Colorado Accuses ALC of Ethics Violations

The Colorado Sec. of State says Rep. Ken Ivory’s American Lands Council, which advocates for Western states to take over federal public lands, may have violated Colorado lobbying and disclosure rules for failing to report political spending or to register as a lobbyist.

Reports High Country News:

The ALC, which leads the West-wide movement to transfer federal lands to states’ control, emailed Colorado supporters this spring to build backing for a bill that would have created a county commissioner-led task force to study the benefits of public-lands transfer to the state of Colorado. (The Senate bill failed by one vote.) The ALC has ushered similar bills through nearly every Western state legislature, with varying success.


The notice of possible violations followed an April complaint from Colorado Ethics Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group. When the secretary of state inquired, Ivory said he sent the emails to galvanize support around the land transfer task force at the request of Colorado state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. Thus, Ivory believed, the emails “did not constitute lobbying.” However, further email, postal mail and phone requests for information, including how the ALC raises funds and what sorts of dues member counties pay the organization, went unanswered. Eventually, Ivory explained his silence, claiming “the ALC had a new office manager who took the letter to (Ivory’s) house and left it under the doormat,” and Ivory “just now found it.”