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  • Big Money Pouring Into Colorado Races

    Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has been hit with a campaign finance complaint as money pours into the state.

    Spending on Colorado’s political campaigns has topped $60 million, with outside groups spending more than the candidates.

    The state is bucking a national trend in that Democrats are spending more money than Republicans, but three of the biggest national spenders are dumping money into Colorado in favor of Republicans, according to an analysis of newly released campaign finance reports done by Colorado Public Radio.

    According to CPR, Americans for Prosperity, Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent a combined $9.2 million on ads critical of Udall. The groups are nonprofits and aren’t required to disclose their donors.

    That spending is being somewhat countered by the Senate Majority PAC, which is spending more than a third of its national expenditures thus far supporting Udall in Colorado. The group has spent $16.6 million nationally and $5.8 million in Colorado alone, according to CPR, which notes that the group is the No. 2 political advertiser in Colorado, second only to Crossroads GPS.

    As for the candidates themselves, Udall’s campaign has spent about $5.6 million on ads to Gardner’s $4.2 million, and Udall has run 3,000 more ads than his opponent to date.

    Likewise, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s campaign has outspent Republican opponent Bob Beauprez’s, $1.7 million to $722,000, respectively.

    Hickenlooper has run 2,608 spots to Beauprez’s 936.

    Beauprez, however, is getting financial help from the Republican Governors Association, which has given $5 million to its state committee for independent expenditures. The group has already aired ads hitting Hickenlooper hard for granting convicted mass murderer Nathan Dunlap an indefinite stay of execution.

    In all, Democrats or their supporters have bought 47 percent of the election airtime so far in Colorado, compared to 43 percent of Republicans and their supporters.

    Nationally, CPR reports, Republicans are benefiting from ad expenditures more than Democrats, by a 52-40 percent margin.

    On Tuesday, conservative group Compass Colorado filed a campaign finance complaint against Udall, who was caught on camera asking attendees at a fundraiser for a state house candidate to write “at least … a $100 check” for her re-election. Federal candidates are prohibited from soliciting nonfederal funds at any time, according to Federal Election Commission Regulations.

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