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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Fair Campaign Practices Act

1-45-105.5. Contributions to members of general assembly and governor during consideration of legislation

Overview of Statute

No lobbyist can make, or promise to make, a contribution or promise to solicit a contribution for members of the state legislature, governor or a candidate for governor, or other high-level officers for the state government during regular session. These restrictions also apply to the governor’s office when these offices are charged with making certain policy-based decisions. However, lobbyists may still raise money with only limited restrictions. Other restrictions also apply to a lobbyist’s ability to provide meals to members of the state government.

Statute

(1) (a) No professional lobbyist, volunteer lobbyist, or principal of a professional lobbyist or volunteer lobbyist shall make or promise to make a contribution to, or solicit or promise to solicit a contribution for:

(I) A member of the general assembly or candidate for the general assembly, when the general assembly is in regular session;

(II) (A) The governor or a candidate for governor when the general assembly is in regular session or when any measure adopted by the general assembly in a regular session is pending before the governor for approval or disapproval; or

(B) The lieutenant governor, the secretary of state, the state treasurer, the attorney general, or a candidate for any of such offices when the general assembly is in regular session.

(b) As used in this subsection (1):

(I) “Principal” means any person that employs, retains, engages, or uses, with or without compensation, a professional or volunteer lobbyist. One does not become a principal, nor may one be considered a principal, merely by belonging to an organization or owning stock in a corporation that employs a lobbyist.

(II) The terms “professional lobbyist” and “volunteer lobbyist” shall have the meanings ascribed to them in section 24-6-301, C.R.S.

(c) (I) Nothing contained in this subsection (1) shall be construed to prohibit lobbyists and their principals from raising money when the general assembly is in regular session or when regular session legislation is pending before the governor, except as specifically prohibited in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1).

(II) Nothing contained in this subsection (1) shall be construed to prohibit a lobbyist or principal of a lobbyist from participating in a fund-raising event of a political party when the general assembly is in regular session or when regular session legislation is pending before the governor, so long as the purpose of the event is not to raise money for specifically designated members of the general assembly, specifically designated candidates for the general assembly, the governor, or specifically designated candidates for governor.

(III) A payment by a lobbyist or a principal of a lobbyist to a political party to participate in such a fund-raising event shall be reported as a contribution to the political party pursuant to section 1-45-108; except that, if the lobbyist or principal of a lobbyist receives a meal in return for a portion of the payment, only the amount of the payment in excess of the value of the meal shall be considered a contribution to the political party. The political party shall determine the value of the meal received for such payment, which shall approximate the actual value of the meal.

(IV) A gift of a meal described in subparagraph (III) of this paragraph (c) by a lobbyist or a principal of a lobbyist to a candidate elected to any office described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) but who has not yet been sworn into such office shall be reported as follows:

(A) The lobbyist shall report the value of the meal in the lobbyist disclosure statement filed pursuant to section 24-6-302, C.R.S.

(B) The elected candidate who has not yet been sworn into office shall report the value of the meal in the public official disclosure statement filed pursuant to section 24-6-203, C.R.S.

 

 

Source: L. 2000: Entire section added with relocations, p. 118, § 1, effective March 15.L. 2012: IP(1)(c)(IV) and (1)(c)(IV)(B) amended, (HB 12-1070), ch. 167, p. 586, § 5, effective August 8.

 

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-45-104 (13) as it existed prior to 2000.
Definition [Corporation]

A domestic corporation incorporated under and subject to the “Colorado Business Corporation Act”, articles 101 to 117 of title 7, C.R.S., a domestic nonprofit corporation incorporated under and subject to the “Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act”, articles 121 to 137 of title 7, C.R.S., or any corporation incorporated under and subject to the laws of another state. For purposes of this article, “domestic corporation” shall mean a for-profit or nonprofit corporation incorporated under and subject to the laws of this state, and “nondomestic corporation” shall mean a corporation incorporated under and subject to the laws of another state or foreign country. For purposes of this article, “corporation” includes the parent of a subsidiary corporation or any subsidiaries of the parent, as applicable. C.R.S. § 1-45-103.

Definition [Contribution]

(a) (I) The payment, loan, pledge, gift, or advance of money, or guarantee of a loan, made to any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party;

(II) Any payment made to a third party for the benefit of any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party;

(III) The fair market value of any gift or loan of property made to any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee or political party;

(IV) Anything of value given, directly or indirectly, to a candidate for the purpose of promoting the candidate’s nomination, retention, recall, or election.

(b) “Contribution” does not include services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, issue committee, or political party; a transfer by a membership organization of a portion of a member’s dues to a small donor committee or political committee sponsored by such membership organization; or payments by a corporation or labor organization for the costs of establishing, administering, and soliciting funds from its own employees or members for a political committee or small donor committee.

Section 2(5) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

 

C.R.S. § 1-45-103 further adds:

(b) “Contribution” includes, with regard to a contribution for which the contributor receives compensation or consideration of less than equivalent value to such contribution, including, but not limited to, items of perishable or nonpermanent value, goods, supplies, services, or participation in a campaign-related event, an amount equal to the value in excess of such compensation or consideration as determined by the candidate committee.

(c) “Contribution” also includes:

(I) Any payment, loan, pledge, gift, advance of money, or guarantee of a loan made to any political organization;

(II) Any payment made to a third party on behalf of and with the knowledge of the political organization; or

(III) The fair market value of any gift or loan of property made to any political organization.

C.R.S. § 1-45-103.

Definition [Political party]

Any group of registered electors who, by petition or assembly, nominate candidates for the official general election ballot. “Political party” includes affiliated party organizations at the state, county, and election district levels, and all such affiliates are considered to be a single entity for the purposes of this article, except as otherwise provided in section 7. Section 2(13) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [Person]

Any natural person, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, political party, or other organization or group of persons. Section 2(11) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

Definition [Secretary]

The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.

Definition [Candidate]

Any person who seeks nomination or election to any state or local public office that is to be voted on in this state at any primary election, general election, school district election, special district election, or municipal election. “Candidate” also includes a judge or justice of any court of record who seeks to be retained in office pursuant to the provisions of section 25 of article VI. A person is a candidate for election if the person has publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office or retention of a judicial office and thereafter has received a contribution or made an expenditure in support of the candidacy. A person remains a candidate for purposes of this article so long as the candidate maintains a registered candidate committee. A person who maintains a candidate committee after an election cycle, but who has not publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office in the next or any subsequent election cycle, is a candidate for purposes of this article. Section 2(2) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

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