare” nonprofit organization, Campaign Integrity Watchdog defeated Ryan Call (and his proxy attorneys) in another case exposing a “social welfare” group as a political committee.
CRRRG was found guilty on all counts alleged by Campaign Integrity Watchdog, and ordered to pay penalties of $23,147.86 within 30 days of issue of the Final Agency Decision (9 May 2017). (CRRRG was also required to register as a political committee and disclose all financial activity).
Even reduced from the potential maximum of $58,747.86, the penalties imposed represent a new “largest campaign finance penalty” record, eclipsing the previous record of $17,735.00 (held for a mere few weeks) “achieved” by Bob Beauprez’s ‘Colorado Pioneer Action’ group.
The CRRRG entity was formed in late 2015 by disgraced former Colorado Republican Party chair Ryan Call and developer Benjamin Green to influence elections in Woodmen Hills Metro District (WHMD), as the successor to the ‘Alliance for a Safe and Independent Woodmen Hills’ (ASIWH) formed for the same purpose two years earlier, and also represented by… Ryan Call.
CRRRG falsely registered as a 501(c)4 “social welfare” organization, following in the footsteps of the ASIWH organization (found to be a political committee in a 2014 case won by Campaign Integrity Watchdog against ASIWH, then represented by (now-state-senator) Bob Gardner).
(See: The Lawmaker is a Lawbreaker? Bob Gardner loses campaign finance complaint, August 2014)
This week’s ruling followed months of pre-trial proceedings and delay, during which Ryan Call (via proxy attorneys) falsely accused Campaign Integrity Watchdog’s non-attorney officer and representative Matt Arnold of unauthorized practice of law (a potentially criminal allegation) and presented multiple unjustified demands for attorney fees – all rejected by the Court.
CIW’s Director (and non-attorney representative) Matt Arnold stated, “After months of delay as CRRRG fought to delay, deny, and to suppress evidence – even attempting to avoid testifying in court – this much-delayed case has resulted in judgment against the guilty parties, and serial violators are finally brought to account; another ‘win’ for transparency and accountability in the conduct of Colorado elections.”
“This ruling not only exposes yet another sham “social welfare” organization acting to influence – or buy – elections, it exposes the crooked political operatives and attorneys who repeatedly pop up involved in such illegal activities in our state,” he continued. “The baleful activities of these shady characters both coarsens political discourse and encourages the very corruption and “undue influence” Colorado campaign finance laws were designed to deter. Every defeat for the likes of Ryan Call is a victory for the voters and citizens of Colorado.”