Colorado Springs campaign finance changes aimed at transparency

Colorado Springs Independent: Back in spring 2017, negative ads, funded in part by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a dark money group, proliferated in the Colorado Springs city election.

It ended up being money poorly spent, because most of the City Council candidates backed with dark money lost.

But the mystery of not knowing who funded certain ads bothered several of the six winners, who vowed to change the city’s campaign finance rules to discourage negative campaigning.

Now, a measure due for final Council approval on Dec. 11 aims to amend the city’s code by requiring more disclosure of campaign funders and how the money is spent.

But while many welcome the changes, others say a more far-reaching effort should be in order involving more than just Council.

The ordinance was shepherded by Councilor Jill Gaebler, who vowed on election night in April 2017 to tackle campaign finance reform. She now acknowledges her tweaks are just that, rather than an overhaul, but says those baby steps still will force more transparency.

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