Griswold: Coloradans deserve to know who is funding all those negative campaign ads

The Denver Post: Since taking office in January, I have been traveling around the state listening to Coloradans. In every town hall I have hosted — from Grand Junction to Boulder, and Pueblo to Aurora — Coloradans tend to agree that secret political spending is hurting our democracy.

Coloradans deserve to know who is trying to influence their votes and how they are trying to do it. We need to know more about the millions and millions of dollars used to influence our elections. Reforming money in politics will help detect and deter corruption, stop foreign financial influence, and increase transparency. The Clean Campaign Act of 2019 will make Colorado a leader on campaign finance transparency and help put our democracy in the hands of the people.

In the Colorado 2018 election cycle, more than $82 million was donated to independent expenditure committees, Colorado’s version of SuperPACs. These are committees that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to support, or oppose, political candidates. Of that $82 million, more than 75 percent came in donations of $100,000 or more, and more than 80 percent either came from corporations or “dark money” sources that were hard to trace. These are the dollars that can be used for the negative or misleading ads that pummel us on television and clog our mailboxes every two years. We don’t even know who is doing all of this political spending to influence our votes.

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