March 10, 2010--Major political players train sights on Curry rafting-rights bill (Colorado Independent)

Former Democratic state Sen. Michael Feeley, a lawyer-lobbyist who spent seven years as Minority Leader, is behind an advertising campaign aimed at torpedoing a rafting rights bill floated in the House by Rep. Kathleen Curry. Friends of Colorado’s Rivers is listed on the “paid for” line in the ads, which advocate for the property rights of landowners along Colorado rivers. The ad reaches out to landowners who may want to keep commercial rafting outfits from pulling out on their property in order to portage rough sections of water or deal with emergency situations. The group caused some confusion for proponents of the legislation, who argue Colorado rivers should be kept open to the state’s $142-million-a-year rafting industry – even along private stretches. The problem was that Friends of Colorado’s Rivers isn’t listed with the Colorado Secretary of State as a political committee. It is, however, registered as a nonprofit corporation (pdf) under the SOS business section. Curry’s bill, HB 1188, passed in the House by 40-25 vote but now faces a much tougher battle in the Senate, where it will be the hotly contested subject of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 17th.

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