Article XXVIII, Colorado Constitution

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Colorado Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
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Article XXVIII of the Colorado Constitution is entitled Campaign and Political Finance. It has 17 sections.

Article XXVIII was added to the Colorado Constitution by a statewide vote in November 2002 on Colorado Amendment 27, Campaign Finance Regulations.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Purposes and Findings.

The people of the state of Colorado hereby find and declare that large campaign contributions to political candidates create the potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption; that large campaign contributions made to influence election outcomes allow wealthy individuals, corporations, and special interest groups to exercise a disproportionate level of influence over the political process; that the rising costs of campaigning for political office prevent qualified citizens from running for political office; that because of the use of early voting in Colorado timely notice of independent expenditures is essential for informing the electorate; that in recent years the advent of significant spending on electioneering communications, as defined herein, has frustrated the purpose of existing campaign finance requirements; that independent research has demonstrated that the vast majority of televised electioneering communications goes beyond issue discussion to express electoral advocacy; that political contributions from corporate treasuries are not an indication of popular support for the corporation's political ideas and can unfairly influence the outcome of Colorado elections; and that the interests of the public are best served by limiting campaign contributions, establishing campaign spending limits, providing for full and timely disclosure of campaign contributions, independent expenditures, and funding of electioneering communications, and strong enforcement of campaign finance requirements.[1]

Amendments

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Definitions:

Repealed with the approval of Colorado Campaign Contributions from Government Contractors, Initiative 54 (2008) in November 2008.[1]

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Contribution Limits:

Amendments

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Voluntary Campaign Spending Limits:

(1) Candidates may certify to the secretary of state that the candidate's candidate committee shall not exceed the following spending limits for the applicable election cycle:

(a) Two and one-half million dollars combined for a candidate for governor and governor and lieutenant governor as joint candidates under 1-1-104, C.R.S., or any successor section;

(b) Five hundred thousand dollars for a candidate for secretary of state, attorney general, or treasurer;

(c) Ninety thousand dollars for a candidate for the state senate;

(d) Sixty-five thousand dollars for a candidate for the state house of representatives, state board of education, regent of the university of Colorado, or district attorney.

(2) Candidates accepting the campaign spending limits set forth above shall also agree that their personal contributions to their own campaign shall be counted as political party contributions and subject to the aggregate limit on such contributions set forth in section 3 of this article.

(3) Each candidate who chooses to accept the applicable voluntary spending limit shall file a statement to that effect with the secretary of state at the time that the candidate files a candidate affidavit as currently set forth in section 1-45-110(1), C.R.S., or any successor section. Acceptance of the applicable voluntary spending limit shall be irrevocable except as set forth in subsection (4) of this section and shall subject the candidate to the penalties set forth in section 10 of this article for exceeding the limit.

(4) If a candidate accepts the applicable spending limit and another candidate for the same office refuses to accept the spending limit, the accepting candidate shall have ten days in which to withdraw acceptance. The accepting candidate shall have this option of withdrawing acceptance after each additional non-accepting candidate for the same office enters the race.

(5) The applicable contribution limits set forth in section 3 of this article shall double for any candidate who has accepted the applicable voluntary spending limit if:

(a) Another candidate in the race for the same office has not accepted the voluntary spending limit; and

(b) The non-accepting candidate has raised more than ten percent of the applicable voluntary spending limit.

(6) Only those candidates who have agreed to abide by the applicable voluntary spending limit may advertise their compliance. All other candidates are prohibited from advertising, or in any way implying, their acceptance of voluntary spending limits.

(7) Each spending limit described in subsection (1) of this section shall be adjusted by an amount based upon the percentage change over a four year period in the United States bureau of labor statistics consumer price index for Denver-Boulder-Greeley, all items, all consumers, or its successor index, rounded to the nearest lowest twenty-five dollars. The first adjustment shall be done in the first quarter of 2007 and then every four years thereafter. The secretary of state shall calculate such an adjustment in each limit and specify the limits in rules promulgated in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section.[1]

Amendments

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Independent Expenditures:

(1) Any person making an independent expenditure in excess of one thousand dollars per calendar year shall deliver notice in writing to the secretary of state of such independent expenditure, as well as the amount of such expenditure, and a detailed description of the use of such independent expenditure. The notice shall specifically state the name of the candidate whom the independent expenditure is intended to support or oppose. Each independent expenditure in excess of one-thousand dollars shall require the delivery of a new notice. Any person making an independent expenditure within thirty days of a primary or general election shall deliver such notice within forty-eight hours after obligating funds for such expenditure.

(2) Any person making an independent expenditure in excess of one thousand dollars shall disclose, in the communication produced by the expenditure, the name of the person making the expenditure and the specific statement that the advertisement of material is not authorized by any candidate. Such disclosure shall be prominently featured in the communication.

(3) Expenditures by any person on behalf of a candidate for public office that are coordinated with or controlled by the candidate or the candidate's agent, or political party shall be considered a contribution to the candidate's candidate committee, or the political party, respectively.

(4) This section 5 applies only to independent expenditures made for the purpose of expressly advocating the defeat or election of any candidate.[1]

Amendments

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Electioneering Communications:

Amendments

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Disclosures:

The disclosure requirements relevant to candidate committees, political committees, issue committees, and political parties, that are currently set forth in section 1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor section, shall be extended to include small donor committees. The disclosure requirements of section 1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor section, shall be extended to require disclosure of the occupation and employer of each person who has made a contribution of one hundred dollars or more to a candidate committee, political committee, issue committee, or political party. For purposes of this section and 1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor section, a political party shall be treated as separate entities at the state, county, district, and local levels.[1]

Amendments

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Filing - Where to File - Timeliness:

The secretary of state shall promulgate rules relating to filing in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section. The rules promulgated pursuant to this section shall extend section 1- 45-109, C.R.S., or any successor section to apply to small donor committees.[1]

Amendments

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Duties of the Secretary of State - Enforcement:

(1) The secretary of state shall:

(a) Prepare forms and instructions to assist candidates and the public in complying with the reporting requirements of this article and make such forms and instructions available to the public, municipal clerks, and county clerk and recorders free of charge;

(b) Promulgate such rules, in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section, as may be necessary to administer and enforce any provision of this article;

(c) Prepare forms for candidates to declare their voluntary acceptance of the campaign spending limits set forth in section 4 of this article. Such forms shall include an acknowledgment that the candidate voluntarily accepts the applicable spending limit and that the candidate swears to abide by those spending limits. These forms shall be signed by the candidate under oath, notarized, filed with the secretary of state, and available to the public upon request;

(c) Maintain a filing and indexing system consistent with the purposes of this article;

(e) Make the reports and statements filed with the secretary of state's office available immediately for public inspection and copying. The secretary of state may charge a reasonable fee for providing copies of reports. No information copied from such reports shall be sold or used by any person for the purpose of soliciting contributions or for any commercial purpose;

(f) Refer any complaints filed against any candidate for the office of secretary of state to the attorney general. Any administrative law judge employed pursuant to this section shall be appointed pursuant to part 10 of article 30 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section. Any hearing conducted by an administrative law judge employed pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 24-4-105, C.R.S., or any successor section.

(2)(a) Any person who believes that a violation of section 3, section 4, section 5, section 6, section 7, or section 9 (1) (e), of this article, or of sections 1-45-108, 1-45-114, 1-45-115, or 1-45-117 C.R.S., or any successor sections, has occurred may file a written complaint with the secretary of state no later than one hundred eighty days after the date of the alleged violation. The secretary of state shall refer the complaint to an administrative law judge within three days of the filing of the complaint. The administrative law judge shall hold a hearing within fifteen days of the referral of the complaint, and shall render a decision within fifteen days of the hearing. The defendant shall be granted an extension of up to thirty days upon defendant's motion, or longer upon a showing of good cause. If the administrative law judge determines that such violation has occurred, such decision shall include any appropriate order, sanction, or relief authorized by this article. The decision of the administrative law judge shall be final and subject to review by the court of appeals, pursuant to section 24-4-106 (11), C.R.S., or any successor section. The secretary of state and the administrative law judge are not necessary parties to the review. The decision may be enforced by the secretary of state, or, if the secretary of state does not file an enforcement action within thirty days of the decision, in a private cause of action by the person filing the complaint. Any private action brought under this section shall be brought within one year of the date of the violation in state district court. The prevailing party in a private enforcement action shall be entitled to reasonable attorneys fees and costs.

(b) The attorney general shall investigate complaints made against any candidate for the office of secretary of state using the same procedures set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2). Complainant shall have the same private right of action as under paragraph (a) of this subsection (2).

(c) A subpoena issued by an administrative law judge requiring the production of documents by an issue committee shall be limited to documents pertaining to contributions to, or expenditures from, the committee's separate account established pursuant to section 3(9) of this article to support or oppose a ballot issue or ballot question. A subpoena shall not be limited in this manner where such issue committee fails to form a separate account through which a ballot issue or ballot question is supported or opposed. [1]

Amendments

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Filing - Where to File - Timeliness:

(1) Any person who violates any provision of this article relating to contribution or voluntary spending limits shall be subject to a civil penalty of at least double and up to five times the amount contributed, received, or spent in violation of the applicable provision of this article. Candidates shall be personally liable for penalties imposed upon the candidate's committee.

(2)(a) The appropriate officer shall impose a penalty of fifty dollars per day for each day that a statement or other information required to be filed pursuant to section 5, section 6, or section 7 of this article, or sections 1-45-108, 1-45-109 or 1-45-110, C.R.S., or any successor sections, is not filed by the close of business on the day due. Upon imposition of a penalty pursuant to this subsection (2), the appropriate officer shall send the person upon whom the penalty is being imposed proper notification by certified mail of the imposition of the penalty. If an electronic mail address is on file with the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall also provide such notification by electronic mail. Revenues collected from fees and penalties assessed by the secretary of state or revenues collected in the form of payment of the secretary of state's attorney fees and costs pursuant to this article shall be deposited in the department of state cash fund created in section 24-21-104 (3), C.R.S., or any successor section.

(b)(I) Any person required to file a report with the secretary of state and upon whom a penalty has been imposed pursuant to this subsection (2) may appeal such penalty by filing a written appeal with the secretary of state no later than thirty days after the date on which notification of the imposition of the penalty was mailed to such person's last known address in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection (2). Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection (2), the secretary shall refer the appeal to an administrative law judge. Any hearing conducted by an administrative law judge pursuant to this subsection (2) shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 24-4-105, C.R.S., or any successor section. The administrative law judge shall set aside or reduce the penalty upon a showing of good cause, and the person filing the appeal shall bear the burden of proof. The decision of the administrative law judge shall be final and subject to review by the court of appeals pursuant to section 24-4-106 (11), C.R.S., or any successor section.

(II) If the administrative law judge finds that the filing of an appeal brought pursuant to sub paragraph (I) of this paragraph (b) was frivolous, groundless, or vexatious, the administrative law judge shall order the person filing the appeal to pay reasonable attorney fees and costs of the secretary of state in connection with such proceeding.

(c) Upon receipt by the secretary of state of an appeal pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), the secretary shall set aside or reduce the penalty upon a showing of good cause.

(d) Any unpaid debt owing to the state resulting from a penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection (2) shall be collected by the state in accordance with the requirements of section 24-30-202.4, C.R.S., or any successor section.

(3) Failure to comply with the provisions of this article shall have no effect on the validity of any election.[1]

Amendments

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Conflicting Provisions Declared Inapplicable:

Any provisions in the statutes of this state in conflict or inconsistent with this article are hereby declared to be inapplicable to the matters covered and provided for in this article.[1]

Amendments

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Repeal of Conflicting Statutory Provisions:

Sections 1-45-103, 1-45-105.3, 1-45-107, 1-45-111, and 1-45-113 are repealed.[1]

Repealed with the approval of Colorado Amendment 27, Campaign Finance Regulations (2002)in November 2002.

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Applicability and Effective Date:

Amendments

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Severability:

If any provision of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this article are declared to be severable.[1]

Amendments

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Because of a presumption of impropriety between contributions to any campaign and sole source government contracts, contract holders shall contractually agree, for the duration of the contract and for two years thereafter, to cease making, causing to be made, or inducing by any means, a contribution, directly or indirectly, on behalf of the contract holder or on behalf of his or her immediate family member and for the benefit of any political party or for the benefit of any candidate for any elected office of the state or any of its political subdivisions.[1]

Amendments

Section 16

Text of Section 16:
 To aid in enforcement of this measure concerning sole source contracts, the executive director of the department of personnel shall promptly publish and maintain a summary of each sole source government contract issued. Any contract holder of a sole source government contract shall promptly prepare and deliver to the executive director of the department of personnel a true and correct "Government Contract Summary," in digital format as prescribed by that office, which shall identify the names and addresses of the contract holders and all other parties to the government contract, briefly describe the nature of the contract and goods or services performed, disclose the start and end date of the contract, disclose the contract's estimated amount or rate of payment, disclose the sources of payment, and disclose other information as determined by the executive director of the department of personnel which is not in violation of federal law, trade secrets or intellectual property rights. The executive director of the department of personnel is hereby given authority to promulgate rules to facilitate this section.[1]

Amendments

Section 17

Text of Section 17:
(1) Every sole source government contract by the state or any of its political subdivisions shall incorporate article XXVIII, section 15, into the contract. Any person who intentionally accepts contributions on behalf of a candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, political party, or other entity, in violation of section 15 has engaged in corrupt misconduct and shall pay restitution to the general treasury of the contracting governmental entity to compensate the governmental entity for all costs and expenses associated with the breach, including costs and losses involved in securing a new contract if that becomes necessary. If a person responsible for the bookkeeping of an entity that has a sole source contract with a governmental entity, or if a person acting on behalf of the governmental entity, obtains knowledge of a contribution made or accepted in violation of section 15, and that person intentionally fails to notify the secretary of state or appropriate government officer about the violation in writing within ten business days of learning of such contribution, then that person may be contractually liable in an amount up to the above restitution.

(2) Any person who makes or causes to be made any contribution intended to promote or influence the result of an election on a ballot issue shall not be qualified to enter into a sole source government contract relating to that particular ballot issue.

(3) The parties shall agree that if a contract holder intentionally violates section 15 or section 17 (2), as contractual damages that contract holder shall be ineligible to hold any sole source government contract, or public employment with the state or any of its political subdivisions, for three years. The governor may temporarily suspend any remedy under this section during a declared state of emergency.

(4) Knowing violation of section 15 or section 17 (2) by an elected or appointed official is grounds for removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit in the state, and shall constitute misconduct or malfeasance.

(5) A registered voter of the state may enforce section 15 or section 17 (2) by filing a complaint for injunctive or declaratory relief or for civil damages and remedies, if appropriate, in the district court.[1]

Amendments

See also

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