June 14, 2011 •
Colorado Government Watchdog Groups File Campaign Finance Complaint
Colorado Common Cause and Colorado Ethics Watch have filed a complaint against Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler alleging Gessler illegally “exceeded his authority to administer and enforce campaign finance laws by dramatically increasing the constitutional threshold for regulation of issue committees.”
At issue is Gessler’s recent adoption of Campaign and Political Finance Rule 4.27, which increased from $200 to $5,000 the threshold at which an issue committee must register and report. The $200 threshold, set by the Colorado Constitution, was found to be too burdensome in the recent Colorado case of Sampson v. Buescher. However, the issue of whether the court determined the $200 threshold to be unconstitutional, as Gessler contended to be the case in a statement released concerning the increased threshold, is central to this action.
“The Secretary is under the mistaken impression that he has authority to rewrite campaign finance laws, not merely make rules to enforce those laws,” said Luis Toro, Executive Director of Colorado Ethics Watch. “Disclosure thresholds are clearly not within the authority of the Secretary of State to change.”
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