GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

An election complaint made this week against a Boulder group called Preserve Our Zoning over a mailing endorsing city council candidates was found credible city officials.

The violation of Boulder’s new campaign finance rules will be remedied soon, city Election Administrator Dianne Marshall said.

The chief problem with the mailing, which was shared with the Camera by the complainant and endorsed council candidates Bob Yates, Susan Peterson, Adam Swetlik, Corina Julca, Mark Wallach and Brian Dolan, was that Preserve Our Zoning had not registered with the City Clerk’s Office as an unofficial campaign committee, nor had a backer who paid for the mailing registered an independent expenditure, and it neglected to state who or what paid for the mailing.

“Due to public outcry the existing city council has decided not to increase density in the RE and RR zones,” the mailing stated. “There is still a very strong movement to increase density. Electing the right candidates in the Nov. 5 election is extremely important in the struggle to keep the existing density in the RE and RR zone.”

It stated it was sent to people residents of those zones or people who had signed the group’s petition.

Since the complaint was filed, Preserve Our Zoning backer Casey Cook has registered an independent expenditure with the city, which are distinguished from committees that accept donations to fund their campaign materials. Independent election expenditures can be funded by an individual, or an entity that conducts business and generates revenue unrelated to the election season, such as the Boulder Chamber, which has spent $14,195 on election material so far, city records show.

“My biggest questions are centered around where they raised the money to pay for this mailer, and if said money was collected within the $100 contribution limit (for individual donations),” the complaint stated. It was made by Matt Benjamin, director of the Coalition campaign committee, which has endorsed a different slate of candidates: Aaron Brockett, Benita Duran, Mark McIntyre, Rachel Friend and Junie Joseph.

“I am also concerned about the damage done to the groups and candidates that Preserve Our Zoning is not supporting as this mailer got their message across to a huge number of Boulder voters,” the complaint said.

Cook plans to run a remedial advertisement in the Camera that states he paid for the electioneering material to come into compliance with the city code, according to Marshall. It will appear in the newspaper this weekend or early next week, Marshall expects.

City campaign finance records updated Tuesday show Casey has spent $1,110 on Preserve Our Zoning election material.

Casey thanked a reporter who inquired about the mailing for “a heads up about registering with the city.”

“All the proper forms have been submitted and Preserve Our Zoning is in full compliance,” Cook said.

Marshall believes city officials would be able to recognize if or when an individual registered as an independent expenditure but was still accepting donations from others to generate electioneering material, or that it would be called to the city’s attention by the public.

“I think it would be obvious. And if we didn’t, we have a really active public,” Marshall said.

blog comments powered by Disqus