Colorado 2008 ballot news archive
- 1 Gay marriage amendment
- 2 Lawsuits filed against Amendment 54
- 3 Poundstone introduces 2010 initiative
- 4 School fined for election activity
- 4.1 Legislators threaten to make ballot deals illegal
- 4.2 Colorado restaurant owners file lawsuit against Colorado minimum wage initiative from 2006
- 4.3 Colorado legislature places measure on ballot to alter initiative requirements
- 4.4 Measure to abolish $5 bet limit defeated in Senate committee
- 4.5 Colorado bill to add residency restriction, no-lying pledge, and paid-circulator reporting
- 5 Archived news
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Gay marriage amendment
Lawsuits filed against Amendment 54
Two legal challenges to Colorado Amendment 54 (2008) were filed on January 28, 2009, in Denver District Court arguing that the law is overbroad and unconstitutional. Amendment 54 prohibits campaign contributions from any entity that wins no-bid or single-source government contracts totaling $100,000 or more. It also prohibits immediate family members of holders of a no-bid contract from contributing to any political campaign or candidate who may have influence over the contract.
The plaintiffs in the first lawsuit are labor unions and political committees representing teachers and firefighters.
Poundstone introduces 2010 initiative
Former lobbyist Freda Poundstone introduced a tax-limiting amendment as a possible initiative for the 2010 Colorado ballot, eliciting a strong reaction from some.
Poundstone's proposals would drastically cut taxes and fees paid on car registrations, telephone bills and more. State Senator Chris Romer said, "This would destroy government as we know it." Sen. Romer is a Democrat.
School fined for election activity
Colorado Springs School District 11 was fined $1,000 by administrative law judge Robert Spencer for violating a campaign finance law that bans using public money to urge voters to approve a ballot measure. The school sent a mailer to voters in September 2008 that discussed a ballot measure to increase the district's property tax rate. The mailer included information about how the district planned to use the $21.5 million in new taxes that would have been raised had Question 3E passed on the Nov. 4 ballot. The measure failed with 56 percent of voters saying "no." Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer ruled Wednesday the mailer violated Colorado's Fair Campaign Practices Act.
Legislators threaten to make ballot deals illegal
State Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Monument) and Sen. Mike Kopp (R-Littleton) are planning to sponsor a proposal, according to Rep. Stephens, to make it a felony for sponsors of ballot measures to remove their initiatives if it could be proved they did so after receiving money from their opponents.
If the proposal becomes law, sponsors could be tried for extortion or face charges for accepting or soliciting bribes.
The proposal was inspired by the withdrawal of four union-sponsored ballot measures just hours before the Oct. 2, 2008, deadline for doing so. The union measures were pulled from the ballot in exchange for business leaders agreeing to work against three other ballot measures that the unions consider anti-union—and to contribute more than $3 million to the campaigns opposing the measures.
Colorado restaurant owners file lawsuit against Colorado minimum wage initiative from 2006
A group of restaurant owners from Pueblo, Gunnison, Yuma, Crested Butte, Salida, Sedalia and La Junta have filed a lawsuit against the Colorado Minimum Wage Amendment (2006), seeking to have it declared unconstitutional and nullified. The basis for their lawsuit is that the language of the amendment links minimum wage hikes in the state to "the Consumer Price Index used for Colorado." The lawsuit says there "is no CPI 'used for Colorado" but, rather, a CPI for regions, such as a 13-state Western area that includes Colorado, and an index for the Denver-Boulder-Greeley area.
Because of this, the lawsuit says there is "no data whatsoever relating to any rural areas of Colorado and no data from any of the areas in Colorado within which plaintiffs' businesses are situated." They also say, "the rate of inflation and cost-of-living is lower in the areas where plaintiffs do business than in the Denver-Boulder- Greeley metropolitan areas."
Colorado legislature places measure on ballot to alter initiative requirements
Colorado Citizen-Initiated State Laws, Referendum O (2008) is approved for the November ballot after passing both houses of the Colorado General Assembly on May 7, 2008, by the required two-thirds majority. The measure would amend the state constitution to increase the signature requirement for constitutional amendments by more than 15,000, drop the signature requirement for placing a new state law on the ballot, add a distribution requirement (requiring at least 8% of petition signatures to be gathered in each congressional district), and establish an earlier deadline for filing initiatives.
Measure to abolish $5 bet limit defeated in Senate committee
A proposed constitutional amendment from Sen. Ron Tupa (D-Boulder) that would have eliminated the $5 bet limit at Colorado casinos was rjected by lawmakers on April 29, 2008. However, a citizen initiative to raise the bet limit to $100 was filed this month, which could appear on the ballot in November if enough signatures are collected.
Colorado bill to add residency restriction, no-lying pledge, and paid-circulator reporting
The bill would also require initiative campaign organizations to report how much they paid to petition circulators, as well as requiring campaign organizers to pledge that all petitioners have been instructed not to lie or mislead signers.
You can read older Colorado ballot initiative news items on our Colorado archived news page.
- Colorado 2010 ballot measures
- List of Colorado ballot measures
- Colorado ballot initiative news, 2008-March 2009 archive
- Denver Post, "2 suits challenge Amendment 54," January 29, 2009
- Rocky Mountain News, "State tax cut plan hailed, assailed," January 27, 2009
- Colorado Springs Gazette, "Judge fines D-11 for campaign flier," December 18, 2009
- Rocky Mountain News: Editorial: "Ballot deal wasn't a bribe," Oct. 5, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News, "Wanted: A healthy dose of skepticism," October 4, 2008
- Durango Herald: "Voters to decide on constitution," May 7, 2008 (dead link)
- KRDO-TV: "Lawmakers reject proposal to abolish $5 bet limit in casinos," April 29, 2008
- Denver Post: "Under the dome," April 29, 2008
- KJCT-TV: "Bill would require all petition gatherers be from Colorado," April 24, 2008