This is really good news: Colorado Supreme Court upholds “magic words” test for political spending by 527s. That sounds strange, but here’s what it means:
Handing political organizations known as 527s a big victory heading into the 2012 election, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the groups should not be limited in how much money they may accept from donors if their political advertisements don’t include so-called magic words such as “vote for” or “elect.”
Ads that simply state a candidate’s position on an issue or that include flattering — or not-so flattering — things about a candidate but don’t include the “magic words” established in an earlier U.S. Supreme Court ruling are considered free speech, the unanimous court found.
Attorney Mario Nicolais, who argued before the court on behalf of the Senate Majority Fund and the Colorado Leadership Fund, called the case “a complete victory for the defendants and free speech.”
This seems to be a really great ruling for free speech in Colorado’s elections! I loved this quote from “attorney Jason Dunn, who represents the Colorado Leadership Fund”:
“Voters clearly wanted a bright line as to when expressing their opinion about issues of the day crosses into regulated political speech. To do otherwise would chill political speech, resulting in everyday citizens being unable to know when simply expressing their opinion on issues of the day becomes regulated speech subject to the complex world of campaign-finance law and its penalties for any misstep.”
You can read the whole story here.