Nothing shines a light on problems quite like a scandal. If we're lucky, it means that we take a closer look at not only the issue that makes the headlines, but the issue ecosystem. The recent back and forth about IRS incompetence regarding screening 501 (c)4 groups has prompted a secondary discussion about the very nature of many of these groups -- that, increasingly, they are being used as vehicles to the hide the money raised to buy elections.
In Colorado and Washington DC, strong campaign finance laws were passed to rein in Big Money's influence on elections. Now those laws are under attack from powerful interests who aren't afraid to get creative when it comes to hiding their actions. To make matters worse, they are supported by an out of touch and activist Supreme Court.
The people get it, but our leaders don't. Just look at the lack of action by the Colorado congressional delegation after explicit instructions from their voters to do something about the problem of money in politics. As the Denver Post's Curtis Hubbard reminds us, 74% of Colorado voters said yes to Amendment 65.
I don't mean to excuse or even ignore the IRS's loathsome targeting of the conservative groups, but the role of unchecked money in politics also merits scrutiny.
Colorado voters last year tasked our congressional delegation with doing something about the issue.
Amendment 65, which directed the lawmakers to support a constitutional amendment that would rid our system of unlimited spending by corporations and labor groups, was supported by nearly 74 percent of voters.
How amazing is that?
You could ask if John Elway is the best quarterback in Denver Broncos history and very likely not get 3 out of 4 people to agree (silly Tebow fans, but I digress).
The fact that there has been little to no response on Amendment 65 is an indication that our elected representatives are no longer fully representing us. Its not too late for our congressional delegation to stand up for their constituents and fight back against big money in politics. I hope our congressional delegation is reading.
Office: Colorado Common Cause