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Ethics Watch Complaint Makes It To Colo. Supreme Court

LAW WEEK COLORADO

DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to review a campaign-finance complaint filed by Colorado Ethics Watch against two 527 groups that backed Republican candidates in the 2008 general election.

It’s the first Ethics Watch case to make it to the state’s highest court. Ethics Watch accused the Senate Majority Fund and Colorado Leadership fund of expressly advocating for candidates without registering with the Colorado Secretary of State as political committees. The state Court of Appeals dismissed the case, finding there was no express advocacy because phrases like “vote for” or “defeat” were not used.

In granting Ethics Watch’s request for review, the Supreme Court will consider: “Whether the court of appeals properly interpreted and applied ‘for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate’ as it appears in the definition of ‘expenditure’ in article XXVIII, section 2(8)(a) of the Colorado Constitution.”

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