DENVER – A week ago today, Compass Colorado called on Levi Tillemann-Dick, a well-connected liberal from a political family, to stop exploiting campaign finance laws and file officially as a congressional candidate.
Tillemann-Dick is currently acting like a congressional candidate, with a full website, a professionally designed logo, actively raising tens of thousands of dollars, and is even conducting a district-wide “listening tour” where he will present his stump speech for candidacy. Yet, Tillemann-Dick is exploiting the part of campaign finance law that allows for an “exploratory committee” to “test the waters” for a candidate to determine if they believe a campaign is viable.
Since our call a week ago, Tillemann-Dick has posted an oddly rationalized post entitled “A lengthy comment for the curious” in response to us on his Facebook page. In addition, he has hidden the dollar amount raised by one of his two crowdfunding accounts on its page (a screenshot of the page prior to his change can be found here) to further obscure the issue from voters.
“If the way Tillemann-Dick is running his campaign for Congress is completely legit, why hide the amount raised after we asked the question?” asked Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado. “Wouldn’t he be proud of raising so much money?”
Currently, politically connected Tillemann-Dick has raised at least $40,000 (prior to hiding the amount) into two separate accounts on a crowdfunding website. He concedes in his Facebook post, that amount is now far greater.
The Federal Elections Commission guidelines suggest $5,000 is an appropriate amount of money to fundraise into an exploratory committee as one is “testing the waters” and offers several guidelines as to when is the correct time to actually file in the process. He is quite clearly past that time.
In his bizarre and ranty Facebook post, Tillemann-Dick suggests that $150,000 to $200,000 is his target amount to raise before actually filing to run, and he intends to delay offering citizens of the sixth congressional district the transparency created with filing campaign finance reports until that time. His justification for the $150,000 to $200,000 figure? “Anecdotal evidence.” He, however, fails to point out any campaign that has raised similar figures.
When asked by Ernest Luning of ColoradoPolitics about our call, Tillemann-Dick not only refused to answer but sloppily attempted to pivot to make it a small issue in relation to unrelated and unsubstantiated claims about health care. In his Facebook post, he calls the question of his exploitation “silly.”
“The fact that Tillemann-Dick believes exploiting laws designed to offer citizens transparency in the political process is ‘silly’ in the scheme of things tells us how little he actually thinks of the constituents of the district he’s running to represent,” Maher said.
“The only reason for Tillemann-Dick to refuse to file at this point is just to obfuscate the issue and delay reporting and filing,” continued Maher. “Constituents don’t want someone who plays these kinds of games.”