Shires’ Taxpayers League fined $7,150 for GarCo race electioneering

A judge Wednesday fined a political advocacy group headed by GOP operative Scott Shires $7,150 for failing to file an electioneering communications report on $2,300 spent helping to successfully defeat a Democratic Garfield County commissioner candidate.

The judge rejected the argument of the Aurora-based Colorado League of Taxpayers that its lack of experience and limited resources led to the oversight, which the group confessed to earlier this month in the wake of a Colorado Ethics Watch complaint filed in February.

Ethics Watch successfully argued the group has been fined for similar “oversights” in Weld County, another hot-bed of natural gas production. Carter in part was running on a platform of more responsible natural-gas drilling in the resource-rich Western Slope county, advocating for more stringent environmental controls.

Shires, a GOP operative with a long history of questionable campaign tactics, is listed as an officer of the Colorado League of Taxpayers.