Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Morse team raises more than opposition

By Megan Schrader Published: July 9, 2013

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.

In the reports filed by both groups at the beginning of July, it's clear Morse's campaign continues to outspend and out-earn the petition gatherers who collected more than 10,000 valid signatures to force a recall election in Senate District 11.

No date for the election has been set, but both parties are likely to need some funding to continue campaigning through a legal battle that is expected to be kicked off in Denver District Court on Wednesday when an appeal is filed seeking to throw out the signatures on a legal technicality.

Top contributors

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 group listed that money as a proportional transfer from the 505 members of the Basic Freedom Defense Fund. That fund was the organizing force behind the attempt to oust Morse and three other state lawmakers who all supported gun legislation last session that later became law.

If the issue heads to ballot in coming months, Morse will likely launch a campaign to stay in office, but the El Paso Freedom Defense Fund will be barred by political committee rules from endorsing any single candidate that is vying to replace Morse. Rather, the campaign ads will have to focus on an anti-Morse message.

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