July 29, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Brazil: State Politics: Rocky Mountain News: Pat Waak denies claims of payroll shortage for Colorado Democrats

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Brazil: Peace Corps Brazil: The Peace Corps in Brazil: July 29, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Brazil: State Politics: Rocky Mountain News: Pat Waak denies claims of payroll shortage for Colorado Democrats

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Pat Waak denies claims of payroll shortage for Colorado Democrats

Pat Waak  denies claims of payroll shortage for Colorado Democrats

Some Democrats claim the party couldn't meet its payroll, but chairman Pat Waak this week said that's not true. "Nobody's gone without a paycheck and nobody will go without a paycheck," she said. Pat Waak, Chairman of the Democratic Party in Colorado, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil in the 1960's.

Pat Waak denies claims of payroll shortage for Colorado Democrats

Colorado Democrats run low on money

Boss denies claims of payroll shortage

By Lynn Bartels, Rocky Mountain News
July 29, 2005

The Colorado Democratic Party had less than $16,000 in the bank at the end of June, thanks to sluggish donations and strict campaign finance laws.

Some Democrats claim the party couldn't meet its payroll, but chairman Pat Waak this week said that's not true.

"Nobody's gone without a paycheck and nobody will go without a paycheck," she said.

She conceded it's tough to finance the operation because of other demands on donors and campaign finance restrictions imposed by Amendment 27, an initiative falling out of favor with some Democrats.

The party needs at least $30,000 a month to cover the payroll for its four paid staffers, rent, utilities and such, Waak said.

The fundraising scramble comes as Democrats try to protect stunning victories it scored last year, and as Republicans are vowing revenge in 2006.

The Colorado Republican Party had slightly more than $47,000 on hand on June 30, but GOP chairman Bob Martinez echoed Waak's sentiments about the difficulty of raising money.

"It's tough," he said. "And there are so many other causes out there that (political donors) forget the basic thing: The party's the glue that keeps it all together."

The parties' quarterly financial reports were due July 15 to the secretary of state. The office posted them online this week.

Waak took over in March from former Democratic chairman Chris Gates after beating him by three votes. Some Gates supporters still nurse a grudge, but Waak said she is trying to move the party forward.

Contacted about the party's finances, Gates would only say that there was plenty of money in the bank when he left. State records show the party had $88,142 on hand when it filed its March 30 report.

Waak said the money was used to pay overdue bills she inherited, but she declined to elaborate.

The party had $15,490 on hand as of June 30. Last year at that time, Democrats had $63,679. The previous year the party had almost $50,000, according to state records.

Waak said June turned out to be a "poor" fund-raising month, in part because some Democrats didn't honor donor pledges. But, she said, she's "optimistic" after spending much of July talking to potential contributors.

Waak wasn't shy about criticizing what at times has been a sacred cow among Democrats: Amendment 27.

The 2002 voter-approved initiative outlawed corporate and union donations to political parties. It restricted individual contributions to state parties to $2,500 annually.

Previously, the limit to the party was $25,000, and businesses and unions could donate, also.

Republicans have long blasted Amendment 27, saying it drove money underground to political committees often accused of producing misleading attack campaign ads.

"I think it was a serious effort to weaken the parties," said Martinez. "Really, what's happened is you have a phantom party out there making all the decisions."

House Majority Leader Alice Madden, D-Boulder, voted for the measure, but admitted at times she has doubts.

"I'm not sure Amendment 27 is taking us down the right road," she said. "From a candidate's perspective, it's scary. You don't know what's being said - even in your favor."

Tale of the buck


In the bank: $15,490

Location: 777 Santa Fe Drive

Phone: 303-623-4762


In the bank: $47,437

Location: 1777 S. Harrison St.

Phone: 303-758-3333

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Story Source: Rocky Mountain News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Brazil; State Politics


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