CRUSHING IT: Gardner Releases Q2 Fundraising

Welp, it’s safe to say that Sen. Mark Udall is officially having the worst week in Washington. First, Udall spends the day wallowing in a PR nightmare of his own making for missing a joint fundraising event with President Obama.  

And now, Udall gets slammed with the news that his GOP opponent Cory Gardner raised $2.71 million in the second quarter of this year and has more than $3.4 million cash on hand.  Udall won’t even respond to reporter requests for his Q2 numbers, saying they’ll be out next week. 

Dave Catanese, a reporter with U.S. News and World Report, described Gardner’s fundraising news best with this tweet:




GRAND SLAM: Gardner Q1 Fundraising Knocks it Outta the Park

Tis that time of the year when candidates begin announcing their quarterly fundraising totals, and all eyes are on the U.S. Senate race.  Everyone knows that sitting Sen. Mark Udall would be able to raise big bucks.  Such is the advantage of incumbency.  The question was how much money would challenger Rep. Cory Gardner bring to the table?  Until now the GOP Senate hopefuls had suffered from lackluster fundraising.  Would Gardner be able to give Udall a run for his money? 

With the announcement of Gardner’s $1.4 million fundraising haul, the answer is a decisive hell yeah!  From Gardner’s campaign:

In March alone, his first month in the race against 16 year incumbent Mark Udall, Gardner raised $1.24 million. Gardner raised $1.4 million during the entire first quarter of 2014.

Yes Peak Nation, you read that correctly.  Gardner raised $1.24 million of that in the four weeks following his entrance into the race.  The outpouring of support shows just how hungry Colorado is for real leadership.  In total, Gardner has $2.1 million cash on hand.

Overall, $1.4 million is exactly where Gardner needs to be.  At the end of the day, he doesn’t need to outraise Udall, and no one expects him to.  He just needs to raise enough money to stay competitive and fund a statewide campaign infrastructure.  After all, outside money is ultimately going to dominate the paid media effort.

What Gardner’s Q1 numbers prove is that his fundraising machine can hold its own against Team Udall and that the buzz surrounding his decision to run wasn’t for naught.  It won’t be long before Udall starts to feel like maybe his heart is not really in it this time around, and he’d rather spend his free time hiking.


WHAT RECALL? Senate Democrats Find A Stand-in For Giron For Fundraising

Two days after Senator Angela Giron was recalled from office, Senate Democrat women sent out a fundraising solicitation to lobbyists that had a noticeable absence.

The picture appears to show all 12 Senate Democrat women, until you look a little closer.

Standing in for the newly-departed Giron is none other than Congresswoman Diana “Pez Dispenser” DeGette.

Recall? What recall?

Full fundraising solicitation after the jump:



GUBERNATORIAL GRIST: Guv Candidates Brophy & Gessler Cite Colorado Peak Politics In Campaign Materials

As the campaign to take on Governor Hickenlooper heats up, a number of gubernatorial candidates have been citing your anonymous editors here at Colorado Peak Politics.

State Senator Greg Brophy, a politician we’ve been known to gush about from time to time, uses a number of our glowing reviews in his first web ad.

Check out it here:

(In a side note to Lynn Bartels who wrote it was our job to gush on Republicans, ask Dan Maes and Matt Arnold if we gush about all Republicans)

Last week, Secretary of State Scott Gessler used a picture we published of Governor Hickenlooper signing the petition for the billion dollar tax increase in a fundraising email:

Colorado Peak Politics broke the story last week that Governor John Hickenlooper signed the petition for a BILLION DOLLAR TAX increase. Hickenlooper has long been whispered to support this fiscally reckless measure – but today a picture came out of Hickenlooper signing the petition, not after conducting a public hearing, not after listening to both sides of the issue, but in a closed political meeting.

Click Here to contribute $25, $15 or $10 right now.

Click Here to see the picture

We greatly appreciate the extra traffic Brophy and Gessler’s mentions have brought us. But you know what we’d appreciate more? Advertising dollars. Our rent doesn’t pay itself.

If you’d like to advertise on Colorado Peak Politics (or have news tips), you can email us at


FUNDRAISING: Check Out How Candidates For Colorado’s Top Races Fared In The 2nd Quarter

The second quarter fundraising numbers are out for Colorado’s top political races. This early in the election cycle, it’s hard to make apples-to-apples comparisons as candidates declared at different times, including some after the fundraising cutoff date.

Going forward you can expect to find the raw data on fundraising first here at Colorado Peak Politics for all the races you care about, and maybe even some you don’t.

We have decided not to include races that don’t matter. For example, we don’t care what Diana DeGette or Doug Lamborn raised, unless they have serious primary challengers. (Which they both currently don’t)

UPDATE: 6th Congressional District race added

UPDATE 2: Hick is still fundraising into his 2010 account, those figures added.



LOPSIDED: Morse Front Group Taking Special Interest Cash, Recall Group Funded By Small Donors

In the fight to recall anti-gun Senate President John Morse from office, there is a clear dividing line in fundraising so far: Morse’s group is getting its cash in big checks from unrelated special interest groups based out of the district, while the grassroots group trying to take him out is raising funds in small increments from committed supporters of the Second Amendment.

Reports the Colorado Springs Gazette‘s Megan Schrader:

The committee formed to help keep Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, in office raised $37,563 in the past month compared to $12,635 raised by the group aiming to oust the sitting Senate president…

Colorado Conservation Voters – a Denver-based environmental group – gave $7,000 to the campaign committee A Whole Lot of People for John Morse during the time period covered by the financial report, making the group the top donor. Mainstream Colorado donated $6,156, bringing the organization’s total contribution to $21,156. The public service employee union American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees donated $3,500.

The committee to unseat Morse, the El Paso Freedom Defense Fund, reported that $9,595 of its donations came in increments of less than $20, which doesn’t require disclosure.

The recall group is certainly going to need to up their fundraising if they don’t want to go bankrupt from the legal bills forced upon them by Morse’s attempt to, as The Denver Post editorial board called it today, “using a technicality to derail the public’s right to force special elections.”

The fundraising reports make it clear that liberal special interests, from environmental groups to national government unions, have deep pockets and won’t hesitate to write large checks to the effort to defend Morse.

The grassroots energy is there on the side of the recall organizers, but the question remains: will the cash come too?


Q2 FUNDRAISING: Coffman Beats Romanoff-Obama Machine, Pulling In $566k

In one of the nation’s marquee races, Colorado Republican Congressman Mike Coffman outraised his Democratic challenger, former State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, in the second fundraising period of 2013.

Coffman pulled in $566,000, while Romanoff raised just over $500,000, according to a story by KDVR‘s Eli Stokols. Fundraising reports aren’t due to the Federal Election Commission until July 15.

“The outpouring of grassroots support for Congressman Coffman has been incredible,” said Kristin Strohm, finance director for Coffman for Congress in a press release. “Mike continues to receive unprecedented support because of his common-sense record in Congress and the generous support of Colorado voters.”

This marks the second quarter in a row where Coffman edged out Romanoff in campaign cash, albeit slightly each time.

But there is no second place in politics.

While Romanoff claims a 91% in-state donation rate, sources tell us Coffman pulled in 95% of his dollars from in-state donors.

Coffman also didn’t have the help of the nationwide Democrat fundraising network, Act Blue, which helped deliver about half of Romanoff’s dollars last quarter.

Colorado’s 6th Congressional District is widely seen as one of the most competitive match ups in the country and it’s clear neither side will let the other pull away in any metric anytime soon.

Still, Congressman Coffman appears to have the early lead.


“AIKEN” FOR CASH: Brandon Shaffer Misspells Missouri Congressman’s Name In Lame Fundraising Pitch

Senate President and Congressional candidate Brandon Shaffer is aching for campaign cash. He was in such a rush to jump on the controversy of the day surrounding Missouri Congressman Todd Akin that his campaign misspelled Akin's name "Aiken" in a fundraising email this afternoon.

It's odd watching Shaffer trying to pile on a rape controversy, seeing that he compared his political plight to victims of rape and sexual assault earlier this year…and never apologized for the inappropriate and self-aggrandizing remarks publicly.   

Shaffer, of course, is now running in a district that a Democrat couldn't win even if the incumbent Republican was found with both a dead girl and a live boy. Since the powers-that-be behind the drawing of the Democrat redistricting maps screwed Shaffer, his fundraising has dried up faster than a Nebraska cornfield.

As of July 1, Shaffer had pulled in a meager $550,000 to Gardner's $1.8 million.

So it's no wonder Shaffer would say whatever it takes to make a few extra bucks. That apparently includes attacking his opponent on his birthday. The email asks recipients to give Shaffer $38 to mark Congressman Gardner's 38th birthday today. 

Stay classy, Brandon Shaffer. 

Oh, and if you end up raising any money from the email, maybe you can hire some staff that can spell. 


SERIOUS SAILOR SOLUTIONS: Brandon Shaffer Begs For A Dozen Donors In Latest Fundraising Plea

UPDATE: A reader writes in to note the similarity to another case of a failed federal candidate in military garb looking ridiculous.


Brandon Shaffer's campaign for Congress was over before it started, as the district is now the most Republican in the state, and it's had a chilling effect on his fundraising. 

An email today makes clear how far state Senate President Shaffer has fallen. The message, titled "A real problem solver," is penned by a former fellow Navy sailor of Shaffer's, and includes this hilarious picture:

Want nobody to take your campaign seriously? Mission Accomplished!


COFFMAN SPANKS MIKLOSI…AGAIN: Latest Fundraising Numbers Speak To Pathetic Weakness Of Challenger

Congressman Coffman may not have had the best couple of weeks recently, but he can thank his lucky stars that he has been blessed with a pathetic challenger in state Rep. Joe Miklosi (D-Denver), and the most recent fundraising report provides the latest proof of that.

In the pre-primary period covering April 1 – June 6, Coffman nearly doubled Miklosi's fundraising, hauling in $325,00 to Miklosi's mere $175,000. To put that in perspective, Miklosi got his biggest chance to fundraise off of a Coffman mistake, most likely the biggest one Miklosi will get, and yet he raised less this period than he did in the first quarter of 2012.


Seeing that it took Miklosi two entire weeks to put together a poorly produced web video on Coffman's Obama comments, you could probably sense the poor fundraising report coming. Or maybe it's just a curse after Miklosi stiffed his first fundraising director of her full salary. 

Coffman's strong fundraising is also a sign that he is still far and away the favored candidate in the race. Since June 6, Coffman's utter fundraising dominance has only increased, with Miklosi reporting only $2,000 to Coffman's $50,000 in donations over $1,000.  

Even more damaging details come from digging into the financial reports for both candidates. Despite not knowing who is working for his own campaign, and bragging that the Washington, DC based DCCC is paying for much of his staff, Miklosi still managed to burn through $114,000 of the paltry $175,000 he raised, an unsustainable burn rate this far out from the election.

Miklosi now has less than $400,000 cash on hand, compared to Coffman's nearly $1.6 million. With the Denver media market likely to get much more expensive come the fall, with every outside group and political party committee expected to drop six figure sums into advertising, this is going to be a problem for Miklosi.

While candidates, by law, have access to cheaper ad rates, you can't buy much TV time with the pittance Miklosi has in his campaign account. 

At this point, we're betting the NRCC is starting to look at taking a larger chunk of the $1.6 million they reserved in the Denver media market and putting it toward knocking out Ed Perlmutter with Joe Coors. 

(Correction: We originally misidentified Coffman as the one not paying his staff member. It was Miklosi who is the deadbeat boss. We regret the error. Hopefully Miklosi regrets his own.)

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