Who’s Funding Hudak Defenders’ Scare Tactics?

We’re not quite sure, that’s who.

Complete Colorado reported Friday on another attempt to scare Jefferson County residents away from signing recall petitions for State Senator Evie Hudak (D).  “Democracy Defense Fund,” which had previously been responsible for door-hangers claiming that signature-gatherers were criminals, is now using robocalls for the same purpose.

A poster on the Grassroots Radio Facebook page found the TRACER record for the Democracy Defense Fund, registered on October 10, 2013, for the purpose of opposing the SD19 recall.  While the principals for DDF are local to Colorado, the Fund’s entire $25,000 bankroll came on an October 18 donation from a group named Environmental Majority, out of Washington, DC.

The PAC is expressly partisan, and solely focused on elections.

The $25,000 expenditure represents more than it had spent in the 2014 cycle up to this point.  Not more than it had spent on specific races.  More than it had spent, period.

The PAC reported receipts of roughly $29,000 in the first half of the year, about $23,600 came through the site ActBlue, which serves as a small-donor platform for progressive and Democrat causes, sort of a partisan Piryx.  Of the $21,000 spent, about $9300 went to the Massachusetts special Senate election to replace John Kerry; just under $6000 went to the New Virginia PAC, other money went to various Democrat digital consulting firms. Small Potatoes.

Yet, with just over $8000 cash on hand reported at the end of June 2013, the Fund found $25,000 for scare-robocalls and scare-door-hangers in the Hudak recall race.  Admittedly, Hudak has a 100% Lifetime rating from the Colorado Conservation Voters.  But still, she’s a state senator, not a Congressman or a US Senator, and Environmental Majority states:

Our objective is straightforward: elect a pro-environment Democratic majority in the United States Congress and raise the political importance of environmental issues, especially climate change.

It appears that the decision to funnel the money through Environmental Majority, rather than immediately through Democracy Defense Fund, may have been deliberately made in order to avoid disclosure until after the signature-gathering period ended.  DDF has already been fined $50 for being late on one reporting deadline, but according to TRACER, their next filing would be due November 25.  The Hudak recall effort has until December 2 to turn in its petitions.

Since 2013 is an odd-numbered year, it appears that the FEC will only require Environmental Majority to file a new report by January 31 of next year, well after the Hudak signatures have been gathered or haven’t been.  This means that we may well not know who’s been funding the scare tactics that Hudak’s defenders have been using until the issue of there being a recall election at all is settled.

UPDATE: Colorado Observer notes that Environmental Majority has also given $5000 to Stand With Evie.


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