This post is the first of a series of posts on campaign finance this election season. We will run at least one post per day this week to shine a light on how the money flowed this election cycle. Today, we will start with the top ten issue committees as compiled by contributions and loans, according to the Secretary of State’s website. These include:
1) Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol; Purpose: To support a 2012 ballot initiative that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol
2) Fair Share Committee to Get Big Money Out of Politics; Purpose: Pass ballot measure calling for federal constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending (initiative #82)
3) Smart Colorado; Purpose: Oppose legalization of marijuana initiatives
4) Yes on S Campaign; Purpose: The passage of Amendment S on the November ballot in order to modernize Colorado’s state government and promote veterans
5) Coalition to End Marijuana Prohibition; Purpose: To support a ballot measure to end marijuana prohibition in Colorado, with marijuana being sold in a legally regulated market so that adults may use marijuana without the threat of punishment
6) Fastracks Yes; Purpose: Support future Fastracks-related ballot measures
7) Coloradans Get Big Money Out of Politics; Purpose: Pass ballot measure calling for federal constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending
8) PPRM Ballot Issue Committee; Purpose: To oppose anti-choice, anti-women’s health, anti-family planning, and efforts to restrict access to reproductive health care services
9) Protect Families, Protect Choices Campaign Committee; Purpose: Oppose anti-choice ballot measures including attempts to redefine the term “person”
10) Drug Policy Action Colorado Committee; Purpose: The purpose of this issue committee is to support the campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol
Here is a chart that shows the funds raised by these committees:
Not surprisingly, given the wide margin by which the pro-pot law passed, those committees created to support the passage of Amendment 64 raked in the most cash. In fact, the pro-pot committees raised nearly four times as much as Smart Colorado, the committee formed to combat Amendment 64 as shown by this chart:
It’s interesting to note that two issues that weren’t on the ballot had very robust committees behind them (e.g., Planned Parenthood and Fastracks). Of course, the Get Other People’s Big Money Out of Politics Committee sponsored by the left’s Big Money campaigns made the top ten lists as well. Some have questioned whether the “Get Big Money Out of Politics” efforts were simply GOTV vehicles for the left. The two campaigns, if combined, would have been the second largest committee fund in the state and at over one million dollars, would have dwarfed the third biggest fund, Smart Colorado.
While the pot committees were the biggest cash recipients in 2012, the left’s issue committees certainly were no political paupers either.