Denver mayoral candidate Kelly Brough and her supporters are accusing two out-of-state billionaires of trying to buy the race for Mike Johnston.
"If there's one message I want to get out, it's to say to Michael Johnston that we don't do it that way in Denver," former mayor Wellington Webb said at a press conference outside the Denver City County Building. "This is not how we do it."
It is a message Brough's campaign has driven home in a new ad that notes LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg have given a combined $2 million to a super PAC supporting Johnston.
Brough supporter Tim Sandos, a former Denver City Councilman, suggests people don't give that kind of money without expecting something in return, "We have no idea what these individuals are going to want back for the investment they made to Kelly's opponent."
Johnston says Bloomberg and Hoffman are supporting him because they've worked on progressive causes together, "Nothing's been asked and nothing's been promised. These people have seen the work that I've done they've seen the coalitions I've built and the results I've delivered and they want to see more of these leaders in the country."
He says voters should be more worried about Brough's donors, "I think 70% of her donors are all development and real estate interests who have interests before the City and County of Denver."
But Brough says two individuals giving $2 million is different than a couple of trade groups giving $530,000.
The two biggest donors to her PAC - the National Association of Realtors and Colorado Construction Industry Coalition - she says are made up of thousands of individuals who pooled their money, "Yeah, I think significantly different than individual giving you a million bucks."
Brough's supporters say she and the Nuggets will both make history next week.
But Johnston says you don't go negative when you're ahead, "People when they get down this stretch they get worried and decide to do things outside the commitments they made."
Under campaign finance laws, Brough and Johnston can accept individual donations of up to $500 but the super PACS can accept unlimited amounts of money. According to the Colorado Sun, Brough's PAC called A Better Denver has raised $1.5 million. Johnston's PAC, called Advancing Denver, has raised $4.2 million. Meanwhile, Brough's campaign raised about $400,000 in April and Johnston's about $360,000 according to the Sun.
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