Candidate financial filing requirements increased to every two weeks
Candidates in the 2012 primary elections will have to begin filing campaign-finance reports every two weeks starting next month, under new rules adopted by Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Gessler said the new rules were needed to address a conflict in reporting laws when the Colorado Legislature changed the date for primary elections from August to June.
But lawmakers didn’t change two other laws that were affected by that change, one that requires quarterly reports in an off-election year and another that requires bi-weekly reporting beginning in the July before the primary.
When lawmakers moved the primary date up to the last Tuesday in June, candidates weren’t sure when and how often they should start filing.
“In order to provide clear guidance for filers and avoid an unintended, absurd result, I pursued rule-making to indicate which law candidates and their volunteers should follow,” Gessler said.
Gessler got into hot water with state lawmakers earlier this year when he initially ruled that primary candidates needed to file quarterly reports until May 2012, and then monthly reports after that.
Colorado Ethics Watch later filed a lawsuit against him, claiming Gessler overstepped his authority. Earlier this month, the Legislature’s Legal Services Committee voted to exclude that rule from its annual bill approving new rules and regulations adopted by state agencies since the last legislative session.
Gessler said that was what prompted him to go the other direction, requiring the two-week filings starting Jan. 30, but not requiring candidates to submit biweekly reports for the past six months.
“In order to follow the Legislature’s guidance, my office is rescinding the previous reporting rule,” Gessler said in an email. “Please note that this office will not require you to retroactively file the 14 biweekly reports ... unless the Legislature takes further action.”