Outside groups spent more than $1 million to influence Denver’s election, and it took a lot of work to figure that out

The Denver Post: Wealthy people and political groups embraced a more secretive way to influence Denver’s elections in 2019, spending more than $1 million through nonprofits that provide minimal information about their donors.

The groups had optimistic names such as Rise Up Denver, Committee for a Great Denver, Colorado’s Best People and A Better Denver for All of Us.

They were funded by some of the most powerful interests in the city, and more than $740,000 of the money supported Mayor Michael Hancock — about a third the amount of his campaign budget. The outside money paid for yard signs and television ads, door-knocking crews and cartoon mailers.

Such outside spending has a growing presence in local politics across the United States. Just like in federal and state elections, people and organizations can use independent groups to spend unlimited money to support a local political candidate, as long as it’s not coordinated with the official campaign.

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