$40,000 Disappears from Colorado Republican Coffers

Colorado’s major political party committees are apparently having a hard time keeping track of their money. According to reports of contributions and expenditures each group periodically files with the Secretary of State, both the Democrats and the Republicans appear to sometimes lose or collect large sums of money overnight. But several times this year the GOP group has been off by more than $10,000 from one report to the next, while Democratic discrepancies have all been under $4,000. Colorado Confidential looked at reports filed by the major committees for each party: The Colorado Democratic Party committee and the Colorado Republican Committee. Each report shows the beginning balance and ending balance for a particular period. The ending balance for one period should match the beginning balance for the next. For example, if a committee has $1,034 at the end of a period on July 31, it should have $1,034 as the beginning balance of a new period on August 1. There’s no reason that these figures shouldn’t be the same, said Christi Heppard, campaign finance lead at the Secretary of State’s office.

“Yes, the ending balance of a committee should definitely equal the beginning balance of the next reporting period,” she said.

But, often they don’t. In July, the Colorado Republican Committee lost a whopping $26,024 overnight. On April 1, almost $15,000 mysteriously appeared.

The Democrats’ numbers have been off several times, too, but not by nearly as much. The largest discrepancy for the  Colorado Democratic Party committee was a 2006 New Year’s Day surprise of an extra $3,514. The committee’s figures didn’t align a few other times throughout the year by amounts ranging between $1,000 and $2,000.

Heppard said sometimes committees accidentally send the wrong report, which the Secretary of State’s office then posts on its campaign finance Web site.

“The system is not perfect,” she said. “If people send us the wrong information, we have to apply what they send.”

When Colorado Confidential inquired Wednesday about almost $100,000 that had disappeared from the coffers of another GOP committee, the Colorado Republican PAC, Heppard’s office kindly notified the group and straightened out the problem. Apparently, the Colorado Republican PAC had accidentally filed a report that actually belonged to the Colorado Republican Committee.  Evidently, these GOP committees are so closely linked that their paperwork gets mixed up.

Colorado law requires registered political committees to report all contributions and expenditures of more than $20, so when thousands of dollars frequently appear and disappear, it’s time to start asking questions. First, does your accountant understand basic math?

It’s worth a mention that the committees of the Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the American Constitution Party all managed to report their contributions and expenditures correctly.

For now, the discrepancies can be viewed on the Secretary of State’s Web site, but here are the numbers as they appear:

Colorado Republican Committee 2006 filings:

Jan. 1 – Mar. 31
  Beginning: $79,943.50
  Ending: $69,507.55
Apr. 1 – Apr. 25
  Beginning: $84,376.99
  Ending: $94,216.99
Apr. 26 – May 26
  Beginning: $94,216.99
  Ending: $54,062.85
May 27 – Jun. 28
  Beginning: $41,062.85
  Ending: $31,930.56
Jun. 29 – Jul. 26
  Beginning: $5,906.68
  Ending: $8,156.68
Jul. 27 – Aug. 30
  Beginning: $8,156.68
  Ending: $24,406.68
Aug. 31 – Sep. 13
  Beginning: $24,406.68
  Ending: 5,981.68

Colorado Democratic Party 2006 filings:

Jan. 1 – Mar. 31
  Beginning: $16,065.41
  Ending: $19,579.62
Apr. 1 – Apr. 25
  Beginning: $18,683.55
  Ending: $27,582.43
Apr. 26 – May 26
  Beginning: $26,492.43
  Ending: $16,032.58
May 27 – Jun. 28
  Beginning: $16,032.58
  Ending: $30,484.11
Jun. 29 – Jul. 12
  Beginning: $28,366.03
  Ending: $58,470.71
Jul. 13 – Jul. 26
  Beginning: $58,470.71
  Ending: $57,994.06
Jul. 27 – Aug. 30
  Beginning: $57,994.06
  Ending: 18,882.06
Aug. 31 – Sep. 13
  Beginning: $18,882.06
  Ending: $26,663.21

Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.

Got a tip? Story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.



About the Author

Kerri Rebresh

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>