Colorado Mandatory Labor Union Membership Prohibition, Initiative 47 (2008)
The Colorado Mandatory Labor Union Membership Prohibition Initiative, also known as Initiative 47, was on the November 2008 ballot in Colorado as an initiated constitutional amendment, where was defeated. The measure would have prohibited unions and employers from negotiating "union shop" contracts under which employees would have been required to pay union membership or "agency" fees as a condition of continued employment.
|Colorado Initiative 47 (2008)|
Election results via: The Colorado Secretary of State
The language appeared on the ballot as:
|“||Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning participation in a labor organization as a condition of employment, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting an employer from requiring that a person be a member and pay any moneys to a labor organization or to any other third party in lieu of payment to a labor organization and creating a misdemeanor criminal penalty for a person who violates the provisions of the section?||”|
Path to the ballot
The Secretary of State's office certified the measure for the ballot as Amendment 47 on April 28, 2008. Organizers of the initiative filed more than 133,000 signatures with Secretary of State Mike Coffman's office on April 9, 2008. They needed only 76,000 valid signatures to get the measure on the November 2008 ballot.
"This is an exciting day for Colorado," Jonathan Coors, director of CoorsTek and a major supporter of the initiative, said in a release. "This amendment will give Colorado workers the freedom to decide for themselves whether or not to join a union and protect the rights of all employees in the state."
Right-to-work supporters filed the signatures despite Gov. Bill Ritter's high-profile closed-door meeting on Monday, April 7, 2008 with both supporters and opponents, asking them to stand down. Ritter also was asking unions to withdraw their ballot proposals.
A Better Colorado was the group heading up support for the proposal. A major backer was Jonathan Coors, a member of Colorado's famous brewing family and director of CoorsTek. CoorsTek contributed $200,000 in early-stage funding for the campaign.
An early proponent of the measure was Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier. Also supporting the measure was Rob Fairbank, a political consultant and former Republican legislator., Curt Cerveny, the political consultant who was running the campaign for the constitutional amendment, and Mac Slingerlend, president and chief executive of Greenwood Village-based Ciber.
The effort for the amendment gained momentum last year after Gov. Bill Ritter signed an executive order giving state workers the right to organize, which some say makes Colorado look like a less friendly place to do business.
The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry endorsed the proposal at its board meeting March 27, 2008, warning that "the political balance in the state is in danger of being tipped in favor of unions, which will be detrimental to the state's economic future."
Several business groups endorsed the Right to Work initiative in late April 2008, including business chambers in three rural communities: Delta, Craig, and Trinidad. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, as well as the Housing and Building Association of Northwestern Colorado, had also endorsed the proposal, according to A Better Colorado.
Colorado National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) endorsed the measure, although its director, Tony Gagliardi, said the group would not give financial support, opting to focus its resources on opposing several ballot initiatives supported by organized labor.
The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association announced its support of the right-to-work initiative July 16, 2008,. A Better Colorado also announced that the Mountain States Employers Council, the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Huerfano County Chamber of Commerce have recently endorsed the measure. The Independent Bankers of Colorado was supporting the Right to Work initiative as of July 2008.
Mark Latimer, president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors Rocky Mountain Chapter, endorsed the amendment in a guest commentary in the Denver Post. The Northern Colorado Home Builders, as well as the Colorado Petroleum Marketers Association, also had endorsed Amendment 47.
Former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens had endorsed the ballot measure.
Jake Jabs, American Furniture Warehouse CEO, publicly endorsed the amendment in early October 2008. He appeared in a series of self-produced TV ads supporting Amendment 47. Jabs held a press conference to explain his support, he said, because his office was flooded with calls shortly after the ads appeared.
Jabs discussed his dealings with unions in the 1970s, when employees voted the unions out of American Furniture. "I think if we stayed a union company, we wouldn't be here today, or we would be here, but in a much smaller fashion," he said.
Arguments in favor
Reasons put forward to vote for Amendment 47 included:
- "It protects the individual worker’s right to decide what they want."
- "States with right-to-work laws outpace forced union states in economic growth."
- "The Right to Work Amendment would ...better the business environment and work to improve economic growth." (Steve Kesler, President, Housing and Building Association of Northwestern Colorado)
- "If passed, this initiative will be good for Colorado’s economy." (Chuck Berry, president of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry).
- "All Coloradans should be empowered to make their own choices, be they in education or union membership. This Right to Work Amendment will guarantee Colorado’s workers both fairness and justice." (Dan Thurlow, chairman of Colorado Printing Company, Grand Junction, Colorado)
- "Coloradans should not be forced to join a union in order to obtain employment. The Right to Work Amendment guarantees this freedom." (Heidi Albright, Albright Tax and Bookkeeping, Grand Junction, Colorado)
The Colorado AFL-CIO and a coalition of labor and liberal donors called Protect Colorado's Future opposed the measure. The union argued that a right-to-work law would "allow non-member workers to get all the benefits of union membership and pay nothing, while forcing unions and their members to foot the bill for those not willing to pay their share. The result is weaker unions with inadequate resources to represent members."
Colorado AFL-CIO Executive Director Mike Cerbo dismissed arguments that the amendment could bolster the business environment. "Businesses are moving here," Cerbo said. "I've never heard a prospective business come in here and say, 'How hard can I screw my workers if I come here?' That's not on their list of needs." He has also said that the right-to-work ballot initiative is clearly "not worker-driven."
The Protect Colorado's Future coalition, in addition to opposing this measure, had also submitted several proposals of its own, including Initiative 74 that was designed to allow any Colorado resident to bring a lawsuit against business executives and other employees if they know about corporate fraud or criminal activity and do not stop or report it.
Labor interests said they may spend as much as $35 million to defeat the right-to-work initiative. Protect Colorado's Future had raised more than $1.5 million by the beginning of May 2008 to support its ballot measures and to oppose the Right to Work Initiative. The biggest single contribution, $500,000, came from the Service Employees International Union. A Teamsters local contributed $250,000.
The Committee for Fair Wage Benefits was also opposing the measure.
The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce announced in mid-June that it will oppose this initiative. The Chamber said that it cannot support the initiative because right-to-work states "do not perform significantly better in wages, economic development or business growth than Colorado."
"Data compiled by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation clearly shows that Colorado's competitiveness and job growth is equal or better than right-to-work states," Chamber President Joe Blake said.
The South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition April 13, 2008 to this initiative, as well as to the five measures (see below) filed in response by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7.
"Continued support of these initiatives creates an adversarial dynamic between these groups and threatens Colorado's economic peace and vitality," the Chamber said in a statement, adding that the current Labor Peace Act had "served Colorado well for 60 years in allowing for cordial relations between management and labor."
Jess Knox, a spokesman for Protect Colorado's Future, expressed disappointment that business groups were backing a "divisive measure like this that will take Colorado backwards."
The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance adopted a resolution June 18, 2008, to support the Colorado Labor Peace Act of 1943 and to call on proponents of the Right-to-Work initiative and labor-initiated counter ballot measures to retract their proposals. The resolution acknowledged NCLA's support for the concept of right-to-work, but added that it opposed changing the state constitution.
"The Colorado Labor Peace Act works for Colorado," said Sharie Grant, vice chair of the NCLA board. "Coloradoans have benefited from the Labor Peace Act in the form of steady and stable economic prosperity over decades by providing the right balance for labor and business."
The Colorado Bankers Association, which represented commercial banks, voted to oppose the Right to Work initiative, while also opposing the labor-backed issues submitted in response to that measure.
President Don Childears said that while right-to-work makes sense, "we figure we're so close to it under Colorado law, you gain an inch but you lose a mile with the labor issues on the ballot."
Opponents called the measure the "right to work for less" measure.
The Colorado Economic Leadership Coalition came out Aug. 11, 2008, against the proposed amendment as well as several labor-backed counter-measures. The coalition, which was the public policy arm of the Economic Development Council of Colorado, said they believe the amendments will make it hard to recruit businesses to Colorado and threaten to destabilize 66 years of business-labor peace in the state.
"These initiatives are economy-killers and will lead to increased prices, unemployment and legal paralysis," the coalition said in a presentation to members. "The 22 economic development corporations across the state can simply close up shop. No business is moving to Colorado if these measures pass."
Club 20, which represented the interests of western Colorado's 22-county region, announced its opposition to the measure in mid-September 2008.
Reasons put forward to vote against Amendment 47 included:
- A right-to-work law would "allow non-member workers to get all the benefits of union membership and pay nothing, while forcing unions and their members to foot the bill for those not willing to pay their share. The result is weaker unions with inadequate resources to represent members."
- It is not true that the amendment would bolster the business environment. "Businesses are moving here," Mike Cerbo, Colorado AFL-CIO executive director, said. "I've never heard a prospective business come in here and say, 'How hard can I screw my workers if I come here?' That's not on their list of needs."
- The right-to-work ballot initiative is clearly "not worker-driven."
- "Data compiled by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation clearly shows that Colorado's competitiveness and job growth is equal or better than right-to-work states," Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce President Joe Blake said.
- "Continued support of these initiatives (Right to Work and the union measures that have been withdrawn) creates an adversarial dynamic between these groups and threatens Colorado's economic peace and vitality," the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce said in a statement, adding that the current Labor Peace Act has "served Colorado well for 60 years in allowing for cordial relations between management and labor."
- A "divisive measure like this that will take Colorado backwards."
- The Colorado Economic Leadership Coalition said they believe the amendments (Right to Work and the union measures that have been withdrawn)will make it hard to recruit businesses to Colorado and threaten to destabilize 66 years of business-labor peace in the state.
Five retaliatory measures
Five retaliatory measures fired up a business-union battle. Leaders of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7 acknowledged that they filed five ballot measures (Initiatives 92 through 96) on March 31, 2008 as a response to the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry's endorsement of the right-to-work measure.
"We saw that if right to work is something voters approve in November, eventually—inevitably—workers' rights are going to suffer," said Manny Gonzales, a spokesman for the food workers union.
Gonzales admitted that the unions did not consider what would happen if right-to-work failed and the five initiatives passed.
Gov. Bill Ritter and others made strong pleas for both union and business leaders to back down, asking both groups to pull their ballot measures. But despite these efforts to discourage them, both sides seem to be pressing forward with their initiatives.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said that he now believes it was too late to stop a showdown between business and labor at the ballot box in November and that he would focus his efforts on urging voters to defeat all the proposals backed by business groups and unions.
"A couple of times we were quite close to getting everyone to put down their weapons and back off, but obviously that time has passed," Hickenlooper said. "The next step will be to get people to just say no to all the initiatives."
"If (Ritter's) goal is trying to get business to back off right-to-work, I don't think he has the credibility to do it," said Katy Atkinson, a Republican political strategist, who also said that Ritter was seen as pro-labor.
For more details on these issues, see Ballotpedia's article on the Union-business political balancing act.
In June 2008, two of the union measures were withdrawn by its proponents as an overture to business interests, hoping to encourage proponents of the Right to Work Initiative to withdraw their measure as well.
"We want to show that we're open to negotiation with the business community," said Manny Gonzales, a spokesman for UFCW Local 7.
Kelley Harp, a spokesman for A Better Colorado, said the withdrawal of the UFCW measures will not keep the right-to-work initiative from appearing on November's ballot.
Business leaders join unions
Just hours before the October 2, 2008, deadline for withdrawing measures from the November ballot, labor unions leaders announced that they would be pulling four controversial measures from the ballot in exchange for business leaders signing on as active opponents of Amendment 47, including $3 million to help fund the opposition campaign.
Attempts to strike a deal, led by Gov. Ritter, began early in the campaign but fizzled when Amendment 47 proponents refused to end their campaign and filed signatures to place it on the ballot. However, in mid-September, union and business leaders showed renewed interest in negotiating a deal to avoid the clash at the ballot-box.
Colorado Concern, a new alliance, was a key player in the talks about the terms under which labor groups would pull their four measures if business leaders help them fight the Amendment 47 and two other measures they saw as anti-union. Present at the negotiations for Colorado Concern were Walter Isenberg of Sage Hospitality Resources, Denver Performing Arts Center Chairman Dan Ritchie, and Oakwood Homes' Patrick Hamill.
Talks broke off without a deal on September 16, 2008, at the governor's mansion. But they resumed later in the week.
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce President Joe Blake attended the two meetings in mid-September and sits on the Colorado Concern board. But he said then that the Chamber will not spend any of its own resources to fight the three measures opposed by organized labor.
In an address September 17, 2008, at the chamber's annual membership lunch, Blake steered clear of talk about a compromise, instead calling on the audience to defeat the four proposals sought by unions. Blake later expressed pessimism that a compromise could be reached that would lead to the withdrawal of the measures.
A source from Colorado Concern said September 24, 2008, that they had pledges of $2 million from business interests toward the $6 million the union leaders said was necessary to convince them to withdraw the four anti-business ballot measures. That money would be used in the campaign to defeat Amendment 47 and two other measures the unions see as anti-union. Amendment 47 supporters said they have no intention of dropping their proposal.
Denver Metro Chamber President Joe Blake was asking companies that contributed to the chamber's issue committee, which was formed to oppose the labor-backed measures, not Amendment 47, to shift their money to fight the pro-business measures.
Tim Jackson, president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and executive vice president of the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association, told Blake his members would not finance the fight against Amendment 47. "Although it's not finalized yet, my belief is that we would not allow our money to be forwarded to a campaign that would be opposed to what we would call the pro-business ballot measures," Jackson said.
The metro Denver auto group had given $500,000 to the chamber's issue committee, while the state auto group had contributed $100,000 to the Amendment 47 right-to-work campaign.
Coloradans for Responsible Reform said September 26, 2008, that it would proceed with TV commercials opposing the union-backed measures (Amendments 53, 55, 56, and 57), since a deal for their withdrawal was not yet at hand. The campaign suspended the ads two weeks previous while business and union leaders worked on a deal.
Todd Vitale, manager for Coloradans for Responsible Reform, said fundraising efforts slowed down during the negotiations.
"Our research indicates that once voters learn about the real impact of these measures, they will vote them down," Vitale said.
Vitale said his campaign had raised $1.6 million, compared to more than $6 million raised by organized labor to fight Amendment 47 and support the measures they are sponsoring.
On September 30, 2008, Walter Isenberg, chairman of Colorado Concern, announced that a deal between labor and a coalition of business leaders to pull four union-backed initiatives had fallen through.
"A lot of progress was made over the last few weeks," Isenberg said in a released statement. "Unfortunately, we were unable to come up with a proposal to which union leaders would agree, and we have simply run out of time."
The statement said there would be "no deal" with labor leaders, and business leaders would instead focus their financial resources on fighting the four union-backed ballot measures.
But Jess Knox, a spokesman for Protect Colorado's Future, said that there was "still time on the clock" and that a deal could still be worked out, noting that they "still have two days to pull this off."
The group of business leaders reportedly had raised $3 million to oppose Amendment 47, short of the $5 million union officials reportedly wanted businesses to raise to fight Amendment 47. But Knox insisted the effort was not "just about money."
"This is about running a joint campaign, and there are some complex details," Knox said.
The deal was finally worked out during late-night meetings and announced October 2, 2008, the deadline for removing measures from the ballot. Because the ballots were already being printed, the measures still appeared there, but no votes for the measures were to be counted.
Complaint filed against petitioners
An attorney representing labor unions on two proposed ballot initiatives filed a complaint with Secretary of State Mike Coffman on April 4, 2008, claiming that at least two petition circulators for the Right to Work initiative told signers that they did not need to be registered voters in order to sign the petition.
When filing his complaint, Mark Grueskin provided Coffman with an audio disc of petitioners telling signers they did not need to be registered voters and that they could sign more than once. It is illegal for circulators to sign petition affidavits without knowing or reasonably believing the statements made in the document are true. Coffman's office was looking into the allegations.
Frederic C. Hamilton, a prominent Denver oilman, contributed $25,000 in the first half of September 2008 to the pro-47 campaign. The campaign raised an additional $205,000 during the first two weeks of September.
Free Enterprise Alliance, the issue-advocacy arm of the Associated Builders and Contractors, gave $180,000 to back the measure. The Amendment 47 campaign had raised a total of $776,000 as of mid-September.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7R contributed $161,234 in August to the Committee for Fair Wage Benefits, which opposes Amendment 47. The Committee collected a total of $161,944 in August from all sources. Campaign reports filed September 15, 2008, show that United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7R donated another $3.2 million during the first two weeks of September to Coloradans for Middle Class Relief, one of the groups opposing Amendment 47. That brings the union's donations to the committee for the year to $4.7 million.
A pro-Amendment 47 group, Defend Our Economy, took in $26,000 in August to campaign in favor of the amendment, the group's financial filing said. The Bickel Family Foundation ($15,000) was the committee's biggest donor.
Funding for the initiative's opponents came from several national unions. As of June 2, 2008, contributions included the AFL-CIO ($114,000), the Service Employees International Union ($821,397), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($200,000), and Unite Here ($110,000). An additional $307,120 of other out-of-state money had been donated to the opposition campaign, according to filings with the Secretary of State’s office as of June 2, 2008. In-state support has come from billionaire Pat Stryker ($25,000) and the Colorado Federation of Teachers ($54,000).
A Better Colorado reported raising $236,000 during the same reporting period. It had collected a total of about $200,500, with $200,000 coming from a nonprofit called Colorado Citizens for Change. Jonathan Coors, director of government relations for Golden-based ceramics maker CoorsTek, had said his company provided the funding to Colorado Citizens for Change.
The Colorado Right-to-Work Committee, a separate committee that financed the collection of signatures to put the measure on November's ballot, raised $289,000 from a nonprofit called Protect Colorado Jobs.
Jess Knox, executive director of Protect Colorado's Future, said his group would file a complaint with the Colorado secretary of state alleging that Protect Colorado Jobs was violating state law by acting as an unregistered issues committee.
"(Coors) needs to tell Coloradans once and for all who is funding this divisive ballot initiative," said Knox.
A lawyer representing the Protect Colorado's Future coalition filed a complaint in April 2008 alleging campaign finance law violations by the Colorado Right to Work Committee. The group registered as an issue group last fall but has filed only minimal financial information with the state.
The complaint was written on behalf of Mike Cerbo, executive director of the Colorado AFL-CIO. "This has been a big perplexing issue," Cerbo said of Right to Work Initiative opponents' attempts to figure out who is supporting the initiative. "We want to know who we are dealing with.... And where are they getting their money? That's why we have campaign finance laws."
As of July 2, 2008, Protect Colorado's Future had raised four times as much money to oppose the measure as A Better Colorado had raised to support the initiative ($2.23 million compared to $555,799).
After business leaders pledged to raise $3 million for the campaigns against Amendments 47, 49, and 54, campaign finance records showed donations were received from the Colorado Bankers Association ($215,000), Western Plains Capital ($200,000), ProLogis ($100,000), Vail Resorts ($100,000), 4334 LLC ($100,000), Xcel Energy ($75,000), and Wal-Mart ($50,000).
Those donations were made to Colorado Businesses for Sensible Solutions, an issue committee formed to fight Amendments 47, 49, and 54. The contributions are still nearly $2 million short of the amount pledged by October 10th, but Walter Isenberg, the lead fundraiser, said businesses would "continue to fundraise until we have met our commitment."
- See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.
The Denver Post reported that a poll showed 49% of respondents oppose Amendment 47, while 21% support the measure. That left 30% undecided on the measure. The poll included 625 registered voters questioned from September 29 to October 1, 2008, and it carried a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.
Protect Colorado's Future (PCF) filed a post-certification signature challenge lawsuit May 28, 2008, to block the measure from the ballot. The lawsuit alleged a "pattern of massive fraud." PCF claimed that among the signatures filed were many duplicates and signatures of unregistered voters. The group also alleged that some petitions were notarized by people who are not notary publics and that petitions were not numbered before circulation as required by law.
On Aug. 6, 2008, District Court Judge Christina Habas dismissed 21 claims of the suit. Habas said state law does not require the Secretary of State to conduct a line-by-line review of all signatures gathered in the petition.
Habas dismissed eight additional claims because there were still enough signatures to place the initiative on the ballot even if they were true.
The court ruled Aug. 21 on the remaining eight counts, based on a narrower set of legal claims that related only to the signatures verified by the state in its standard random-sampling process. The court dismissed all counts.
"We're going to appeal all of this," said Jess Knox, head of the Protect Colorado's Future coalition. "The Supreme Court's going to have to weigh in on this."
Three Denver news stations reviewed a television ad sponsored by Protect Colorado's Future that attacked the backers of Amendment 47, as well as Amendment 49 and Initiative 59. Channel 4 News in Denver, the local CBS affiliate, found in its "Reality Check" that some of the ad's claims were "misleading" and "spin" but agreed with that it was a good idea for groups that hire companies to gather signatures to "insist that companies screen their subcontractors for past criminal conduct and bar felons from collecting signatures." Channel 7 News in Denver, the local ABC affiliate, also did an analysis as part of the station's "Vote 08: Facts Or Fiction" feature, which determined that some of the ad's statements were misleading. Similar conclusions were drawn by Denver's KUSA-TV News, the NBC affiliate.
A Better Colorado spokesman Kelley Harp said the court's actions confirm that the lawsuits were "frivolous in nature" and "a hopeless attempt to defeat Amendment 47 in the courtroom and deny Colorado voters the right to decide its fate."
An appeal filed with the state Supreme Court was dismissed September 11, 2008, affirming the lower court's decision.
- Colorado 2008 ballot measures
- 2008 ballot measures
- List of Colorado ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Colorado
- Full text of the initiative
- 2008 State Ballot Information Booklet, English version (Blue Book)
- 2008 State Ballot Information Booklet, Spanish version (Blue Book)
- A Better Colorado web site
- Protect Colorado's Future web site
- The Truth About 47 web site
- National Right to Work Committee web site, on Colorado measure
- Colorado AFL-CIO on Right-to-Work
- Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance web site
- National Journal: "Wild Cards In The Deck," July 28, 2008
- Colorado State Legislative Council, "Ballot History," accessed February 26, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Denver Business Journal, "Right-to-work amendment put on ballot," April 28, 2008
- Denver Post, "Right-to-work petitions delivered," April 9, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News, "Initiative's foes raise $1.5 million," May 1, 2008
- The Weekly Standard, "A Matter of Principle," August 11, 2008, Vol. 13, Issue 45
- Denver Business Journal, "Right-to-work backers hope for ballot initiative," Nov. 16, 2007
- Rocky Mountain News, "Labor issues may find the ballot," March 6, 2008
- Denver Business Journal, "CACI throws support to right-to-work ballot measure," March 27, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News, "Right-to-work measure gaining business support, group says," April 21, 2008
- Denver Business Journal, "Colorado NFIB supports right-to-work initiative," May 29, 2008
- Denver Post: "Auto dealers group backs right-to-work initiative," July 16, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News, "MILSTEAD: Banking groups differ on Amendment 47," July 15, 2008
- Denver Post, "Vote yes on Amendment 47," Aug. 12, 2008
- Colorado Springs Gazette, "Right-to-work measure picks up endorsements," July 1, 2008
- The Examiner, "Owens backs anti-union amendment," September 18, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Backers of right-to-work revealed in legal document," October 8, 2008
- Denver Business Journal, "Jabs touts right-to-work initiative," October 7, 2008
- Speaking out for individual worker's right to choose, free from coercion, April 17, 2008
- Right To Work States Perform Better Than Forced Unionization States, June 9, 2008
- "What Others Say," from A Better Colorado's website
- Colorado AFL-CIO on Right-to-Work
- Rocky Mountain News: "Labor issues may find the ballot," March 6, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Complaint alleges campaign finance abuses," April 9, 2008
- Denver Post: "Unions reach out to expand war chest," May 7, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Union's Aug. ballot fight fund: $160,000," September 3, 2008
- Denver Daily News: "Chamber fights initiative," June 13, 2008
- Denver Business Journal: "South chamber opposes right-to-work and other initiatives," April 14, 2008
- Northern Colorado Business Report: "NCLA supports labor peace, opposes Amendment 47," June 18, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Labor issues may find the ballot," March 6, 2008
- Denver Business Journal: "Colorado Economic Leadership Coalition opposes labor, union measures," Aug. 11, 2008
- Delta County Independent: "Club 20 takes positions on 11 of 18 ballot measures," September 17, 2008
- Colorado AFL-CIO on Right-to-Work
- Rocky Mountain News: "Labor issues may find the ballot," March 6, 2008
- Denver Post: "Union group backs ballot initiatives," April 1, 2008
- Denver Business Journal: "Union files five ballot initiatives," April 1, 2008
- Denver Post: "Right-to-work ballot battle builds," April 10, 2008
- Denver Post: "Union pulls ballot items in overture to business," June 11, 2008
- Denver Channel 7 News: "Labor Unions To Pull Ballot Measures," October 2, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Talks to resume to avert labor ballot battle," September 18, 2008
- Denver Post, "Money tight as business pursues labor ballot deal," September 25, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News, Opinion: "FOX: Labor-issues impasse at the precipice," 26, 2008
- Denver Business Journal, "Ballot issues' TV ads back on," September 26, 2008
- Denver Business Journal, "Business-union pact: A dead deal?," September 30, 2008
- Denver Post, "Ballot talks have evolved," September 23, 2008
- Denver Post, "Right-to-work group adds $205,000 and notable backer," September 16, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News, "Local union gives $3 million to fight right-to-work measure," September 15, 2008
- Face the State web site: "Right-to-Work opposition funded by out of state dollars," June 16, 2008
- Denver Post: "Group wants clarity on 47," June 3, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Complaint alleges campaign finance abuses," April 9, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Despite contribution bump, right-to-work group still trails in money race," July 8, 2008
- Denver Post: "Businesses raise $1.1 million to fight anti-union measures," October 13, 2008
- United Press International, "Colo. right-to-work measure close in poll," October 6, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Right-to-work foes sue to block ballot issue," May 29, 2008
- Denver Business Journal: "Opponents of amendment lose in court," Aug. 7, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News: "Judge partially dismisses challenge to right-to-work amendment," Aug. 7, 2008
- Denver Business Journal: "Judge dismisses lawsuit to stop right-to-work amendment," Aug. 21, 2008
- Channel 4: "Mudslinger Ad Makes Issue of Background Checks," July 20, 2008
- Denver Channel 7 News: "Commercial Attacking Three Amendments Is Misleading," July 22, 2008
- KUSA-TV News: "Truth Test: Ad targets backers of anti-union measures," July 17, 2008
- Denver Post, "Court backs dismissal of suit involving Amendment 47," September 12, 2008
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