Amendment 54 will prohibit certain government contractors from contributing to a political party or candidate for the contract’s duration and two years thereafter; prohibit contributors to ballot issue campaigns from entering into certain government contracts relating to the ballot issue; apply the prohibitions on campaign contributions and ballot issue contracts to any contractor with a government contract or contracts that does not use a public and competitive bidding process soliciting at least three bids and with a total value greater than $100,000 in a single year; and‚ apply the prohibitions on campaign contributions and ballot issue contracts to a labor organization holding a collective bargaining agreement with a state or local government.
Further info at Colorado Ballot – The misnamed Restrictions on Campaign Contributions from Government Sole-Source Contractors Initiative
The broad scope of the measure could have far-reaching consequences for contractors, political candidates, and elected officials. For example, an individual holding a covered contract with one local government could be penalized for making a contribution to a candidate in a separate jurisdiction. To avoid violations and penalties, candidates and political parties will have to monitor each contribution to ensure that it is not made by a sole-source government contractor, or by the contractor on behalf of a relative. Furthermore, Amendment 54 establishes penalties that are severe relative to the offenses, including loss or disqualification from office for elected or appointed officials.
Amendment 54 proposes an inflexible approach to government contracting. Different regions and levels of government throughout the state have varying contracting needs and access to providers of goods and services. Because rural cities and counties typically have fewer contracting options than urban communities or state government, the measure presents unique challenges for small communities and their service providers. For example, if one organization in a small community is the only available contractor for community services, the organization would have to choose between accepting a contract and participating financially in the political process.
By prohibiting campaign contributions, Amendment 54 ensures that business interests, labor, and other covered government contractors do not influence policy decisions through campaign contributions.
There is the germ of a good idea in this initiative, that companies that receive large sole-source contracts cannot contribute to ballot issue campaigns. (Contribution to candidates are also limited, but those have such low limits per person anyways that this would not have much impact there.)
It’s interesting that these ultra right-wing “small government” conservative groups then propose complex initiatives to be a rigid straitjacket added to our constitution. Yet usually they state they are in favor of unlimited funding of (their) candidates.
This proposal removes a class of large companies and unions from the political process. I’m sure it was “coincidental” that these groups being removed tend to be liberal in their outlook – yeah right. This is pure and simple and attempt to remove some political funding sources from the Democratic party.
Naked political power plays should not be added to our constitution.
In addition, to continue with the incredibly successful Colorado Labor Peace Act of 1943, this (and the other 6 peace act violators) must be defeated.
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