2nd CD Cash: What’s in a Name?

The three-way Democratic primary shaping up in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District means the money people have to choose sides.

It also means candidates reach out to friends, family and business associates to ante up for their campaigns.

So where are the money people lining up in this competitive race? Check it out after the flip…A few observations after a pass through the reports:

  • Keep in mind that Jared Polis isn’t the only one in his family with plenty of cash (he kicked in almost $155,000 to his campaign). Members of the Polis and Schutz families contributed $25,900. Meanwhile, other Shafroths donated $6,700 to candidate Will Shafroth’s cause.
  • The legal folks from the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Shreck firm are spreading the love around. Name partners Norman Brownstein and Stephen Farber each gave Polis $1,000, while Steven Demby gave him $2,300. Wayne Forman and Linda McNeive of the firm each gave Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald $500. And Stan Garnett, who’s serving as treasurer for Shafroth, gave $2,000 to that cause, while James Lochhead gave Shafroth $1,000.
  • Fitz-Gerald got some help from several party traditionalists: $1,000 each from Bea Romer, former Gov. Roy Romer and former Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler, and $500 from former party chairman Tim Knaus. Polis, meanwhile, counted on $2,300 each from Boulder philanthropists Stephen Brett and Linda Shoemaker, as well as $1,000 each from Jose and Rollie Heath.
  • Several other current and former elected officials from Colorado and elsewhere weighed in. Former Senate President Stan Matsunaka gave $250 each to Fitz-Gerald and Polis. Former state senator and now U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter gave $1,000 to Fitz-Gerald. Sen. Gail Schwartz and her husband, Alan, each gave Fitz-Gerald $1,000, but Alan Schwartz, a lawyer with Hogan Hartson, gave the same amount to Shafroth. New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and Pueblo District Attorney and former state senator Bill Thiebaut each gave Fitz-Gerald $250. New Jersey Gov. John Corzine gave $4,600 to Shafroth, while former state Sen. Dan Grossman gave him $500.
  • What’s up with the supply siders? Polis received $10,200 from former Reagan economic advisor Arthur Laffer Sr., his family and employees. And Alex Cranberg, the GOP advocate for school vouchers, also gave $2,300 to Polis.
  • Where are the really big Dem money folks? Well, Polis is in the race. But others accused of conspiring with him to fund Democratic causes in recent elections aren’t necessarily with him in the race as of yet. Tim Gill has said he’s backing Fitz-Gerald, though he doesn’t show up on her donation list. But Gill Foundation Executive Director Rodger McFarlane gave Fitz-Gerald $1,150 and Ted Trimpa, another Brownstein Hyatt lawyer who lobbies for Gill, gave her $2,300. Rutt Bridges gave $1,000 to Fitz-Gerald, while Jon Stryker (brother of Pat) gave $4,600 to her.

Those of you with sharp eyes out there are wondering: How can someone give $4,600 when the maximum individual contribution is $2,300? Good question. The answer: The maximum is $2,300 per election cycle, which includes both the primary and the general election.

That means folks who’ve given the maximum (plenty of donors for Polis) can’t be counted on for more cash. Fitz-Gerald and Shafroth can continue to hit up those who haven’t hit the max.

With the primary still more than a year away, there’s plenty to keep an eye on in this race.

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About the Author

Sandra Fish

has covered government and politics in Iowa, Florida, Colorado - swing states, baby! She has worked for newspapers large and small.
sandrafish@comcast.net | @fishnette

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