Buescher Blinks: Secretary of State fails to formalize draft rule issued a year ago, holding open the door for continued “Colorado Ethics Watch” (CEW, pronounced “sue – it’s what they do) attacks on Clear The Bench Colorado
Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher yesterday failed in his duty to provide legal clarity and forestall an ongoing series of harassing attacks (er, campaign finance “complaints”) launched by his roundly rebuked ideological ally “Colorado Ethics Watch” (CEW, pronounced “sue” – it’s what they do) against judicial accountability organization Clear The Bench Colorado. Rather than formalize the adoption of a draft rule circulated over a year ago (and on which Clear The Bench Colorado has relied, along with other guidance issued by the Secretary of State’s office, for over a year – the legal term is “estoppel“), Secretary of State Buescher’s decision not to back the reasoned conclusions of his own professional staff and allow a flagrant attempt by CEW to retroactively change the rules “in the middle of the game” to go forward undermines reliance on the rule of law by individuals and grassroots groups participating in civic activity, and calls his professional qualifications and integrity into question.
The Secretary of State’s letter denying Clear The Bench Colorado‘s request for legal clarity by merely formally adopting the draft rule previously discussed and recommended by the office’s professional staff over a year ago even (again) documented the fact that the SOS office had issued specific guidance to file as an Issue Committee (the CEW complaint alleges that Clear The Bench Colorado should have filed as a Political Committee instead and should be held retroactively liable for fines despite reliance on the Secretary of State’s guidance):
… the Secretary of State provided informal guidance to Clear The Bench that the group might more appropriately register as an issue committee.
Clear The Bench submitted another [amended] committee registration in June of 2009, registering as an issue committee. This registration was accepted by the Secretary of State, and Clear The Bench has since been registered as an issue committee. [emphasis added]
If citizens and grassroots groups wishing to participate in the civic and political process cannot rely on the guidance issued by the Secretary of State – either due to ignorance, incompetence, or ideological leanings – and are left open to “frivolous, groundless, and vexatious” attacks by groups such as CEW which exist solely to tie up their resources, who will be left able to participate? Only the entrenched special-interest groups and “big-money” political groups that are tied in with established incumbents – leaving the average citizen out in the cold.
We The People can (indeed, as citizens, we must) hold our public officials – both elected and appointed – accountable. Be a citizen, not a subject – get informed, then exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the four (er, three remaining) ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority”- (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice – soon to be minus Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your home or business against seizure via eminent domain abuse, your right to be fairly represented in the legislature and Congress, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.” Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and contributions – and exercise your right to vote “NO” on giving these unjust justices another 10-year term!