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Complaint: Group trying to recall governor gifts donors 'Polis penny' to avoid contribution reports

A new complaint filed against Dismiss Polis says they're not properly reporting donations.

DENVER — Two complaints are suggesting funny business is happening in two different off-season election efforts.

The Colorado Secretary of State's Office received complaints Wednesday morning against the group trying to recall Gov. Jared Polis, as well as Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, in its failed effort to recall State Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial).

Both complaints were filed by Jamie Sarche and elections law attorney Mark Grueskin, who often defends Democratic causes.

The complaint against Recall Polis PAC (political action committee) and Dismiss Polis revolves around skirting reporting on contributions.

According to the complaint:

  • Anonymous contributions have not been donated
  • $20 contributors are given a penny to avoid reporting requirements
  • The PAC failed to obtain name/address from contributors of $20

The complaint suggests that people who contribute $20 to the recall of Polis are given a "Polis Penny," so that their donation is really $19.99, and then does not need to be reported to the Secretary of State's Office.

RELATED: Organizers of a recall of Governor Polis say won't release signature numbers

"The policy that we've had from the very beginning, anybody who gives a donation, we want to take down their information. We've done everything by the book," said Dismiss Polis spokeswoman Karen Kataline. "When people see that their information is going to be taken down, they don’t want that."

She said the complaint is being pushed by people supported by Democracy First Colorado, the committee that is fighting the recalls against Democratic lawmakers.

"Our policy is to give a penny to everyone who gives a donation. We don't sell those pennies, we give them away as, kind of, a memento," said Kataline.

The complaint against Rocky Mountain Gun Owners focuses on a topic we previously covered on Next with Kyle Clark.

Dudley Brown, head of RMGO, told us last month that his group took in $30,000 in donations in the effort to recall Sullivan, but spent $45,000.

RELATED: Recall effort against State Rep. Tom Sullivan ends

According to the Recall Tom Sullivan campaign filings, it took in $0 and spent $0. At the time, Brown told Next that the donations and spending were part of RMGO and did not need to be reported until after recall petition signatures were certified and the recall effort was on the ballot.

"Until you've submitted them and it's an actual campaign, it doesn't have to be under a PAC," Brown told Next. "If I got paid the amount of money that (Grueskin) does by the Democratic Party, then I'd be filing lawsuits every day."

The Secretary of State's Office will determine if RMGO needs to show its receipts.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Next with Kyle Clark

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