Archives for October 2014

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On October 28, 2014, the Independence Institute held a debate at the Denver Post building on whether there is a war on women in Colorado. On the “no” side we had Kelly Maher and Laura Carno. For the “yes” side we had Susan Greene and Laura Chapin.

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NRA Magazine- Election Issues

NRA Magazine

October 30, 2014
The 2013 Colorado recalls were all about politicians overreaching on gun control. It was a response to just one more example of people like Michael Bloomberg using their vast fortunes to tell the rest of us how we must behave. When Bloomberg forces restrictions on salt, sodas and trans-fats, it’s annoying. But when he proposes gun restrictions that make me less safe, it is incredibly disrespectful to all women. A billionaire who hires armed security to protect him dares to tell me how many rounds I can have in my magazine! Ordinary Colorado citizens organized the recalls, knocked on doors, called their neighbors and flocked to the polls. Despite $350,000 of Bloomberg money being spent against the recall efforts, we successfully recalled two sitting state Senators and forced another to resign, showing Bloomberg that the voters couldn’t be bought.

Bloomberg Can Be Beat Because Our Votes Can’t Be Bought.

This is a direct excerpt from the full NRA  Magazine, click here to see the magazine.

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See the original video here.

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El Paso Ballot Question 1B: A Dishonest Tax Increase

The Jeff Crank Show
By Jeff Crank
October 14, 2014
El Paso County Ballot Question 1B is nothing more than a dishonest attempt to fool voters.  Its shameful deception rises to the level of the misleading term-limits language of a few years ago.  If you remember the term limits language which implied that a yes vote “limited” terms when it actually extended them then question 1B this year might ring a bell.  1B imposes a tax of $92.40 per year on the average household in El Paso County for the next 20 years and beyond.  That is a minimum tax increase of $1,848 per property- and likely much higher.  However, you wouldn’t know these facts just by reading the ballot language.
Pretty harsh to say it is deceptive, but the facts leave little doubt.  First, the language calls the tax a “fee”.  Why? If they called it a tax, the Colorado Constitution would require the ballot language to start out by saying “shall taxes be increased by $39,275,650 for 2016 and each year after for 20 years.”  By cleverly calling the tax a “fee”, they can now start the language with “Are you in favor of funding emergency needs caused by flooding…”.  It was worded this way to enhance the ability to get it passed but it is nothing more than a way to trick you into believing that the money coming out of your pocket is a “fee” and not actually a tax.  After all, it is on your property TAX bill, head to Tax Shark to understand what you need to do in case of a tax problem or confusion.
The sleight of hand continues.  Rather than being honest about how much you’re going to pay each year, they broke the amount down per month.  They could have simply said that it would cost the average homeowner $1,848 over the next twenty years.  Instead, they broke the amount down by month – to $7.70 per month.  Why not just give us the full monty and break it down to the day, hour or second? By the way, if you do the math, it is just over a penny per hour tax increase.
Question 1B also creates a brand new government bureaucracy and then exempts it from the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights provisions of the Colorado Constitution.  In other words, it creates a bureaucracy and then allows that bureaucracy to vote to extend the tax (that they call a fee) without ever going to the citizens for a vote of the people.
As Mayor Steve Bach, who strongly opposes 1B, stated, “the new $92.40 storm water fee is about the same amount the average residential property owner now pays for all City services combined.”  That’s right, you’ll pay as much property tax for storm water as you do for police, fire, snow removal, street repair, parks, arts, etc.  Imagine this new unaccountable bureaucracy getting as much property tax as the city of Colorado Springs, never having to face an election and having the ability to increase the tax at their whim and without voter approval.
If this tax increase of $785 million over twenty years weren’t offensive enough the audacity of the language should convince any citizen to vote no.  The drafters of the language trying to pull the wool over voters eyes by calling a tax a “fee”; reducing the yearly tax amount to make it appear smaller; and thumbing their nose at the voters by taking away the right to vote on tax increases make this as deceptive and misleading as any ballot language we’ve ever seen.

Our storm water problem is real and it should be addressed but Question 1B is not the answer.  I hope you’ll join Mayor Steve Bach, myself and many other community leaders in voting no.

Original post here.

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Colorado’s State-Wide Ballot Amendments – What is the Proper Role of Government?

Colorado’s State-Wide Ballot Amendments – What is the Proper Role of Government?
Laura Carno
By Laura Carno
October 14,  2014
Following are my opinions on the state-wide ballot initiatives in Colorado from my perspective about whether or not they are actually the proper role of government.  Feel free to reach out if you have questions about your local ballot issues.Amendment 67 – Definition of Person and Child

The marketing for Amendment 67 would have you believe that it exists solely to gain equal rights in wrongful death situations.  If implemented however, it would effectively ban most forms of birth control, and cause legal issues for women who miscarry or participate in many forms of infertility treatments.  The pro-life activist community is not universally behind the Personhood effort. In 2008, Colorado’s Amendment 48, the first attempt at a Personhood Amendment in Colorado, was defeated at the ballot box 73-27. When a similar bill made its way through the Colorado State Legislature in 2014, even the Catholic Archbishop of Denver urged people to act to stop the bill.  It failed.  This Amendment creates more intrusion in to women’s lives, and makes government larger and more powerful.  I will be voting NO.

Amendment 68 – Horse Racetrack Casino Gambling

The marketing for Amendment 68 is “for the children.”  It purports to be raising money for schools.  Who isn’t for good schools?  If this passes, it would allow casino style gambling at 3 Colorado horse racetracks (one existing horse racetrack and two still to be developed), include some slot machines for some slots lv no deposit free spins, and create an additional tax to produce millions more in revenue to the state.  Ordinarily, I would support a business owner’s right to determine what should happen at his or her business.  But, I have a couple of issues with this Amendment.  First, voters in the areas where these casinos might open should have the ability to make this decision for their community, adding a local control element to the discussion.  None of these proposed casinos would impact my area.  Why should I get a say?  Second, creating new taxes simply adds to the amount of money the State government has to spend, and generally speaking, government does not spend money well.  When we “starve the beast”, they have less money with which to harm citizens. I will be voting NO.

Amendment 104 – School Board Meeting Requirements

This Amendment requires that when school boards meet with unions for the purpose of collective bargaining, that these meetings will be conducted in public.  When this idea has previously been brought before the Colorado state legislature, it has been killed on a party line vote. Not surprisingly, the teachers’ union is funding the opposition to Amendment 104.  The government belongs to us, and the citizens are owed transparency in negotiations that involve taxpayer dollars.  For more history on this effort, see this Denver Post op-ed by former State Representative B.J. Nikkel, a great advocate of government transparency. I will be voting YES.

Amendment 105 – Labeling Genetically Modified Food

This Amendment would require labeling of food products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), with many exceptions.  The history of GMOs is a complicated debate.  While I can appreciate the viewpoint of those who don’t want to consume GMOs, I am also aware of the positive uses.  In poor parts of the world for example, GMO’s are starting to be used to infuse crops with specific nutrients, thereby saving millions who would otherwise die of malnutrition.  Ultimately, I come down on the side of voluntary actions instead of the force of government.  Food products that do not include GMOs are free to label their products (as many do today) as GMO free.  Consumers would then be free to choose what they buy, and apply pressure to companies to label their food products.  Although there are many more complexities covering the exceptions, ingredients, etc., it is simply not the proper role of government to force businesses to jump through regulatory hoops and add cost to their process.  I will be voting NO.

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