Think freedom

The conservative argument against Amendment 71

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Courtesy Independence Institute

Do you like the fact that Colorado politicians must ask us first before they raise our taxes or debt? They sure don’t like it.

Our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) only became law through our citizens’ initiative process. Amendment 71 destroys that very process.

Do you like that our elected officials are term limited? Are bound by ethics laws? Have to do their work transparently? Can’t use tax money to fund abortions?

None of these reforms would have happened if Amendment 71 was in place. So, it’s no wonder the political establishment loves this proposed scheme. It takes away our power to rein them in.

That’s also why 71 is opposed by diverse groups like Colorado Campaign for Life, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, the Colorado Firearms Association, the TABOR Committee, Tea Parties, GOP Parties, the Independence Institute and even liberal groups like Common Cause.

Amendment 71 is not Raising a Bar. It’s rigging a system.

Anyone who says it’s too easy to change our state constitution has either never tried or is wildly wealthy. And anyone who compares our state constitution to the U.S. Constitution is disingenuous, comparing apples and oranges to shock voters. Colorado’s state constitution is actually shorter than that of most other states.

Reforms that we want, but politicians hate, sometimes need to be placed in the state constitution, so politicians can’t repeal them without a public vote from us, the people.
Yes, it should be harder to amend the state constitution than it is to change state statutes. Absolutely. But that can be done in a number of ways, like differentiating the number of signatures required between statutory and constitutional changes. There’s no need to destroy our right to petition government.

Just how destructive is 71? So much so the proponents knew they couldn’t reach their own damn bar. They refused to write their measure so it would only take effect if they got the 55 percent super-majority of the public vote, as their proposal would require of the rest of us.

But double standards for political insiders is hardly new.

Amendment 71 makes it nearly impossible to even get an amendment on the ballot in the first place. It requires us to gather most petition signatures in each of Colorado’s 35 far-flung senate districts. This has NEVER been done before, and is so expensive it may never be done. Even the proponents of 71 refuse to prove they’ve done it, because they haven’t.

Amendment 71 is an invitation for legal mayhem. Imagine the 35 different sets of lawsuits, at least one for each senate district, over any proposed amendment — a heyday for lawyers.

Amendment 71 permits the people in one area of the state to hold the whole state hostage. Should the people in Boulder stop a reform the rest of the state demands because it’s virtually impossible to get enough valid signatures there?
It’s crucial to know that 71 came out of a well-funded effort to destroy TABOR, “Build a Better Colorado.” If passed it would be impossible to strengthen TABOR, because it would require a super-majority vote. But under 71 they can repeal TABOR with a simple majority vote.

You read that right.

Don’t Rig the Bar. Vote no.

Think freedom.

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

  • ernie_oertle

    Waitaminute! Wait a minute!! WAIT. A. MINUTE.!!! …. The conservative & libertarian hating, theRepublican-loathing, the business & commerce cheesing leftwingers … who are on edge because DonaldTrump is theRepub-candidate & has charged that the leftistDemocrat-dominated electoral system is RIGGED ….. & is fixed against him & against conservatives&libertarians ……………., those same, Those Same, those. Those same(!!) leftwingers & sinistral weasels … are now complaining if a Colorado Constitutional amendment passes it would `rig the system’ against liberals.

    That does it right there! Libweasels trying to obfuscate & shambolize the voters w/ trickery by quickly sitting-down on a phrase their opposition has coined, seals my ballot right there. Same as I suspect the validity of Trump’s accusation Democrats are guilty of election-fraud & election-rigging, JonCaldera’s choice of words was a mistake & turns me into a dissenter away from his `prog-grizz advice’. .. The ol’ see which way the socialist a$$hats point, & take the other road.

  • ernie_oertle

    Caldera closes his shader w/ the phrase .. `Think Freedom’.

    Leftwingers are very contradictory.
    –They speak of the principles of Think Freedom for the individual against monolithic dictatorial feudal tyranny. … The WesternLeft leading the fight to save the oppressed peoples of Iraq!!! Instead, we were told the Iraqi people were better off under Saddam! We liberal progressive believers should Think Freedom as we go to Iraq as `human-shields’ against theUSMilitary & the only regime-change should be in Amerikkka. – I can’t tell you how utterly confused & disappointed I was. The message of those wks in the spring of ’03 was totally antithetical to the idealism I had always thought encompassed the Think Freedom liberal-persuasion.
    –The(NOT)ACA. Where the Think Freedom citizen’s wealth is to be confiscated in the form of IRS “shared-responsibility-payments” while one’s free-choices in healthcare are taken away.
    –Or where Think Freedom wiffly leftwingers are seeking in court to defend themselves w/ the 1stAmendment, for their deceptive editing of a anti-gun anti-2ndAmendment documentary.
    –Or Think Freedom liberal state attorneys-general across America have become a war against the1stAmendment to ferret out so-called climate-change “deniers.
    –Audacious Dishonety has a well-know association w/ deceptiveThinkFreedom liberal mouths.

  • ernie_oertle

    Was just reading of another time in the past when treacherous low-life left-wretches tricked the populace w/ bait-&-switch. LBJ sitting as prez, called BarryGoldwater a “war monger” for saying that theUS should mine Haiphong-harbor during theVietnamWar. He said this while supposedly he was waging “war” against NorthVietnam. LyndonJohnson’s actual policy reflected the influence of HubertHumphrey, a decent man but a fool. Humphrey insisted that the war be waged as “warnings & what we today call: virtue-signaling” to theSoviets & the ChiComms, not as a war. When Nixon became president, now – he waged War .. & he squeezed blood out of the commie-turnip & got theParisAccords – a stalemate – in 2yrs w/ SouthVietnam guaranteed independence by military assistance from theUS. … [Sigh.] .. However, …when theDemocrats came to power, .. they reneged on this arrangement & NorthVietnam conquered SouthVietnam. … Sort-of like what theDitherer & Declinist, BarrrrackHusseinO did to Iraq!

    Republicans are … rigging … the system. !!!!! And of-course, LBJ soon after he’d snookered the electorate about war-mongerGoldwater – was mining Haiphong-harbor.