Maes camp racks up fines

Governor candidate penalized for filing reports late

Dan Maes

The fines Dan Maes agreed to pay last month for various campaign-finance violations in his bid for the GOP nod for governor weren’t his camp’s first.

Over the past year, the campaign was fined numerous times, primarily for filing late reports for large donations, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.

Maes agreed to pay $17,500 in fines last month after a Grand Junction man filed a complaint against him, alleging he improperly reimbursed himself for more than $40,000 in mileage costs, failed to include details about some of the donations and may have taken corporate money.

Maes, an Evergreen businessman, is scheduled to pay that fine Aug. 12, two days after next week’s primary, when the state will know whether Maes or his embattled rival, former congressman Scott McInnis, will be the party’s choice for the November general election.

The Maes campaign faces another $1,100 in fines for two separate violations last month: a $300 fine for filing a large-donor report six days late; and an $800 fine for filing a similar report that was 16 days late. The state assesses $50 fines for each day a filing is late.

The campaign has asked the secretary of state to waive those fines, something the Maes camp has done in the past with limited results.

In April, the campaign was fined $250 for a similar late filing. The office waived $125 of that fine, which the campaign paid on April 23. In May 2009, the campaign was fined $50 for a late filing, which the state waived.

Maes’ $17,500 fine initially was to be about $25,000, but lawyers in the case settled on the lower fine.

Having to pay fines for late filings isn’t unusual, although most are limited to a few hundred dollars. Overall, the state is tracking 238 late fines that range from one-day, $50 fines, to yearlong fines as high as $19,650. Altogether, the state is owed $312,000 in fines.

The other two major candidates in the race also have fines that need to be paid. McInnis owes the state $100, while Hickenlooper was fined $50.

The state’s outstanding fines list reads like a who’s who in state government and knows no party lines. House Speaker Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, owes $350 for his campaign, and another $350 for a committee he ran to get Democrats elected to office.

At the same time, Sen. Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, who replaced Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, as Senate minority leader in May, owes $50, while Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, also owes $50. If the Republicans take the House and Senate in the fall, Kopp is in line to become the next Senate president, and McNulty the House speaker.


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