In the Denver Post this morning, former Colorado governer Dick Lamm is quoted as saying: "This is outrageous judicial activism. ... It's raw, naked politics." He is talking about the state Supreme Court's ruling that the "Defend Colorado" initiative violated the 'single subject' rule and cannot be placed on the November ballot.
Now ... this particular challenge to this initiative was filed in January 2006 -- six months ago! The proponents have since collected thousands and thousands of signatures and spent thousands and thousands of dollars in their effort.
For the Court to rule now during this process must lend credence to Lamm's charges -- this clearly smacks of politics by judiciary. By waiting so long to render a decision, the Court seems to have deliberately waited until the proponents of this initiative would have no more time to remedy any legal flaws in their proposal.
Whether or not one agrees with the subject or intent of the "Defend Colorado" initiative or its advocate's motivations, this kind of perversion of our First Amendment right to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is wrong.
The first of the Green Party's Ten Key Values states that we "We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process." That is what the citizen initiative petition process is all about.
My years of experience in Arvada city issues dealing with growth and the environment taught me that entrenched, big-monied special interests will go to extraordinary lengths to repress and subvert grassroots citizen efforts -- usually using the power of the government itself. Often times the only way for average people to remind government officials that the PEOPLE are in charge is through the initiative and referendum process.
That is why what the Colorado Supreme Court did yesterday points out dramatically the need to simplifiy and reform the citizen initiative process in our state.
I endorse and support state ballot question 38, the Petiton Rights Amendment.
You can find the summary of this proposal below and a link to the entire text.
My philosophy, if I am elected to the United States House of Representatives, will reflect my position on this state issue -- ours is supposed to be a "government of the people, by the people and for the people." The more citizen participation in the great issues confronting our republic, the stronger and freer will be our nation.
Principle Before Politics!
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that a proposed initiative to eliminate state services to illegal immigrants won't be on the November ballot, dealing a major setback to a three- year effort to get the proposal before voters.
For the November 7, 2006 General Election Ballot Amendment 38 - Petitions
An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning initiative and referendum petitions, and, in connection therewith, changing petition rights and procedures; allowing petitions to be submitted at all levels of Colorado government; limiting initiative ballot titles to 75 words; changing single-subject requirements and procedures; limiting the annual number of new laws that governments may exclude from possible referendum petitions; establishing standards for review of filed petitions; specifying that petitions may be voted on at any November election; limiting the use of government resources to discuss a petition; requiring voter approval for future petition laws and rules and for changes to certain voter-approved petitions; and authorizing measures to enforce the amendment.