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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.
Reports surfacing in the last hour suggest State Sen. Josh Penry is set to announce he will be ending his campaign to unseat Gov. Bill Ritter. Penry campaign spokesman Andrew Cole did not confirm reports. Although Penry jumped into the campaign strongly this summer, winning "rising star" status from popular Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza, he has recently struggled.
Our sister site, the Iowa Independent, has an eye-popping investigative report detailing the The American Future Fund (AFF), the Iowa-based GOP group that is behind radio and TV ads attacking numerous closely contested congressional races across the country, including radio and TV attacks on U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall here in Colorado. Keep reading for details on the group, whose key players were behind the Swift Boat and Willie Horton ads.