A second round of campaign finance allegations against COGOP Chairman Ryan Call’s “Brainchild” project (the Colorado Republican Party ‘Independent Expenditure Committee’ or “CORE IEC”) resulted in another “guilty plea” in a Colorado campaign finance case brought by Campaign Integrity Watchdog.
The CORE IEC’s highly-touted (and very expensive) legal team, acknowledging the strength of Campaign Integrity Watchdog‘s case, stipulated to 12 counts of violations, in return for significantly reduced penalties (a fraction of the tens of thousands applying under statute).
The CORE “guilty” plea, entering a stipulated judgment on 12 counts of campaign finance violations, follows a similar plea deal in the 5 cases brought against CORE donors for failing to file individually-required disclosures, due to the CORE IEC (and Ryan Call) failing to inform them of their legal obligation to do so (under Colorado’s admittedly convoluted campaign finance regulatory regime).
“CORE’s acceptance of Campaign Integrity Watchdog’s offer to enter a stipulated judgment rather than continue to battle a lost cause in court reflects recognition of reality: fighting CIW is a losing proposition” said Campaign Integrity Watchdog director Matt Arnold.
Sideline critics carping about the reduced penalty amounts – desperately downplaying the severity of CORE’s violations of Colorado law – just don’t get it; it’s not about the money – it’s about integrity of the rules and the process, it’s about accountability to the law and to the voters, and it’s about arrogance. Ryan Call’s “brainchild” put Republican donors at risk, it put the state party at risk, and it failed to actually achieve anything of value – except to fill the pockets of Ryan’s buddy and crooked crony consultant chum Tyler Harber,” continued Campaign Integrity Watchdog director Matt Arnold.
Campaign Integrity Watchdog is a non-partisan organization pursuing campaign finance violators on both sides of the political aisle, successfully prosecuting more campaign finance cases than any other organization in state history. 2014 highlights include winning a nearly $10,000 judgment against an organization formed by Republican State Representative Bob Gardner, who also defended (and lost) the case in court; successfully prosecuting Pueblo County Clerk & Recorder Gilbert ‘Bo’ Ortiz on four counts of violating the same campaign finance laws he is responsible for administering at the county level, and successfully prosecuting a “triple play” of state legislators (Dave Young, Brittany Pettersen, Joe Salazar) and a now-former legislator (Mike McLachlan) for failing to properly disclose campaign contributions.