A bill that would have barred back-room ballot initiative deals got the heave-ho at the state Capitol Tuesday.
House Bill 1069, from state Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument, would have made it illegal for anyone with a ballot initiative certified by the secretary of state to then withdraw that initiative because of a deal offering money, gifts or any â€œother valuable consideration.â€ A provision like that already exists in state law when it comes to candidates for office.
It’s official: your Democrats in charge at the Colorado statehouse once again come out against clean government. In voting down House Bill 1069, they have winked at the use of the citizens’ ballot initiative process for political blackmail by moneyed special interests, a problem that reared its ugly head during the last election.
It would be illegal for lobbyists to blackmail a state legislator into removing a bill from consideration. It’s illegal to blackmail certified candidates off the ballot (shades of Chicago & Blago). Why not ballot initiatives?
On a side note, kudos to Amy Stephens for bringing the proposal forward, and to Democrat Rep. Beth McCann for courageously voting against the party line. Unfortunately, McCann couldn’t find anyone else in her party to vote with her. Thus died HB 1069, a proposed law in the public interest, and thus another favor was paid to the unholy marriage of certain labor and business interests that thrive in the protection of the current majority.