Colorado candidate says finance reports were a mistake
Associated Press Writer
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER – GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes says he made a mistake when he asked his campaign manager to give him $5,000 a month in cash from January through April to cover “travel expenses.”
“We won’t do that again,” Maes said Tuesday. “In 2009, we didn’t have funds to reimburse us for a lot of what we were doing. The easy way to do it was in a round number,” Maes said.
According to campaign finance reports filed with the Secretary of State’s office, Maes claimed $5,000 in February, March and April to cover mileage reimbursement, and $9,460 in January. Maes said he doesn’t remember why he claimed an extra $4,460 that month.
Since last July, Maes has collected $25,800, according to his reports.
Christopher Klitzke of Grand Junction filed a lawsuit against Maes and his campaign on May 5, citing campaign finance irregularities in Maes’ report for the last quarter of last year, including a claim that Maes accepted prohibited corporate contributions totaling $570.
A hearing May 20 was postponed and Maes said he is asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
Maes said he and his campaign staff drove an estimated 70,000 miles without reimbursement and he asked his campaign manager to reimburse him whenever contributions totaled $5,000 or more.
At the current federal rate of 50 cents a mile, Maes said he is still owed money.
“The actual reimbursement is still short,” he said.
Sean Duffy, spokesman for Scott McInnis, Maes’ GOP primary opponent, said the round numbers raised red flags, but McInnis isn’t filing a complaint.
“It certainly raises questions,” Duffy said.