2020 Successful Election Code Changes
Striving to remove the implied indebtedness of elected officials to large campaign contributors is very important in local governments as well as state and federal levels. Furthermore, limiting campaign contributions encourages diversity of candidates.
Advocating with Represent Fort Collins, the League of Women Voters of Larimer County achieved the following rule changes at the City level:
• contributions from an LLC are now capped within the LLC owner's individual contribution limits
• limits on contributions to political committees
• elimination of non-itemized contributions, or "fish-bowl parties”
The new rules mirror state law. They also more accurately reflect the City’s own legislative declaration that large campaign contributions create at least an appearance of corruption. Prior to this, campaign finance reports show at least one individual had bypassed individual limits by donating through many LLCs they lead. One individual donating from multiple LLCs unfairly amplifies one person’s voice many times over one individual who does not own LLCs and this will no longer be a potential strategy for campaign funding of elections.
The combined total contribution limits are now $100 for mayoral campaigns and $75 for those campaigning to be city council members.
Our League has much appreciation for our local ally Represent Fort Collins, a grassroots group that has persistently pursued limiting the influence of money in politics.
City Council to consider election finance changes City Council: 'LLC's are not constituents'
2018 Success Story: City Council Elections
The Election Reform team with Represent Fort Collins and the community successfully advocated City Council for an increase of the Independent Expenditures limit from $100 to $250 (down from the proposed $1,000 threshold) and a "paid for by" requirement on all campaign communications from both registered committees and individuals.
After City Council voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations, City Council member Kristin Stephens said, “The community has clearly spoken to say they want more transparency”. Coloradoan article on open transparency
Special thanks to League members Marge Norskog, Jody DesChenes & Robbie Moreland from Represent Fort Collins, for being outstanding citizens who affected City policy for full and timely disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures. The City’s Elections Code Committee decided to change procedure and make their meetings open to the public with citizen input at the beginning of meetings. You no longer need an invite to attend ECC meetings. Represent FC has determined that the integrity of our City elections is dependent upon citizen review and will continue to do so.
Listen to our KRFC interview on campaign finance reform at the local level with Robbie Moreland and Jody DesChenes from Represent Fort Collins: KRFC Represent Fort Collins 2020 Interview