527 equals sleaze | AspenTimes.com

527 equals sleaze

Dear Editor:

Wake up, folks. Outside interests are trying to buy our votes.

Colorado Secretary of State (CSOS) filings show that The Neighborhood Project – a Denver-based 527 political organization supported by electrical worker, pipe trade and teachers’ unions – spent nearly $11,000 last month on door-to-door canvassing for Democratic candidate Roger Wilson.

One canvasser came to my door and told me – incorrectly – that I might as well vote for Wilson because there is no way independent candidate Kathleen Curry, who is running for re-election as our House District 61 state representative, can win as a write-in candidate.

In fact, as a widely respected legislator and the only candidate in the race with actual elected experience, Kathleen is clearly the leading contender.

CSOS filings also show that The Neighborhood Project received $9,000 in July from Accountability for Colorado, another Denver-based 527 group that has spent untold thousands of dollars more this fall bombarding voters with at least a half-dozen glossy mailers containing lies and half-truths about Rep. Curry. One recent mailing accused Kathleen of siding with “big insurance,” when she actually sponsored a bill last year to cap the escalating costs of small group health insurance.

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I’m fed up with these tax-exempt 527 and 501(c)4 groups meddling in our local elections. Whether it’s liberal, union-backed groups like The Neighborhood Project, or the gas industry-funded groups that try to sway voters during our county commission races, these outsiders ought to just butt out and let us make up our own minds.

Our political process is corrupted and debased by these cynical, power-hungry groups throwing vast sums of money into elections at all levels, while lacking the courage to step out of the shadows and take responsibility for their own actions.

Kathleen Curry is the opposite of those sleazy manipulators. She speaks her mind plainly and has invariably followed her convictions, even when it meant parting ways with her former political party.

When I cast my vote this fall, I’ll be sure to fill in the write-in box for State Rep. District 61, followed by the name “Kathleen Curry.”

Russ Arensman

Glenwood Springs