Editorial: It’s time for transparency in recall effort

The Greeley Tribune: We learned a little last week about where the money behind a sketchy and failed recall effort against Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer came from.

To the surprise of no one, the money that bankrolled the shady dark money group that funded the recall came from another dark money group.

After The Tribune first published a story detailing that nearly all of the money funding the We Care 4 Weld issue committee, which sought and failed to put a recall of Kirkmeyer on the ballot, came from one dark money group, Kirkmeyer filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

The state investigated and fined that dark money group, which called itself 5767 Task Force. Ultimately, the task force was compelled to release its donors. That report showed the money came from a Greeley-based group called People United for Responsible Government.

It’s not clear where things go from here. For her part, Kirkmeyer has to continue the fight to make public the names of the donors behind People United for Responsible Government. We, too, would like to know where the money behind the recall effort came from.

In fact, we think it’s time for PURG to do the right thing and make the donors public itself. Democracy requires knowledge, and responsible governance requires transparency. Voters must know the motives of those supporting candidates or pushing causes in order to make intelligent and informed decisions.

Indeed, this recall effort offers a case in point. From the beginning, those who have spoken publicly about the effort have been evasive, disingenuous and at times downright dishonest about their involvement in the effort and their motives for the recall.

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