top of page

Update on Potential Campaign Filing Discrepancies in Loveland

Follow up to Previously Published Articles, ‘Where’s the Money’ and ‘How Dark Money Influences Loveland Elections’


By Jessica Schneider, Editor

Research Contributed by Doug Luithly

The Loveland Voice

November 22, 2023


Background


On October 29th The Loveland Voice was directed to unfinished filing reports for 2021 Issue Committee The Loveland Coalition for Accountability and Transparency (LCAT). At 5 p.m. on November 7th (election day) new filings for expenditure committee Brighter Colorado Futures (BCF) were released, well after they were filed, and seven days after they were required to be made public, according to the City Charter. I have been investigating these apparent anomalies since.


Research Process


Since October 29th, I have exchanged 31 emails with City Clerk Delynn Coldiron on these subjects, submitted a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request for communication about the 2021 filings, and filed a campaign complaint about the late disclosure of $10, 241.64 in dark money from BCF in support of Councilwoman Andrea Samson’s campaign by the Office of the City Clerk.


I’ve also conducted interviews on background with six individuals with knowledge of LCAT, (several more than once). Read and reread the City Charter, and contacted three individuals who have declined to comment who are directly related to LCAT.


I was contacted via email by a legal representative for the registered agent of LCAT, which stated it was being sent “as a courtesy to allow you time to consider how you might update, revise and correct TLV's publications regarding the work and expenses of the Coalition. In addition, I believe that you owe Kasey an apology and that it is in your nature to do so.” 


The email included a screenshot of an ad that the legal representative stated that LCAT published in the Loveland Reporter Herald (RH) on October 24, 2021. Research into the print archives of the RH did not reveal an ad on that date. Further investigation has confirmed that a half-page color ad was published on October 27th of that year. No expenditures or costs were included in the email, and the legal representative did not reply to my follow-up questions. Some questions, but not all, are addressed in the filings updated on November 17th and 22nd (see links below).


Links to documents related to LCAT:




Campaign Complaint Regarding Delayed Public Release of BCF Finance Reports


The Loveland Municipal Code regarding third party campaign finance violations requires all complaints to be made within 60 days of an election in which the alleged violation occurred. Below is an excerpt of the complaint I submitted to the City Clerk. As the City Clerk is the subject of the complaint, TLV reached out to ask if a third party would be brought in to interpret the validity of my complaint. Coldiron responded in an email today and confirmed that the third party is Geoff Wilson, Partner at Wilson Williams, LLP.


– 

Excerpt from Campaign Complaint, filed by Jessica Schneider, TLV Editor on November 18, 2023


Date(s) of alleged violation


October 23 - November 7, 2023


Details about the violation, including how and when complainant become aware of violation.


“On November 7th at 6:00 p.m. I became aware that the finance reports for Brighter Colorado Futures, and independent expenditure committee, were suddenly available on the City website for the first time. I contacted Delynn on November 8th to find out when she had received the finance reports (three total) dated October 23, and October 25th. Coldiron responded that she had "missed" the reports and apologized. According to the City Charter, these reports should have been available at least seven days before the election, which would have been on or around October 31, 2023. In contrast, reports for the two other IECs were posted in a timely manner. Additionally, there is no committee registration form for BCF. This appears to contradict the Charter of the City of Loveland, specifically 17-7, 17-9, 17-10 and 17-11.”

– 


Former Ward 2 Candidate Files CORA Request about BCF Filing


Kat McManus, who lost her bid for the Ward 2 Council seat to incumbent Andrea Samson, filed a CORA request last week. 


The request, filed November 15th, is as follows: 


“Copies of the time-stamped campaign financial reports (Sent, Opened and Received) along with any letters or emails that accompanied the campaign financial reports submitted by City Council and PAC organizations, during the 2023 election cycle.”


Yesterday, she received an invoice for her request for $297.00


In an interview, McManus said she filed the request because she wants to know how the City Clerk’s office could have, “dropped this ball.”


“I think this information is important for future candidates,” said McManus. “They should know what to expect. I think the City Clerk’s office is better than this, and I want to know what checks and balances are in place for future elections.”


McManus also said that she will share the results she receives for publication by TLV.


What’s the Point?


What began as an inquiry into funds that weren’t accounted for in 2021 turned into extensive research into the Loveland City Charter, weeks of interviews and emails, intimidation, name calling, ongoing inquiries into campaign finance processes and rules, and eventually, some answers we have been able to uncover, which are provided here. 


The purpose of this reporting, which has been an organic and frequently surprising process of discovery, is to understand more about local election laws as they relate to financing and reporting. I want to understand if rules and laws are applied equally to all candidates and committees, and what happens if they are not. As in our dark money series of updates, the underlying goal is always to provide better insight and understanding into how our local government works on behalf of the residents of Loveland.


We don’t have all of the answers yet.


I did receive a response from Coldiron today, in response to my questions on November 17th. Her answer is published below in entirety.



We respect anonymity and information provided on background. 


TLV will report on the election campaign complaint process regarding the delayed public release of campaign finance reports from BCF. (I am still unsure why BCF was not required to register as a committee in the 2023 election, for instance. Requests for comment to Coldiron and Rachel Gordon, Treasurer of BCF, have not been answered in this regard.)


On November 7th at 6:00 p.m. I became aware that the finance reports for Brighter Colorado Futures, and independent expenditure committee, were suddenly available on the City website for the first time. I contacted Delynn on November 8th to find out when she had received the finance reports (three total) dated October 23, and October 25th. Coldiron responded that she had "missed" the reports and apologized. According to the City Charter, these reports should have been available at least seven days before the election, which would have been on or around October 31, 2023. In contrast, reports for the two other IECs were posted in a timely manner. Additionally, there is no committee registration form for BCF. This appears to contradict the Charter of the City of Loveland, specifically 17-7, 17-9, 17-10 and 17-11.”

Comments


bottom of page