Senate Majority Fund in more hot water

An embattled Republican political committee got more bad news today when Colorado Ethics Watch filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State against the Senate Majority Fund, LLC.

CEW alleges that the Senate Majority Fund failed to disclose a $25,000 airtime buy for ads supporting a GOP candidate. The 527 political committee (named after the IRS tax law section that governs its operations) began running a cable television ad on June 25 to advance Aravda candidate Libby Szabo, a Republican running in Senate District 19 in Jefferson County, according to CEW director Chantell Taylor.

The ad continues to run, yet the Senate Majority Fund did not report the media buy violating both state and federal campaign finance law. The filing deadline for second quarter political expenditures was June 30.

This isn’t the first time the Senate Majority Fund has found itself under scrutiny.

In 2006 after extensive investigative reporting by our previous moniker, Colorado Confidential, we found numerous instances of the Senate Majority Fund failing to report income and expenditures shuttled between like-minded GOP 527s the Trailhead Group, Colorado Leadership Fund and Colorado Good Government Initiative.

Last month the Colorado Independent reported the group’s manager, Scott Shires, was sentenced to one year of probation and a $3,450 fine for failing to file corporate income tax returns for another organization, the National Alternative Fuels Foundation. Shires’ former NAFF business partner, William Orr, was found guilty in May of multiple charges for his role an elaborate Ponzi scheme to defraud the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and private investors of over $4 million. Orr will be sentenced Oct. 3 on 23 counts ranging from mail and wire fraud, making false statements to failing to file tax returns.

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Wendy Norris

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