Court: Gessler can’t change election disclosure rules

December 13, 2013
Photo: Carr Judicial Building(Photo: CPR/Pat Mack)
The Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are housed in the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in Denver. It's one of 57 buildings enrolled in the Denver City Energy Project.

In 2012, Gessler that issued reduced or eliminated disclosure requirements for some political committees. He also capped fines for failing to report major contributors just before an election. Colorado Ethics Watch and Colorado Common Cause sued to stop the changes.

Luis Toro, with the ethics group, says the court properly ruled it’s up to legislators to write or change those rules, not the Secretary of State. "He can’t rewrite Colorado’s disclosure laws to suit his own agenda," Toro said.

A spokesman for Gessler, Andrew Cole, says the Secretary of State wrote the new rules to comply with changing federal law.

"We’re attempting to administer a very complicated, very confusing campaign finance scheme that has serious Constitutional questions," Cole said.

Cole added that no decision has been made on whether to appeal the ruling.