Friday, May 20, 2022
CONTACT: Sara Loflin, Executive Director at 303-349-1617

DENVER, CO – On Wednesday, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest multi-issue progressive advocacy organization, filed a complaint against District Attorney John Kellner to the Colorado Secretary of State Campaign Finance Enforcement Team for a clear violation of state campaign finance laws. 

In Kellner’s May 2, 2022 campaign finance disclosure report, Kellner disclosed that his campaign accepted an illegal campaign contribution of $500 from Michael Fields. Fields is registered as a professional lobbyist with the Colorado Secretary of State for a dark money advocacy organization, Advance Colorado Action.

Colorado state law prohibits lobbyists from giving money to any candidate for statewide office while the General Assembly is in session. By accepting a campaign contribution from Fields while the General Assembly was in session, Kellner’s campaign accepted an unlawful contribution from a registered professional lobbyist.

“As a candidate for Attorney General, Kellner seeks to serve as the State’s chief legal officer,” the complaint reads. “Such a cavalier approach to complying with Colorado’s campaign finance laws is especially alarming as Kellner, if elected Attorney General, would be charged with enforcing in court the very campaign finance laws he violated.”

Sara Loflin, Executive Director of ProgressNow Colorado, concurred, saying, “John Kellner has displayed a disturbing pattern of ethically questionable behavior when it comes to his campaign donors. He either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that he’s breaking the law, which means he’s either incompetent or thinks he’s above law. Both conclusions are problematic. Coloradans should be confident that the State’s Chief law enforcement office is not for sale to the biggest donor. Kellner has demonstrated both questionable ethics and an unwillingness to abide by our laws.”

Last month, ProgressNow Colorado called for an investigation of Kellner regarding his refusal to prosecute his friend and major donor, Holly Kluth, for misuse of her office. 

“Coloradans deserve an Attorney General who will fight against special interests, not someone like Kellner who illegally pockets their money. At a time when public trust of government institutions is at an all-time low, Coloradans cannot afford an Attorney General who makes legal decisions based on donations to his campaign committees,” said Loflin.

You can find the full campaign finance complaint here.