The Democracy for the People Initiative is on the November 6, 2018 Denver ballot!
We issued our 2018 Candidate Survey on February 2, 2018. Responses started coming back to us within hours of opening the survey.
The following candidates have shared their commitment to run their campaigns with no special interest money. Our reporting and analysis confirms that these candidates are only accpeting funds from individuals.
(*) Our endorsed candidates
Phillip Villard, Colorado Secretary of State (off ballot)
Congressman Jared Polis, Colorado Governor
Senator Mike Johnston, Colorado Governor
(*) Bernard Douthit, State Treasurer
David Sedbrook, U.S. Congress, Colorado's 1st Congressional District (off ballot)
(*) Mark Williams, U.S. Congress, Colorado's 2nd Congressional District
(*) Levi Tillemann, U.S. Congress, Colorado's 6th Congressional District
Congressman Ro Khanna, U.S. Congress, California's 17th Congressional District
Congressman John Sarbanes, U.S. Congress, Marlyand's 3rd Congressional District
State Legislative Races
Matthew Nadel, Colorado House District 4 (off ballot)
(*) Nicky Yollick, Colorado House District 5
Gabriel Thorn, Colorado House District 5 (off ballot)
Luke Bray, Colorado House District 26
Scott Wagner, Colorado House District 43
(*) Gbenga Ajiboye, House District 48
(*) Julia Varnell-Sarjeant, Colorado Senate District 30
(*) Peter Smith, Colorado Senate District 32
Risa White, Colorado Senate District 32 (off ballot)
We've run close to 100 reports on candidates running for office in 2018, documenting exactly where their money comes from and which special interests they're beholden to (if any). Look under our "Reports" tab on the menu at the top of the page to go to a particular race.
These additional candidates have reported raising money for their campaigns and have not reported accepting any special interest money, through the campaign financing reporting period ending 12.31.17. To our knowledge, they have not committed to turning down special interest money, but they're on the right track. Please encourage them to commit to running their campaigns without taking any special interest contributions.
Greg Lopez, Colorado Governor
Gabriel McArthur, Colorado Secretary of State (off ballot)
Brett Barkey, Colorado State Treasurer (off ballot)
Charles Scheiber, Colorado State Treasurer (off ballot)
Brita Horn, Colorado State Treasurer (off ballot)
Walker Stapleton, Colorado Governor
Lew Gaiter, Colorado Governor (off ballot)
Stephen Barlock, Colorado Governor (off ballot)
Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General
Brad Levin, Colorado Attorney General (off ballot)
Noel Ginsburg, Colorado Governor (off ballot)
Congressman Francis Rooney, U.S. Congress, Florida's 19th Congressional District
Lois Court , Colorado Senate District 31
Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, Colorado Senate District 34
William Britt Colorado House District 4
Lance Wright, Colorado Senate District 32 (off ballot)
Louis Irwin, Colorado House District 5 (off ballot)
Jonah Weiss,Colorado Senate District 34 (off ballot)
Milo Schwab,Colorado Senate District 34
Michael Kiley, Colorado House District 4 (off ballot)
Risa White, Colorado Senate District 32 (off ballot)
"I believe that campaign finance reform, from the local to the Federal levels, is on of the most important actions needed in the near future for American citizens to retake control of the decision-making process...."I believe individual contribution caps are essential to all elections in a Democracy, and will fight to see that such limits are placed on school board, RTD, and county commissioner races across Colorado...."The desired purpose of campaign finance laws is quite simple: to keep a wealthy minority from buying offices and influence and to ensure that elected officials work toward fostering a community that works for all. You can be certain I will work toward that goal in all of my dealings as a candidate and as a legislator." -- Nicky Yollick, Candidate for Colorado State House, District 5
"My first instinct is to say that we should never take any money from special interest groups because it ultimately corrupts the job of a legislator by persuading them to lead with the special interests of campaign financiers rather than their conscience and the will of their constituents. However, I have wrestled with the idea of taking special interest money if it aligned with my principles and the wishes of constituents. We obviously need reform to ensure this isn’t even a consideration for future candidates." -- David Sedbrook, Candidate for U.S. Congress, District 1
"I have observed since the go's that the infusion of money into elections by those with great wealth, whether individuals or corporations, have redefined the nature of constituency. When a campaign is funded by many many small donations, the politician has to be responsive to many, many constituents with diverse interests and priorities. However, with the bulk of a campaign :financed by single individuals, corporations or groups, constituency becomes defined as those with the large dollars. Often those interests are not diverse, the priorities are not spread over many issues, and the focus becomes narrow. Poor and middle class constituents issues take a back seat to the interests of those with great assets. However, the number of people of the poor and middle class is exponentially higher than the wealthy. Thus, the vast majority of the population cease to be represented." -- Julie Varnell-Sarjeant, Candidate for Colorado State Senate, District 30
"I have a plan to track dark money. The point of this plan is identify both the contributors to organizations and the amount donated known as dark money.
...There are two separate funding sources that are corroding our Campaign Finance system. One is super PAC money and the other is Dark Money which has a particular corrosive influence. Super PACs are allowed to receive unlimited checks to finance independent expenditures in favor or opposing a specific candidate. Dark Money is money that is used to support political campaigns from organizations that receive money's from undisclosed donors that conceal their identities." --Phillip Villard, Candidate for Colorado Secretary of State
"Campaigns that feel the need to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in a small geographical area compromise democratic values. For municipal and state races that represent 75,000 – 100,000 people or less, representatives should always be beholden to their constituents, it’s rare for an elected official to walk the streets themselves if they can pay other groups to do it for them. I propose that less money overall, especially from special interest groups and PACs, will force elected officials to view their constituents face-to-face in walking or town hall settings on a regular basis. I have pledged to spend less than $10,000 in my own race for state legislature." -- Matthew Nadel, Candidate for Colorado State House, District 4
"I am the ONLY major candidate in this race to have accepted campaign spending to prove a point that there is too much money in our elections. Advocating for publically funded elections with a matching program for small donors is one of the three main tenets of my campaign and I am the only person educating the voters about the need for campaign finance reform. I also, after careful studying, pledge now to sponsor any legislation that fits the parameters of any of the solutions on CleanSlate’s Money and Issues page." -- Peter Smith, Candidate for Colorado State Senate, District 32
"I would consider limiting expenditures by candidate committees under some circumstances, and would like to see anonymous donations made illegal." -- Louis Irwin, Candidate for Colorado State House, District 5
"I want to see public financing of elections at a state level as well." --Gabriel Thorn, Candidate for Colorado State House District 5
"As a gubernatorial candidate, I firmly believe that contribution limits make our elections cleaner, more transparent and fairer. I support the work that many, including the Democracy for the People Initiative, have done to illuminate the problems of high campaign contribution limits and corporate expenses, and as a candidate I have committed to never take PAC money or money from corporations, even groups have endorsed me. I believe in the value of public financing but, as I mentioned above, I am committed to first solving some of our state unmet needs in education, infrastructure, healthcare and human services before I can commit to utilizing state funds in this way." --Mike Johnston, Candidate for Colorado Governor
"I commit to getting big money out of politics and rebuilding the grassroots. Enough of politics as usual where corporations, the uher-wealthy and insiders decide what's best for us. It's not enough to talk about an oligarchy ruling our country, let's lead the movement to bring grnssroots politics and the voice or ordinary Americans back to the center of the conversation." -- Mark Williams, Candidate for U.S. Congress, District 2
"I think campaign finance reform is at the heart of every problematic issue we face. If we could get the corrosive influence of money out of our government, we could have candidates and subsequently elected officials who could focus on good policy. Currently, we have elected government that serves its donor constituencies rather than its voter constituencies. I believe public financing of elections is one wat to even the playing field. Lowering (or even enacting) contribution limits in local races is important....I have refused to take corporate PAC money." -- Emily Sirota, Candidate for Colorado State House, District 9
If you are a candidate for office at any level -- local, state, or national -- and have not received our CleanSlateNow Action 2018 Candidate Survey, please download the survey using one or both of the buttons below. We want to hear from you -- and so do your voters!
Please fill out the survey and share your thoughts at any time. Shine a light on campaign finance reform!