For the majority of third party candidates in Colorado seeking federal offices this election cycle making a rhetorical point about taking the money out of politics has become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Among the eight third party candiates for Congress [PDF] only Eric Eidsness, a former Republican who turned to the Reform Party to challenge Fourth District Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, has raised more than the $5,000 benchmark which requires a campaign to file a Federal Election Commission (FEC) report.
In July, the Committee to Elect Eric Eidsness for Congress reported total election cycle revenues of $28,090, of which 35% was from the candidate himself. Four of his six campaign contributors have maxed out their allowable contributions which according to current campaign finance law is $2,100 per person or $4,200 per married couple.
In contrast, Rep. Musgrave has raised in excess of $2 million while Democratic challenger State Rep. Angie Paccione reported nearly $760,000 in net receipts throughout the campaign cycle.