Colorado Capitol Report

The Colorado Chamber’s Legislative Candidate Endorsement Process Well Underway

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State Policy News

CACI’s Legislative Candidate Endorsement Process Well Underway

The context for the 2016 state legislative races is based on the fact that the Democrats control the House by only two votes and the Republicans control the Senate by only one vote.

About a half-dozen seats in the two chambers are up for grabs this election, and the outcome of the races for these seats will largely determine which political party controls which chamber for the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions.

CACI’s two-pronged political strategy remains the same this election season:

  1. Endorse and support pro-business legislative candidates, and
  2. Pursue strategies with the goal that political control of the legislature at least remains split between the two parties.

Recent past sessions (2013-2014 and 2009-2010) in which the Democrats have controlled both chambers have generally proved challenging for CACI and its business allies, to say the least.

Incumbent Legislative Candidates

Once the legislative session ended in on May 11th, CACI’s lobbying team worked hard on evaluating incumbents and developing a slate for CACI endorsement and financial support.

Incumbent legislators were evaluated on various factors, including their voting records on key bills on CACI’s legislative agendas for the 2015 and 2016 sessions.  CACI does not release its evaluation of legislators.

On May 16th, the CACI Executive Committee agreed to recommend the slate to the full CACI Board, which voted on May 26th to endorse the slate.

The list of endorsed incumbents, however, will not be released until mid-July when CACI announces the slate of new candidates that it has endorsed (see below).

New Legislative Candidates

For new legislative candidates, CACI offers them the opportunity to be interviewed by the lobbying team and CACI members.  The interviews will be conducted at the CACI Office July 6th and 7th and July 12th.

In most cases, the interviews provide CACI members with the valuable opportunity to introduce themselves personally to the new candidates.

CACI members who will participate in the interviews will have each contributed at least $550 to CACI’s political committee, the Colorado Business Political Action Committee (CBPAC).

$575 is the maximum that a corporation, a non-corporate business entity or an individual can contribute to CBPAC during the 2015-2016 election cycle.

A questionnaire has been sent to each new candidate who has agreed to be interviewed.  Each candidate’s response will be shared with those CACI members who participate in the interview.

In addition, the lobbying team has been preparing a highly detailed report analyzing legislative races that includes such information as party registration in a district, a candidate’s profile and fundraising and district voting patterns, among other factors.  Each CACI member who participates in the interviews receives a copy of this exclusive report.

After a 30-minute interview, the lobbying team and the CACI members will discuss a candidate and vote on whether or not to endorse the candidate.  This discussion and vote will determine the lobbying team’s slate of recommended endorsements that will go to the CACI Executive Committee for consideration in mid-July.

CACI Decision-Making Process for Endorsements

After the Executive Committee takes action, the recommended slate of new candidates will be sent to the full Board for review and action.

Once the Board has agreed to the list of new candidates, CACI will then announce the endorsed slate of incumbent and new candidates

Each candidate will be eligible to receive up to $400 in support from CBPAC.  $400 is the maximum amount that a legislative candidate can receive from a political committee during the 2015-2016 election cycle.

Targeting Key Races

As mentioned, control of the House and the Senate for the 2017 and 2018 sessions will likely pivot on the outcome of the races for perhaps a half-dozen seats.

Consequently, the CACI lobbying team will make strategic decisions about a very limited number of endorsed candidates in these key races who can receive up to $4,850 from CACI’s small-donor committee, the CACI Prosperity Fund.  CACI members individually can personally contribute $50 annually to the CACI Prosperity Fund.

For more information about CACI’s candidate endorsement process, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.


State Policy News

Golden Aluminum, Left Hand Brewing Company host CACI’s EXECs Advocacy Class

CACI EXECs tour Golden Aluminum

CACI EXECs tour Golden Aluminum

On Wednesday, the CACI EXECs Advocacy Class toured Golden Aluminum in Fort Lupton and Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont.

Jeff Frim, Chief Executive Officer for Golden Aluminum, provided an overview of the company, a CACI Aluminum Partner, and discussed the Colorado manufacturing environment. After putting on personal protective equipment, class members were taken onto the manufacturing floor to witness firsthand how some everyday aluminum products are created.

The class next traveled to Longmont to hear from Chris Lennert, Chief Operating Officer for Left Hand Brewing Company, about the craft brewing industry.  After enjoying some of Left Hand Brewing Company’s craft brews and learning about how the industry has changed and grown over the past 10 years, class members were taken on a private tour of the facility.

It was a fun-filled, insightful afternoon for the CACI EXECs Advocacy Class. To see more photographs, visit the CACI Facebook page.

For more information on EXECs, contact Lalitha Christian, Manager, CACI Membership Programs and Communication, at 303.866.9635.