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University of Denver Strategic Issues Program Uses Consensus-Based Model to Address Campaign Finance Reform


Reaching Practical Solutions for Money and Elections Post Citizens United

DENVER – Nov. 12, 2013 – The University of Denver Strategic Issues Program (SIP) today releases its report on campaign finance. The report, Money, Elections and Citizens United: Campaign Finance Reform for Colorado, represents a year of study by a non-partisan panel of 19 accomplished business, community and academic leaders drawn from across the state. The SIP Panel worked to find practical solutions and provide recommendations dealing with reforms designed to improve the electoral marketplace in Colorado and at the national level. The work was funded by the University as part of its ongoing commitment to support the public good.

During its process, the panel received 13 presentations from state, national and international campaign finance experts, including Secretary of State Scott Gessler, Former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Andrew Romanoff, Senior Legal Counsel for the Campaign Legal Center Paul Ryan and Legal Director for the Center for Competitive Politics Allen Dickerson. In addition to receiving presentations, panel members reviewed a wide range of written materials and held extensive discussions on the impact of money on elections in Colorado and the nation.

True to the panel's mission of setting partisan viewpoints aside, the enclosed report reflects the consensus of the University of Denver Strategic Issues Panel on campaign finance reform. The panel's 14 recommendations provide a practical approach to campaign finance policy in Colorado and nationally, and focus on three key areas: money in elections, expanded disclosure and leveling the playing field.

"When addressing the issue of campaign finance, reforms need to accommodate an environment where unlimited political contributions and spending are the dominant reality," said panel chair James Griesemer.

A copy of the full report, along with video presentations from experts who provided information to the panel, is available online at www.du.edu/issues.

"We hope that the work of the panel and the ideas presented in this report will stimulate an informed discussion among citizens and their elected representatives, one that can improve the electoral marketplace and strengthen our democracy," said University of Denver Chancellor Robert Coombe.