Colorado Likely to Be a Major Test for New SCOTUS Decision
Updated 4/4/2014 10:55AM: A previous version of this entry inaccurately encapsulated the SCOTUS decision.
The United States Supreme Court sent shockwaves across the nation this week when it announced its decision on a major campaign finance fundraising law. In short, SCOTUS ruled that a decades old law that limited how many campaigns an individual or corporation can donate to was unconstitutional.
Basically, the decision has taken away a key asset of every extremely rich person in America, the excuse that they are limited by law on how many campaigns they can contribute.
While this doesn’t affect 99% of us directly, it eventually will affect us all indirectly because we happen to live in one of the key focal points for the 2014 election.
Colorado’s 2014 election will feature one of the top ten most competitive Congressional races, if not the top race, in our Sixth Congressional District that pits Rep. Mike Coffman versus Andrew Romanoff. Our election will also include one of the top U.S. Senate races with Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. Cory Gardner. And just in case that wasn’t enough, Colorado voters will very likely also be asked if our state should ban fracking.
All three of those races will attract amounts of resources that Colorado elections have yet to see in our history, and we’ve seen some serious money spent in elections.
If anyone is wondering how the recent decision made by the Supreme Court may impact elections, they should not have to look any further than our own election here in Colorado.
And while Colorado is not home to the kind of millionaires and billionaires that maybe live in California, Texas or New York, we are home to more than most people think. Each of them can expect pressure from their political party of choice to participate at record levels this year.
What’s important to remember though is that even if not one millionaire in Colorado takes advantage of the new freedom produced by the SCOTUS decision, money from mega funders in other states will be pouring into Colorado in 2014.
If you are reading this and beginning to dread the 2014 election more than you already were, and wondering how we got so lucky, we have only ourselves to blame.
Colorado voters take great pride in how independent we are. As soon as one party thinks they own the electorate, voters are more than happy to prove them wrong. We’re a proud purple state and that distinction is not going to leave anytime soon.
So, the price we pay, for some funders, quite literally, is that we will be the target of millions of dollars from mega funders throughout our election season.
As annoying as political ads are, I think most Coloradans wouldn’t trade peace and quiet for becoming a predictable electorate. We like our independent streak and we don’t mind paying for it with our sanity.
But, with the floodgates opening thanks to the Supreme Court, our patience will be tested like it never has before.
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About The Blogger
– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here usually every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti is also the host and producer of the Emmy award winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television.