The Colorado Springs Gazette published my latest op-ed on Colorado's campaign laws. In this piece, I address the question of whether the public's alleged "right to know" the financial details of political advocacy can justify the violation of the individual right of free speech. Obviously I argue it cannot.
Colorado's campaign laws violate free speech in two different ways, I review in the piece. First, they force the citizen activist to jump through bureaucratic hoops, and suffer possible law suits, in order to run a funded campaign for or against any ballot measure. Second, the campaign laws outlaw anonymous speech regarding such campaigns.
I therefore conclude, "The fact that the public’s alleged 'right to know' clashes with the fundamental human right of free speech indicates that there simply is no public 'right to know' regarding details about private citizens. It is only a legal entitlement masquerading as a right." People do have the right to disclose their financial details if they wish and to evaluate campaigns based on disclosures.
On May 13, the Secretary of State's office announced that it had adopted the rule change discussed in the piece, raising the "trigger" amount for issue-group reporting from $200 to $5,000.
Please read the entire piece for details. See also the Grand Junction Free Press article by my dad and me that examines the same issue from another angle.