Sharp elbows, dark money: Is this the new normal for Colorado Springs city elections?

The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Dark money, high-dollar campaigns and sharp-elbow politicking are playing an unusually big role in this year’s contests for the City Council, longtime political observers say.

The veiled donations and rough-and-tumble tactics in a few races highlight the stakes in an election that could reshape the priorities of the city’s legislative body.

Six of the council’s nine seats are in play. So come April 4, the City Council could be stacked with candidates more willing to follow the lead of strong Mayor John Suthers.

But just as easily, the council soon could march to a different tune, aligning less with the mayor’s agenda.

All bets are off with the election nine days away.

“The real mystery is who are the nameless, faceless persons or person who are behind the attempt to take over City Council,” said Colorado College professor emeritus Bob Loevy, a political scientist.

Loevy was critical of dark money, so called because under federal tax code nonprofits don’t have to identify their donors. He said some groups operate in lighter shades of gray, disclosing more information. Others, including Colorado Citizens Protecting our Constitution, are a concern, Loevy said, because of their shadowy nature.

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