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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Portents of political perfidy

On Oct. 19, your county commission voted 3-to-1 to tell you how to vote on Amendment 38, the Petition Rights Amendment. ( By their actions, they told you the right to petition is useless (that is, the Founding Fathers were wrong). It is not essential to limited government (the First Amendment is obsolete). The process is too much trouble (our 96-year state constitutional right is foolish). They told you to vote “no.”Without using public resources, I urge you to vote “yes.” You can hear my criticism of their misconduct on the board meeting tape at You can also hear our county attorney call me a “sociopath, narcissist and crackpot.” It’s always easy to know which side lost the debate; it’s the one that calls the other speaker schoolyard names. (On that same day, the city manager called me a “backyard bully.”) If you oppose such mudslinging, you can DO something about it. Read on.I would also have objected had they voted the other way. It is never, ever the role of government to tell us which way to vote. They tell us what to do every other day of the year; Election Day is the one day when we can tell them what we want. Voting is a celebration of our vanishing heritage of self-government. My colleagues no longer believe We the People are in charge. They prefer “We the Politicians.” After all, you work for them, don’t you?President Reagan once defined a taxpayer as “someone who works for the government without having to take a civil service exam.” How true. How sad.The irony is that No. 38 would prevent this misuse of public resources in petition campaigns.That’s what my colleagues dislike about it. They want to use your tax dollars, your Web site, your microphone, your paper, your staff time and other public resources to control elections.Under No. 38, they would be fined for this embezzlement of materials entrusted to them for use for the general welfare, NOT for their personal or political agenda.Amendment 38 has been misdescribed as prohibiting discussion of any ballot issues by any government employee, even in his or her own home! Nonsense. What No. 38 bans is this: “…no district or district staff shall aid spending district resources, or using any district procedure, equipment, or staff time, to discuss pending petitions after petition forms are delivered.” It is the spending that is curtailed, not private discussions. Politicians can chip in and buy a billboard, or sign a joint letter to the newspapers, or hand out fliers they paid for. What they do instead is steal your property, rather than use their own. For shame.The mayor of Littleton was just fined $500 for mailing out an attack on Amendment 38 at taxpayer expense. Two government membership groups, Colorado Counties and the Special District Association, gave $20,000 each to the campaign against No. 38. Where did they get the money? From your taxes of course, paid to them as dues. El Paso County paid $77,000 this year in dues to CCI. How much did your special fire district or other government pay in such money laundering activity? Remember that wasteful spending before voting for the Falcon or Peyton Fire District efforts to double or triple the property taxes you pay them.Another reason foes give is that No. 38 will allegedly cause long ballots. But the board voted in 2005 to put THREE issues on this ballot, to weaken county term limits for three of their friends (clerk-recorder, treasurer, and sheriff). There was no public demand for that action, and no clear need. You should vote against county issues 1A, 1B, and 1C. More dirty politics.The sleaze prize goes to the opposition to No. 38. First, look at their donor list. We have posted it at We are all volunteers, but they call us “special interests!”Our special interest is EVERYONE’S right to petition government. Look at the amount and source of their donations. The largest is $106,000 from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Do you really think they care about your rights?You will also see some signs by the “no” side. They learned their slogan “Don’t let them HURT Colorado” was not working, as the latest (Oct. 2) poll shows 55 percent YES to 32 percent NO. So they changed slogans to “KEEP YOUR PETITION RIGHTS.” Got that? Keep your petition rights by voting AGAINST the Petition Rights Amendment!It’s the old trick of claiming a “yes” vote means “no,” and “no” means “yes.” Well, No. 38 is simple. YES means YES. If their cynical tactic doesn’t tell you who the good guys are in this fight, nothing will.I have had volunteers from the eastern border of my district come to my home and take a box of fliers to distribute for Petition Rights and the two city petitions. I admire their sense of civic duty. If you want to save the petition process, call me at home at 550-0010. (Notice that I won’t use county phones for political activities.)If you are physically infirm and cannot distribute fliers, then call everyone in Colorado in your personal phone book, and e-mail everyone on your email list, and tell everyone you meet until Election Day at 7 p.m. The message is simple – we must save our First Amendment right to petition government by voting YES on No. 38.*************Contact me at (719) 520-6412, by e-mail at, or by writing me at 27 E. Vermijo Ave. Colo. Spgs. CO 80903. Audiotapes of all BOCC meetings, both simulcast and in archives, are available at Back issues of my monthly reports are at my website, Reports can be emailed to you monthly. Just sign up. Thank you.

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