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Colorado Amendment 65 seeks to limit political campaign contributions and spending

By Nick Evans
On November 5, 2012

  • An artistic long-exposure photo of the Kress Cinema, located in downtown Greeley along 8th Avenue. Jaisee Starr | The Mirror


Colorado is one of two states with proposed amendments to limit political campaign contributions and spending for state and national elections.
Colorado Amendment 65 states Colorado's legislative representatives should support federal legislation for campaign finance limits for contributions and spending.
"I voted for Amendment 65 because it makes elections fair," said Richard Leamen, a University of Denver professor. "If passed, Amendment 65 would instruct our state senators and representatives to propose and support a constitutional amendment to limit political campaign contributions and spending."
The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics estimates that in 2012, a whopping $5.8 billion was spent on the 2012 elections.  More than $1.8 billion was spent on congressional elections alone. 
The official web site - sponsored by Colorado Common Cause - explains further why the amendment is of great importance. 
"By saying that money is a form of free speech, the Court is using the First Amendment to bless political corruption," the site reads. If passed, this Amendment could "promote a level playing field and ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, have an opportunity to speak."
There is no official Vote No on 65 website. The main argument against Amendment 65 is that it is simply too vague with no accountability by simply asking Colorado lawmakers to support federal legislation limiting campaign contributions and spending - lawmakers would not be required to do anything but "support" campaign spending limitations.  
Other opponents claim it is in violation of the First Amendment. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects all campaign financing and spending rights of corporations and union. 
In the political arena, Colorado is considered a battleground state - a state that has voters relatively evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Colorado and Montana are the only states in this 2012 election season with campaign spending amendments.

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