PAC backing Johnston for governor gets another $1M from Bloomberg


A political action committee backing former state Sen. Michael Johnston of Denver for the Democratic nod for governor has received another $1 million dollars from Michael Bloomberg, bringing the wealthy former New York mayor’s total donations to the committee to $2 million.

The contribution to Frontier Fairness, on June 5, was reported in filings last night.

The $1 million contribution was the largest that any campaign committee received in the most recent reporting period from May 31 to June 13, according to the secretary of state’s office’s TRACER campaign finance system. Second on the list: another $750,000 from fellow Democrat U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder to his gubernatorial campaign, bringing his total contributions to $11.3 million.

Frontier Fairness has now raised more than $5.7 million in its efforts to help Johnston win the Democratic nomination for the primary, which ends in one week.

Other big donors to Frontier Fairness from the most recent report include Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, who also sits on the board of Facebook and who contributed $10,000 on June 4. And David Ferguson of Edwards — a co-founder in 2012 of Perella Weinberg Partners who has spent three decades in private equity firms, including JP Morgan Chase — gave the PAC $100,000 on June 13.

The PAC also got $30,000 from Leadership for Education Equity, aka Teach for America. Bloomberg’s daughter Emma is a member of the board, as is Arthur Rock, the founder of the tech giant Intel. Rock is a funder of KIPP, the nationwide network of charter schools.

Another big donor in this week’s report is an irrevocable trust tied to Michael Shannon of Denver’s KSL. The company teamed up with Aspen Skiing Co. last year in a $1.5 billion deal to buy Intrawest, which operates nine ski resorts worldwide, including Winter Park and Steamboat. KSL is also a co-owner along with the Aspen Ski Company of Snowmass. The Shannon trust donated $100,000 on June 11 to Frontier Fairness.

The PAC that backs Polis — Bold Colorado — also scored some big donations, according to the report filed last night. That includes a $25,000 contribution on June 11 from Beyond Broadway, also known as LivWell, one of the biggest marijuana dispensary chains in the state.

But the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund of Washington, D.C. has been by far the biggest contributor to Bold Colorado. Donations from the group have now reached $300,000 out of the $418,300 total raised by the PAC.

Teachers for Kennedy, which backs former state treasurer Cary Kennedy, reported it has now raised just shy of $2 million. Its largest contribution in the most recent reporting period was $19,000 from the NEA Advocacy Fund of the National Education Association. The NEA has now contributed $619,000, but the PAC’s biggest donor has been Women Vote, part of Emily’s List, which donated $800,000 in May.

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