Colorado’s rough-and-tumble politics firearm-liberty group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is headed back to court. It is suing the secretary of state’s office and nonprofit Colorado Ethics Watch to keep the identities of its donors secret, even after stipulating in court documents that it has violated state campaign-finance-disclosure laws.
In a release sent out Monday touting the lawsuit, RMGO argued that state laws are unconstitutional.
“The current law essentially legalizes government ordered identity theft of citizens who want to take part in the political process,” director Dudley Brown said. “We believe the law … violates the public’s First Amendment right to free speech and participation in elections.”
The legal battle turns around Republican Party primary battles fought this past spring and summer. RMGO teamed with anti-abortion Colorado Campaign for Life to send mailers attacking candidates in the races who they alleged were soft on gun rights and “apathetic to the unborn.” Colorado Ethics Watch filed a complaint with the secretary of state pointing out that the cost of the mailers topped the $1,000 threshold that organizations must disclose when the money has been spent to influence a race within 30 days of the election.
Ethics Watch director Luis Toro said he has yet to see the RMGO complaint, but he seemed to take it as an attention-getting and futile move.
“We filed an airtight case against RMGO and Colorado Campaign for Life for failing to disclose electioneering communications. … In fact, RMGO and CCL have stipulated to the essential facts of the case. So we view this as a desperate attempt to avoid the consequences for failing to file disclosures required by Colorado law.”
Read the RMGO release and the court stipulation documents below.