'Vote no' group hides who's involved

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Colorado Springs Memorial Health System

An effort to persuade Colorado Springs voters to defeat an Aug. 28 mail-ballot question about city-owned Memorial Health System is being done on the down-low, and the City Clerk's Office is investigating.

City Council is urging voters to approve a lease of Memorial with University of Colorado Health that advocates say is worth $1.9 billion over the 40-year term. The opposing group calls itself "Our City Our Care" on its website, but doesn't disclose who's heading up the effort or anyone who's supporting it.

We sent an e-mail to the group to try to learn more, and got this response:

Thank you for contacting us. We are devoted and passionate about galvanizing the supporters of a "no" vote to let their voice be heard. We are the voice of the people who do not want their healthcare decisions and jobs in this community to transfer to Denver. We are choosing to be a platform for others to be heard and shine. Because of this idea we wish to remain anonymous and let the citizens' voices be heard. We are open to answer any questions that do not comprimise [sic] our mission. We ask that email be the engine of all communications.

We also checked the city's website looking for filings of the organization. Nada. Only "Great City. Great Care," a committee supporting the measure, is listed.

According to a guide published by the Secretary of State, "All issue committees must register and file disclosure reports once they raise or spend $200" as required by the Colorado Constitution.

We asked the clerk's office about it and got this message from employee Cindy Conway, "[City Clerk] Sarah Johnson has requested I forward this to her for research. Either she or I will get in touch as soon as she has an opportunity to review."

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