Denver Post: Amendment 41 is a blueprint for ethics

In case you didn’t see it, the Denver Post today editorialized in favor of Amendment 41, the Ethics in Government amendment.

When Colorado’s 100 state lawmakers gather each year under the Capitol’s gold dome, more than 1,000 paid lobbyists are there to bend their ears. Lobbyists lavish officials with gifts – about $1.6 million a year, ranging from Broncos tickets to golf outings to overseas trips, according to their filings with the secretary of state’s office . . .

The measure would ban lobbyists from giving gifts or meals worth more than $50 to state and local officials and employees or members of their immediate families.The measure also would close the “revolving door” that allows just-retired lawmakers to lobby former colleagues by requiring a two-year cooling-off period . . .

We urge voters to approve 41 . . . 

Opponents have raised some theatrical concerns – that the ban could prohibit school scholarships for children of janitors and other non-policymaking employees, for one example, or criminalize an auto dealer’s recreation league sponsorships, for another. We’re confident no one will interpret the amendment in that way, and even if they did, 41 creates an ethics commission that would surely reject such frivolous claims.

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