I appreciate and agree with Chris’s cogent LFCPA analysis here, but I would take it one step further: Repeal this local version, which has become a political football, and adopt by reference Colorado’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.
This would at least help channel enforcement procedures back into the judiciary, where they belong. And just how the Council could expand the election commission beyond that which is set by the Longmont City Charter, which cannot be amended without a vote of the people, is not clear. Here’s what the Charter says (and no, I’m not criticizing committee participants):
“2.2 REGISTRATIONS, JUDGES, CLERKS AND ELECTION COMMISSION
The Council shall by ordinance establish the method for the registration of electors; the qualifications and compensation of election judges and clerks, and the boundaries of election precincts. The Council may by ordinance establish an election commission consisting of the city clerk as chairman; and two additional members to be appointed by the Council with such powers, duties, terms and qualifications as provided by ordinance.”
I also believe that the voting public lost a lot of faith in the Fair Campaign laws when McCain tried to adhere to his McCain-Feingold principles and ended up spending $333 million on his campaign, while Obama spent $730 million on his. Don’t tell me that this huge amount was mostly in $5 and $10 donations. And no, I’m not in favor of taxpayer-funded campaigns.
Meanwhile, from the outside, one of the most unregulated and effective political weapons of all time, the Internet, is becoming increasingly involved in local campaigns. I don’t see anything in the LFCPA or anywhere else addressing that “lack of transparency.”