Senate Committee OKs 527 Bill

A bill that would create disclosure requirements for 527 committees passed the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee today on a party-line vote of 3-2.  Republican Senators Ron May and Dave Schultheis voted against the bill, with May complaining there were already too many reporting requirements for political campaigns.

“This is more reports, more reports. All we do is reports,” he said.

May told Tupa his bill would discourage people from running for office.

“You’re going to run everybody off,” he said.

HB 1074, dubbed the Clean Campaign Act of 2007 and sponsored by Rep. Morgan Carroll and Sen. Ron Tupa, will now go to the Senate floor.

More after the jump…The bill would require so-called 527 political committees to adhere to Colorado disclosure standards already in place for other political committees. Because of the lax rules imposed by the federal government on 527 committees, it’s often difficult to determine who is behind their often negative ads. This has caused growing concern over the past several years because the organizations can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, while candidates and other political committees have to adhere to state campaign finance rules.

“It increases the disclosure requirements that at the federal level really are inadequate right now,” Tupa said.

Currently, 527 organizations are required to report to the IRS only four times during a non-election year and six times during an election year. Organizations with less than $25,000 don’t have to report at all. Committees falling under the 527 designation poured almost $30 million dollars into Colorado campaigns during the last election cycle.