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Unions back Prop. 103 with cash

The state’s two teachers unions have followed up their endorsements of Proposition 103 with campaign contributions.

The Colorado Education Association donated $50,000 to the campaign group Support Schools for a Bright Colorado during the most recent campaign finance reporting period, according to documents filed with the secretary of state’s office.

The American Federation of Teachers came up with $4,080, CEA affiliate the Boulder Valley Education Association contributed $3,200 and the Colorado AFL-CIO donated $2,500.

But the biggest campaign contributor remains The Gary Williams Co., which donated another $100,000 on top of its prior $100,000 contribution.

Support Schools, the main group supporting passage of Proposition 103, now has raised a total of $384,947 and spent $204,209, leaving $180,738 on hand. Much of the committee’s spending to date was on the petition-gathering campaign necessary to get the proposition on the ballot.

Two other groups registered in support of Proposition 103, the Policy Action Fund and Great Education Colorado Action, reported no fundraising in the most recent period, which covered Sept. 15-28.

The opposition group Too Taxing for Colorado reported $50 in new contributions for a campaign total of $3,327. Another opposition group, Save Colorado Jobs, also raised $50 in the last period for a total of $10,050.

Other interesting contributions to Support Schools in the latest reporting period include:

  • Kaiser Permanente Foundation, $10,000
  • Impact on Education, a Boulder County foundation, $5,000
  • Political consultant Mike Dino, $1,000
  • Philanthropist Judith Wagner, $1,000
  • Boedecker Foundation of Boulder, $1,000
  • Dan Ritchie, head of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and former University of Denver chancellor, $500
  • Denver hotel owner Joy Burns, $500
  • Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins and chair of the Senate Education Committee, $250

Support Schools’ latest filing reported spending with $24,250 to 4Degrees Inc., a Denver online communications firm.

The Proposition 103 campaign has been a low-key, grassroots affair to date. A south Denver debate last weekend between Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, and Jefferson County anti-tax activist Natalie Minton drew only about two-dozen people.

Education News Colorado story about contributions in the previous reporting period



  • State income tax rate would rise to 5 percent from 4.63 percent
  • State sales tax rate would go to 3 percent from 2.9 percent
  • New rates are same as those in effect in 1999
  • Higher rates would end in 2017

Revenue use

  • Proposition would raise an estimated $3 billion over five years
  • Additional revenue could be spent only on preschool programs, K-12 schools and state colleges and universities
  • Legislature would decide how to split revenues
  • Spending would have to be in addition to levels of 2011-12