Hearing ongoing in campaign finance complaint against Holtzman
DENVER ” Staffers for Marc Holtzman’s campaign for governor were directly involved with an issue committee against Referendum C that ran ads featuring the candidate, a violation of Colorado’s campaign laws, according to testimony at a hearing for a complaint filed by a lobbyist who supports Holtzman’s GOP opponent.
Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer opened a hearing Wednesday on a complaint filed with the secretary of state’s office last month by Steve Durham alleging Holtzman used the If C Wins, You Lose committee to bolster his campaign for governor.
During the hearing, Durham’s attorney presented cellular phone records showing dozens of calls between Holtzman’s campaign and the group formed to oppose Referendum C.
Holtzman’s campaign insists it followed the law in working with the group and calls the case a politically motivated vendetta. Holtzman and his campaign manager Dick Leggitt, who durinn would be the primary fundraiser. He said we were going to raise a whole bunch of money and beat up on Gov. (Bill) Owens.”
Leggitt described George as a former employee with a grudge against the campaign.
“These conversations he said he had with me are total fiction,” Leggitt said. “Almost everything he said will be refuted.”
Holtzman has been trying to woo conservatives in the GOP who are angered at Owens support of Referendum C, which was approved by voters in November. It allows the state to keep revenues ” estimated at $4.25 billion over five years ” that would have been refunded to taxpayers under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
The case could answer how much coordination and control is permitted between candidate campaigns and issue/political committees, which aren’t bound by the same stringent rules as individual campaigns.
If the judge rules against Holtzman, his campaign could be fined and forced to pay legal expenses.
Holtzman’s GOP opponent Bob Beauprez in October asked Secretary of State Gigi Dennis for an advisory opinion on Holtzman’s work with the group, which Dennis declined to issue.
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