Group says Bruce funded 60,61,101 petition drive

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An organization opposing amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 claims Douglas Bruce illegally funded petition drives to put the measures on the ballot.

Coloradans for Responsible Reform filed a campaign finance complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State against Active Citizens Together, a 501(c)(3) organization created and controlled by Bruce.

The complaint alleges that ACT, a tax-exempt non-profit organization, was a Colorado issue committee that failed to disclose its contributions and expenditures.  The complaint alleges that checks from the ACT bank account funded the petition drive that placed Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 on the ballot and that the checks were signed by Douglas Bruce.  The complaint also alleges that ACT continues to fund the “yes” campaign paying for campaign materials such as signs and mailings.

All of the allegations in the complaint are based on information from an Oct. 5 court-ordered deposition of Bruce by attorneys for Coloradans for Responsible Reform.

Bruce has strenuously opposed efforts during the last several months to force him to testify about the matter, and at one point faced contempt-of-court charges.

Until recently, according to the complaint, Bruce was the registered agent for ACT. When Bruce was elected to the El Paso County Board of Commissioners, he requested that his pay be funneled to ACT, but the county declined to because it’s illegal for a government entity to give money to a nonprofit organization.

Colorado law requires that an organization engaged in such activities to file as an issue committee and to report its contributors and expenditures, which ACT has not done.

“Our goal all along has been to find out who is behind these ballot measures that will cost so many Coloradans their jobs.  We still don’t know where ACT got the money in the first place to fund the petition drive or who wrote the measures,” said Bill Ray, the policy director for CFRR who signed the formal complaint.

Bruce acknowledged that ACT paid $100,000 to $200,000 to a professional signature gathering firm for the petition drive that resulted in 60, 61 and 101 being placed on the ballot.

“Tax-exempt contributions to ACT were used to pay a signature-gathering firm and those contributions continue to fund campaign activities.  Why is the identity of the contributors still a secret?” Ray asked.

ACT continued to fund campaign activities as recently as the week of Oct. 11, when a mailing from ACT in support of the measures arrived at an unknown number of homes, including many in Colorado Springs.

The complaint filed with the Secretary of State specifically charges that ACT has failed to file current and complete disclosure reports.

“Who is the source of ACT’s funding?  Whoever it is benefits from using ACT since his/her/its contributions to a 501(c)(3) are tax deductible.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if the self-appointed tax crusader, Douglas Bruce, is funneling campaign contributions though his own non-profit and then taking the deduction?” Ray said.

Read the complaint here.

9 Responses to Group says Bruce funded 60,61,101 petition drive

  1. THis is not the first time that Mr. Bruce has used the resources of the 501(c)(3) Active Citizens Together (ACT) to fund the mailing and support of campaign issues. Mr. Bruce does not believe that he needs to follow any law or regulation, but will sue any governmental body if he believes they have violated any aspect of TABOR. Perhaps this time, Mr. Bruce will learn that he is not above the law.

    Bernie Herpin
    October 19, 2010 at 10:59 am

  2. Every one loves to hate Doug Bruce. They loved him when he saved their tax dollars with TABOR, but now that he wants government to act and spend responsibly, they go for the throat? Notice that the jobs CFRR is worried about the state “losing” are all union and tenured positions. Their ad campaign is a scare tactic trying to persuade the general voting public that our school kids will suffer with larger class sizes. Use truthful advertising and be honest about why you’re really fighting these bills. Why aren’t you putting the money you’re using to fight these bills into the arenas you think will be hurt by them? No one ever thinks of doing that on either side……………

    Lynn Liggett
    October 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

  3. Regardless of how the meaures found their way to a ballot, it allows voters the opportunity to confront the pervasive attitude of government in regards to their spending tax dollors unrelentlessly.I and many others appreciate the efforts made on our behalf to voice our concerns. A Nation of Sheep will beget a Government of Wolves.” — Edward R. Murrow

    October 20, 2010 at 7:26 am

  4. This is just a lame attempt to spoil this chance to tell our government bureaucrats what we think about their poor money management, taxation without representation and uncontrolled borrowing against our children’s checkbooks. The opposition should be running scared. The current economic crisis was caused by reckless borrowing and if folks think we can get out of this mess by further reckless spending and borrowing, they are wrong. The vehicle, income and phone taxes never were approved by voters and that is actually called “stealing”. Whoever improved our ballots deserves commendation and this election will let us have our say. Shame on you, Coloradans for (ir)Responsible Reform. Shame on you for being equally wasteful!!!

    Marybeth Snyder
    October 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

  5. We cannot lose weight by eating ourselves out of a diet nor could we continue to cover debt by continuing spending and allowing deficits to run rampant. With all the complaining you all do one would think some of you should stand up for yourselves and march on the Streets just like the French do every time a benefit gets taken away but -No, Americans could be robbed blind, be butt naked broke by Wall Street and Bernanke abusing the banking and mortage system and all you think about doing is cover up the problem with a “lets spend more” until we bust like Greece & Spain band-Aid. Grow up!

    Don Quixote De La Mancha
    October 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm

  6. I don’t know about you . I see the government budget getting bigger every year wile my family budget is getting smaller. Is time to take my money back. And make the government respect the tax payers money. They must learn to live on a budget like all of us. YES ON 60. 61. AND 101

    my family 1st
    October 22, 2010 at 7:21 am

  7. before any one votes read the propositions. And you will see why all the negative coming from the unions and the local government. They believe this is there money and the voters will be taking money from them .that’s the way they see it. and that’s why so much negative hype for all the 3 tax payers money saving proposals. Go and read them don’t let any one decides for you. Read and be inform is the power of the voters. Yes on 60. 61. 101.

    Respect the tax payers
    October 22, 2010 at 7:48 am

  8. I’m amazed at the hype on the vote no on 60,61,101. We want smaller government but we don’t want to stop them from spending… Go figure. The scare tactic used are crazy and why is every one soooo brain washed??? The government spends way too much money on every thing they do because they hire expensive union companies. If they are given a smaller budget you would have every independent contractor bidding on the jobs for road, bridges, ect. More money would go into the private sector and into your pockets. Competition folks. Government spends 10 times what it should because there is no competition for the jobs. Unions get them all and they are tooo expensive……… Nothing would stop they would just be forced to do things differently and less expensive. THINK

    October 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

  9. I guess Doug Bruce doesn’t get to have the right to free speech, and he doesn’t have the freedom to petition the government.

    At the same time, the Government Employees Unions of this country have the right to run totally misleading ads (these are called lies.) about their opinions about the impact of the these three tax reduction measures, all without disclosing who they are. Seems only fair.

    It looks to me like we are headed into a thundering dispute between Public Employee Unions and the private sector, which is where the Greedy Public Employee Unions get the money for salaries and pension plans that can only be called luxurious.

    October 26, 2010 at 8:39 am