National PAC fails to disclose spending in Denver elections

National PAC fails to disclose spending in Denver elections

The Realtors Fund, a political action committee, failed to report that it had spent at least $40,000 supporting Denver City Council candidates Elizabeth Adams and Jolon Clark. Denver law requires PACs to disclose all campaign spending to the city clerk’s office.

“This is a national PAC coming in and spending some $70,000 on a local municipal election. Voters want to know what that means,” said Peg Perl, senior council at the watchdog nonprofit Ethics Watch which filed a complaint about the omission.

The Realtors Fund did disclose the $20,000 they spent supporting candidate Kendra Black.

“They did actually register in Denver as a political committee and they did file a report,” she added. “It’s just misleading, because it omits two out of the three candidates they’re spending for.”

Perl said the PAC has 10 days to correct the filing according to city code, which doesn’t have a lot of teeth in these matters.

“Because the whole code was written before Citizens United, it doesn’t contemplate violations by outside spenders like this,” Perl explained.

“Also, it was created by ordinance, by the City Council members themselves, so it doesn’t have a very strong enforcement scheme, like fines for every day you’re late … These are loopholes we’re hoping to fix before the next elections.” 

As of this writing, the Realtors Fund had not responded to requests for comment.

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About the Author

Tessa Cheek

She writes and makes photos about communities. Her book, Great Wall Style, a monograph-profile-lyric essay, is out from Images Publishing. | 720-440-2527 | @tessacheek

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