Politicians, lobbyists owe Colorado half a million in fines | VailDaily.com

Politicians, lobbyists owe Colorado half a million in fines

Karen E. Crummy
The Denver Post

Elected officials, lobbyists, office-seekers and political campaigns owe the secretary of state’s office more than half a million dollars in fines – money that would immediately help out the cash-strapped state.

Nearly all the fines resulted from the failure to do what Colorado voters decided seven years ago was crucial: file paperwork so the public can see who has contributed to campaigns and what interests are potentially influencing legislation.

“Voters said they wanted financial transparency, and that’s why we follow the law and fine (campaigns and lobbyists) when they don’t file,” said Rich Coolidge, spokesman for Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, referring to Amendment 27, which was passed in 2002.

Campaigns are fined $50 a day for late filings. Lobbyists pay a $10 daily fee.

Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder, incoming chief of the committee that writes the state budget, has a long history of failing to file his campaign disclosures on time. Last year, for instance, he didn’t file his January paperwork until July.

For more of this Denver Post story: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13586522

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