Hard Cash, Hard Facts from the last municipal election…
The November 2009 Longmont City Council elections will go down in the history books as the most unscrupulous campaign in recent memory. (See Boulder Weekly, 4/29/10 “Best Example of Dirty Politics”.)
Compare those who spent the most and who had the most spent on their behalf with those who won the office, and the connection between money and politics becomes vividly apparent.
|Bill Van Dusen||City Council-At-Large||$3,051||$605|
|Kaye Fissinger||City Council-At-Large||$4,242||$503|
|Karen Benker||City Council Ward 2||$7,533||$474|
|Independent Expenditure from Deb Gardner||$208|
|Gabe Santos||City Council-At-Large||$14,620||$605|
|Alex Sammoury||City Council-At-Large||$13,718||$503|
|Katie Witt||City Council Ward 2||$16,557||$474|
(Western Tradition Partnership)
|Citizens to Elect the Baum||$775|
|Longmont Citizens for a Brighter Future|
(Coloradans for Economic Growth)
Those who won the election and their supporters spent $82,519
Those that lost the election spent $21,454
~ 4 : 1
Almost all of the money spent by the above-identified PACs on the winning candidates was funneled to them through tax-exempt, non-profit 501c4 organizations who can, and do, keep the names of their contributors secret.
It wasn’t the first time that huge amounts were contributed to the winning candidate. The Longmont Realtor PAC gave Councilmember Santos $5,000 for the special election in January 2008.
Whether it’s called quid pro quo or “pay to play,” something very interesting happened when the well-funded, and secretly-funded, candidates claimed their majority. The bank account of the City of Longmont was opened wide. Three lawsuits brought with the intent of providing a false platform for the new majority candidates were settled:
|Western Tradition Partnership, Longmont Leadership Committee, Longmont Area Realtors Association, et al||$68,500|
|Times-Call, Dean Lehman||$13,500|
|LifeBridge Church aka Town of Firestone||$100,000|