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Colorado House Majority Leader Amy Stephens is feeling the heat – not from sweltering summer temperatures but instead from the sizzling tempers of Republican "anarchists" who think the Monument legislator has violated conservative and constitutional values. They seem bent on anointing a warrior to defeat Stephens in 2012 – the frontrunner is Kanda Calef.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler filed a brief with the attorney general last week supporting an appeal brought by election-politics group Clear the Bench in a campaign finance case. Gessler defended the group as a private attorney in the original case and so his support now as secretary of state is sure to raise more questions about his ability to serve the public without treading across ethical boundaries.
The feud between outgoing state Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams and state Sen. Ted Harvey, who aims to succeed him, is exploding with revelations about Harvey’s financial history.
Colorado State Senator Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, said she missed an opportunity to head off the controversy now surrounding newly elected Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Carroll had been weighing whether or not to introduce legislation that would have set strict disclosure laws for the secretary of state's office in particular and tightened state worker conflict-of-interest laws in general. She didn't introduce that bill but that doesn't mean a legislative response to the Gessler controversy is off the table, she said.
Democratic state Sens. Morgan Carroll of Aurora and Lois Court of Denver say stricter penalties and tighter legal definitions should be at the heart of upcoming legislation to prevent abuses to laws regulating those looking to sway public opinion in elections. Both legislators are working with watchdog groups to shore up what they see as serious holes in campaign finance and ethics laws after a mid-term election cycle marred by violations and rumors of clandestine deals.
As the head of Clear the Bench Colorado, firebrand Matt Arnold has toured conservative activist events across the state this past year asking Coloradans to vote against retaining members of the state's supreme court. He argued and is arguing in the last weeks before the November elections that members of the bench are liberal activists who disdain the law. In recent days, an administrative courts judge and the elections director for the state informed Arnold that he failed to follow the laws that govern the form of political activity in which he has been engaging.
In ruling Friday in Denver against Clear the Bench Colorado, the small-government committee seeking to oust three state supreme court justices, Judge Robert Spencer...
On Friday, Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer ruled that Clear the Bench Colorado, a group campaigning against retaining three Colorado Supreme Court justices this November, improperly filed with the state as an issues committee and that it must now file as a political committee. The ruling comes after a complaint filed by government watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch. The ruling limits Clear the Bench fundraising and ups the group's obligation to report contributions. It is the latest chapter in a legal battle colored by partisan rhetoric and suspicion and it is likely not the final chapter.
Secretary of State Bernie Buescher turned down a request filed on the behalf of Clear the Bench Colorado last week to write a new rule categorizing the group as an issue committee. Clear the Bench is presently registered as an issue committee but a complaint filed by government watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch argued that the group is actually a political committee because it is advocating not for any single issue but rather against retaining Colorado Supreme Court justices. At stake is funding: Issue committees can collect unlimited sums from individual donors; political committee individual donations are capped at roughly $500. Ethics Watch argues that inviting unchecked money into judicial races invites corruption and goes against the will of the voters.
Attorney General John Suthers said it was a mistake to come out against retaining state Supreme Court justices. He said it wasn't his place...
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