Ben’s Ballot

At the request of some, I have decided to share how I am voting on this year’s ballot issues. Below you will find the ballot titles & designations, followed by a brief explanation of my vote and my opinion of the relative significance & likelihood of each to pass. For comparison, I’ve also added the stated endorsements of two Colorado conservative icons: influential talk radio host Mike Rosen and former state senate president John Andrews. After all, there can be some disagreement about certain issues within the movement.

Keep reading for my opinions and predictions…

Amendment 38 (Petitions): YES – I wrestled with this one a bit because of my natural distrust for mass democracy and some recent abuses of the petition process, but ultimately I think it’s good to do things like limiting the length of petitions and streamlining and making the petition procedures uniform at different levels of government. The creepy ad portraying supporters of 38 as special interest “cranks with a cause” put me over the edge. Nevertheless, I predict defeat for 38.
ROSEN: NO
ANDREWS: YES

Amendment 39 (School District Spending Requirements): YES – This isn’t going to do much great good or harm either way, as school districts will find a way around the 65% mandate and even if they don’t it will have virtually no effect on student achievement. But the teachers union really doesn’t like it, which tells me there might be something good in it after all. I predict victory for 39.
ROSEN: YES
ANDREWS: YES

AMENDMENT 40 (Judicial Term Limits): YES – Contrary to the opinions of some, I don’t see this as a destruction of an independent judiciary, just another check on the power of the third branch of government. While it may remove some good judges, I believe it will have a positive effect on balance. Whether or not 40 will pass is a toss-up.
ROSEN: YES
ANDREWS: YES

AMENDMENT 41 (Standards of Conduct in Government): NO – Despite the warm & fuzzy packaging, this is a clear overreach, brought to you by the same crew that gave Colorado the mess of political speech restrictions known as “Campaign Finance Reform.” As John Andrews wrote, vote no “unless you want to chill normal dialogue between public officials and the public.” I foresee narrow defeat for 41.
ROSEN: NO
ANDREWS: NO

AMENDMENT 42 (Minimum Wage): NO – Even the Denver Post recognizes the grave error of putting inflation-indexed minimum wage increases in the state constitution. This is not about social justice but terrible economic policy that only benefits unionized labor and limits entry-level access to the job market. Unless enlightenment or economic literacy miracously arrives here in large quantities, sadly, 42 will become the law of Colorado.
ROSEN: NO
ANDREWS: NO

AMENDMENT 43 (Marriage): YES – One man. One woman. Quite sensible, a no-brainer. It is interesting to note that even an areligious Rosen supports the measure with the common sense statement: “Other gender and mathematical arrangements should be called other things.” Indeed. Despite millions of dollars poured to defeat it, 43 will triumph at the polls, though by a lesser margin than in most other states.
ROSEN: YES
ANDREWS: YES

AMENDMENT 44 (Marijuana Possession): NO – While the war on drugs has not been successful, Colorado doesn’t need to become a one-of-a-kind magnet for potheads. Besides, Progress Now supports it. It doesn’t matter, though, as 44 will crash and burn at the polls.
ROSEN: YES
ANDREWS: NO

REFERENDUM E (Property Tax Reduction for Disabled Veterans): YES – We need to take care of those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms, especially those who in this case are 100% disabled. It’s the right thing to do, and it will have but a tiny effect on the state’s revenue stream. Without seeing any polling data, I would say E will pass.
ROSEN: YES
ANDREWS: YES

REFERENDUM F (Recall Deadlines): NO – I’m going out on a limb against this one, though I don’t see it as a big issue at all. Since recalls of state officials are almost nonexistent, one has to wonder at the motive behind this measure. I have no clue how this will fare on November 7.
ROSEN: YES
ANDREWS: N/A

REFERENDUM G (Obsolete Constitutional Provisions): YES – Yawn. This is basically a bookkeeping matter, not one to lose sleep over.
ROSEN: YES
ANDREWS: N/A

REFERENDUM H (Limiting a State Business Income Tax Deduction): YES – Like Amendment 39, this will have very little impact, but it’s a gesture in the right direction. It’s a slap on the wrist to businesses that employ illegal aliens. I predict more Yes than No votes for H.
ROSEN: YES
ANDREWS: YES

REFERENDUM I (Domestic Partnerships): NO – Though its proponents try to portray it as an issue of basic fairness, it really is a backhanded attempt to redefine marriage. My friend Jim has more to say about it here and here. Yet objectively I see it passing narrowly on Election Day.
ROSEN: UNDECIDED
ANDREWS: N/A

REFERENDUM J (School District Spending Requirements): NO – It doesn’t really matter if you vote for or against this one, because it will have very little to no effect – even compared to Amendment 39. Referendum J is the cheap, fraudulent replica created by Democrats & teachers unions that does nothing at all to promote financial accountability for school districts. Yet an uninformed electorate will almost certainly approve J.
ROSEN: NO
ANDREWS: NO

REFERENDUM K (Immigration Lawsuits Against Federal Government): NO – I’m frustrated about illegal immigration, too, but I see this as a fruitless and symbolic effort. I compare it to a taxpayer-funded gripe. Attorney General John Suthers doesn’t like the idea, either. Judging the political winds, though, I tend to think K will become law.
ROSEN: NO
ANDREWS: YES

Thank you for taking the time to glance through my election issues ballot for 2006. Please feel free to drop me an email with any questions or suggestions, or leave a comment below.

Comments

  1. Louise says

    Ben:
    thanks for sharing! Talking to some of Ryan’s attorney friends, though, I wonder about Amendment 40. They point out that there are very few qualified judges and that the state court system represents a big pay cut and career stall-out for most who would be qualified. They say that the only reason qualified people become state level judges to begin with is that they know they can stay and won’t have to go out and try to forge a private practice again after a judicial hiatus. Also, I’m told the matter is retroactive – where will we find judges to cover all those newly vacant benches?

  2. Donna Jack says

    October 18, 2006

    Ben,

    Thank you for putting together your site, including your current stand on ballot issues, and links to opinions of others. Good use of current technology. I appreciate receiving it. The best to you and your family.

    Donna Jack

  3. Pat says

    I disagree with you on K. It may be symbolic but we need to send a message to the feds. People in the past called all of Tancredo’s efforts symbolic and meaningless because he could never push anything through. But look what he has done to advance the issue.

    I was going to take Rosen’s word for F but with your endorsement saying otherwise I think I will look into it more.

    The rest we agree on.

  4. Sean says

    I can repect your decisions but I feel The equalization of marijuana and alcohol will not effect colorado that much.

Trackbacks

  1. Ben’s Ballot…

    RMA blogger Ben DeGrow has compiled a sample ballot, for handy use in the voting booth on 11/7. Of course, given the hysterics from some quarters, you’d think the voting machines were programmed to download it directly from his site…….

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