You've Got (Too Much) Political Mail

May 14 2009, 10:24 AM

Hoping to get a jump on the 2010 gubernatorial race, Governor Bill Ritter and former U.S. Representative Scott McInnis are both writing eagerly--maybe a little bit too eagerly--to would-be supporters. Memos sent by each politician are getting attention for their early, desperate, and, in the case of Ritter, borderline unethical pleas. An April e-mail blast from Ritter to more than 80,000 inboxes touted his accomplishments following the 2009 legislative session, then asked for donations under the subject "Not Waiting," writes The Denver Post. But Ritter's call for cash was sent to several lobbyists who were still on the job, a no-no according to campaign-finance rules. Scott Gessler, a Republican candidate for secretary of state, calls the letter, "an utter lack of discipline," but Ritter's campaign says it's no big deal and that other safeguards on his campaign website warn lobbyists against donating before they wrap up their work.  The Post reported on a similar slip of the pen (or send button as it were) last month by current state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, who returned a $500 contribution from a lobbyist. McInnis is creating his own waves, with his second letter to potential backers in as many months. The former congressman tells FaceTheState the letters aren't about his run at Ritter--Mac remains an unofficial candidate--but are instead meant to "prop our party up." Still, he's been dodgy about where the funds for his letters have come from.

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