It will come as no surprise to Coloradans force-fed a fire-hose stream of ugly and untrustworthy campaign election material over the last two years that independent spending-- spending directly tied to no candidate and mostly free of accountability-- more than tripled in the state from 2008 to 2010. This according to a recent report released by watchdog group Follow the Money, which singles out Colorado for study. The authors report that, although the state has relatively strong disclosure laws, larger changes in campaign finance rules have let loose here as everywhere in the country a storm of money and a sea of roiling paperwork that can cover over as much as it reveals.
Tea partiers came roaring out of the gate last spring determined to shake up the political system. In Colorado, tea party groups invited candidates...
Political campaign spending, you might say, is trending through the roof, and not just on the federal level. State politicians and political issue committees are raising historic sums, according to a study released today by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. And the spending works. Incumbent lawmakers raise more money than their opponents and they win 95 percent of the time. In 2004, Colorado politicians and committees spent $20 million winning and losing votes. In 2008, they spent $85 million.
The payday loan industry gouges Coloradans like it does Americans across the country, targeting mostly low-income single women, including military spouses. Denver Democratic state Rep. Mark Ferrandino tried and failed to introduce legislation in 2008 that would have curbed the worst of the abuses, where desperate borrowers take loans at hundreds of percent interest and enter a debt cycle they rarely are able to exit. Ferrandino may try it again this year.