Our View: Vote ‘no’ on Amendment 65
October 9, 2012
Amendment 65 is a toothless attempt to get Colorado lawmakers and the federal government to limit campaign contributions and spending. As such, it has no place in Colorado's constitution or revised statutes. Vote "no" on Amendment 65.
Born largely out of the Supreme Court's controversial 2010 Citizens United decision that ruled the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the campaign financing and spending rights of corporations and unions, Amendment 65 is a misguided stab at establishing limits on such contributions and spending. In short, the amendment would require Colorado lawmakers to support a federal constitutional amendment limiting campaign contributions and spending, and it would "instruct" the state's congressional delegation to propose such a constitutional amendment.
Here's the complete ballot language voters will see:
"Shall there be amendments to the Colorado constitution and the Colorado revised statutes concerning support by Colorado's legislative representatives for a federal constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending, and, in connection therewith, instructing Colorado's congressional delegation to propose and support, and the members of Colorado's state legislature to ratify, an amendment to the United States constitution that allows congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending?"
We understand the frustration of citizens worried about the impact of limitless campaign spending on the electoral process. But Amendment 65 would have zero practical effect. All it does is ask Colorado lawmakers to support a federal constitutional amendment; it cannot compel them to do so.
Fortunately, voters do have a say in pushing the issue on campaign finance laws — they can advocate for congressional candidates who will lobby Congress to enact change.
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As we have said time and again throughout the years, there should be a high threshold that must be surpassed in order to amend the Colorado constitution. Amendment 65, with no practical impact, doesn't do it. Vote "no" on Amendment 65.