Companies, groups and other big spenders who work to support or defeat candidates and ballot measures in Denver’s local elections increasingly are operating in the shadows, city officials and good-government advocates say.
Less than two years before the next municipal election, a Denver City Council proposal seeks to close transparency gaps that allow such spending to go unreported as long as the people behind it don’t coordinate directly with a candidate’s campaign.
Such activity by super PAC-style groups has mushroomed in federal and state elections since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 took the handcuffs off independent spending by corporations and labor unions, making restrictions on them unconstitutional.
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Megan Schrader (Denver Post) – Colorado lawmakers have a chance in the next couple weeks to close a black hole in the campaign finance universe that is sucking all the light out of politics.
When candidates and political committees run honest campaigns based on fact and policy and character, they do so in part because the bright light of scrutiny is shining on their actions and their words.
Colorado’s media try to fact-check political statements, especially those from candidates. But operating in the darkness are third-party shadow groups engaged in the “fake news” of fliers, advertisements and online videos, ads and posts. There’s little accountability for these groups now, but there’s hope.
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