Challenge to Colorado campaign restrictions |

Challenge to Colorado campaign restrictions

DENVER, Colorado – A Denver District Court judge is hearing a challenge to Amendment 54, which bans political contributions from anyone tied to businesses and groups that have at least $100,000 in no-bid government contracts.

Colorado voters narrowly approved the amendment in November.

Its supporters include the attorney general’s office. They say it’s an anti-corruption measure that prevents government contractors and some unions from making campaign contributions. Detractors say it violates their free speech rights.

Presiding Judge Catherine Lemon will decide whether to temporarily suspend the restrictions. A part of the amendment that requires public posting of no-bid contracts would remain intact.

Aurora City Councilman Bob FitzGerald testified Monday he is running into problems raising funds for his re-election campaign. He said he can’t guarantee whether contributions come from a prohibited source.

Lawyers for the attorney general’s office argued everyone running for FitzGerald’s seat has the same restrictions.

Daniel Ritchie, head of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, said he and board members are banned from donating to candidates even though they don’t negotiate contracts with the city.

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