Non-profit

Unite Colorado

Website:

www.unitecolorado.org

Location:

Denver, CO

Type:

Center-Left Voting “Reform” Group

Unite Colorado is the Colorado affiliate of Unite America, a left-of-center advocacy group supporting substantial changes to electoral systems including ranked-choice voting, changing the redistricting process, and eliminating the two-party political system. [1] In 2018, the group supported five Independent candidates for the Colorado State Legislature, all of who lost their election. [2]

Activities

In 2018, Unite Colorado, funded with $405,550 from the Unite America Election Fund, backed five unsuccessful Independent candidates for the Colorado State Legislature. [3] The candidates’ only common political goal was to change the current two-party system. The left-wing advocacy organization Progressnow Colorado criticized Unite Colorado for “setting up a third party that stands for nothing.” [4]

In 2018, a campaign finance complaint was filed against Unite America, along with its affiliated organizations Unite Colorado and the Unite America Election Fund. The complaint states that these groups did not follow Colorado’s political committee contribution limits, and were not transparent about their donors. None of the Unite organizations were registered as political committees, despite blatantly advocating for candidates. [5]

As of March 2020, the websites for Unite Colorado and Unite America made no mention of each other. [6]

People

Executive Director Terrance Carroll served from 2003 until 2011 as a Democratic member of the Colorado House of Representatives, serving as Speaker of the House in his final term. Carroll currently serves on the board of the Keystone Policy Center. [7]

Steering Committee

Al White is a former Republican state legislator, having served in both houses of the Colorado Legislature. In 2016, White ran an unsuccessful Senate campaign as an Independent. White is the former director of the Colorado Tourism Office, and formerly served as senior adviser and lobbyist for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. [8]

Cory Gilchrist also serves on the board of the International Rescue Committee. [9]

Former State Representative Kathleen Curry (I) was elected as a Democrat and then left the Democratic Party during her third term in office. [10]

Other members of the Steering Committee include Ben Reubenstein, former State Representative Cole Wist (R), former State Senator Jean White (R), Joshua Hunt, former Assistant Senate Majority Leader Lois Tochtrop (D), former House and Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson (R), former State Representative Rob Witwer (R), and Zach Smith. [11]

References

  1. “Latest News.” Unite Colorado. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.unitecolorado.org/blog. ^
  2. Eason, Brian. “Unite America Wants to Upend the Two-Party System in Colorado. Their Strategy Doesn’t Look Like it Will Work.” The Colorado Sun, October 30, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://coloradosun.com/2018/10/30/independent-candidates-colorado-2018-unite-america/. ^
  3. “Unite America Election Fund.” Center for Responsive Politics, 2020. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/expenditures.php?cmte=C00637314&cycle=2018. ^
  4. Eason, Brian. “Unite America Wants to Upend the Two-Party System in Colorado. Their Strategy Doesn’t Look Like it Will Work.” The Colorado Sun, October 30, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://coloradosun.com/2018/10/30/independent-candidates-colorado-2018-unite-america/. ^
  5. Birkeland, Bente. “Secretary Of State Will Pursue Campaign Complaint Against Unite Colorado.” Colorado Public Radio, November 2, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.cpr.org/2018/11/02/secretary-of-state-will-pursue-campaign-complaint-against-unite-colorado/. ^
  6. “Partners.” Unite America, 2020. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.uniteamerica.org/partners. ^
  7. “Keystone Welcomes New Trustees to Its Board.” Keystone Policy Center, 2017. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.keystone.org/keystone-welcomes-new-trustees-to-its-board/. ^
  8. “Former Republican Sen. Al White to Run as Independent in Senate District 8.” The Denver Post, April 14, 2016. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.denverpost.com/2016/03/03/former-republican-sen-al-white-to-run-as-independent-in-senate-district-8/. ^
  9. “Corydon Gilcrist.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/corydon-gilchrist-757b3a33/. ^
  10. Njegomir, Dan. “Q&A with Kathleen Curry, an Independent Voice Amid the Partisan Divide.” Colorado Politics, May 6, 2019. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.coloradopolitics.com/news/q-a-with-kathleen-curry-an-independent-voice-amid-the/article_2fdba912-6b74-11e9-bee9-87e0687155f7.html. ^
  11. “Our Team.” Unite Colorado. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.unitecolorado.org/our_team. ^
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Unite Colorado


Denver, CO