Ethics Watch Opposes Elimination of Biweekly Primary Election Reporting
Today, the Secretary of State will hold a hearing on proposed revisions to campaign finance rules. The proposed rule would significantly reduce the reporting requirements for candidates leading up to the primary election. Current statute requires bi-weekly reports for primary candidates. The Secretary of State’s proposed rule would eliminate these reports completely, based on an alleged conflict between the disclosure requirement for primary elections and another section which states that reporting is only required quarterly in a non-election year. The purported conflict arose when the General Assembly moved the primary date to June without changing the disclosure statute which requires biweekly reports beginning the July before the primary.
Ethics Watch provided comments to the Secretary of State suggesting that the legislature intended for bi-weekly reporting to begin in July, but outlined a solution to begin bi-weekly reporting in January 2012, thus retaining the quarterly reporting requirement for non-election years (2011) described in Colorado statute while also recognizing that the biweekly reporting schedule for primary elections is still Colorado law.
“Just because Secretary of State Gessler thinks that bi-weekly reporting is too cumbersome doesn’t mean that he can override state statute,” said Luis Toro, director of Ethics Watch. “We have provided a reasonable solution to the conflicting language caused by new laws passed this year, and we hope that the Secretary will see that there is indeed a middle ground for reporting requirements.”