Archive for the 'Amendment 49' Category

Extortion, Bribery Still Legal in Colorado! YES!

Posted by on Jan 29 2009 | Amendment 49, Capitol Crazies, Labor, PPC, Transparency

In case you don’t recall last fall’s ballot ransom, allow me to refresh.  Unions extorted $3 million cash from businesses in exchange for them pulling  four business-destroying initiatives from the ballot.  I was offered $800,000 of that $3 million to pull my Amendment 49, which apparently unions didn’t like.  And what a “principled” idiot I was not to take it (please note current recession and the failure of Amendment 49 anyway).

The always stylish State Rep. Amy Stephens, who like most people think ballots shouldn’t be up for sale, proposed House Bill 1069 which, and get this, only makes removing a ballot initiative for cash a misdemeanor offense.  After all, if she pulled one of her own bills for payment or traded votes, she’d go to prison.  I came down to testify for this common-sense bill and to tell my story, but unfortunately the other side brought the well-known lawyer for the unions and the Colorado Democratic elite.  The message was received; Democrats on the State Affairs Committee killed the bill (kudos however to Rep. Beth McCann for bucking her party and voting ‘yes’).

Let me lay this out.  This isn’t bad news for me.  Now the the legislature has made it clear that we can place dangerous initiatives on the ballot and blackmail well-heeled interest groups to pay us to pull them.  I just found a new profit center!  And I am NOT stupid enough to be “principled” again.  Lawmakers can’t make money from yanking their bills, but we can!  Recession, reschmession.

Get the whole lowdown by listening to Amy Stephens on my radio show explain the whole ugly thing.

Press coverage:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/jan/28/ballot-measure-fails-in-committee/

http://www.gazette.com/articles/prohibit_46989___article.html/bill_struck.html

http://facethestate.com/articles/13724-lawmakers-bills-defeat-leads-blagojevich-ization-colorado-politics

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2009/01/26/daily23.html

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Democrat’s Win Also Win for School Choice

Posted by on Nov 18 2008 | Amendment 49, education

2008 was by all intents and purposes and sweeping victory for all things blue.  The Presidency, the House, the Senate, Colorado, my mood…. A thorough Democratic victory would normally push school choice advocacy two steps back, but this victory was different.  Surprisingly, two very independent minded (read: relatively unconnected to unions) Democrats were appointed House and Senate leaders- Terrance Carroll and Peter Groff, respectively.  These two guys in those two positions are a big win for school choice, so says Ben DeGrow in his Denver Post op-ed. Bear in mind, the teacher’s unions are not in good shape at the moment, despite Colorado taking the proverbial blue bath.  The CEA and the Colorado Federation of Teachers spent a combined total of more than $6 million to defeat Amendments 47, 49, and 54.  And 54 ended up passing!  Add to that the failure of Amendment 59, the TABOR killer masquerading as an education fund, plus both leaders in Colorado’s legislature and you’ve got one heckuva rain on the union’s parade.  Let’s see what gains we can achieve in the school choice arena in the next few years, now that we’ve got an advantage.

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$250 for My Dirty Old Socks? Bargain.

Posted by on Nov 02 2008 | Amendment 49

Susie the State Worker, Larry the Lobbyist, and Bernie the Bureaucrat needed a new home after starring in the world famous Amendment 49 YouTube video. Their breathtaking performances led them into a whirlwind of media attention and fans gone mad.  I was tired of constantly playing press agent for them, and Susie was just not accepting any of my advances (believe me I tried).  Therefore, their placement on Ebay was inevitable.  Fortunately for them, Bob Melvin came through and scooped them up at the bargain price of only $250.  Here is the audio clip of Bob on 850 KOA’s The Ride Home, where he explains why he bought the famous socks.  Isn’t it obivous… they were previously on my feet!

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Weld County Sheriff Sounds Off on Amendment 49

Posted by on Nov 01 2008 | Amendment 49, iVoices.org

Remember all those Sheriffs standing up for Amendment 49? Weld County Sheriff John Cooke goes on record again to dispell the myths surrounding Amendment 49.  After all, he is Sheriff of one of the twelve counties that have already adopted 49 language.  Thus, he speaks from first hand experience and reveals that his men are not “under-equipped” or “voiceless” as the opposition to 49 would have you believe.  In fact, just a day before the podcast John explains, he received another order for safety equipment…. without any trouble at all.  Take a few minutes and hear how disingenuous and misleading the ads against 49 are on this latest ivoices.org podcast.

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12 Counties Already Have Amendment 49 Language

Posted by on Oct 31 2008 | Amendment 49, PPC

I’d like to piggy back off my Sheriffs post yesterday and include another newspaper that got it right.  The Pueblo Chieftain ran a piece called, “Amendment 49 wording nothing new in Colorado.” They highlighted that 12 counties already have language similar to 49, which means that over half of Colorado’s population already lives under 49.  Thus, the claims that law enforcement and firefighters will be left out to dry is…. well, I’ll let Weld County Sheriff John Cooke speak for himself,

We’ve had (Amendment 49 wording) in Weld County, and we’ve had it for several years,” said Weld County Sheriff John Cook. “It does not affect our ability to provide good law enforcement. I think it’s ludicrous and insulting on some of these ads that say we can’t do as good a job if 49 passes.

Now, as far as Godzilla destroying Denver if Amendment 49 passes… No comment.

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Who’s Fighting Amendment 49 Now?

Posted by on Oct 31 2008 | Amendment 49, PPC

Yesterday we filed a complaint with the Secretary of State against the ridiculously named “Coloradans for Middle Class Relief.”  They are a registered group opposing only Amendment 47, however they have been floating print and radio ads against Amendments 49 and 54 as well (exactly how opposing these Amendments is “for middle class relief” is beyond me).  This is in direct violation of campaign laws.  Both the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post reported on our complaint this morning, with the Post citing,

The complaint alleges the issue committee violated a campaign-finance law, which could result in a penalty of $50 per day from the date of infraction.

$50 per day?  Wow!  I bet that’ll burn up the union coffers.  I wonder if they can afford such devastating fines, you know with having been given $3 million this month alone.

And that my friends, is their MO.  Break all the campaign finance laws you want, because in the end, you’ve got a never ending supply of money.  And by the time the story ever gets out, it’s past election day and no one cares.

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Sheriffs Debunk Bogus Claims Against Amendment 49

Posted by on Oct 30 2008 | Amendment 49, democratic national convention, PPC

You’ve heard it before.  “Amendment 49 will deprive firefighers and police officers from obtaining adequate equipment.”  “Amendment 49 will silence workers’ voices.”  blah blah blah, etc etc.  These sorts of lies and distortions deserved a response, so we found some folks with the authority to debunk those claims as absolute nonsense.

Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County, Sheriff David Weaver of Douglas County, and Sheriff Ted Mink of Jefferson County held a press conference at the State Capitol yesterday to put to rest the false claims made against 49.  Three other sheriffs who could not attend the press conference signed on to the letter in support of 49.  Head over to Ben DeGrow’s blog to hear 5 audio clips from the press conference.  If you learn better visually, here is a highlight video from the press conference:

You might be wondering what gives these Sheriffs the authority to proclaim the allegations against 49 are, as Sheriff John Cooke said, “ludricris.”  Well, 5 of the 6 Sheriffs signed on represent counties that have already enacted Amendment 49′s language.  Therefore, when they get up there and say that it does not prevent law enforcement from doing their jobs, they are speaking from first hand experience.

It also appears that the Rocky Mountain News, one of the many papers that endorsed 49, is also fed up with the “smears.”  As evidenced by this sledge hammer of an editorial that ran today:

The foes of 49 haven’t taken a clean shot at it yet. They’ve run no ads attacking the measure on its own. Instead, they’ve lumped the three ballot issues together. Since each is different, the campaign against 49 has been especially misleading.

The Greeley Tribune, Rocky Mountain News, Boulder Daily Camera, and Denver Post all came out with articles today about the Sheriff’s press conference, most pulling some of the juciest quotes, like this one from Sheriff David Weaver,

There’s a lot of deception going on stating that police officers, deputy sheriffs are not going to receive their body armor, aren’t going to receive their vests,” Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver told the Ethical Standards Now group. “That is totally inaccurate.

And this from Sheriff John Cooke,

It’s ludicrous that some of these ads say we can’t do as good a job if Amendment 49 passes, Cooke said.

Finally, the ridiculous ads against 49 have been running non-stop on 850 KOA, which prompted my colleague Mike Rosen to respond on his morning show. He put it very succinctly this morning when he said, “Don’t be stupid.” Here is the audio of the horrifically absurd ad (if you can stomach it), with Mike Rosen’s hilarious response following right after: rosen10.30.mp3

Well put Mike.

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The Most Famous Socks on the Planet

Posted by on Oct 28 2008 | Amendment 49

Life has not been the same since Susie the State Worker, Bernie the Bureaucrat, and Larry the Lobbyist made their film debut on Amendment 49 – the Ivory Tower Explanation. It’s been constant phone calls from the media requesting comment and appearances, oodles of fan mail from the adoring public, and swarms of attention when out in public.  Susie’s even made a cameo on an episode of Desperate Housewives.

All this attention was enough to catch the eye of Penny Parker at the Rocky, who penned a column about the whirlwind experience the puppets have been through recently, and their newest public appearance:  the Amendment 49 Sock Puppets Ebay auction. Yes, that’s right.  You, loyal readers, can be the proud owner of Susie, Bernie, and Larry if the price is right.  Currently, the bid is a measly $152.50.  A mere pittance for what these famous socks are actually worth.  So head on over to the auction and give my famous socks a new home!

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The Rocky Calls Me Out On My Ego, Then Feeds It

Posted by on Oct 28 2008 | Amendment 49, PPC, Purely Personal

Usual statement coming out of a man on a date – “Enough of me talking about myself, let’s hear you talk about me.”  In that spirit I hope you’ll enjoy this Rocky Mountain News piece about me.  Is it accurate?  It only categorized me as a self-aggrandizing, ego maniacal wanna-be adult film star.  Which of course is completely true… but they made it sound like it was a bad thing!  In all seriousness, it was a fair hearing, and I don’t have too much to complain about.  Not only did they give me a whole page and a half with a photo, they did a good job talking up Amendment 49, which included mentioning some of its major endorsements, the mountain of money we are up against ($118,000 vs. $15,000,000), and the world famous sock puppet YouTube video. (Which by the way are still up for bid on Ebay!)

On a side note, it’s funny how “No-Show Knox” likes to chime in against 49 only when there’s no one around to respond.  This is the guy who refused to do a televised debate with me over Amendment 49 after he confirmed he would.

This article was just the sort of media attention a “…dyslexic bald man with a beard, a deadpan expression, a live-wire smart mouth, a 24/7 compulsion for political incorrectness, the soul – if not the looks – of a porn film star, a puckish sense of self-deprecating humor, a flair for “pissing people off” and the unwavering rectitude of a crusader for the Gospel of the Free Market” revels in.

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How I am going to vote

Posted by on Oct 23 2008 | Amendment 49, Amendment 59, Government Largess, Purely Personal

People keep asking how I am going to vote on this fall’s ballot issues.  So I offer this up only as a way to show how I am going to vote personally – not as a call for you to vote this way, nor does this in any way represent the official views of the Independence Institute.  For links to the campaigns go to http://www.shakedowncolorado.org/issues-08/

46 – yes Government shouldn’t discriminate based on race.
47 – yes No one should be forced to pay tribute to a union to keep a job.
48 – no Too many unintended consequences, no exception for rape, incest, health of mother.
49 – yes Government shouldn’t be the bagman for lobbyists.
50 – yes If you don’t like gambling, don’t gamble, but don’t stop me.
51 – no Government has the money for the disabled if they prioritize.
52 – yes The roads need the cash, and we don’t need a tax increase.
54 – yes Government should put nearly all contracts out to bid.
58 – no We don’t need new taxes or higher gas prices.
59 – no Don’t destroy the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
L – yes If you can drink at 21, you can run for office.
M – yes Obsolete provisions in constitution.
N – yes More obsolete provisions in constitution.
O – no Don’t take power from the people.

Now go out and vote.  And if you’re dead, vote twice.

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