A Steamboat Springs school board member frustrated that he couldn’t find out until after an election how much outside groups poured into to elect their favorite board candidates watched Wednesday as Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an accountability bill into law.
Roger Good testified on behalf of House Bill 1282 at a Senate committee hearing — he would have been at the House hearing, too, he said, but he was out of state.
“I wanted to be a voice for rural Colorado,” Good said after the bill signing.
House Bill 1282 bill requires the disclosure of independent expenditures of more than $1,000 within 60 days prior to the election. It also requires disclosure of spending on advertisements, billboards and direct mailings. It does not deal with individual donations to candidates; a bill to limit those contributions died.
Currently, information about independent expenditures in school board races has to be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office quarterly, including a report on Oct. 15 before the November election. But the next report doesn’t have to be filed until Jan. 15 of the following year, allowing donations throughout October and early November to be kept quiet until after the election.
That’s why Good got involved.
“Anyone should be able to give whatever they want to any candidate they want, but it’s in the public’s best interest to know who’s giving,” Good told his hometown paper, the Steamboat Springs Pilot & Today, on Wednesday.
“It was great,” said County Clerk Sharon Dubois. “I introduced Wayne to everyone — of course, it’s Baca County so I knew everyone.”
Williams, other county elected officials and state Sen. Larry Crowder participated in a town hall meeting at the courthouse in Springfield.
Baca — which the locals and longtime Coloradans pronounce Back-uh — boasts a population of 3,682 people and the towns of Springfield, Walsh, Campo, Prichett, Two Buttes and Vilas. It borders New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. Baca County is so remote that Dubois said she tells new ministers it probably feels like they’re on a mission.
“We’re closer to Amarillo, Texas, than we are to Pueblo,” she said. “But we’re still Colorado. I just wish they’d quit standing in front of Springfield when they give the weather report.”
Colorado’s newest lieutenant governor has already appointed a judge, learned how to do the Ute tribal bear dance and reached out to her other colleagues in the executive branch, including Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.
Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne has met with Williams, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Treasurer Walker Stapleton, as well as various lawmakers and cabinet secretaries.
“I want to extend my hand and my ear,” Lynne said, after her meeting today with the secretary of state in his office.
“I appreciate Donna’s reaching out,” Williams said, “and I look forward to working with her to help Colorado government offer better service to its citizens.”