Economic Leadership for Colorado from the Bahamas

We are so grateful for both journalists and the Colorado Secretary of State Tracer website.

If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t know about the $334,500 this group calling itself the Colorado Economic Leadership Fund donated to the No on Amendment 73 campaign to oppose funding public education or the connection to the damaging Fix our Damn Roads group that is run by the Independence Institute. Be sure to see our EXTREME CAUTION on 109 article!

So this group is definitely from Colorado, right? Because Colorado is in the name. Well, the street address of their registered agent (their attorney) is definitely in Denver but the mailing address is….wait for it…

THE BAHAMAS!

The Bahamas is definitely close to Colorado, just 1,994 miles or a quick 4 hour plane ride!

CELF – Address Document

That’s right! If you support economic leadership for Colorado, you definitely have a mailing address in the BAHAMAS!

And of the group that has $1,039,673 to blow on anything at all in one month, this “Colorado” Economic Leadership Fund has lots of money. Lot and lots and lots of money. There’s this from TRACER just for this year:

Contributor City, State Type Amount Date ▼ Recipient Name
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP FUND DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $75,000.00 10/10/2018 FAIR MAPS COLORADO
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP FUND DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $50,000.00 10/5/2018 FIX OUR DAMN ROADS
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP FUND DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $50,000.00 10/5/2018 BLANK CHECK. BLATANT DECEPTION. VOTE NO ON 73.
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $50,000.00 10/4/2018 COLORADO ADVOCATES FOR RURAL ELECTRIFICATION (CARE) INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE COMMITTEE
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP FUND DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $284,500.00 9/24/2018 BLANK CHECK. BLATANT DECEPTION. VOTE NO ON 73.
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP FUND DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $100,000.00 9/12/2018 FAIR MAPS COLORADO
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $15,000.00 7/24/2018 BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY FUND
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP FUND DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $200,000.00 6/13/2018 FAIR MAPS COLORADO
COLORADO ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP FUND DENVER, CO Monetary (Itemized) $50,000.00 6/8/2018 COLORADANS FOR RESPONSIBLE REFORM

And that’s NOT all! They also have paid for all of this in mailers, thanks to awesome journalists for tracking it:

http://ftm.copolitics.co/?contest=&candidate=&messenger=97

Looks like someone in the Bahamas (oops, “Colorado”) definitely wants control of the Colorado Senate!

Who funds this Bahamas Colorado Economic Leadership Fund? It’s a 501c4 organization. That’s a nonprofit that can participate in political activity for both issues and candidates but does not have to disclose donors.

Thankfully, part of that detail is here:  http://ftm.copolitics.co/message_detail/clef_jensen_912

“About the messenger:

“The Colorado Economic Leadership Fund is a nonprofit group formed in 2014. It doesn’t have a website, nor is it registered as a political committee with the Secretary of State. 

“The messenger’s money:

“In 2016, Anadarko Petroleum donated $510,000 to the group, while Noble Energy gave $25,000.

“In 2018, the nonprofit donated $200,000 to Fair Maps Colorado, which supports two measures on redistricting; $50,000 to Coloradans for Responsible Reform, which opposed a measure limiting housing growth that didn’t make the ballot; and $15,000 to the Business Opportunity Fund, an independent spending committee that supports pro-business candidates.”

 

When the Bahamas Colorado Economic Leadership Fund isn’t busy opposing funding public education or trying to buy the Colorado Senate, you can also find them funding things like this:

https://www.boulderweekly.com/news/the-intimidation-of-democracy/

“Advocacy groups funded by and sympathetic to oil and gas interests, such as the Colorado Economic Leadership Fund, have also been running ads on TV urging people not to sign the petitions.

“Indeed, the stakes are high for those with financial interests in the oil and gas industry.

“Initiative 94 proposes an increase in severance taxes paid by the oil and gas industry for minerals extracted from Colorado, stating, “In Colorado, the oil and gas industry pays an effective severance tax of only 1.5 percent; but, in the neighboring states of Wyoming and New Mexico, the oil and gas industry pays an effective severance tax of 6.5 percent,” according to the initiative. It continues, “It is the intent of the people of this state to require the oil and gas industry to pay its fair share in severance taxes and stop exploiting Colorado’s natural resources and people.”

“According to the Colorado Legislative Council Staff’s fiscal impact statement, if passed, Initiative 94 will increase oil and gas severance tax revenue by $148.3 million in FY 2018-19 and $307 million in FY 2019-20, with ongoing increases in future years. The increased revenue would be used to establish all-day kindergarten in Colorado public elementary and secondary schools; and medical care and treatment for people suffering negative health impacts caused by oil and gas production in communities impacted by oil and gas production.”

https://www.aspendailynews.com/opinion/olen-lund-s-oil-and-gas-funding-should-be-concerning/article_e8d313d0-b236-11e8-a89e-e75fe8fde37c.html

“Right away I noticed that both pieces were “paid for by Colorado Economic Leadership Fund.” Hmm. Who are these people?”

“A little bit of digging answered the question. It turns out CELF is an oil and gas industry front group.” See https://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/16/oil-gas-industry-public-influence-campaigns/ 

“The Denver Post article notes that “the oil and gas industry in the past four years has poured more than $80 million into Colorado to shape public opinion and influence campaigns and ballot initiatives, creating a political force that has broad implications throughout the state.”

Why would economic leadership oppose education? Strong schools promote economic growth!

The Bahamas looks like a nice place to visit if you can afford it, but let’s let Colorado citizens decide what is best for Colorado.

Corporations don’t have a vote like the people do. Don’t let corporate greed steal your vote. Educate your friends!

You can see all the other donors who are donating AGAINST public education funding here, this data is taken directly from the Colorado Secretary of State Tracer website – NoCampaignContributions10.22.18