The bad blood between anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce and Colorado Springs City Clerk Kathryn Young will be in full display during today’s City Council meeting.
Bruce is planning to speak at the meeting and put Young on the spot over the way she handled an $11,000 omission in the campaign filings of the political committee that campaigned against issue 300, which Bruce authored and voters approved Nov. 3.
The No on 300 political committee, led by Kevin Walker, filed its report of campaign contributions and expenditures on time.
But Bruce noticed that the group didn’t report a mailer that made him the target.
Bruce immediately contacted the City Clerk’s Office and demanded that Walker be fined.
“Simply telling Kevin Walker to file a revision is NOT satisfactory,” Bruce wrote in an e-mail to Young on Nov. 1. “He violates the law in every election. He filed a grossly fraudulent report … and he should pay the maximum penalty for that.”
In an e-mailed response, Young said Walker had been contacted and instructed to provide the information that was the basis of Bruce’s complaint.
“Mr. Walker indicated a mistake had been made and that the flyers should have been reported on the previous report,” Young said in the e-mail to Bruce.
“He was instructed to file the appropriate amended report,” she said. ”Penalties are imposed for non-compliance. Compliance was the basis of your complaint. Compliance was obtained and the complaint was and has been closed since Nov. 2.”
Bruce said Walker, who was fined $50 for missing an earlier deadline to submit campaign finance reports, should’ve been fined again.
“It was concealing a massive percentage of their income and expenditure,” Bruce said. “What’s the point of having these reports if the city will give a pass to somebody that’s on the city side of a ballot issue?”
Young said Walker wasn’t fined because he filed the report on time.
“Errors can be made,” she said Monday. “They’re made all the time.”
Walker downplayed the fact that it was such a big expense and said he had simply made “another mistake.”
“I don’t do this for a living,” he said, apparently referring to filing campaign statements. “I have a job.”
Afterward, Walker sent an e-mail to The Gazette saying he wasn’t making excuses.
“I feel that disclosure is appropriate in elections, and I have corrected my mistake,” he said.
Bruce still isn’t satisfied with a correction.
He said he’s going to ask council members to tell Young “to do her job.”
“She shouldn’t be in charge, frankly, of any elections because she is not capable of being neutral and obeying the law,” he said. “Personally, I think she ought to be fired.”