Call it the $10,000 club.
With the exception of Helen Collins, four of five members of a slate of at-large City Council candidates led by activist Douglas Bruce pitched in $10,000 each this month to push what promises to be a robust campaign leading up to the April election.
The other members of the group are:
Ed Bircham, a retired office supply store owner
Richard A. Bruce, who owns three Waffle House restaurants in the city
Collins, the fifth member, was in the Navy and now works doing security background investigations of government personnel, according to the group’s campaign website.
The five candidates are among 16 vying for five at-large council seats.
If elected, Bruce and his slate would form a majority on the nine-member City Council and a powerful voting bloc that would most certainly shake up City Hall.
They’re running on a pledge to eliminate what they call wasteful government spending.
Stopping the billion-dollar-plus Southern Delivery System is among their top priorities. The 62-mile pipeline, designed to pump water from Pueblo to Colorado Springs by 2016, is a project of Colorado Springs Utilities.
Since the council doubles as the Utilities Board and has the power to approve or deny future water rate increases needed to pay for SDS, the group could affect the future of Colorado Springs.
“The campaign for City Council just got serious,” columnist John Hazlehurst, a former city councilman, wrote in the Indy.
On Feb. 10, the group registered a political committee called the Reform Team. The committee was formed “to elect fiscal conservatives to City Council and oppose any … proposal that interferes with that.”
Douglas Bruce is the committee’s registered agent.
In addition to contributing $10,000, Douglas Bruce, a landlord and former legislator, lent the campaign an additional $10,000.
The group collected $10,000 more from donor Mark Bogosian of Colorado Springs.
Bircham provided $973 worth of paper and photos as in-kind contributions.
The group raised $60,050 total, including $50 from Michael Remington, also of Colorado Springs.
The group spent $16,078, primarily on signs, printing of mailers, postage and ads. Other expenses included $27.50 for a “list,” presumably of registered voters, from the El Paso County clerk and recorder
That means if voters haven’t heard of Douglas Bruce and his slate, they will.