In stark contrast to Boulder's 2011 and 2013 elections, there's much more money being dedicated to advancing municipalization than to defeating it.
According to the city clerk's latest campaign finance reports, four issue committees that support municipalization have raised a cumulative $37,247, while the lone committee in opposition has raised $6,866.
Of course, the trend can be easily explained by the fact that Xcel Energy — the incumbent electric provider from which Boulder has long sought to separate, in the interest of forming a municipal electric utility — is not campaigning this time around.
Xcel spent nearly $1 million in 2011 and another $772,000 in 2013, dwarfing the totals of the pro-municipalization campaigns.
This year's election will mark the first time Boulder voters have had a say on municipalization since 2013. They're being asked to consider three measures — 2L, 20 and 2P.
The key measure is 2L, which, if passed, would extend and increase the tax that funds the municipalization project. That measure is effectively a referendum on the seven-year effort.
"Xcel Energy recognizes these are decisions for Boulder voters and we will not participate in or fund a political campaign for or against these measures," the company said in a September statement.
That's left the issue committee No On 2L to helm the anti-municipalization campaign this year. The committee is led by Councilman Bob Yates, ex-Mayor Will Toor and Andy Schultheiss, the executive director of Open Boulder.
As of this week's finance report, No On 2L has had 11 contributors account for nearly $7,000. And $4,000 of that total came from Zayo Group CEO Dan Caruso and his wife, Cynthia.
Meanwhile, Empower Our Future has raised nearly $23,000, while three other pro-municipalization committees — Sierra Club, Voters for 100% Renewables and PLAN-Boulder County — have brought in the balance of funds.
There's been little movement of late with regard to Boulder City Council candidate committee fundraising. That's because the city's matching funds program limits qualified participants to spending any more than $20,000, and 12 of the 14 council candidates are taking advantage of that program. Most were already qualified as of the last finance report in late September.
But there's been significant activity among unofficial candidate committees, which are not bound by the same spending limits as candidates — although they can't accept individual donations above $100.
The dominant unofficial candidate committee, in terms of funding, is Together4Boulder, a new coalition working to elect candidates Cindy Carlisle, John Gerstle, Mirabai Nagle, Sam Weaver and Mary Young. Together4Boulder has raised $8,376 to date.
There are seven other unofficial candidate committees, and Engage Boulder, another new coalition, is second in fundraising, with $4,394. Engage Boulder is led by Caruso and primarily by leaders in the local tech and finance communities. The group has endorsed Eric Budd, Jan Burton, Jill Adler Grano, Mark McIntyre and Bill Rigler.