The middle of August can be the grueling days of a Colorado ballot initiative campaign. When you’re spending thousands of investor dollars trying to convince voters that a tax increase is not a tax increase, and your poll numbers are stagnating considerably below 50 percent, you need to find a laugh somewhere – for the sake of mental health, if nothing else. Taking out the pent-up angst with some jocular lampooning of your political opponents can be not only amusing but cathartic.
Let them go ahead, I say, if it makes them feel better while spending money trying to confuse Coloradans about the state of the economy and the nature of the tax increase. But when the pro-Ref C crowd seeks to be serious with its radio commercials, it can be even funnier. Their new ad tries to depict their opponent as a “taxpayer-subsidized” think tank that occupies the “ivory tower,” etc. I thought the ads had to be referring to the Independence Institute, since there’s no other think tank I know that has pointed out the Ref C Emperor is wearing no clothes. But this lame characterization then not only suffers from being truth-challenged but also from being utterly ridiculous. And why are the great proponents of the so-called fiscal fix diving deep into negativism, hurling misleading and absurd attacks at their opponents rather than making the case for their referendum? It surely isn’t the sign of a healthy campaign.
Meanwhile, Colorado’s small business owners have taken a stand against Referendum C. Another group has pointed out its economic folly, which makes the need for a good laugh among the tax increase supporters all the more urgent.