Noonan: Democrats get their chance to clean up campaign finance

Colorado Politics: Jena Griswold, newly elected Colorado secretary of state, will have her hands full if she gets serious about campaign finance disclosures and transparency.

Colorado created the campaign finance tracker platform Tracer in 2010 to collect, store, and present campaign finance data. Candidates use Tracer to enter their contributors by amount, date, and employment of donors. They issue expenditure reports to show where they spend the money.

Citizens use Tracer to see who contributed to whom and, in the case of campaign committees, for what purpose. That’s the rub.

It’s relatively easy to identify who donated directly to candidates. The Colorado Democratic Party took in $1,394,520 in 2018. Its donors are listed in Tracer.

At this point, the audit function in Tracer gets murky. According to newly elected state Senator Tammy Story’s reports, Colorado Dems donated $21,000 in total to her campaign. But the Tracer system doesn’t aggregate the total sum donation to Story on the Colorado Democratic Party side to verify that amount.

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