Late yesterday, Compass Colorado filed a campaign finance complaint against Joint Budget Committee Chairwoman Crisanta Duran and a FEC complaint against U.S. Sen. Mark Udall for allegedly violating the Colorado constitution and federal campaign finance laws.
The gist of the complaint against Duran is that at a recent campaign event she accepted food and wine that was donated by a corporation, but she didn’t declare them as an in-kind contributions, which is a clear violation of the Colorado constitution. At that same event, Udall solicited donations for Duran, which is not allowed by the Federal Election Commission. Their rules allow federal candidates to attend non-federal events, but they prohibit solicitation of non-federal dollars.
From Compass’s press release:
“Representative Duran is a leader in her party, she chairs the powerful Joint Budget Committee, and yet still declines to follow our constitution,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado. “It’s time that we all follow the rules, even those people who get to make them. Duran is rumored as a contender for House Majority Leader if Democrats retain the House next year, are they really going to have a leader who doesn’t take the state constitution seriously?”
The Compass complaint also raises the question of whether or not Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is also guilty of the same misconduct as Udall. Earlier this month, she stumped for State Treasurer candidate and former Congresswoman Betsy Markey. If Wasserman Schultz asked for donations on Markey’s behalf, then she too is in violation of the law.
Now, we’re not saying there isn’t a certain arbitrariness to campaign finance laws. To be sure, there is need for an overhaul to create a more functional and transparent system. But until that happens, rules are rules. And when you make the laws, like Udall and Duran and Wasserman Schultz, it’s important to follow them.