Gessler draws fire, praise for campaign-finance plans

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Gessler draws fire, praise for campaign-finance plans

Panel slams secretary of state for eliminating campaign reports

DENVER – Legislators on Wednesday shot down Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s bid to eliminate several campaign-finance reports that candidates need to file.
The Legislature’s Committee on Legal Services decided Gessler exceeded his authority when he decided candidates would not have to file frequent reports in advance of next year’s primary election.
Candidates have to file reports every three months, but the schedule accelerates to once every two weeks as an election or primary approaches.
Last year, the Legislature moved primaries from August to June, but it forgot to change the campaign-finance deadlines. So Gessler eliminated the biweekly requirement for next year’s primaries.
The committee voted 8-2 Wednesday to overturn Gessler’s decision. The full Legislature still has to endorse the committee’s vote next year.
Because of the committee’s action, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Hobbs said Gessler simply would repeal the whole rule, which would force legislators to start filing biweekly reports in January.
Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, criticized Gessler and Hobbs.
“It smacks a little of retribution, frankly, to take an action like that ... based on what 10 of us do today,” Roberts said.
The Legislature might have time to enact a quick fix to the law when it convenes in January, Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, said Thursday.
jhanel@durangoherald.com

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