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Debra Bonogofsky, a moderate Republican small businesswoman from Billings, Mont., thought she was a “normal person” until she ran for the Montana State Legislature in June. Then she found out through 11th-hour attack ads, fliers and mailings that she was an anti-gun, pro-abortion, union-backing Barack Obama supporter.
State Sen. Morgan Carroll’s (D-Aurora) election expenditure bill, SB 203 (pdf), which mandates disclosure of corporate and union spending in Colorado elections, passed on third reading in the state House Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Bill Ritter’s desk after it passed on a party-line vote in the Senate Friday.
Voters in Colorado care about clean elections and voted through a ballot initiative specifically to enact laws governing campaign finances in 2002. Lawbreakers have been caught and fined. But that's apparently where enforcement ends. The list of groups violating the law includes an increasing number that simply skirt the fines judges have levied against them. Secretary of State Bernie Buescher now seems determined to go after the deadbeats, but his office told the Colorado Independent that the law, as it stands now, simply lacks teeth.
It’s been nearly eight months since former Garfield County Judge Steve Carter says he was ambushed by oil and gas money in his unsuccessful bid for county commissioner, but the Democrat is clearly still seething about what he considers a “stolen election.”