Opponents of Denver Green Roof Initiative widen fundraising advantage to nearly 12-to-1

The biggest David vs. Goliath battle heading into Election Day — at least when it comes to fundraising — remains the fight over the grassroots Denver Green Roof Initiative.

Pre-election campaign finance reports filed last week show that a committee supported by building, business and real estate interests has now reported raising a total of $249,000 in direct donations since forming in mid-September. That compares to $21,564 for the local environmental activists behind the Denver Green Roof Initiative, giving its opponents a nearly 12-to-1 advantage.

The initiative’s organizers, who include Brandon Rietheimer, 30, have gotten creative: The campaign also reported $3,180 worth of in-kind donations in October that largely were made up of auction items, from a massage to artwork to Broncos tickets, that were used to raise more donations.

The opposition group, called Citizens for a Responsible Denver, was formed by organizations, companies and individuals that are part of the Colorado Real Estate Alliance.

Its latest report shows $207,500 in new donations since Oct. 1, ranging from $1,000 to $48,500 (from the National Association of Realtors). Hefty support also came from the Apartment Association of Metro Denver ($40,000) and the Denver Metro Building Owners and Managers Association ($23,000), while the Downtown Denver Partnership was among groups that gave $10,000.

The pro-initiative committee reported $15,143 in donations, its best month since forming early this year. Nearly all were small amounts, except for $5,000 from Denver-based Zeppelin Development and $3,000 from Chris Kerr of Frederick, Colo., who is president of landscape supply company Colorado Materials Inc.

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