Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler on Monday cut a personal check to the Department of State for $1,278.90, looking to put an end to an ethics investigation that has stretched on since the middle of October and that seemed likely to continue attracting headlines and draining public funds for months to come.
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Draft documents drawn up by Colorado Independent Ethics Commission suggest members will allow Secretary of State Scott Gessler to establish a private defense fund he hopes to draw on in the event that an investigation launched into his alleged misuse of public funds leads to criminal charges. The apparent nod from the ethics board comes despite harsh dissent of its chairman, Dan Grossman.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers’ office this week made what’s sure to be a controversial decision to officially support Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s effort to establish a legal defense fund. The fund would host contributions from private donors willing to cover costs tied to a Denver District Attorney criminal investigation into reimbursements Gessler charged to his office for alleged unofficial expenses.
The 2012 election season has seen a surprising uptick in the number of employers willing to wade into voter intimidation gray areas by notifying their employees that their jobs depend on who wins the White House. The not so subtle message: Vote the way your boss wants you to vote.
Luis Toro, director of left-leaning government watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch, said on Monday that a preliminary review of documents suggests Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s decision to bill taxpayers for travel to partisan political functions stands out when compared to decisions made by other state-wide office holders.
Over the course of a five-hour rulemaking hearing Monday, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler probably got the message that a lot of people are unhappy with proposed rules that would stop county clerks from mailing ballots to inactive voters in some elections, change the way canvass boards are selected and give county clerks more power to determine how much access election watchers have.
On the record, Jessica Peck isn’t thinking much about a potential Internal Revenue Service investigation into her Denver-based watchdog Open Government Institute.
Colorado Ethics Watch this week filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against the Open Government Institute of Colorado (OGI), asking for an investigation of actions allegedly taken by OGI to benefit the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, which Ethics Watch said could call into question OGI’s pending non-profit 501(c)(3) status.
In Colorado, organizing, infrastructure and fundraising within the Democratic Party and progressive organizations are the stuff of legend. The story of how liberal mega-millionaires and single-minded cooperation on the left turned this formerly solid red state to purple and blue have been told and retold for years. The story of coordination among conservatives groups, however, and the way millions of dollars each election cycle slosh to candidates and causes on the right has received relatively scant attention.
The Colorado Legislature acted quickly and in bipartisan fashion today to require biweekly campaign finance disclosures in advance of this year’s primary elections in June.