According to the rumor mill down at the State Capitol, there is growing discontent among Democratic legislators who believe that fellow Democrat Rep. Brittany Pettersen received more attention and resources during her 2014 campaign because she is engaged to Ian Silveri, who runs the House Majority Project, an offshoot of the Colorado Democratic Party. Some would argue that her seat is not competitive, so why should she get help?
In the House, here’s who got what from the Colorado Dems in 2014 according to TRACER:
- Kagan: $14,828 – won by 430 votes
- Primavera: $14,825 – won by 2,020 votes
- Buckner: $14,805 – won by 1,981 votes
- Young: $14,805 – won by 1,229 votes
- Exum: $14,805 – won by 294 votes
- McLachlan: $13,886 – lost by 229 votes
- Pettersen: $13,730 – won by 2,723 votes
- Tyler: $13,025, won by 2,948 votes
- Kraft-Tharp: $13,127, won by 1,425 votes
- Lee: $3,294, won by 3,181 votes
- Salazar: $200, won by 56 votes
The rest of the Colorado House Democrats received nothing. We almost feel bad for Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Foot in Mouth), who only eked out a victory in 2014 after a disastrous 2013 session, because that paltry $200 is simply “get out of my office” money. And, then, there’s Jenise May, who lost her seat unexpectedly, and, then, lost her patronage job because she still had a campaign committee open. She received nothing.
If Democrats are upset about not getting their fair share of election cash, maybe they should look to Rep. Dan Kagan, who is a millionaire. He could have just written himself a check instead of sucking the most resources from a limited pool. Or, better, yet, Democrats should look to Governor Hickenlooper who received approximately $550,000 in cash for his campaign. Half a million would fund a lot of House campaigns.
Of course, these are just the resources on paper. There are certainly ways candidates can funnel resources – volunteers, strategy counseling, etc. that might not be apparent on TRACER. Maybe that’s what Democrats are whining about. Our solution? Democrats should enact a “fair share” policy for their campaign funds and resources so they can experience firsthand how unwise such policies are.