Colorado Democrats open wallets for Obama inauguration |

Colorado Democrats open wallets for Obama inauguration

David Montero
Rocky Mountain News
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Several Colorado Democrats donated the $50,000 maximum individuals could contribute for President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, according to official records.

Two are on the rolls for $25,000 each, including Belly Up Aspen owner Michael Goldberg, while another gave $12,500. Some gave as little as $250.

Some of the names on the list aren’t necessarily surprises.

Pat Stryker, an heiress to the Stryker Corp. and worth $1.8 billion according to Forbes, gave $50,000. But her name is often attached to big money and Democratic causes.

Former Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Tom Strickland also gave $50,000. Strickland’s name has come up as a possible replacement for Sen. Ken Salazar, who took a Cabinet job with the Obama administration.

“I was 8 when John F. Kennedy was elected and inaugurated, and we had this sense of open possibility that we haven’t had since,” Strickland said. “It will be a historic event, and my wife and three daughters are very excited about the beginning of this new era.”

Strickland said he didn’t need to donate the money to get tickets for the Jan. 20 inauguration, although he said some events such as after-inauguration balls haven’t been sorted out yet.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee was set up by the president-elect as a way for the public to get information about the event, which some officials and media groups are estimating more than 2 million people will attend.

The committee doesn’t accept contributions from a wide range of groups including corporations, political action committees, labor unions, current federally registered lobbyists and non-U.S. citizens.

Individual contributions are capped at $50,000, and bundling can’t exceed $300,000.

The donors list for those in Colorado who gave money includes Karen Ekuban, the wife of Denver Broncos defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban. She gave $500.

Merle Chambers, founder and president of the Denver- based Chambers Family Fund, gave $50,000.

Chambers was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004 and was also given the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award the same year.

Colorado donors

– Pat McConathy, self-employed, Vail: $50,000

– Holly Lev, self-employed, Boulder: $50,000

– Pat Stryker, heiress, Fort Collins: $50,000

– Tom Strickland, former U.S. Senate candidate, Denver: $50,000

– Bruce Oreck, self-employed, Boulder: $50,000

* Merle Chambers, self-employed, Denver: $50,000

– Pamela Joseph, self-employed, Aspen: $25,000

– Michael Goldberg, self-employed, Aspen: $25,000

– Joseph Zimlich, CEO Bohemian Cos., Fort Collins: $12,500

– Karen Ekuban, “My Husband/Children,” Parker: $500

– Steve Silverman, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Englewood: $250

– Sahalu Saidu, self-employed, Denver: $250

– Patricia Mclaughlin, Sound Images Inc., Denver: $250

– Maryadel Lavoie, Sun Cali Inc.: Denver: $250

– Darrell Jackson, not employed, Broomfield: $250

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