Sandra Fish (KUNC) – A Colorado lobbyist is facing steep fines for failing to register. The Secretary of State’s Office notified Collon Kennedy on Thursday that he owes nearly $74,000 in late fees.
The matter came to the attention of the office after state Sen. Irene Aguilar filed a complaint against Kennedy. The Denver Democrat observed Kennedy lobbying for Walmart on a liquor sales bill she opposed. When she looked him up in the Secretary of State’s lobbyist database, she couldn’t find him listed.
“I know that he’s been there lobbying a long time, and I had not realized that he wasn’t registered,” Aguilar said.
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One year after Ethics Watch published its Shark Attack report on predatory lender spending on Colorado politics, the industry has significantly reduced its profile. With no bills affecting the industry on this year’s legislative agenda, industry participants do not appear to have spent any money on lobbying as of the April 15 reporting deadline. Political contributions were also down during the 2016 election cycle, with only about $13,000 spent by industry participants.
Mike McKibbin (Colorado Statesman) – Monthly lobbyist financial reports required by the City and County of Denver, designed to help the public know who is lobbying City Council members on what issues, are commonly submitted with no reported expenditures, a review of the documents by the The Colorado Statesman has found.
While no wrongdoing or rules violations are thought to have occurred, the city ordinance that regulates lobbyists by requiring registration and the reports does not identify specific oversight. Like many other areas of municipal and state regulations, it is basically a self-reporting arrangement that is only investigated upon complaint, according to Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell.
Click here to read the rest of the story in the Colorado Statesman.
Joey Bunch (Denver Post)-
Colorado’s system for telling the public who is spending money to shape state policy amounts to a complicated honor system the average concerned citizen would struggle to untangle. The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity last year deemed Colorado “largely sleaze-free” but dinged the state for its lack of transparency on lobbyists.
Attempts to strengthen disclosure at the legislature haven’t been effective, and state officials say there isn’t enough money to make improvements.
Robert Gehrke (The Salt Lake Tribune)-
State Rep. Ken Ivory was paid $135,000 last year for his work as president of the American Lands Council — a group dedicated to winning state ownership of federal lands — and his wife was paid another $18,000, according to the group’s most recent tax filing.
Ivory’s salary shot up by $40,000; the state representative estimated he spends about 60 hours a week working on issues for the American Lands Council.
Joshua Zaffos (High Country News)- The central organization that advocates for Western states to take over federal public lands, Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory’s American Lands Council, is apparently running roughshod over state legislative rules.
The Colorado Secretary of State announced last week that it has “reasonable grounds to believe” the ALC may have violated state lobbying and disclosure rules for failing to report political spending or to register as a lobbyist. The ALC, which leads the West-wide movement to transfer federal lands to states’ control, emailed Colorado supporters this spring to build backing for a bill that would have created a county commissioner-led task force to study the benefits of public-lands transfer to the state of Colorado. (The Senate bill failed by one vote.) The ALC has ushered similar bills through nearly every Western state legislature, with varying success.