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« Bob Schaffer | Main | Amendment 46 »

Initiatives and What They Mean

I believe that we can draw a few conclusions - some comforting, none radical - from the voter

1) There's a fiscally conservative core in the state that understands their own finances
2) There's a way of putting roadblocks into one party's plans of using power to perpetuate power
3) Simpler is better
4) Candidates are easier to demonize than ideas

1) There's a fiscally conservative core in the state that understands their own finances

Amendments 51, 58, and 59, which would all have raised taxes, all failed. Every last one. And they weren't even close. I expected 51 would pass, and while I opposed it, I wouldn't have been crushed by losing on that one. But they all failed. Amendment 50 passed, but because it's a completely voluntary tax on people who are bad at math, it confirms the thesis.

2) There's a way of putting roadblocks into one party's plans to use power to perpetuate power

Amendment 59 and Referendum O were attempts to expand government and limit the people's ability to check that expansion. They both failed. Amendment 54, which will prevent public employee unions from donating directly to candidates, passed. (What's kind of weird about 54 was that I saw no advertising in favor of it, the usual 47-49-54 trio linked in opposiition, plenty of advertising in favor of 49, and yet 49 failed badly and 54 passed.)

3) Simpler is better

So why did 47 and 49 fail? And what about 52? Well, 47 was target of non-stop abuse, financed in part by political blackmail. I'm just not sure that many people understood 49, or saw the need to get involved. I think there's probably some perception that union members are ok with Dues-and-Political-Activism withholding, don't see where anyone's being hurt by it. 52 was a neat idea, but as I found in my own race, vulnerable to the accusation that it would sap money from environmental projects. This was nonsense, of course, but it should have been addressed pro-actively.

I also think the over-complexity of 59 is one reason it failed. You wanna save money? Fine, save money. Why do you need to rewrite the entire budgeting process to do that?

The ones that passed were simpler: unions can't buy candidates; let gamblers pay for community colleges.

4) Candidates and business are easier to demonize than ideas

Pace Bob Schaffer. Even as many of his positions on ballot initiatives were being adopted statewide, he was going down to a not-so-close defeat.

So, what about 46? Where does that apparently-narrowly-defeated amendment fit into this? That's another post.


"The people deserve the government they get" is an old-as-the-hills adage that is certainly true of the defeat of Bob Schaffer. Mark Udall is an out and out Liberal with a capital "L" and folks will find out that his elevation to the Senate was a ticket to rubber stamp more tax & spend policies on the grand national scale. The mostly Republican State of Colorado is practically dead. With two liberal senators from our state in Washington it does not bode well for conservative thinkers. My condolances to Mr. Schaffer, the Colorado voters have lost a true public servant.

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