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Stand favors Dems with contributions

The advocacy group Stand for Children endorses both Democrats and Republicans, but when it comes to campaign contributions, one party gets the bulk of the cash.

Stand has endorsed six Democrats and five Republicans in 2012 legislative races, but 89 percent of contributions by the Stand for Children Small Donor Committee have gone to Democratic candidates, according to state campaign finance filings.

The committee earlier this month reported $27,000 in contributions to the 11 candidates that Stand had endorsed earlier.

The Democrats received $4,000 each, including Sen. Mary Hodge (District 25), Sen. Linda Newell (District 26), and Senate candidate Crestina Martinez (District 35). Also receiving that amount were Reps. Pete Lee (District 18), Dave Young (District 50) and Millie Hamner (District 61).

In contrast, two Republican Senate candidates received only $750 apiece, Lang Sias in District 19 and Ken Summers in District 22. Three House candidates each received $500, including Brian Watson (District 3), Rick Enstrom (District 23) and Amy Attwood (District 28).

Democrats for Education Reform, which often allies with Stand on legislative policy issues, had donated to four of the same candidates, Hamner, Lee, Newell and Young. Each received $400. DFER, of course, endorses Democrats.

The DFER Small Donor Committee also gave $400 to Democrat Brittany Petterson, Attwood’s opponent in a hotly contest Lakewood district.

Big-money races

Stand, DFER and political committees related to the Colorado Education Association and its local affiliates all have contributed – mostly to Democrats – in five of the best-funded legislative contests this election.

Here’s a look at those races:

House District 3 (Arapahoe County) – Total raised: $452,875. Democratic Rep. Daniel Kagan $197,648; Watson $255,776.

Senate District 19 (Jefferson County) – Total raised: $331,967. Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak (a member of the Senate Education Committee), $212,648; Sias $119,319.

Senate District 26 (Arapahoe County) – Total raised $318,392. Newell $212,674; Republican David Kerber $105,718.

Senate District 22 (Jefferson County) – Total raised $312,660. Democrat Andy Kerr, $185,185; Summers, $127,475. Kerr and Summers are currently state representatives and were members of the House Education Committee during the last session.

House District 18 (El Paso County) – Total raised $310,127. Lee, $147,700; Republican Jennifer George, $162,427.

The direct contributions to candidate committees, of course, don’t reflect the full picture of spending in the battleground races that are expected to determine control of the legislature next year.

Independent expenditure and 527 committees, which are supposed to operate independently of candidates, have spent tens of thousands of dollars, much of it on “attack” campaign materials. Such independent spending is dominated by committees allied with the Democratic Party, and those committees receive funding from a wide variety of sources, including business groups, teachers union committees and even groups allied with education reform interests.

Latest campaign finance miscellanea

Contribution reports by education-related political committees were fairly light for the Oct. 29 deadline. Here are some highlights:

The AFT of Colorado Small Donor Committee gave $2,000 to Tracy Kraft-Tharp, the Democratic candidate who’s challenging GOP Rep. Robert Ramirez in District 29. Democrats have been pushing hard to unseat Ramirez, a member of House Education.

The Boulder Valley Education Association Small Donor Committee gave $250 each to Kraft-Tharp, Democratic candidate Emily Tracy in Senate District 8 and State Board of Education incumbent Angelika Schroeder, who represents the 2nd District.

Educators for Public Education, the CEA-related political action committee, give $400 each to Tracy, Democratic candidate Dianne Primavera in House District 33 and Democratic Rep. Cherilyn Peniston in District 35. Peniston is a veteran member of House Education.

The Pueblo Education Association Small Donor Committee gave $2,000 each to Kerr and to Democratic Rep. Max Tyler, who’s running against Enstrom in District 23.

The Public Education Committee, the main small-donor arm of the CEA, gave $1,000 to Democratic school board member Joanne Baxter, running in District 57.

The Stand for Children Small Donor Committee made its contributions during the Sept. 27-Oct. 10 reporting period and reported no additional giving in the most recent period, which included activity from Oct. 10 to Oct. 24.

Monday was the last finance reporting deadline before the Nov. 6 election for candidates and committees that donate to candidates. Final reports are due Dec. 6, a month after winners and losers will have been decided.

Committees involved in campaigns for school district tax proposals have one last reporting deadline before the election, on Friday.

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