Five takeaways from Colorado's campaign finance reports

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KUSA - Candidates and campaigns had to file their latest round of finance reports to the Secretary of State’s office Monday.

Here’s what we learned from reading those reports.

1) Tobacco companies have deep pockets.

The No Blank Checks in the Constitution committee has raised about $5 million to keep the tobacco tax in Amendment 72 from passing.

That’s more money than any other campaign has raised so far this cycle, and it all comes from one source: Altria Client Services.

The company is a subsidiary of Altria (formerly Phillip Morris) -- one of the world’s largest tobacco companies.

2) ColoradoCareYES is struggling.

The group pushing universal health care through Amendment 69 raised just $10,000 during the last filing period.

That brings their total to about $320,000. In contrast, Coloradans for Coloradans, has raised nearly $4 million this cycle.

In addition to its fundraising woes, the campaign has also suffered from some surprising opposition. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Michael Bennet both oppose the amendment. And so does the liberal group Progress Now.

3) Most of the minimum wage money is coming from out of state.

The group Colorado Families for a Fair Wage wants you to vote to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour.

But the majority of the $2.3 million it's raised comes from groups in New York and California.

The campaigns biggest donors are Civic Participation Action Fund, The Fairness Project and The Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund.

The campaign against raising the minimum wage is called Keep Colorado Working.

Most of its money comes from industry groups like the Hospitality Issue PAC, which had a Denver address.

That might make you think it’s local money fighting the minimum wage campaign, but the PAC’s funded by national companies like McDonald’s and the National Restaurant Association.

4) The physician assisted suicide campaign is raising and spending some serious cash

Yes on Colorado End of Life Options has raised about $4.8 million to pass Proposition 106, which would let terminally ill patients purchase medications to end their lives.

The campaign’s biggest expenditure is $2.9 million to Blue West Media for advertising. That means we’re likely to see a lot of ads about the proposition between now and Nov. 8.

5) Democrats are outraising Republicans in three key Colorado Senate races.

The winners of Colorado Senate districts 19, 25 and 26 will determine whether Republicans retain control of the chamber.

If Republicans lose all three races, the Democrats will likely gain control of the entire legislature.

All the Democratic candidates are ahead of their opponents when it comes to dollars raised so far.

The biggest gap is in Senate District 19. Incumbent Republican Sen. Laura Woods is $70,000 behind her challenger, Rachel Zenzinger.

We will have to wait and see whether more money translates into more votes.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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