Watchdog: Citizens United violated state campaign finance law

Watchdog: Citizens United violated state campaign finance law

On Friday, Colorado Ethics Watch filed a complaint with the secretary of state asserting that political documentary-film mill Citizens United last year failed to disclose the identity of funders who paid for ads that mentioned Gov. John Hickenlooper by name. Hickenlooper was running for reelection and the ads aired just weeks before Election Day – a no-no according to state law.

“This is just the next chapter in a legal battle Citizens United started last year,” said Luis Toro, director of Ethics Watch. “For many years, they have attempted to not just gut limits on spending in politics, which they’ve been marginally successful in doing, but also to destroy laws to disclose communications.”

Citizens United, which was not available for comment, spent $168,651 on Comcast advertising to promote its film Rocky Mountain Heist, states an Ethics Watch press release. “Under Colorado law, spending on ads that identify a candidate for office within sixty days of a general election must be disclosed, regardless of whether the ads expressly urge a vote for or against a candidate,” the release states.

If Citizens United is found guilty of violating election disclosure requirements, it will face a $50-a-day fine from the date the disclosure was due – October 27, 2014.

Read the Ethics Watch complaints and exhibits at the group’s website.



Photo credit: Promo still from Rocky Mountain Heist.

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Kyle Harris

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