Amendment 66 Backers Get Big Checks from Bloomberg Charity, Melinda Gates

By Schrader, Megan | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), October 28, 2013 | Go to article overview

Amendment 66 Backers Get Big Checks from Bloomberg Charity, Melinda Gates


Schrader, Megan, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


DENVER - In the final week before voters decide on Amendment 66, the campaign supporting the education tax increase received $2 million in donations from Melinda Gates and a charity run by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"It is a testament to the breadth and depth of our reforms that Colorado has attracted the attention of business leaders across the country," Gov. John Hickenlooper said of the donations.

The donations from out-of-state, wealthy and politically- connected Democrats drew criticism from conservatives opposed to the tax increase.

"Billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg should have realized by now that he can't buy Colorado politics," said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado.

Bloomberg was a top donor in September to two embattled state senators who were facing recall elections over gun legislation they supported during the 2013 legislative session. Senators John Morse and Angela Giron lost their seats despite outspending those trying to oust them.

Bloomberg's donation for the Amendment 66 came from the Bloomberg Philanthropies, a New York non-profit.

The check came from Melinda Gates personally, not the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is actively promoting education reform and improvement across the United States.

"Amendment 66 will bring a number of important policy reforms that should drive student achievement and provide Colorado students the education they need and deserve," said Bill and Melinda Gates in a statement released by the campaign.

Colorado Commits to Kids - the yes on Amendment 66 campaign - has so far spent $9. …

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