How Corporate Money Talks in Colorado

January 22 2010, 11:29 AM

In a divided decision yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ended decades of restrictions on the role of corporations in elections, ruling that companies can spend as much as they see fit to support or oppose candidates. Republicans cheered the ruling as a victory for free speech and predicted a surge in financial support for GOP candidates, while Democrats, including President Barack Obama, criticized it as one that would leave ordinary Americans with little clout in the political process (via The Washington Post). U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, and the former state House Speaker who seeks to unseat him in this year's election, Andrew Romanoff, both blasted the ruling as a victory for special interests, writes the Denver Business Journal. Meanwhile, Colorado Republicans are inspired to sue to overturn a state law approved by voters that puts limits on certain state campaign contributions, according to The Denver Post. The plaintiffs will be partisan groups---"trade associations, individual companies, and corporations"---says attorney Ryan Call. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling means voters can expect to be bombarded by more political ads, including automated "robocalls." Though the Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on the annoying phone calls from companies, it has not sought to restrict political campaigns or nonprofits. Several states have intervened, barring all telephone solicitations. But not Colorado. "I tried a couple years ago, with more than 90 percent of people saying they hated them," state Attorney General John Suthers, a Republican, tells the Post. "I got shot out of the water. I encourage the public to robocall their legislators if they want it to stop."