AURORA | Campaign contributions could go to much more than a candidate’s campaign under a new measure that received initial approval from Aurora City Council during a study session Monday, Nov. 9.
The ordinance, proposed by Councilwoman Renie Peterson, would allow unexpended campaign contributions to a candidate committee to be contributed to an issue committee for the purpose of supporting or opposing any local ballot issue or ballot question.
“Down the road, we’re going to have to ask for an increase to take care of roads. It would be helpful if some of us could donate our leftover campaign funds,” she said as her reason for proposing the measure.
The City Council also voted to amend the measure so that leftover campaign contributions could not go to political parties.
“If we’re nonpartisan and our actions are nonpartisan, why would we sanction contributing our funds to a political party?” asked Councilwoman Molly Markert, who asked for political parties to be removed from the measure.
Aurora City Attorney Mike Hyman said the city is relying on a 2003 opinion issued by former Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, who ruled in elections conducted by home-rule municipalities such as Aurora, the practice would be legal.
“To the best of my knowledge, no opinions have been issued by either of Mr. Salazar’s successors on this particular topic,” Hyman said before the meeting.
The measure still needs final approval and will go to a regular city council session next.