ELECTION CAMPAIGN REGULATIONS
“Legislative declaration. The people of the state of Colorado hereby find and declare that large campaign contributions to political candidates allow wealthy contributors and special interest groups to exercise a disproportionate level of influence over the political process; that large campaign contributions create the potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption; that the rising costs of campaigning for political office prevent qualified citizens from running for political office; and that the interests of the public are best served by limiting campaign contributions, encouraging voluntary campaign spending limits, full and timely disclosure of campaign contributions, and strong enforcement of campaign laws.”
With that as a foundation, it would seem that Longmont might just piggyback on what our state has done in regulating our municipal elections. But there’s a BIG, BIG problem with that. Our state statute does not extend to municipalities and local elections in any of the ways identified in the legislative declaration. I used the very useful “find” feature for this pdf document and I’ll be darned if it found only one reference to “municipal elections” and one more for “local elections”” So if Longmont chose to use the state statute, guess what – There would be NO regulation of our municipal elections.
I also recently read another very interesting statement:
“The rights of citizenship do not stop at the ballot box. They include the free-speech right to devote one’s resources to whatever cause or candidate one supports. We oppose any restrictions or conditions upon those activities that would discourage Americans from exercising their constitutional right to enter the political fray or limit their commitment to their ideals.”
“…right to devote one’s resources…”: How much of one’s resources. All of them? Any amount one wants?
“We oppose any restrictions or conditions…”: That sure sounds like a political free-for-all to me and I submit to most people, including most people in Longmont.
Mayor Baum, at a recent council meeting you strongly promoted that Longmont scrap it’s Fair Campaign Practices Act in favor of state statute. So I guess you subscribe to the second quotation. That quotation comes from the Republican Party platform.
Much has been said about keeping Longmont’s election non-partisan. Let’s hope that the new council majority will not adopt the Republican Party’s ideology in our non-partisan municipal elections.