‘Right-to-work’ committee fined over finances

An administrative law judge has penalized a political committee that bankrolled the “right-to-work” Amendment 47 state ballot question for failing to disclose financial contributions supporting the measure.

The Colorado Right-To-Work Committee, which has reported spending more than $300,000 in anonymous nonprofit funds to support Amendment 47, was fined $9,750 on Thursday for failing to correctly disclose all contributions in a Jan. 15 campaign finance report.

The decision is the result of a complaint submitted by unions in April in effort to find out who exactly was funding the “right-to-work” effort, which would restrict the way unions organize.

Because a vast majority of the money to the Colorado Right-To-Work Committee came from a tax-exempt social welfare organization called Protect Colorado Jobs, it is unknown who made the hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions.

Political interests in the state have been using nonprofit groups as a way to hide their funders during the election season, in a loophole maneuver first reported on by The Colorado Independent in June.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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