Colorado Super PAC moves into Scott Tipton’s race


The Colorado Future Fund, a super PAC fueled by a controversial donor to GOP Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton's campaign, today filed notice that it had made an expenditure against Tipton's Democratic opponent, Sal Pace.

As reported previously by Sunlight, the Colorado Future Fund, which is run by a law clerk in a Colorado law firm headed by Tipton's campaign lawyer, reported one $25,000 contribution in August from Houston-based SG Business Services, Ltd. The company, which operates leases on land in Tipton's district, has been a flashpoint in Tipton's campaign. Until now, the Colorado Future Fund had not reported any independent expenditures.

John Zakhem, the who serves as Tipton's campaign attorney, is a top GOP election lawyer in the state. In our previous report, he denied any connection to the Super PAC, writing "I am not involved in any way with the Colorado Future Fund–including its operation, control, expenditures, or funding."

Charlie Smith, a law clerk in Zakhem's firm, is the treasurer of Colorado Future Fund. He is the former chairman of the College Republican National Committee, and is connected to three other Super PACs, the Citizen Awareness Project,  Solutions 2012 and the Raising Red Action Fund.

The Colorado Future Fund reported spending $10,743 on a mailing against Tipton's opponent. It spent the same amount on a mailer against President Barack Obama. 

Last year, Tipton attempted to mediate a dispute between activists and the oil and gas company. After the company agreed to pay $550,000 to settle an antitrust case with the U.S. Department of Justice involving leases on land in Tipton's district, activists and the Colorado Democratic Party called on him to return approximately $10,000 in donations related to the company.

Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, which stretches across the western part of the state and includes the gold nugget of Aspen, has drawn $1.95 million in outside spending this election. Americans for Tax Reform has spent the bulk of this amount, at $1.1 million opposing Pace. Pace has drawn support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with $423,000, and the SEIU with $280,000.