Kelly Maher
Executive Director

Joint Budget Committee Chairwoman and U.S. Senator Mark Udall allegedly violated constitution and federal law respectively
DENVER (September 9, 2014) – Late yesterday, Compass Colorado filed a campaign finance complaint against Representative Crisanta Duran, Chairwoman of Colorado’s Joint Budget Committee, and a Federal Elections Commission complaint against U.S. Senator Mark Udall; both complaints are in connection with a campaign fundraiser for Rep. Duran late last month.

The Colorado campaign finance complaint asserts that Chairwoman Duran violated the constitution and took illegal and unconstitutional contributions from corporations at a fundraiser. On August 23, Duran hosted a “Campaign Kickoff & Birthday Celebration” event where corporations were advertised and where food and wine was given to attendees, free of charge, which was subsequently not paid for by the campaign. Because the food and wine was provided by corporations Compass Colorado asserts they constituted in-kind contributions, and are therefore illegal under the Colorado constitution.

“Representative Duran is a leader in her party, she chairs the powerful Joint Budget Committee, and yet still declines to follow our constitution,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado. “It’s time that we all follow the rules, even those people who get to make them. Duran is rumored as a contender for House Majority Leader if Democrats retain the House next year, are they really going to have a leader who doesn’t take the state constitution seriously?”

At the same birthday party fundraiser that allegedly accepted illegal corporate contributions U.S. Senator Mark Udall took the stage and implored the crowd to donate to Rep. Duran: “She’s a 30-something,” said Udall, “and you multiply by three. That means that every one of you should have written at least a hundred-dollar check, is that right? ‘Cuz we need to send her back to the state house and we need to keep the state house in the majority.”

Federal Election Commission rules allow for federal candidates and officials to attend non-federal events, but they clearly prohibit the solicitation of non-federal dollars. Sen. Udall is currently running on a platform that includes changes to the campaign finance laws.

“It’s ironic that the same Senator Udall who is trying to pass new laws about campaign finance can’t seem to follow the law currently on the books,” added Maher. “We should be able to count on the people who are making the rules to take them seriously.”