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Follow the Money: Not Just for Journalists

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The old expression, “follow the money,” which comes from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigation of Watergate in the 1970s, is one way to unearth political scandal. And, it seems, state Senator Morgan Carroll, an Aurora Democrat, thinks investigative journalists should not be needed if citizens want to know where the money in politics is going.

That’s why she’s introduced Senate Bill 203, which would require labor unions and corporations that spend more than $1,000 on a state political campaign to register with the Secretary of State’s Office and disclose how much is being spent, who is receiving the money, and where it is coming from, according to the Denver Daily News.

The bill, which would open records for anyone in the public to see, was introduced as a response to January’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance that, in turn, led the state Supreme Court in March to void a state law barring corporations and unions from taking sides in elections. The bill also aims to close a loophole that allows foreign companies to bet on elections.

Some Republicans are open to the reporting requirements, but they warn “Democrats not to politicize the effort in the waning days of the session, which ends May 12,” according to The Denver Post. House Minority Leader Mike May, a Parker Republican, tells the Durango Herald he couldn’t say whether he supports the bill because he has not seen it. In principle, he says he supports transparency.

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