Some Denver mayoral candidates are gaming the system to get buckets of money outside the Fair Election Fund boundaries through independent expenditures.

Instead of encouraging candidates to raise their campaign war chest through small donations matched nine times with your tax dollars, the fund is just helping to bankroll candidates supported by the little and big guy PACs.

The solution to ridding all special interests from campaigns is blocked by that pesky 1st Amendment and free speech, acknowledges Owen Perkins of CleanSlateNow, the group behind the Denver campaign fund.

He told the Colorado Sun:

“I don’t like the outside spending and the way that impacts races,” Perkins said. “It’s legal, but it’s not right.”


“If we want relief from big corporate interests in politics, it has to happen at a national scale, at a statewide scale,” he said. “Denver can’t do it alone.”

Progressives need to face reality this experiment with taxpayer dollars failed in the mayoral election to keep out special interests, and that well-funded candidates are just raking in even more money to buy annoying commercials.

Independent expenditures have already dropped nearly $2 million in the mayoral contest.

Kelly Brough is leading the pack with $617,872 in contributions she raised, plus $1,093,626 in your tax dollars and independent expenditures by PACs.

In second place is former state Sen. Mike Johnston, who raised $475,205, and has another $1,184,838 in your tax dollars and independent expenditures by PACs.

Here’s how it shakes out for the top five:

Candidates will get one last check from the taxpayers’ fund next week to push them into the final round of campaigning before the April 4 election.

Your tax dollars at work.