Firefighter Joel Heinemann says he would rather run into a burning building than face a movie camera.
Yet it’s his face Coloradans are seeing in television ads and home flyers urging a “no” vote on Amendments 47, 49 and 54.
Heinemann is a “messenger,” one of about a dozen firefighters, police officers, nurses and teachers who volunteered to enter the political limelight to speak against three ballot initiatives they believe are anti-union.
Of course, it’s also important to note that Joel Heinemann is president of the Littleton firefighters union, and that Denver Deputy Sheriff Jeff Shaw helps to negotiate the Fraternal Order of Police union contract. As the Rocky points out, Protect Colorado’s Future has used Shaw’s image to say these amendments “will stop law enforcement from lobbying for better body armor,” when the contract Shaw negotiated has nothing to say about body armor or safety issues.
Maybe even worse is the implication Protect Colorado’s Future makes that our public servants all think Amendment 47, Amendment 49, and Amendment 54 are bad ideas. What about a veteran public school teacher who thinks Amendment 49 isn’t such a bad idea? Jefferson County teacher Michael Alcorn joined me and host Jon Caldara on the latest episode of Independent Thinking, as we explained just how that very amendment works – and how it doesn’t do what so many of the opposition’s scare tactics suggest it will do.
For the time being you can watch the entire episode on the main page of the Independence Institute website. But if no longer available, you can watch it in three parts on YouTube. Here’s part one of the episode:
And the exciting conclusion:
As the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post and Boulder Daily Camera all have pointed out in their official endorsements, Amendment 49 (the Ethical Standards initiative) does nothing to stop firefighters from advocating for safety equipment, police officers from getting needed body armor, and teachers from getting the resources they need to educate our state’s children. Instead, Amendment 49 gets government out of the unethical business of collecting money for politically active groups that turn around and lobby government. Quite simple, really.