Aurora Mayor Michael Coffman is suing his city for clamping down on freedom of speech by making it illegal for elected officials to campaign for other candidates or speak their mind on ballot issues.

The city council passed the campaign restrictions as part of a larger measure setting new restrictions on campaign fundraising, which Coffman supported — $400 for a ward race or $1,000 for at-large and mayoral races.

Representing Coffman in the lawsuit is the Public Trust Institute:

“A person doesn’t give up his rights just because he decides to run for office. Mike Coffman has a constitutional right to encourage his friends and neighbors to vote a particular way, to volunteer for other people’s campaigns, and to voice his opinions on the issues just like anyone else,” said Dan Burrows, the Institute’s legal director. “If you think it’s okay for the government (to) stop someone from doing that, I’m not sure how you got through high school civics.” 

Coffman says the provisions were directly targeted at him, and designed to silence him in upcoming elections.