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BY: Todd Shepherd
The Colorado Secretary of State's office has given the initial go-ahead for an investigation into a campaign finance complaint alleging Google co-founder Sergey Brin's charitable foundation made a dark money campaign finance donation supporting a ballot initiative that would have greatly restricted new oil and gas drilling in that state.
Complaint - Republican - Staffer - Brin - Foundation
The complaint filed by a former Republican staffer alleges Brin's foundation made a campaign donation to Colorado Rising, a political issue committee supporting Prop 112, which asked voters to approve significantly greater setback distances that new oil and gas rigs would have to be placed from "vulnerable" infrastructure such as schools and hospitals.
Opponents of the measure argued the setbacks were so great and the definition of vulnerable so vague that the law would have amounted to a de facto ban, and voters turned the measure down.
Foundation - Brin - Family - Foundation - Contributions
As a tax-exempt foundation, the Brin Family Foundation would be prohibited from political contributions. But the complaint deals less with the IRS implications and instead focuses on possible violations of Colorado campaign finance law.
The complaint cited numerous subsequent amended campaign finance filings in which the donation was moved away from Colorado Rising and over to ProgressNow Colorado, a nonprofit.
Attorney - Complainant - Secretary - State - Scott
The attorney for the complainant, former secretary of state Scott Gessler, told the Washington Free Beacon the initial filing and the subsequent corrections were attempts "to cover up the original contribution and protect the Brin Foundation."
The complaint also alleges that by using the money in support of Prop 112, ProgressNow Colorado should have registered as an issue committee.
Allegations - Fines - ProgressNow - Colorado - Elements
If those allegations pan out, it could mean fines for ProgressNow Colorado, one of the leading leftwing elements in the swing state. It might also mean it could be required to make additional disclosures of money it received and spent last cycle,...
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