Antiabortion group blows off court ordered fine and paperwork
Troubles aren’t over for the antiabortion political organization Colorado Campaign for Life. First it lost a federal lawsuit filed against Colorado Ethics Watch. Now the organization is four months behind in paying an $8,450 overdue fine to the Secretary of State’s office and hasn’t filed court-ordered campaign finance reports.
Secretary of State Public Information Officer Lynn Bartels said the agency does not have the authority to waive or reduce the fine, and that the office is attempting to resolve the matter in-house, sending letters to Colorado Campaign for Life.
According to the Secretary of State’s elections database, the anti-abortion group has yet to register as a committee under the Fair Campaign Practices Act or file required reports.
Colorado Campaign for Life does show up in the business registration database for the Secretary of State, with Christy Rodriquez of Greeley as its registered agent. She is also listed as its executive director on the Colorado Campaign for Life website. The organization’s business filings are up to date.
Colorado Campaign for Life joined with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in waging the failed federal lawsuit last October, one month after Ethics Watch filed a campaign finance complaint against the organizations for mailers sent to voters in two Senate districts. The complaint was based on the fact that neither group submitted required disclosures on who paid for the letters or how money was spent on campaigns.
On December 23, 2014, Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer responded to the Ethics Watch complaint, ruling that Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and Colorado Campaign for Life had violated the campaign finance act. He ordered them to filed the required reports and levied each with a fine of $8,450. They had until April 11 to pay it.
In part, the lawsuit against Ethics Watch challenged electioneering rules in the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act, claiming the law was unconstitutional and violated the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners’ and Colorado Campaign for Life’s First Amendment right to political speech.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners did not stand its ground and paid up on March 30. Colorado Campaign for Life is still violating the law.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners’ Dudley Brown and Colorado Campaign for Life’s Rodriquez did not respond to multiple calls and emails for comment.
Photo credit: William Murphy, Creative Commons, Flickr.
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