DENVER (KDVR) — Citing that there isn’t enough evidence, the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office moved to dismiss a campaign finance complaint against Governor Jared Polis after the Colorado GOP claimed he skirted the rules with a letter sent to Colorado taxpayers who received TABOR checks.

At issue is the governor’s characterization of the tax rebate through the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights, more commonly known as TABOR. The law basically means Colorado can’t spend more taxpayer money than it generates. Every time the state has a tax surplus and brings in more taxes than it plans to spend, that money is refunded.

The governor has been criticized for rebranding the TABOR checks as “Colorado Cashback” checks, although the governor did sign a bill that sends the money out early, and distributes an even amount for every taxpayer instead of a proportional refund.

This is despite Polis and Democrats supporting a 2019 ballot initiative that would have done away with TABOR.

The Colorado Republican Party released this statement: “Of course partisan hack Jena Griswold dismissed a complaint against her fellow Democrat. Since she’s the most partisan SOS we’ve ever had, this dismissal was expected. The fact remains that Jared Polis and the Democrats are pretending to support TABOR in a tough election year just to buy votes. Their record shows the opposite: they raise our taxes and want to permanently take away our refunds.”

The complaint claimed the letter that accompanied the TABOR checks violated electioneering law and does not include a campaign disclaimer. It accused the governor of failing to report an expenditure and using funds that are prohibited for campaigns. The complaint argued the $2.7 million the state is spending on sending the TABOR checks out early amounts to prohibited campaign contributions from the state or government entities.

However, the motion to dismiss states the branding for Colorado Cashback dates back to the legislation that Polis eventually signed. The motion states “all four legislative sponsors reported that the origination of the term ‘Colorado Cashback’ was the April 25, 2022, joint press release between the Governor’s Office and the legislature.”

The motion to dismiss continued and later said “The Division views the creation of the state brand, ‘Colorado Cashback’, the support of the legislation to create the refund mechanism, the press and outreach about the program, the call center, and the July 7th mailing were all done within the regular course and scope of Respondent Governor Polis’ government business to implement a government program.”

When it comes to the claim that the letter was a campaign mailer, the motion pushes back on the notion and said “the plain language of the letter does not concern the nomination, retention, or election of any person to any public office, nor does it reference, let alone support or oppose, any state or local ballot measure. While Complainant alleges that letter supports the (re)election of Respondent Candidate to office, Complainant has failed to provide evidence that the letter is an electioneering communication not subject to the normal course and scope of business exemption.”

The deputy secretary now has 35 days to rule on the motion. If the motion to dismiss is denied, an enforcement team will have 14 business days to file a complaint with a hearing officer, according to the secretary of state’s office.