Loveland Issues Update on Campaign Contribution Spending Limits

The City of Loveland has modified its application of the City’s Charter related to election campaign contribution spending limits. Resulting from a challenge to the previous interpretation, the City will not enforce the $130 contribution limit per person for Loveland issue committees.

“To preserve the integrity of local elections, the City of Loveland’s Charter places limits on large donations and special interest groups,” said Loveland City Attorney Moses Garcia. “Although it is in the best interest of the community to keep wealthy contributors and special interests from disproportionately influencing local elections, the City has settled litigation regarding its interpretation of the City Charter limitations on issue committee campaign contributions. Non-enforcement of this contribution limit to all future issue committees is one result from this process.”

The Loveland City Charter language on contributions for issue committee campaigns closely mirrors that of the Colorado State Constitution, however, the lack of definitive case law in this area and the continued legal costs do not support further litigation. The Plaintiff representing The Committee to Recall Don Overcash has withdrawn his complaint and the terms of the settlement include reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and non-enforcement of the $130 contribution limit per person for Loveland issue committees.

Without enforcement of contribution limits on issue committees, the City expects to see immediate impacts to Loveland’s local elections and asks voters to remain aware and informed on this practice ahead of the Nov. 2 municipal election. Residents can check their voter registration status, determine their ward and view candidate information at the Loveland City Clerk’s website lovgov.org/city-government/city-clerk.

Article 17 of Loveland’s City Charter was last amended by voters on Nov. 6, 2007, to add the campaign spending limit and the following language: “The citizens of the City of Loveland hereby find and declare that large campaign contributions to political candidates allow wealthy contributors and special interest groups to exercise a disproportionate level of influence over the political process; that large campaign contributions create the potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption; that the rising costs of campaigning for political office prevent qualified citizens from running for political office; and that the interests of the public are best served by full and timely disclosure of campaign contributions, strong enforcement of campaign laws, and limiting campaign contributions.”

The City of Loveland Charter can be found online at lovgov.org/city-government/city-charter.

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