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Legislative Year: 2019 Change

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Colorado’s midterm elections have reached $100,000,000 in total contributions from January to present and expenditures are $110,000,000. These numbers indicate how valuable the election results are and what’s at risk for the losers.

Polis accounts for 20% of midterm money

No individual has exceeded US Rep. Jared Polis’s contributions of $20,515,000 to his own campaign. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton has collected $3,216,975 for his campaign committee, Stapleton for Colorado. Other groups are pitching in side money, also known as dark money, to give Stapleton a shot.

The Republican Governors Association has invested ;$3,475,000 in Stapleton and Better Colorado Now has pitched in $2,251,000. The Colorado Campaign for Jobs and Opportunity, a pro business, anti-union organization sponsored by the DC-based Workforce Fairness Institute, has $1,350,000 to help the State Treasurer.

Not to be outdone, however, Polis gets a boost from Good Jobs Colorado at $3,825,5005. That committee recently collected $920,000 from the Sixteen Thirty Fund in DC that helps entrepreneurs advocate for change.

2500 feet drilling setback opposition collects 30% of midterm money

Each campaign for governor is smaller potatoes than what’s going into Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence, aka, Protect Colorado. So far, the energy industry has ginned up $30,339,548.05 against the statutory initiative Proposition 112 to defeat the 2500 feet drilling setback.

The Proposition 112 supporters, Colorado Rising, has collected $706,912.84, with about $600,000 going to gathering petition signatures. It currently has $73,051.62. Protect Colorado still has $10,276,501.

The principal contributors to Protect Colorado are Anadarko at $5 million, Noble Energy at $5 million, PDC Energy at $4 million, Extraction Oil and Gas at $2.15 million, the Colorado Petroleum Council at $1.3 millon, SRC Energy at $1.1 million and DCP Midstream at $1 million. Protect Colorado has sent $2.7 million to the Committee for Colorado’s Shared Heritage, which supports mineral property rights.

Other Amendments and Propositions

The Conservation Colorado Victory Fund with $2,406,000.00 is taking a pass on the 112 proposition to support governor, state House, and state Senate candidates with strong environmental platforms, mostly Democrats.

Two amendments, Y and Z, are getting their share of dollars. Kent Thiry of DaVita has thrown $600,000 into Fair Maps Colorado along with Pat Stryker, who tossed in another $600,000. This is their effort to reduce gerrymandering in redistricting US Congressional seats and the Colorado legislature. Fair Maps has collected $3,930,822.90 and has $1.5 million on hand.

Coloradans for Coloradans is supporting the transportation tax initiative, Proposition 110, with $5,115,526 mostly from business interests that seek an investment in Colorado’s roads, bridges, bike trails, etc. It has $468,680 still in its coffers. It’s competing against Proposition 109 sponsored by the Independence Institute. The Institute’s Fix our Damn Roads committee collected $305,422 and has $1,744 left, but this initiative will fund transportation needs without raising taxes, which the Institute hopes will be more attractive to voters.

The education funding Amendment 73 is getting hit by Blank Check Blatant Deception, a committee sponsored primarily by the conservative business group Ready Colorado run by two Republican politicos, Luke Ragland and Craig Hulse. They’re taking on the education lobby including Great Ed Colorado and the Colorado Education Association. The Amendment affects primarily high income Coloradans and would backfill inadequate education funding over the last decade.

Tammy Story tops all legislative candidates for money

The state Senate races see the same top five fundraisers, all Democrats: Tammy Story at $389,000, Faith Winter at $356,000, Jessie Danielson at $313,000, Brittany Pettersen at $265,000, and Robert Rodriguez at $195,000. The Democrats have raised roughly twice as much as their Republican opponents who have other groups pitching several million their way.

Democratic House candidates are the lead fundraisers in all but one race: Emily Sirota at $145,000, Kerry Tipper at $149,000, Matt Gray at $141,000, Jeff Bridges at $121,000, and Republican Terri Carver at $102,000.

The Colorado House is expected to retain its Democratic majority. The Colorado Senate is up for grabs. Democrats have to grab one seat to regain the majority.

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