ProgressNow Colorado files second complaint against AG candidate John Kellner.

Thursday, July 21, 2022
CONTACT: Summer Nettles, Communications Director at 708-466-2914

DENVER, CO – ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest multi-issue progressive advocacy organization, today filed a second complaint against John Kellner, GOP Attorney General candidate, to the Colorado Secretary of State Campaign Finance Enforcement Team for violating state campaign finance law.

On April 20, 2022, Kellner held a fundraiser at the home of wealthy donor Ron Von Lembke in an exclusive Highlands Ranch gated community with a minimum suggested contribution of $200. Von Lembke, in hosting the fundraiser, presumably incurred expenses for goods and services consumed during that fundraiser. Those expenses constitute in-kind donations made by Von Lembke to Kellner’s campaign. Von Lembke also contributed the maximum $1,250 per cycle contribution to Kellner.

Unless this fundraiser offered zero amenities and services, Von Lembke’s total contributions – in-kind and monetary – exceed the maximum legal contributions Kellner is allowed. Further, Kellner failed to report any such in-kind contributions or event-related expenses in his required campaign disclosure report.

This is John Kellner’s second known violation of state campaign finance laws. In May, 2022, ProgressNow Colorado filed a complaint against Kellner after he accepted an illegal donation from dark-money lobbyist Michael Fields during the legislative session.

“As a candidate for Colorado Attorney General, Kellner asks the public to entrust him with serving as the State’s primary enforcer of state laws,” the complaint reads. “Those laws include Colorado campaign and election laws. Kellner’s casual or blatant disregard shown for Colorado’s election laws again show an alarming disregard by Kellner for the very laws he would enforce as Attorney General.”

“Once again, John Kellner can’t comply with campaign finance rules,” said ProgressNow Colorado Communications Director Summer Nettles. “Coloradans deserve an Attorney General who knows, respects, and actually follows the rule of law.”

“Now more than ever, the public needs officials who inspire confidence in our election integrity, not folks like Kellner who take illegal lobbyist money and don’t report their in-kind contributions,” said Nettles. “As a candidate running to serve as Colorado’s chief law enforcement officer, Kellner’s repeated campaign finance violations are deeply troubling.”

The full campaign finance complaint can be found here.