The Commission is made up of five members who serve four year terms. One appointment each is made by the Colorado House, the Colorado Senate, the governor, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court. The fifth member must be a local elected official or local government employee appointed by a vote of three of the other four members. The partisan alignment of the commissioners is also limited in order to decrease partisan control. No more than two members can be registered with the same political party.
There are two areas where the commission should be improved. First, the IEC was never fully funded. Amendment 41 directed the General Assembly to pass implementation legislation, but because legislators were fiercely opposed to the measure, the approved bill did not provide full funding to the commission. The commissioners are volunteers and the IEC has only enough money for one staff person. These resources are inadequate for enforcing our ethics laws. Ideally, IEC staff could research each issue facing the commission, provide high quality training to public employees, and provide legal representation for complainants in front of the commission.
A new challenge to the authority of the IEC is coming in the form of litigation to reduce its jurisdiction. Although Amendment 41 plainly gives the IEC authority enforce all standards of conduct in the law, the Colorado Secretary of State is seeking a court order limiting the commission to enforcing the lobbyist gift ban in Amendment 41. This jurisdiction problem is exacerbated by the current makeup of the commission, whose members also wish to reduce their jurisdiction.