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.
Click here to read the rest of the story in the Denver Post.
Nick Coltrain (The Coloradoan)- Proposed last-minute changes to to Sen. John Kefalas’ open records bill could remove swaths of currently available information from disclosure, open records advocates say.
The bill, which has been set for hearing twice and twice been delayed, will be heard at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday by the Senate’s State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.
Chief Colorado Deputy Attorney General David Blake introduced the changes during the flurry of Kefalas’ bill, SB17-040, being pulled and rescheduled.
Click here to read the full story in The Coloradoan.
Pam Zubeck (Colorado Springs Independent) – A bill that would allow those who request public records and the records custodian to mediate a solution is opposed by several agencies who serve as watchdogs for the public interest.
Click here to read the rest of the story in the Colorado Springs Independent.
Jeffrey Roberts (Colorado FOIC) – The Colorado House voted Monday to require independent groups and individuals to disclose expenditures when they buy ads, billboards and mailings that mention only political parties.
Disclosure currently is required when such communications mention candidates, but not when they generally suggest that you support Democrats or Republicans.
Under HB 16-1434, which was sent to the Senate on a 34-31 vote, any entity spending $1,000 or more on this type of communication within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election would have to file a report with the Colorado Secretary of State.
Such ads also would have to include “paid for by” disclaimers. And if they are produced in coordination with a political party, the party must also report the spending.
Click here to read the full story at the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition blog.