Super PAC behind Colorado gubernatorial hopeful Stapleton pulls in big bucks from big names

Author: Joey Bunch - October 17, 2017 - Updated: January 11, 2018

When Better Colorado Now files its quarterly finance report Tuesday, there will be some big dollars and bold-faced names, according to documents obtained by Colorado Politics.

The independent expenditure committee reportedly backing Walker Stapleton for governor raised $625,001 between July 1 and Sept. 30. It started the fundraising period with $118,320 in the bank.

Just as importantly, the PAC isn’t burning through its cash. Expenses, despite being in the early part of the campaign, were $26,880.

That left $716,440 of funds on hand, according to the preliminary documents.

Legally, however, the Super PAC operates separately from the campaign, but Stapleton was the guest of honor at a Better Colorado Now fundraiser in August, and the donor list is filled with strong Stapleton allies.

“Our donors are united by their shared commitment to making Colorado the best possible place to live and do business.” Better Colorado Now chairman Gregg Engles said. “They recognize that the 2018 election is an opportunity to shape our state’s future, and they don’t want to see any of the current democrat front-runners, with their anti-business and job killing agenda, end up in the governor’s office.”

Engles, the founder and CEO of The WhiteWave Foods Co., donated $50,000,

The donors list has plenty of other wow factor.

John Elway, the Denver Broncos legend, is in for $10,000, beating the $7,500 donation given by Joe Ellis, the chairman and CEO of the Broncos.

Bill DeWitt Jr., the chairman of CEO of the St. Louis Cardinals, donated $25,000. Stapleton’s father is a co-owner of the Cards.

Among those at the $10,000 level of giving are AIMCO leader and Colorado Business Hall of Famer Terry Considine; Larry Mizel, chairman and CEO of MDC Holdings; and Jonathan Bush, the CEO of Athenahealth who is a Stapleton relative.

Better Colorado Now got $1,000 from Jeb Bush, another Stapleton cousin, the former Florida governor and a presidential candidate last year.

Billionaire John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media, put in $5,000. Greg Maffei, the president and CEO of Liberty Media, donated $25,000.

Kent Stevinson, the president of Stevinson Automotive car dealerships, gave $10,000, as well.

The list includes a number of well-known oil-and-gas industry players, such as George Solich of FourPoint Energy ($10,000); Kent MCAlister of Shell Trading ($10,000); John Mork, the founder and former CEO of Energy Corporation of America ($5,000); Don Law, the president of Prima Exploration, who listed his winery as his occupation ($10,000); Michael Starzer chairman and CEO of Fifth Creek Energy ($10,000); and Jeremy Kinney of Kinney Oil Co. ($10,000).

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.