Hasan returns sketchy donation | VailDaily.com

Hasan returns sketchy donation

Robert Allen
Summit County Correspondent

EAGLE COUNTY ” The Ali Hasan campaign returned a questionable $1,000 contribution after a watchdog group claimed it came improperly from a Nevada corporation.

Colorado Ethics Watch states that the contribution exceeds the $400 per-donor limit for primary and general election races, and Colorado law doesn’t allow for corporations to contribute to a candidate committee.

Hasan, a Beaver Creek Republican running for Colorado State House District 56 against incumbent Summit County Democrat Christine Scanlan, has spent vast amounts of his family’s personal fortune in the race. But his campaign says the contribution in question was simply a bookkeeping mistake.

“Checks rolled in and went to the secretary we had this summer ” she deposited the check along with others,” according to an e-mail from campaign director Kaye Ferry. “The bookkeeper didn’t catch it when reconciling the bank account.”

The contribution toward Hasan’s campaign for Colorado House District 56 was received Sept. 5. Ferry said the money is to be wired back to the Nevada Cancer Centers this morning.

“They were personal friends of Ali’s,” she said of the contributor, adding that they’ll be sending personal checks to support Hasan.

The money is being wired to ensure it’s returned before Oct. 5, when the campaign could face repercussions for violating the Colorado Secretary of State’s rules, Ferry said.

Rich Coolidge, spokesman for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, said he could not confirm whether the contribution was unlawful.

“Somebody has to file a complaint with our office first, and we’ll pass that complaint along to an administrative law judge to bring the parties together,” Coolidge said.

Chantell Taylor, director of Colorado Ethics Watch, said in a press release:

“… This contribution so obviously violates campaign finance law, it is astonishing that Mr. Hasan went so far as to deposit and report the contribution rather than instantly return it…”

The $1,000 contribution was small relative to the $280,428 the campaign has received, 92 percent of which came from the candidate, according to the Secretary of State’s Web site.

The Hasan campaign has received several personal contributions between $100 and $400, including $200 from former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and $400 from former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Jack Kemp.

Scanlan has accumulated $50,100 in campaign contributions, including $200 from Breckenridge Mayor John Warner and $25 from former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm.

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