Colorado Elections are upon us. Here are our recommendations for the amendments and propositions facing Boulder County voters on November 6th.
*While Yellow Scene’s stances and endorsement were agreed to by our editorial team, it’s important to note that the actual positions were written by our managing editor, Johnathen Duran De La Vaca. You can reach him directly with comments, questions, concerns, and appreciation at Editorial@YellowScene.com. Please remember to be civil in your correspondence.
Amendment 73: FOR
Income taxes (and more) for schools:
We support this amendment. Moving to a bracketed system that asks high earning Coloradans to pay their fair share into our education system makes sense. That the state has witnessed a windfall of tax revenues and still has an underfunded education system is testament to the failure of current (and recent past) elected officials. TaxFoundation.org lists Colorado as #22 / 50 in state and local income taxes per capita. We can do better by asking our wealthier citizens to pay more. There’s a reason why we’re US News & World report ranks us as a highly educated state – #9/50 – while our preK-12 is ranked #30/50. We’re failing our kids and that, we feel, is why the future of our state is in jeopardy. We can’t continue to import the highly educated to fill the gaps we create for ourselves.
Amendment 74: AGAINST
Compensation for Decreased Property Value Due to State Regs
This amendment is absolute nonsense. Beyond being a wildly absurd idea and bold faced attempt to subjugate the state to the financial concerns of private businesses, this amendment “is so broad-based it threatens to jeopardize property rights and bilk local governments and taxpayers out of billions of dollars with frivolous lawsuits,” says the Gazette. We concur.
The Colorado Farm Beurau is the frontman for this attempted heist, but it’s funded to the tune of millions by Protect Colorado, a 501(c)(4) group created by PR firm Pac/West Communications on behalf of the oil and gas industry. That is, O&G seeking to bilk Coloradans of even more. We’re against this amendment and encourage you to vote no.
Amendment 75: AGAINST
Campaign contribution limits
We have to admit that we were initially for this amedment. We’re absolutely for campaign contribution limits and the logic of allowing “the little guy” to raise up to 5X current limits to challenge sulf funded candidates sounds good. A closer look, however, shows no limits to the self funded candidate from also donating up to 5X the limits to themselvees, meaning this has the potential to spiral completely out of control and make Colorado elections a richest-take-all proposal.
We cannot in good faith support a bill that would ultimately spell preemptive defeat for any third party or grassroots candidate. For these reasons and more, we urge you to vote no on Amendment 75.
Proposition 109: AGAINST
“Fix Our Damn Roads”
Asking citizens to pay back unfunded bonds when we have 110, which has a built in funding mechanism, makes no sense.
Claims have been made that this forces the goverment to distribute current monies appropriately, but that’s not correct. In fact, funding for roads has lagged because the gas tax hasn’t increased since 1991, even while inflation has reduced the effective tax rate. 110 fixes the issue and asks anyone visiting and using our roads to chip in as well. We think that’s fair.
109 is a Libertarian scheme brought to you by Jon Caldara’s Independence Institute, which wants infrastructure development without wanting to pay for it. We say no.
Proposition 110: FOR
“Let’s Go, Colorado”
We support 110 with hesitation. Colorado absolutely needs to do some maintenance and infrastructure improvements/additions, but monies for roads that don’t explicitly include public transit are monies that will only add to congestion of our highways and byways. More roads = more cars, essentially, and projects built under 110 aren’t decided by the people but by beauracrats weilding power and influence. We need to move to modern mass transit, including increased bus transit, train travel, hyperloops, etc. We need the “bustling world class multimodal transportation network” that Candi Cdebaca wrote about in our Sept. issue. That said, it’s a step in generally right direction that we hope will address the growing issues of congestion and infrastructure failure that we know all too well.
Proposition 111: FOR
Payday loans interest limits
Payday loans have been a scam for as long as we can remember. We’re principally opposed to profiteering off the backs of working class Coloradans.
CPR reports that the measure would limit interest rates to 36 percent, which we find too high at even this limited level, and prevent lenders from adding origination and monthly maintenance fees. In 2016, the average APR on payday loans in Colorado was 129 percent.
Opponents claims that “the measure could eliminate the payday lending business in the state entirely” are an example (akin to anti-112 claims) of economic fearmongering without grounding in reality, which we outright reject.
Vote yes on 111.
Proposition 112: FOR
2,500′ Setbacks for future O&G Fracking Wells
The future of our species is at stake. That may sound hyperbolic, but it’s not. Science is real, regardless of what some say. 100 companies account for 70 percent+ of global carbon emissions. Here in Colorado, fracking poses significant health risks (from air quality, ground water contamination, and explosions. Claims that O&G employee hundreds of thousands are exaggerations and the 30K+/- people directly employed O&G workers have multiple avenues to redirect their skill sets. Regardless, transitioning to renewables by or before 2030 (not CO’s current 2041 goal) would put us in line with international scientific consensus to do our part to save our species from extinction and prevent climate catastrophe. For these reasons and more, we are for proposition 112 and encourage all of you to support it.
Amendment A: FOR
The fact that this is a question in 2018 is mortifying. Colorado can and should have done better by now. Why do we have to talk about this? I’m glad you asked. In fact, the book Hooded Empire: The Ku Klux Klan in Colorado by Robert Alan Goldberg spells out in excruciating detail that Colorado had the largest and most embedded network of klansmen west of the Mississippi. Those people had kids, and grandkids, and at least one of those grandkids is running for governor today. Don’t be surprised if – statewide – there is a pinch of opposition to this amendment. White supremacy isn’t dead, no matter how much we wish it was. This is an absolute moral must. There is no choice, except for the virulently racist. Yes on Amendment A.
Amendment V: FOR
We have no issue with young people voting. Why would we have a problem with young people holding office? Amendment V reduces “the age qualification from 25 to 21 for citizens to be members of the state House of Representatives or state Senate.” Good. Perhaps if we took the time to cultivate civic duty in our young, we wouldn’t have a national electorate participation rate of 60% during presidential election years and about 40% during midterms. That’s an abysmal failure of our system and why we’re more divided than ever. Lastly, we support diversity in governance. Age diversity is important, too, lest we fall victim to the fallacy that only the most mature can lead us effectively. Yes on Amendment V.
Amendment W: FOR
This one is boring, but simple. A yes vote shortens “the ballot by allowing county clerks to use one judge retention question for each level of courts with individual judges listed as ballot items below the one judge retention question.” That’s it. Saving paper, saving space, by not repeating the same preface for each judicial retention candidate. Yes.
Amendment X: FOR
Our marijuana writer, Natasha Winkler, writes: “As of June 1, 2018, there are 688 registered hemp growers in Colorado cultivating 23,500 outdoor acres and 3.9 million indoor square feet of industrial hemp. The hemp industry is making tremendous growth as a comeback textile and as a CBD source. By adopting the federal definition of hemp Colorado stands to be ahead in this sprouting market, that’s assuming the federal definition will only change in beneficial ways.” For the fact that anything we can do to move towards legalization and decriminalization would be good for ending the war on drugs and for the economy, and for many more reasons, we support Amendment X.
Amendment Y & Z: FOR
This one seems sticky but ultimately we support it. The reason is simple: leaving it up to an elected body necessitates bias. There is too much at stake for the people who stand to gain to be in charge of redistricting. Both 12-member commissions would have four Republicans, four Democrats and four unaffiliated voters. A lottery system would be used alongside a panel of retired judges to pick commission members. For any revisions to pass, a super majority of eight commission members with at least two unaffiliated voters is needed, CPR reports. For these reasons, we support Amendments Y & Z.
Boulder County Ballot Measure: 1A: Yes, hesitantly. Throwing money at incarceration, even “alternative sentencing”, gives us pause.
Boulder City Ballot Measures: 2C Oil & Gas Pollution Tax: Yes. 2D Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Revenues: Yes. 2E Initiative, Referendum & Recall Process: Yes. 2F Initiative Petition Signature Verification: Yes. 2G Electronic & Online Petitions: Yes. 2H Advisory Commissions: Yes. 21 Planning Dept Budget Recommendations: No. SHERRIFF: Joseph K Pelle
LAFAYETTE: 2A: Yes. LONGMONT: 3A: Yes. 3B: Yes. 3C: Yes (ALL REVENUE BONDS FOR REHAB AND RENOVATION.)
ERIE: 2A BROADBAND AUTHORITY: Yes. LEFT HAND FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT: 6B: Yes, TABOR fix. ROCKY MTN. FIRE DISTRICT 6A: Yes. KNOLLWOOD METRO DISTRICT: 6C: Yes, but a local issue. MOUNTAIN VIEW FIRE DISTRICT: 7J: Yes. URBAN DRAINAGE / FLOOD CONTROL. 7G: Yes, TABOR fix.