(Ballsy move. Me likey. – promoted by Middle of the Road)
In a gutsy move by a relatively unknown Democratic candidate in a Republican stronghold, SD27 Candidate David Paladino issued this press release today. Paladino joined Colorado AFL-CIO Executive Director Mike Cerbo, Pro-choice Colorado, the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Ballot Issue Committee, and Citizens for Integrity, in calling CO Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s latest actions “unconstitutional”.
If Paladino is this gutsy in his first political move, do Pols readers have a prediction for what might happen in his race against David Balmer?
State Senate Candidate David Paladino Joins Suit Against Rules Increasing Secrecy in Political Financing
Paladino calls new rules a welcome mat to political corruption
Centennial — A lawsuit aimed at stopping Secretary of State Scott Gessler from vastly increasing secret political spending in Colorado was joined by CO Senate District 27 Democratic candidate David Paladino on Friday, April 6th.
Paladino, who is seeking his first term in office to represent an area that covers Centennial, called the new rules “an insult and a welcome mat to potential corruption by rolling back campaign finance disclosures and preventing Colorado voters from knowing who is funding political campaigns, a right we all have today. It will bring political spending in Colorado to new lows.”
Under these new rules, Gessler says that a county or city political party where there’s home rule may now funnel money to its state party without reporting who donated the funds, no matter how much. He also loosens the restrictions on when a political party, issue committee or other political organization must report contributions and expenditures, making it possible for special interests to avoid disclosure. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in political spending would be obscured as a result.
“Colorado’s constitution has long protected voters and citizens from back-room funding of local candidates and campaigns,” said Paladino, “but now the Secretary of State wants to turn the tables around so that millions of dollars could be potentially funneled into political use without the public knowing about it.
“This ignores our state’s constitutional protections against secret money in politics and it violates every sense that we have that political money has to be out in the open so we know who is being supported by what interests, and how. Voters deserve to know that.”
The legal action was filed in Denver District Court. Included as plaintiffs along with Paladino are Mike Cerbo, Colorado AFL-CIO executive director, Pro-Choice Colorado, the PPRM Ballot Issue Committee, and Citizens for Integrity, Inc. Colorado Common Cause filed a similar suit on Friday.
The court is being asked to stay rules that Gessler created in March because the Secretary of State overstepped the authority and legal bounds of his office. It also says that the rules are in violation of Colorado’s clearly-defined constitutional requirements for political contributions and spending.
“It’s been a long-time right for voters in our state to know who is backing whom and what,” said Paladino, “and Scott Gessler has no right to change that.”