Sunday, October 3, 2010

Beat: Money in Colorado Politics

Money is an important issue in politics because there is heated debate about whether it should be regarded as speech.

Some, such as those at the Independence Institute, believe in a free-market approach to elections, so that individuals and groups can support candidates with their money if they choose to do so. As the group's website says, "the Institute addresses a broad variety of public policy issues from a free-market, pro-freedom perspective."

The Independence Institute is holding a dinner on Thursday, Oct. 7 that will be a good event to cover for this beat.

Others, like Colorado Ethics Watch, aim to eliminate the sway of special interest money in politics to protect the sanctity of the individual voter against wealthy and powerful organizations and companies. The group says that it "targets government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests."

Both of these groups will be good sources to contact for information on money in Colorado races.

Also, Lawrence Lessig, digital communications scholar and political activist, writes a blog that will be a good source of information on this topic. Though Lessig's work won't be specific to Colorado, it will have valuable insights on the broader issue of government regulation versus a free-market system of campaign finance.

Candidates in Colorado races, such as Ken Buck and Michael Bennet in the race for Senate and Tom Tancredo, Dan Maes and John Hickenlooper in the race for governor, will also be important sources for information.

These candidates are holding events in the next week that will be good to cover for this beat.

Michael Bennet is holding a press event on Wednesday, Oct. 6, and he and Ken Buck are participating in a Pueblo Chieftain debate on Thursday, Oct. 7.

John Hickenlooper and Dan Maes are participating in a debate on Thursday, Oct. 7 for Channel 7.

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