Colorado campaign disclosure law upheld by federal appeals court

From The Denver Post:  The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an Independence Institute challenge of the state’s campaign disclosure law related to the 2014 governor’s race.

The ruling Thursday upheld the state’s rules related to spending on TV advertisements and the disclosure of donors, priming the case for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on political free speech rights.

Jon Caldara, the institute’s president, said Friday the ruling is “one of the steps you take in order to get something to the Supreme Court and we are not at all surprised by it.”

Still, campaign finance watchdogs celebrated the ruling.

“This ruling marks another resounding victory for disclosure against a nationwide flood of challenges to laws that require the reporting of nothing more than the identity of those spending significant sums on candidate-focused ads shortly before elections,” said Tara Malloy, the deputy executive director of the Campaign Legal Center, in a statement.

The case began in 2014 when the conservative-minded Independence Institute sought to air a 30-second TV commercial that criticized the federal health care law and called on Gov. John Hickenlooper to “audit the state’s healthcare exchange.”

Under Colorado law, the TV ad qualified as an “electioneering communication” because it would air within 60 days of the gubernatorial election and cost more than the $1,000 threshold, meaning the Independence Institute would be required to disclose the financial donors who paid for the ad.

Visit The Denver Post for more.

Subscribe to Our Blog