10/6/08

Curbing gov't-political fraud in Colorado

More fraud stories: here

Amendment 54: Campaign Contributions from Certain Government Contractors.

This amendment would prohibit particular government contractors from making campaign contributions during the contract’s duration and two years following. Government projects contract out to private-sector vendors, and though this is regulated by state law, sometimes a project can only be carried out by one provider because of specific constraints.

In this case, the prohibition of campaign contributions would only apply to those contractors with contract values greater than $100,000 in a single year that received three or fewer bids. It also covers labor organizations that represent public employees in a bargaining process. A sample of state contracts showed that about 6 percent of contracts had a value of $100,000 or more, and were not put to bid but awarded on the sole-source basis.

Proponents say this would promote civil trust and government transparency. It would prevent the influence of policy decisions being based on campaign contributions from labor, business unions and other covered government contracts. And, proponents say, it would promote a competitive bidding process for contracts, so that it’s more attractive to enter into these bids.

Opponents argue that the law’s broad scope could have far-reaching consequences; for example, one individual holding a contract in a certain local government could be punished for making a contribution in a separate jurisdiction. It also puts a burden on smaller communities, they say, where only one contractor may be available for projects.

(aspendailynews.com)

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