Issue Position: An Open and Accountable Government

Issue Position

By:  Daniel Pabon
Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Location: Unknown

January's Supreme Court Decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission overturns a century of limits on corporate spending in elections (including judicial elections) and opened up our political system to a campaign cash free-for-all. The court's narrow 5-4 conservative majority has effectively opened the flood gates to corporate shareholder money to advance special interest candidates and causes, threatening to overpower our voice as ordinary citizens.

What this means for Northwest Denver is that the limits on corporate money that could influence elected candidates, are now in jeopardy. Let me be clear, I believe the Court's decision is wrong. In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens accused the majority of judicial activism and attacked the use of corporate personhood in the case: "The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court's disposition of this case." I share Justice Stevens' concerns and believe this decision presents a radical challenge to the notion of government of, for, and by the people.

As your representative, I will do everything in my power to protect laws limiting special interest money in politics. The time to act is now, as Republican lawyers have already begun to challenge the legality of Colorado laws designed to prohibit corporate contributions and candidate disclosures of campaign contributions. We need representatives willing to walk-the-walk, not just talk-the-talk when it comes to the ideals of transparency and ethics, and I ask you to join me in this very personal cause.

My time on the Obama presidential transition team was spent drafting the president's first executive orders establishing sweeping ethics reforms and transparency guidelines in the federal government. I pledge to show the same dedication to open and honest government in Colorado. We must also defend and strengthen Colorado's Independent Ethics Commission and requirements for lobbyist disclosure. The driving force behind my campaign for the State House is the belief that a united community, with citizens organized and raising their voices together, can make their government work for the people. As your representative, I will work to bring more citizen participation in state government and join you to be your community voice for Northwest Denver.

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