Fort Collins anti-broadband campaign spends $451,000
9News’ Brandon Rittiman scrutinizes claims in ads by opponents of a broadband ballot issue in Fort Collins. 9News
Fort Collins voters will decide Nov.
7 whether the city should create a broadband utility.(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Election spending in opposition to a city broadband proposal has topped £451,000.
Priorities First Fort Collins, which is opposed to ballot Question 2B on the Nov.
7 ballot, reported spending £256,326 on its campaign during the past two weeks, according to documents filed Friday with the City Clerk’s Office.
Question 2B asks voters if the city should establish a high-speed internet utility.
The spending was fueled by a £175,000 donation from the Colorado Cable Television Association. The association, which represents cable companies such as Comcast, previously donated £125,000 to the anti-2B campaign.
Through the first three campaign spending reporting periods, Priorities First Fort Collins spent £451,564, which is £65,564 more than it received in donations.
The spending might be the highest by an issue committee in a Fort Collins municipal election. It surpasses the £397,231 spent by Fort Collins Alliance for Reliable Energy in 2013 to oppose a ballot measure setting a five-year moratorium on fracking within city limits.
Much of Priorities First Fort Collins’ spending was directed to BlueWest Media in Denver for television and radio advertising.
The political issue committee has received £85,000 since Oct.
11 from Citizens for a Sustainable Economy, a nonprofit associated with the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce.
Fort Collins Citizens Broadband Committee, which supports establishing municipal broadband, reported spending £3,022 between Oct.
23 and Nov.
It received £3,235, bringing its total contributions to £14,517 since Aug.
11. Its spending has been on printing, Facebook ads and campaign consulting fees.
If voters approve the measure, the decision on establishing a telecommunication utility would come from the City Council. The city could issue up to £150 million in bonds to pay for construction and operation of a fiber-optic network.
The bonds would be backed by fees paid by subscribers.
Final campaign finance reports for the election are due Dec.
Kevin Duggan is a Coloradoan senior reporter covering local government.
Follow him on Twitter, @coloradoan_dugg and on Facebooks at Coloradoan Kevin Duggan.
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- ^ Truth-testing Fort Collins broadband ads (www.coloradoan.com)
- ^ Bid for broadband partners comes up empty for Fort Collins (www.coloradoan.com)