My 2008 Colorado Voter Notes

I started deciding how I was going to vote for the 2008 Colorado General Election for the Referendum and Amendments and decided to put my notes online.

Remember, vote early (info for Boulder voters) to save the chance of a line.  This is how easy it was in the primary:

Line For Early Voting!

Amendment 46: Discrimination and Preferential Treatment by Governments
My take: Too vague, “preferential treatment” isn’t defined.  No. 

Amendment 47: Prohibition on Mandatory Labor Union Membership and Dues
My take: Very divisive and doesn’t add any value to workers.  No.

Amendment 48: Definition of Person
My take: Hell no.

Amendment 49: Allowable Government Paycheck Deductions
My take: You hate unions?  Then can you help get this on the ballot?  No.

Amendment 50: Limited Gaming in Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek
My take: Extending gambling limits will bring in bigger casinos.  Will help community colleges, but I think this isn’t a good longterm strategy.  No.

Amendment 51: State Sales Tax Increase for Services for People with Developmental Disabilities
My take: Helps people that need it, but a tax increase.  Neutral (but leaning yes).

Amendment 52: Use of Severance Tax Revenue for Highways
My take: A budget mandate in the constitution?  No.

Amendment 54: Campaign Contributions from Certain Government Contractors
My take: Another bad idea. No

Amendment 58: Severance Taxes on the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
My take: This first one I support.  Tax on Oil and Gas companies for financial aid for college students.  Yes.

Amendment 59: Education Funding and TABOR Rebates (S.A.F.E.)
My take: Creates savings account for schools.  Yes.

Referendum L: Qualifications for Serving in the State Legislature
My take: Young people involved in politics?  Impossible!  Yes.

Referendum M: Obsolete Constitutional Provision Relating to Land Value Increases
My take: Doesn’t seem like anyone cares about this one, but seems to take out unneeded language.  Yes.

Referendum N: Obsolete Constitutional Provisions Relating to Alcohol Beverages
My take: The fed controls Alcohol, so this doesn’t do any good in the state constitution.  Yes.

Referendum O: Citizen-Initiated State Laws
My take: Yes. Yes. Yes.  It should be tougher to get constitutional amendments on the ballot.  Yes. Yes. Yes.

That is my take on it, but with my stance on Be Political, you should have your own as well.

Vote early!  I will be going on Monday to the Boulder County Courthouse at around 4pm, would love to grab a happy hour after.





12 responses to “My 2008 Colorado Voter Notes”

  1. josh Avatar

    Hi Andrew, hope you are doing well. Not sure if you wanted to start a debate on your positions, but amendment 47 effects a lot of people. For instance, my mother is a teacher (and happens to be a conservative republican). She is forced to join a labor union and spend $500 per year on dues. She has no choice. The dues seem to go toward incredibly partisan attacks against the politics my mother supports. She is disgusted that her money is spent in such a way, yet she has no ability to change it. To me this isn't a divisive issue, it is about allowing for choice and not prohibiting it. The workers not only gain more freedom by being empowered with choice, but they can also reclaim their money and do what they will with it. So, to sum it up, there is tremendous value at stake for workers and it should not be a divisive issue at all. If you want to be part of a union, so be it. If not, you should not be forced to join one.

  2. Jared K. Avatar
    Jared K.

    I'd love to hear your take on County & City issues too, Andrew. Any chance we could see that?

  3. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    I agree with you, in that you should be able to choose to be a part of a union. But to put this in the constitution is wrong. Also, Unions are only as strong as their weakest members. If their members are strong, so is the union, and part of that is being representative of their fellow members. This change should happen from within.

  4. Luca Avatar

    I think that the fact that certain Colorado workers are forced to pay taxes to non-governmental, highly partisan organizations is ludicrous enough that the principle of Amendment 47 is worth enshrining in the State constitution. And, FYI, I am of political convictions quite different from Josh's mother…

  5. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    So if you interview for a Union job, and get it, with all the work and rights the Union has spent years building, you should be able to opt out upon hiring…

  6. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    Hmmm… let me take a look.

  7. Luca Avatar

    Quick answer: yes. Long answer: Unions have had a critical role in the history of this country. But when I say historical, in most cases I mean many decades ago. In more recent times, there have been bright spots where a progressive, enlightened union leadership has helped an industry move forward. Take, for example, United Steelworkers' Leo Gerard – his constructive, reasonable, pragmatic approach helped keep a critical US industry from its deathbed to a renaissance. Unfortunately, other examples are less heartwarming: – I don't think that there's any doubt about UAW's role in making sure that the US auto industry is dead for good. – Teachers' unions are staunchly opposed to linking pay to performance. They want salaries to depend only on seniority. 'Nuf said. – My personal brush with unions is with electricians at trade shows, and… don't get me started. More specifically to your point, I don't see the logic of having to pay for something done in the past. Past union activities (good or bad) were paid by past union dues. Past union activities (good or bad) are no guarantee of good union activities in the future. I just loathe the concept of unions as taxing authorities. If you are a good, young school teacher, the union you are forced to support is actively working against you.

  8. Luca Avatar

    One more small, semantic observation: you shouldn't be able to opt out – you should be able to opt in. Unions should be voluntary organizations.

  9. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    I believe you can opt in by applying for the job 🙂

  10. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    Points well taken.

  11. jamesoclark Avatar

    For Boulder County residences use the Quick Reference Voter Guide as a cheat sheet:…” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>… Go through the issues before hand, fill out your responses on the guide prior to showing up at your polling place, then quickly fill our your voter card. This will speed up the time you take in the voter's booth, reduce the lines (as Andrew mentions vote early, it only took me 15 minutes) plus you won't question yourself after reading the Orwellian descriptions of the issue that appear on the ballot.

  12. Chris Otwell Avatar
    Chris Otwell

    Problem with that thought though… If a Job is a union job (esp the Electrical Brothers Union), you can't opt out of either paying the dues, or the benefits of it. Collective Bargaining Law generally requires the Union involvement, coverage, and fees.

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