Well, my State House Representative–Amy Stevens–tried, but it looks like the Democrats still prefer to be able to pay people to keep initiatives off the Colorado ballot.
The House State Affairs Committee killed a bill Tuesday that would have made it illegal to remove a ballot initiative in exchange for compensation of any kind.
Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument, sponsored the legislation in response to a 2008 pre-election deal between business leaders and unions that resulted in the removal of four anti-business initiatives from the statewide ballot in exchange for $3 million to the unions.
Now doesn’t that present an interesting situation? Here’s how Jon Caldera described it:
Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, testified in favor of the bill. He was a primary backer of Amendment 49 and told the committee that on the eve of the deadline to remove initiatives from the ballot, he was offered $800,000 to pull the initiative. “What an idiot I was not to take that $800,000,” Caldara said, sarcastically adding he now has incentive to put bad measures on the ballot in order to gain financial benefit.
Wouldn’t some slick little hustler have a field day with this kind of setup – which the Democrats and unions stood up for:
Democrat go-to attorney Mark Grueskin, who served as legal counsel for the unions during the 2008 election, testified in opposition. He argued the bill would violate free speech by banning a monetary exchange for removing a ballot measure. “Like it or not money is speech under both [the Colorado and U.S.] Constitutions,” he said.
The bill was ultimately killed on a 6 to 5 vote, with McCann being the only Democrat to vote in favor. Stephens was disappointed, but said she would continue to pursue the issue. “Now that we know those are the terms, we have a new Chicago-style politics,” she said.
Sen. Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, was the bill’s Senate sponsor and called its defeat the “Blagojevich-ization” of Colorado.
I just love that “money is speech” line from a Democrat Union attorney. These are the ones who want to place restrictions on Republican money and then throw their slush funds behind the latest crook (nee The Messiah) while their oppoents hands are tied.
Anybody want to work to get some union-busting ballot initiative going? We can split the bucks when the thugs come to pay us off.
Lemuel has a really good analysis of the Republicans in the past 20 years over at Hillbilly White Trash. The whole thing is very good, but some of my favorite parts are:
The Republican party cannot achieve majority status if its program is simply to run along behind the Democrats calling out “me too, me too – but just not quite as much”.
For far too long Republicans and “conservatives” have been mainly occupied with looking at whichever bit of socialism the Democrats are currently pushing and coming up with their own plan which goes in the same direction, but just not as far.
The Republican party has worked hard for 20 and more years to earn its coming defeat. It is my hope that the party will at long last learn its lesson and understand that it must be a conservative party. I pray that it comes to understand that the Republican tent must be large enough to hold everyone who upholds the three pillars of conservatism, social conservatism, fiscal conservatism and foreign policy conservatism. But not one square inch larger.
The trend since Reagan has been government for government’s sake – especially with the Republicans spending like drunken sailors before they got kicked out of power in 2006. Our future doesn’t look very good at this moment – either as a Party or as a Country.
Living in some of these would be interesting. Most of them however look like they are nightmares to experience.