October 22, 2017

Colorado Supreme Court: School District Did Not Give Thing of Value to Any One Candidate

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Keim v. Douglas County Public Schools on Monday, July 3, 2017.

Campaign Finance—Fair Campaign Practices Act—Campaign Contributions.

The supreme court reviewed the court of appeals’ conclusion that a school district did not make a prohibited campaign contribution in a school board election campaign under C.R.S. § 1-45-117(1)(a) of Colorado’s Fair Campaign Practices Act and article XXVIII, § 2(5)(a)(IV) of the Colorado Constitution. Under § 2(5)(a)(IV), a “contribution” requires that (1) something of value (2) be given to a candidate, directly or indirectly, (3) for the purpose of promoting the candidate’s nomination, retention, recall, or election. Here, the school district commissioned and paid for a report supportive of the district’s reform agenda using public funds. However, because the school district did not give something, directly or indirectly, to any candidate when it publicly disseminated an email containing a link to the report, the court concluded that the school district did not make a prohibited contribution under these Colorado campaign finance provisions. The court therefore affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

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