1-45-108.5. Political organizations – disclosure
Overview of Statute
Any political organization must report to the appropriate officer. The report must include any contributions it receives, including the name and address of any individual who has contributed $20.00 or more during the reporting period. They must also include the occupation and employer of each natural person who also made a contribution of $100.00 or more to the political organization. The political organization must also report any spending more than $20.00. No political organization may accept or spend, in currency or coin, a contribution exceeding $100.00.
(1) Any political organization shall report to the appropriate officer in accordance with the requirements of sections 1-45-108 and 1-45-109:
(a) Any contributions it receives, including the name and address of each person who has contributed twenty dollars or more to the political organization in the reporting period, and the occupation and employer of each natural person who has made a contribution of one hundred dollars or more to the political organization; and
(b) Any spending by the political organization that exceeds twenty dollars in any one reporting period.
(2) No political organization shall accept a contribution, or undertake spending, in currency or coin exceeding one hundred dollars.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to:
(a) Require any political organization to make any additional disclosure pursuant to this section to the extent the political organization is already providing disclosure as a committee or political party in a manner that satisfies the requirements of sections 1-45-108 and 1-45-109; or
(b) Authorize the secretary of state to require disclosure of the name of any natural person that is a member of an entity unless the natural person has made a contribution to a political organization in the amount of twenty dollars or more in a reporting period.
Source: L. 2007: Entire section added, p. 1225, § 3, effective July 1.
Colorado Federation of Republican Women, 527 organization, $25,000 threshold.
1. Definition for 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.
2. Definition for 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.
3. Definition for Appropriate officer
The individual with whom a candidate, candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, or issue committee must file pursuant to section 1-45-109(1), C.R.S., or any successor section. Section 2(1) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.
4. Definition for Political organization
Any group of registered electors who, by petition for nomination of an unaffiliated candidate as provided in section 1-4-802, places upon the official general election ballot nominees for public office. C.R.S. § 1-1-104.
Alternate Meaning for Art. 45:
A political organization defined in section 527 (e) (1) of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended, that is engaged in influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to any state or local public office in the state and that is exempt, or intends to seek any exemption, from taxation pursuant to section 527 of the internal revenue code. “Political organization” shall not be construed to have the same meaning as “political organization” as defined in section 1-1-104 (24) for purposes of the “Uniform Election Code of 1992”, articles 1 to 13 of this title.
C.R.S. § 1-45-103
5. Definition for 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.
6. Definition for 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.
7. Definition for Section
A bound compilation of initiative forms approved by the secretary of state, which shall include pages that contain the warning required by section 1-40-110 (1), the ballot title, the abstract required by section 1-40-110 (3), and a copy of the proposed measure; succeeding pages that contain the warning, the ballot title, and ruled lines numbered consecutively for registered electors’ signatures; and a final page that contains the affidavit required by section 1-40-111 (2). Each section shall be consecutively prenumbered by the petitioner prior to circulation.
8. Definition for Spending
Funds expended influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to any state or local public office in the state and includes, without limitation, any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value by any political organization, a contract, promise, or agreement to expend funds made or entered into by any political organization, or any electioneering communication by any political organization. C.R.S. § 1-45-103.
9. Definition for Secretary
The Colorado secretary of state. C.R.S. § 1-1.5-102.
10. Definition for Committee
The committee of signers described in section 1-12-108(2). C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.
Case Name: Colo. Ethics Watch v. Gessler
Citation: 363 P.3d 727 (Colo. App. 2013)
Case Summary: Holding that the following rule is arbitrary and capricious, because the 30% threshold was unsupported by competent evidence in the record: "In order to determine whether an issue committee has a 'major purpose"' under the constitutional and statutory definitions, [determine whether] a demonstrated pattern of conduct is established where the organization's annual expenditures in support of or in opposition to ballot issues or ballot questions exceed 30% of the organization's total spending during the same period." Holding that Secretary of State did not have the authority to add a "major purpose" requirement, because the constitutional definition of "political committees" is clear and unambiguous. Holding that Secretary of State's rules improperly eliminated the statutory distinction between a political organization and a political committee.
Regulations & Guidance
Campaign and Political Finance Penalty Summary: https://perma.cc/98DG-R7PF