In his Sunday column, Denver Post editor Dan Haley discussed “cloak-and-dagger” Democrats:
The once-stealth cadre, united under the name Colorado Democracy Alliance, has not only heavily influenced state politics, it’s become a model Democrats want to replicate nationally. Nothing they’re doing is illegal, or at least it doesn’t appear to be, but it has changed politics and policy-making in Colorado for years to come.
Republicans last week could only stand by, slack-jawed and jealous. It was the type of operation they figured Democrats had.
Politically speaking, the operation is genius, as it funnels money from wealthy donors â€” sometimes tax-free â€” to push political causes. But, ultimately, all of this skirting of campaign finance laws is bad for a transparent and open democracy.
Except for questioning Haley’s claim that nothing the Colorado Democracy Alliance has done is illegal (check this out), I agree wholeheartedly.
Here is Dan Haley’s terrific – if not original – idea:
But wouldn’t it be easier if instead we stripped out all of the do-gooder campaign finance laws that have lessened accountability and made campaigns even nastier, and allow people to donate as much as they want as long as it’s instantly transparent? Donors’ names and occupations, along with their spouses’ information, could be posted on a website for all to see within hours of their donation.
We would know who’s donating and why. Those folks who fund scurrilous attacks could no longer hide behind 527s with benign-sounding names like Coloradans for the Children.
I propose we launch the citizens’ campaign here and now: a 2010 amendment repealing the campaign finance Amendment 27 of 2002 and enacting a simple transparent system in its place. It looks like we might be able to count on the Denver Post‘s endorsement.