The Denver Post’s Vincent Carroll explains what’s wrong with Colorado draconian campaign finance laws:
You can’t freely spend (or accept) even a few hundred dollars for yard signs and leaflets in your neighborhood in support of a ballot measure, or combine with friends to do so, without becoming an “issue committee,” according to state law. At which point you will find yourself ensnared in complex registration and reporting requirements, subject to fines and civil penalties, that drive prudent people into the arms of lawyers.
Twice in the past four years — first in 2010 and again three weeks ago — federal judges have warned that Colorado’s law is an affront to the First Amendment for small-scale groups that raise and spend modest amounts of money. It’s high time someone listened to them.
It’s funny how all of these laws designed purportedly to get big money out of politics always seem to end up putting the squeeze on the grassroots instead.