The tradition continues of laying out my thoughts and opinions on key Colorado ballot issues, just like I did in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Here is more about who I am in case you want a better idea of where I’m coming from.
Primary source references for the ballot measures are the official Colorado blue book produced by the state legislative staff and Ballotpedia. Thankfully, this year’s ballot is shorter than any even-year election in recent memory. (Disclaimer: All opinions belong to me personally and not to any group with which I happen to be affiliated.)
So without further ado, here we go. There are two proposed constitutional amendments and two statutory propositions on the ballot:
- Amendment 67, Definition of Person and Child Former state treasurer (and pro-life) Mark Hillman writes:
These measures are written in such a way that virtually invites groups like Planned Parenthood to exploit them to convince women they will be denied birth control or will be prosecuted for having an abortion. So, the abortion industry spends millions to undermine support for these measures and to bludgeon pro-life candidates who believe that life begins at conception and so state their support for “personhood.” Meanwhile, the proponents of Amendment 67 barely have two nickels to rub together ($20,000 this year) and can’t afford to tell their story, so they inadvertently contribute to the perception that Coloradans do not care about the unborn.
- Amendment 68, Horse Racetrack Casino Gambling: NO. Or as I prefer to call it, “Slots for Tots.” More legalized gambling? An unstable revenue source pitched to fund K-12 education? And embedding it in the state constitution? The creepy “No on 68” commercials, and their subliminal messages about the need for Colorado to go to war with and annex Rhode Island (I kid!), almost changed my mind. Okay, not really almost.
- Proposition 104, School Board Meeting Requirements: YES. Even if I didn’t work at the Independence Institute, this proposal to shine the light on important school board-union negotiations still would be a good idea. There is some confusion about the ability of school boards to discuss strategy in secret. Yet while any ambiguity can be clarified in the legislature, the need for more transparency makes this a net win.
- Proposition 105, Labeling Genetically Modified Food: NO. The scientific evidence seems rather compelling that food with GMOs is just as safe as food without. Even if that weren’t the case, the way this proposal is put together — granting exemptions to certain kinds of foods — it would have harmful unintended consequences.
As for candidates, check out the Colorado Family Action Foundation 2014 Voter’s Guide for insights. Don’t neglect the important statewide constitutional races — attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer. To learn more about candidates for governor and state legislature, and their stands on key fiscal issues, as always consult the Colorado Union of Taxpayers annual ratings and list of pledge-signers. In the nonpartisan races, the only candidate I confidently can endorse is Tina Francone, District N (west and south Jeffco).
Finally, there remains the issue of retaining judges. If you’ve only read the blue book analyses, you’re not getting enough information. Clear the Bench Colorado has a good evaluation of state judges. The site also has some limited extra info on local judges beyond what’s found in the blue book. More still needs to be done to improve the system of information available to voters in deciding whether to retain judges, but it’s the best comprehensive source available for now.