Goldwater Institute-backed effort challenges campaign finance rules changed by city in September
Matt Miller, an attorney for the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute,= discusses a lawsuit filed by the group challenging part of the Denver campaign finance law. With him outside the Denver City and County Building on Dec. 13, 2017, are Marty Neilson, left, of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, and Penn R. Pfiffner from the TABOR Committee.
Two conservative taxpayer advocacy groups filed suit Wednesday against Denver over campaign finance disclosure rules that they say will violate the privacy rights of their donors when the groups get involved in city elections.
The lawsuit, filed by the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute on behalf of the two groups, says changes approved by the City Council in September violate the free speech provision of the First Amendment. The city ordinance requires clubs, associations, corporations and groups that advocate for or against local ballot measures to meet the disclosure requirements of issue committees once they raise and spend at least $500.
Once it passes that threshold, an issue committee must identify by name and address each donor who gave $50 or more within that calendar year.
“We have donors who like to remain anonymous, and we’d like to honor their requests,” said Marty Neilson of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers. “We think this is an unconstitutional ordinance.”