Ethics Watch Files Suit to Defend Biweekly Primary Reporting
Today, Colorado Ethics Watch filed a complaint against Secretary of State Scott Gessler in Denver District Court. Ethics Watch’s complaint asks the Court to void the Secretary’s adoption of an administrative rule that claims to excuse candidates from the statutory requirement that they file biweekly campaign finance reports before the primary election.
During the last legislative session, the date of the primary election was moved from August to June. However, the legislature did not make any change to the campaign finance disclosure statute, which provides that biweekly reports shall begin the July before the primary. Although the Secretary’s rulemaking notice acknowledged that the statute literally requires biweekly reports to be filed starting in July of this year, he declared that result to be “absurd” and issued a rule stating that candidates need not comply with the statute.
“Changing the schedule for primary disclosure reports is a task for the General Assembly, not the Secretary of State,” said Ethics Watch Director Luis Toro. “Considering that there is very little campaign activity going on at this stage, filing biweekly reports is not a tremendous burden. If the General Assembly disagrees, they will have the opportunity to change the reporting schedule when they convene in January. In the meantime, we expect that the court will reject the Secretary’s overreaching and eliminate the rule.”