Democrats cut into GOP fund lead

Editor’s note: This is the Journal’s weekly roundup of campaign news.

Colorado Democratic campaign groups closed their fundraising gap against rival Republican groups last month.

Each party in the House and Senate has its own 527 committee, which can collect unlimited money as long as the spending remains nominally separate from the official campaigns.

Democrats had to play catch-up, but their groups each raised about $350,000 in July, more than double what Republicans raised.

House Republicans still hold the fundraising lead, with $1 million. But Senate and House Democrats are closing in, with $825,000 and $775,000, respectively. Senate Republicans have raised $642,000 this election cycle.

As the Journal reported last week, these groups are the biggest spenders in state legislative elections, and they get much of their money from corporations that give to both sides.

Death and taxes: Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, introduced a bill this week to end the estate tax for working family farms and small businesses. The so-called death tax is currently suspended for almost everyone, but unless Congress acts, it will return next year for some people.

“It’s my belief that families intending to maintain the family business following the passing of the former owner shouldn’t be routed by the crippling effects of the estate tax,” Tipton said in a news release.

His main opponent, Democrat Sal Pace, passed a bill in the state Legislature to prevent Colorado’s estate tax on family farms from returning. It is currently suspended, along with the federal tax.

August holidays: Pace took advantage of his status as challenger and lambasted Tipton for Congress’ traditional August recess. Congress has yet to act on many crucial issues, including the wind energy tax credit.

“Hundreds of jobs in our district and the livelihood of one of our largest industries hang in the balance as Congress and my opponent votes to take another vacation, this one for a whole month,” Pace said in a news release.

Countdown: 94 days until the November election.

joeh@cortezjournal.com