CLLARO congressional map recommendation

Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) suggested congressional map.

Another complaint alleging failures to properly disclose redistricting lobbying activity has been lodged with the Colorado Secretary of State, this time targeting an influential Hispanic and Latino advocacy organization.

The newest complaint over redistricting lobbying practices takes aim at the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization (CLLARO), arguing that their registered lobbyist hasn’t properly disclosed his activities, and that two other employees of the organization should have registered themselves as lobbyists and registered their contact with redistricting commissioners as lobbying.

CLLARO’s executive director, Mike Cortes, and board member, Maria Gonzalez, gave public comments at redistricting commission public hearings in July and August. The complaint argues that the two should have registered as lobbyists.

The complaint also highlights the group’s registered lobbyist, Alexander Cobell, arguing that because his first lobbying disclosure came on Aug. 26, even though Cobell gave public comments at a July 14 redistricting commission meeting, he violated the 72-hour disclosure requirement for redistricting lobbyists.

The complaint comes from Defend Colorado, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that does not disclose its donors and bills itself as focused on “defending the Colorado economy and preserving Colorado jobs.” When 501(c)4 organizations spend money in elections, they’re called “dark money” organizations because their funding is kept secret.

“This complaint is a transparently partisan smear campaign designed to sway the outcome of the commission and judicial process. We are confident that our work reflects our focus on communities of interest and we will not be distracted by partisan gamesmanship,” CLLARO spokesman Curt Baker wrote in response to the complaint. “The work to secure meaningful representation for Colorado's Latino community is not finished and we will continue to focus our efforts on that.”

The complaint will next be reviewed by the Colorado Secretary of State to determine whether a full investigation and referral to adjudication is warranted.

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