Posted on August 23rd, 2007 in Colorado Politics, General | Written by Ben | No Comments »
With stories yesterday and today, Face The State brings out the 1-2 punch, exposing the bonus Democrats get from groups that exploit Colorado’s campaign law, and then highlighting an effort by some local governments to clean up the act. From yesterday:
During the last election, the nation’s largest unions utilized a loophole in Colorado’s campaign finance laws that allowed them to give millions of dollars in anonymous political contributions to Democrat candidatesâ€”all while never revealing the name of a single individual donor.
For the Service Employees International Union, the nation’s largest union with more than 1.6 million members, this setup allowed its leadership to transfer portions of membership dues to small donor committees without member knowledge or consent, and without donor names ever being publicly disclosed. According to the SEIU, it’s Colorado membership stands at about 5,000 workers but with the aid of national member dues, it was able to pump nearly $1 million into the campaign coffers of union-supporting candidates. That comes out to almost $200 per Colorado member.
So much for clean elections. At least a few local governments are trying to make a dent in stopping the problem. As Face The State reports today, several Colorado counties don’t want their public payroll systems to be used facilitating these political transactions:
This summer, four counties have enacted policy changes that limit withholdings from paychecks to include only employee benefits, court-ordered garnishments, and annually authorized charitable contributions. The net effect: Unions will not be able to use government payroll systems to deduct member dues.
Under the new system, employees in all four counties can still arrange through banks or other private financial services to make automatic dues payments. Proponents argue that it protects the privacy of employee earnings, while also keeping government out of the business of raising political money.
The state’s majority Democrat Party owes a lot to the special interest groups funneling anonymous contributions into their campaigns. Read both these articles to learn more.
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