This year, the non-partisan 2012 DU Strategic Issues Panel will examine the explosive growth of money in politics and assess its impact on our democracy, both in Colorado and across the nation.
The central questions before the panel are:
"To what degree, if any, should campaign finance be regulated?"
"If regulation is desirable, what form should it take?"
While campaign finance has been debated for more than one hundred years in the United States, the 2012 election cycle has brought the debate to the forefront of many political conversations. The intersection of recent court rulings with federal, state and local laws, along with the rise of new political entities such as SuperPACs, have amplified the dialogue. The topic of campaign finance deserves careful study, factually-based perspectives and reasoned discourse. Providing a forum for such thoughtful discussion is the purpose of the Strategic Issues Program.
As with prior panels, this year's Campaign Finance Panel is non-partisan and composed of accomplished citizens from various segments of the community. Panel members are appointed by the Chancellor of the University of Denver. Through a process of informed dialogue, the panel will attempt to reach a consensus and provide its recommendations on the issue.
Beginning in fall 2012, a number of local and national speakers will address the panel on the topic of campaign finance from multiple perspectives. Panel members will weigh the research and opinions presented and engage in discussions based on the information received and each panelist's own views and experience. They will identify goals to be achieved and problems to be solved, make findings of fact, and develop recommendations for campaign finance policies.
As with other Strategic Issues Panels, the 2012 Campaign Finance Panel is free to develop such conclusions as panel members consider appropriate. The panel's final report, to be issued in mid-2013, will be widely shared with the general public, the media, public officials, business and community leaders and other interested parties.