Bi-weekly Campaign Finance Reports On The Chopping Block
ProgressNow Colorado Launches GesslerWatch.com in Response to SOS Rule
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
Contact: Kjersten Forseth
Phone: (719) 641-4674
DENVER: Secretary of State Scott Gessler held a rule-making hearing today, in an effort to push through is proposal to eliminate the longstanding requirement that all candidates for public office report campaign finances every two weeks leading up to the primary election and continuing through to the general election.
Under Senate Bill 11-189, primary elections beginning in 2012 will be moved from the second Tuesday in August to the last Tuesday in June. However, campaign finance law remains unchanged, stating that bi-weekly campaign finance reports must be filed starting the July before the primary election. Gessler should be working with the legislature to ensure campaign reporting remains the same rather than reducing the public’s access to who funds elections.
“Scott Gessler is trying to claim he is just fixing a minor technicality in the law, but he is actually eliminating reporting that is vital for transparency in our candidate elections," said Kjersten Forseth of ProgressNow Colorado Education, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization. “He is clearly overstepping his authority as Secretary of State, overriding Colorado law and ignoring the wishes of voters for more, not less, campaign finance disclosure.”
ProgressNow Colorado Education launched a website, GesslerWatch.com, to help Coloradans monitor Scott Gessler’s rulemaking and his attempts to do “partisan bidding” using the Secretary of State’s office. The website is dedicated to ensuring that Colorado continues to have fair elections and every eligible voter has access to the ballot box.
Since taking office in January, Scott Gessler has reduced fines for groups knowingly violating campaign finance law, increased the amount of money a group can spend on a ballot issue before they report it to the public by 2,500% and is now trying to eliminate reporting requirements laid out in the Colorado Constitution.
“Mr. Gessler should be trying to increase transparency in campaigns and voter access to the ballot box – not trying to limit it. He should pledge to be a non-partisan Secretary of State and represent Colorado voters, not special interests,” added Forseth.