Liberal front group rolls out ‘Taxing a Better Colorado’ scheme

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Liberal front group rolls out ‘Taxing a Better Colorado’ scheme

(By John Andrews, ’76 Editor) Soothing rhetoric and high-minded goals characterized the Sunday Denver Post lead story on a new, prestigious, ostensibly bipartisan group called Building a Better Colorado.

 “It’s not about Republicans or Democrats
[but simply] about working together [for] the state we love,” says a confidential prospectusobtained by Centennial Institute. But two dead giveaways, hinted in the Post story and confirmed in the prospectus, make clear it’s not that simple at all.
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One tell is the group’s issue agenda, which reads like a demolition list for every fiscal guardrail and limited-government protection placed in the state constitution by voters since the 1980s.  Tax and spending limits under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (1992), residential property-tax limits under the Gallagher Amendment (1982), and term limits on Colorado governors, legislators, and local officials (1990) are among the top targets.
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The other tell is the group’s top leadership, a 10-member executive committee comprising not only Republican moderates like former DU chancellor Dan Ritchie and banking industry leader Don Childears, but also such heavyweight backstage big-government Democrats as Al Yates, Alan Salazar, and Rick Sapkin.
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Those D’s way outmatch those R’s when it comes to throwing hard punches in the clinch.  And Gov. John Hickenlooper’s fingerprints are all over the key personnel, as Colorado Peak Politics showed yesterday.
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Removing TABOR restraints on the spending plans of big-government advocates appears to be the group’s cherished goal as it tees up ballot issues for 2016.  Centennial Institute’s recommendation for truth-in-packaging is therefore to rename the project as “Taxing a Better Colorado.”  Here’s the prospectus with all the gory details: Taxing a Better Colorado.pdf
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One further note, intriguing and ominous: It was none other than the progressive uber-fixer Al Yates who orchestrated the shadowy Colorado Democracy Alliance (CoDA) machine that turned Colorado hard left in the decade from 2002 to 2012.  The whole sad story is documented in Rob Witwer and Adam Schrager’s indispensable book, The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care.  
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A synopsis by Witwer, five years old but still frighteningly fresh, is here.  You’re compelled to wonder if Yates, quietly allied with Hickenlooper and cunningly manipulating Ritchie, isn’t gearing up the Son of CoDA for another onslaught against constitutional limited government and fiscal conservatism here in “the state we love.”

2 Comments

  1. Kathleen Sullivan August 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Hopefully the message gets out that eliminating TABOR only hurts our pocket books -only to support liberal, big government wishes for spending our money on left wing ideology.

    • Barry Jedburgh October 8, 2015 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Talk about conspiracy theory at its worst. I am a conservative and I know better. This article has no bite and is an embarrassment to intellectual discourse. Republican Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers is an advocate for this initiative, has significant political weight, and many of the proposals are common sense and moderate in nature. Our State’s current budget trajectory is unsustainable and without modifications to TABOR, we will never be able overcome the impending structural budget deficit. As education and human services increase through mandatory spending increases, other programs like public safety and roads will have to be cut. I would invite anyone with common sense to review these Better Colorado proposals and make the decision for yourselves instead of absorbing the hyperbole embedded in this article.

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