Outside Special Interest Money Pouring In To Save Lakewood Mayor

Outside Special Interest Money Pouring In To Save Lakewood Mayor

Deja vu – another half-million-dollar professional PR campaign to confuse voters. This time they are trying to get voters to re-elect the mayor who has misled the community for the past four years. Hoping to reverse the setbacks they suffered in July when voters rejected Mayor Paul’s “if we build it, they will come” philosophy and implemented a slower (1% per year) growth plan, the special interests are again investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to regain control over Lakewood’s future.

Despite the so-called “campaign finance reforms” the outside special interest money is pouring in as much as ever. The use of the independent expenditure committees (I.E.C.) not only allow the special interests to get around the $800 limit but permits this activity to remain cloudy.

The gyrations include one I.E.C. giving some of the money it raised to another I.E.C. in a clear case of coordination. Bowman’s Protect Lakewood Parks and Open Space donated $25,000 to Zakhem’s Business & Labor Together for TV ads.

Disclaimer – I am just relaying what was reported on the city website. Since some numbers don’t add up, I can’t verify the reports’ accuracy.

The Bowman I.E.C. groups were fronts for the National Association of Realtors which was the sole donor to each of Bowman’s four groups. 

Adam Paul – $95,000 

deGruy –       $15,000

Gutwein –     $15,000

Hollender –  $15,000

                  Total – $140,000

One of the National Realtors / Bowman I.E.C. groups – (Protect Lakewood Parks and Open Space) supporting Adam Paul reported receiving $95,000 from the National Realtors five days ago (on Oct. 25):

  • $25,000 was spent on door to door canvassing,
  • $25,000 was transferred to another I.E.C. (Business & Labor Together) supporting Adam Paul, run by John Zakhem, to run TV ads.

Disclaimer – their four reports don’t add up so there are clearly reporting errors but I can’t figure out the problems with just the information provided.

Other Bowman I.E.C. groups – funding for each group was solely provided by the National Realtors (NO state or local funders):

  • DeGruy group (Save the Foothills) – $15,000 from the National Realtors, spent $8,000 on professional door to door canvassers.
  • Gutwein group (Lakewood for a Better Environment) – received $15,000 from the National Realtors; spent $3,000 on the internet ads, and $10,000 on professional door to door canvassing.
  • Hollender group (Lakewood Neighbors for Open Space) – also received $15,000 from National Realtors; spent $3,000 on the internet, and $10,000 on professional door to door canvassers

Business & Labor Together – registered on Oct. 24. This group is represented by attorney John Zakhem, whose father Sam Zakhem recently suffered a rejection of his proposed re-zoning of a property in Ward 3.

Reported receiving $250,000 from one donor – RMDCS Coop Fund Issues Committee located at 1391 Speer Blvd. #450 in Denver. They spent $155,057.56 on advertising. 

360 Strategies – an international campaign management firm, whose local agent is Lynea Hansen, registered two I.E.C. groups which raised a combined total of $79,139.19

  • Protect Lakewood – $75,139.19
    • Marijuana Groups
      • Responsible Lakewood (industry trade group) –  $9,139.19
      • Healing House (10712 W. Alameda Ave.) –            $7,000
      • Jet Black Enterprises (Denver) –                            $5,000
      • TDM (Denver)                                                       $8,000
      • Sweetwater Partners (Denver)                             $5,000
      • Compassion Pain Mgt. (Louisville)                        $7000

TOTAL                             $41,139.19

  • Development groups
    • Cardel Homes (Rooney Valley)                             $10,000
    • CDN Red Rocks (Rooney Valley)                           $10,000
    • Renaissance Solutions (contractor)                        $5,000
    • Apartment Assoc. of Denver                                 $9,000

Total                $34,000

Expenditures – $63,000 for internet ads and $5,000 for “texting”

  • Vote Lakewood – raised $4,000 from two marijuana businesses and spent $4,000 on Strategies 360.

The seven I.E.C. supporting the Adam Paul/establishment candidates raised a total of nearly half a million dollars – $469,139.19

            National Realtors –         $140,000.00

            Marijuana interests –       $45,139.19

            Development interests – $34,000.00

            Unknown interests –      $250,000.00


There is one I.E.C. that is opposing Adam Paul – Save Our Lakewood

Over five filings they report receiving $5,609 from 47 Lakewood residents. They spent $5,601 on a mailer. 

The anti-Paul forces are outspent by the pro-Paul forces by about 83 to 1.