"Somebody didn't get paid," jokes Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch.
In June, the Cheyenne Mountain Republican Forum held an event to raise funds for Republican candidates. The evening, which must have been lovely, was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton and featured Michelle Malkin, the local conservative celebrity writer.
As we now know, thanks to a complaint filed by Ethics Watch, the fundraiser brought in less money than it spent.
By the end of September, frustrated with the local club's failure to register with the Secretary of State's office as a political committee — and disclose its contributions and expenditures — Ethics Watch took the step to file the complaint.
From the press release at the time:
According to the Secretary of State’s website, there is no active political committee registered with the Secretary of State for Cheyenne Mountain Republican Forum. However, also according to the Secretary of State’s website, 12 candidates for state legislature reported receiving contributions of $400.00 each from an entity named “Cheyenne Mtn Republican Forum” or similar.
It appears that the Republican forum finally complied with the state's PAC requirements this week, and filed the required disclosure documents.
In a press release, Toro responded to the club's compliance:
“We’re proud that as a result of our efforts, Colorado voters won’t be in the dark about this fundraising event when they go to the polls this fall. If it were not for our complaint, this money most likely would have remained secret.”
Now that the money isn't secret, we find a few things: Malkin was paid $3,500 for appearing at the event; and while the fund-raiser brought in $16,445, the club spent $20,313.
Further, of that money, $6,600 made it to candidates.
"I've always suspected that people who oppose disclosure from committees don't want people to see how badly they're run," says Toro.
Ethics Watch has since dropped its complaint.