The 2008 Colorado Ballot

Voter Guide to 2008 Colorado Amendments


Eliminate Affirmative Action

Eliminate affirmative action of any kind by any agency of the state or local government including taking it into account in college admissions.

This is one of those initiatives that sounds good. And we do all want to live in a state where we treat each other equally regardless of race, gender, etc. But we face two gigantic problems with this initiative. The first is that our college admission process is imperfect and as outlined in this article, affirmative action is a useful tool to improve who is admitted to college. This initiative will hurt our Colleges. Vote No.


Right to Freeload

This would make union dues optional. As it is in every person's interest for all others to pay dues, but for each individual to not pay and get a free ride from the others - this would end union dues and thereby end unions in Colorado.

At present the balance between labor and management here in Colorado slightly favors management. Passing this amendment will change that to an overwhelming advantage to management. With no union dues there is no union. In practice this eliminates unions. Vote No.


Outlaw Abortion

This is officially an amendment to define what is meant by "person" in the constitution. But what it is in fact is an amendment that would outlaw not just abortion at any point, but even any birth control that occurs after the egg is fertilized such as the morning after pill.

This is a question that does belong on the ballot (one of the few). But I think this is way more extreme than what the people of this state want. We should have a discussion of what point in the pregnancy we as a people want to say abortion is no longer allowed. But this proposal should be shot down. Vote No.


Eliminate Public Employee Unions

This amendment will place in the constitution a rule similar to Bill Owens' prohibition of payroll deductions. The purpose of prohibiting the deductions is to eliminate union representation for public sector employees.

This is an attempt to reduce the power of the unions pure & simple. And creating conflict, where before there was peace, is blowback that the sponsors of this initiative are willing to accept. All for something that has made no noticeable difference. Vote No.


More Gambling

The measure would allow the general assembly or voters in the cities that permit limited gaming to extend the hours of limited gaming operations; to add roulette, craps, or both to the allowed games; and to increase the maximum bet up to $100.

We need to move very carefully on gambling as it can bring many more problems than benefits. Any initiative on this issue should come from the legislature, not for a couple of citizens working to force their individual proposal through. Vote No.


Increased taxes for the Disabled

A targeted sales tax increase to provide targeted funding for persons with developmental disabilities. In addition, it prohibits reductions in the level of state appropriations in the annual general appropriations bill existing on the effective date of this measure for long-term services for persons with developmental disabilities.

It doesn't matter how righteous this request is, funding sources and levels are the responsibility of the legislature where they have to make the hard trade-offs between a never ending list of critical needs vs a limited amount of money. Allowing special interest groups to do an end-run around these trade-offs with feel-good legislation is a recipe for fiscal disaster. Vote No.


Lock in I-70 Transportation Funding

This places in to the constitution a requirement that severance funds may be used only to fund the construction, maintenance, and supervision of public highways in the state, giving first priority to reducing congestion on the Interstate 70 corridor.

This is another case of a special interest group trying to do an end-run around the legislature and create a specific funding stream targeted directly at their needs. The true purpose of this bill is to provide funds for traffic mitigation on I-70 in the mountains. And to have this funding trump all other transportation and other needs in the state. Vote No.


Criminalize Management Incompetence

The unions have withdrawn initiatives 53, 55, 56, & 57. They will still appear on the ballot but will not be counted.


Ban some from the political process

This will prohibit certain government contractors from contributing to a political party or candidate; prohibit contributors to ballot issue campaigns from entering into certain government contracts relating to the ballot issue; and‚ apply the prohibitions to a labor organization holding a collective bargaining agreement with a state or local government.

This proposal removes a class of large companies and unions from the political process. I'm sure it was "coincidental" that these groups being removed tend to be liberal in their outlook - yeah right. This is pure and simple and attempt to remove some political funding sources from the Democratic party. Naked political power plays should not be added to our constitution. Vote No.


Prohibit Firing Employees

The unions have withdrawn initiatives 53, 55, 56, & 57. They will still appear on the ballot but will not be counted.


Require Health Insurance Coveragee

The unions have withdrawn initiatives 53, 55, 56, & 57. They will still appear on the ballot but will not be counted.


Companies Liable for any Injury

The unions have withdrawn initiatives 53, 55, 56, & 57. They will still appear on the ballot but will not be counted.


Increase Funding for Higher-Ed

This initiative will eliminate a severance tax credit that was granted to the Oil & Gas Industry back when gas prices were very low. The increased revenue will mostly be directed to college scholarships for Colorado residents attending state colleges and universities - as well as the preservation of native wildlife habitat, enhancements in renewable energy and energy efficiency, transportation projects in counties and municipalities impacted by the severance of oil and gas, and community drinking water and wastewater treatment grants.

This amendment is where we see if an eminently fair and sensible amendment can be defeated by overwhelming spending by a special interest group trying to continue their free ride.

A college education is critical for each resident to have a good job and be a strong contributor to our state. Yet Higher-Ed funding is so tight that many students must forgo College because they cannot afford it. This is sentencing them to a life of economic poverty. Excessive Oil company profits created on the backs of residents forced to live a life of economic poverty is wrong. Vote Yes.


Increase funding for K-12 schools

This is a very complex bill, for two reasons. First the restrictions of TABOR require significant complexity in addressing it's ratchet-down effect. Second, it focuses this funding on core educational expenses so that the money is effectively spent.

This is not just about education, it is about providing adequate funding for the state. If you want to invest in our state's future, this is the single most important vote on the ballot. Vote Yes.