VOICE OF AG – OCTOBER
VOTE YES ON 71 “RAISE THE BAR”
As one of the most conservative Senators in Colorado as evidenced by ratings from the Principals of Liberty and the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, I wanted to share with you why so many people support Amendment 71, also known as “Raise the Bar.”
Our forefathers were brilliant in making sure our US Constitution wasn’t subject to mob rule to guarantee that our rights set forth by the Constitution could not be easily taken away. Imagine what it would be like to have our 2nd Amendment, or our freedom of the press and religion contested on the ballot every two years at the whim of the masses. That is the process we currently have in Colorado.
Our State Constitution is the easiest in the nation to amend, in fact, it has been done so over 150 times in 140 years. Because it is so easy to change, we have measures such as wildlife management and other amendments not rising to the level of being placed in any Constitution which are now included in that document.
The opponents of this measure are using scare tactics stating the intent is to do away with TABOR. As someone with a proven track record of supporting and publicly defending TABOR, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, if 71 doesn’t pass, it will actually be easier for anti-TABOR folks to remove that important amendment.
They also argue that a senate district might be able to veto the ability for an initiative to get on the ballot. This is another scare tactic. For example, in my senate district, one would have to get roughly 1800 signatures out of the 144,000 people or the 90,000 registered voters. Yes, it might take a little more effort than sitting on the 16th Street Mall to gather those signatures, however, shouldn’t that be the case to change the document that protects our rights?
There have been numerous initiatives proposed by special interests that would have changed or limited how you can use your own property and others that would devastate other areas of the state by banning different types of energy production. These type of amendments will continue to be proposed but to get them placed in our Constitution should be just a little tougher.
It is also important to understand that the opponents argue this is a way to redress the issues that the legislature won’t address, however, the Legislature can’t change the Constitution, only the voters can. If the legislature won’t listen to the people and change the law, the people should indeed petition their government and that process does not change with Amendment 71.
As a citizen that firmly believes in government for the people by the people, petitioning their government should continue to be easy for Coloradans. As one that also firmly believes in the Constitution, which protects our rights, it should not be easily influenced or changed by special interests, but represent the interests of the people. This is ultimately why I support Amendment 71.