Halt sought on Colorado campaign contributions ban | VailDaily.com

Halt sought on Colorado campaign contributions ban

DENVER, Colorado – Unions, philanthropist Dan Ritchie and the University of Denver have asked a judge to suspend a ban on political contributions approved by voters last fall.

Under Amendment 54, anyone tied to businesses or groups that hold at least $100,000 in no-bid government contracts are not allowed to make political donations. Backers said it was aimed at preventing corruption but opponents argued that it violated their free speech rights.

Voters narrowly approved the amendment in November.

Aurora City Councilman Bob FitzGerald testified Monday that he was 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 that other candidates for FitzGerald’s seat have 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.

Judge Catherine Lemon will decide whether to temporarily suspend the restrictions. Closing arguments were scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

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