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.
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.