"The Rocky Mtn News calculated that Dems raised $4 million for friendly 527s, compared with $2.9 mil raised by Republicans."
"Three millionaire liberals are working the state's electoral levers. "They're trying to buy the political structure of the state," says Governor Owens. "Everywhere we look, we see their money and their resources." The ringleader is Tim Gill, the founder of Quark, a software firm; over the last decade, he has donated tens of millions to gay and lesbian causes.
His political activism dates back to 1992, when Colorado voters amended the state constitution to restrict certain gay-rights laws. "Nothing can compare to the psychological trauma of realizing that more than half the people in your state believe that you don't deserve equal rights," he once told the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Gill's allies are heiress Pat Stryker and dotcom entrepreneur Jared Polis. "If you were to put a gun to the head of most Dems, they couldn't tell you who their state chairman is," says one Colorado insider. "But they all know about these millionaires--each is like a mini-George Soros for Colorado.
"The mini-Soroses of Colorado aren't merely dabbling in elections--they're building a permanent infrastructure. "We are finally realizing that how we win is by creating an environment of fear and respect," boasted Gill adviser Ted Trimpa--described by one politico as "the Karl Rove of Colorado"--to the Bay Area Reporter, a gay newspaper in San Francisco earlier this year.
They've established several websites, including ColoradoPols.com, that have started to shape political coverage in the state. "I can't tell you how often reporters would call 36 hours after something appeared there," says Owens. They've also founded Colorado Media Matters, an offshoot of David Brock's national group of left-wing watchdogs. It currently employs about a dozen people. "That's more media critics than there are in the rest of the Colorado media combined," says David Kopel of the Independence Institute. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal group that tries to publicize GOP scandals both real and fake, has a Colorado field office as well. Gill would even like to influence the GOP: He hired former Owens staffer and conservative-movement veteran Sean Duffy to work on the domestic-partnership referendum, and convinced Patrick Guerriero to resign as head of the Log Cabin Republicans in order to run the Gill Action Fund.
Potentially more important is Gill's determination to export the Colorado model. "If I can make a difference in Colorado, you can make a difference in your home state," he said earlier this year in Miami, at a meeting of financial heavyweights in the gay-rights movement, according to the Rocky Mtn News. To liberals, that may sound like a hope. Conservatives should hear it as a threat.
Lefty 527s include "Coloradoans for Life" and "Clear Peak Colorado."
The essay repeats without support onen allegation, unproven as far as I know, that coloradopols.com is funded by Gill, Polis, and others. This allegation made the light of day over a year ago, from Hans Gullickson of the Colorado GOP.
Tim Gill is a rather unimaginative chap. He believes "Nothing can compare to the psychological trauma of realizing that more than half the people in your state believe that you don't deserve equal rights." Apparently political finance is his therapeutic method of choice. Gill himself dumped millions into the 2006 ballot initiatives, one against Amendment 43, which was a successful anti-homosexual marriage proposition, and in favor of Referendum I, which was a failed and poorly written homosexual domestic partnership initiative.
He's also been busy in many other areas. I find via the Gill Foundation's Annual Report of 2005, that he has funded various endeavors.
Some academic grants caught my eye:
Chicago Theological Seminary $ 185,000; University of Denver/Colorado Seminary $16,000
Under Arts grants are listed the United Church of Christ, $25,000; University of Denver/Colorado Seminary $25,000; Colorado Council of Churches, $15,000
Under broadcasting we find the United Methodist Church of Estes Park which received $5,000
What particularly caught my eye was a $12,000 grant for the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. The organization endorsed its patron's favored Referendum I, and apparently condemned the marriage amendment.
Its president is Sister Maureen McCormack, a Catholic nun of the Sisters of Loretto in Englewood. Some of her sisters recently made some noise exposing their dubious relationship with Christian orthodoxy, already known to local Catholics.
Finally, in the course of researching this post I have learned that somebody attached my home parish's name to a list of Colorado churches supporting homosexual rights. This is quite false, but I think I know how this got started. Some parish apparatchiks published an endorsement of gay rights initiatives in the Sunday bulletin. They were rebuked by the pastor, who now has even more work to do. In addition to his other duties, he must make sure there aren't opportunistic hypocrites using parish bulletin space(and thus parish funding) to subvert Church teaching and the common good of society.
Several other Catholic parishes were included here, which suggests there is an organized opposition, probably Dignity/Denver, trying to co-opt local "liberal" parishes.