A quick campaign fix?

Colorado’s campaign finance laws need to be amended in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year that struck down restrictions in federal law similar to some limitations in Colorado law.

The question is whether the state Legislature, already dealing with huge budget deficits and a variety of other critical issues, will find time to make the changes in a reasoned manner.

Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher made it clear this week a number of provisions in state law and measures in the state Constitution that were approved by voters in 2002 conflict with the Supreme Court ruling and need to be changed. They include prohibitions on foreign companies giving money to candidates in Colorado races and disclosure requirements when such contributions are made.

The Supreme Court decision angered many people because it allows much greater spending by corporations and labor unions in election campaigns. While the decision has troubling implications, it also amounted to a strengthening of free speech and campaign spending, which is a form of political speech.

We hope that, with Buescher’s input, the Legislature can quickly craft the necessary changes to meet the requirements of the federal decision.


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