Freedom Updates, June 11, 2003
All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.
Bruce Seeks Petition Help
Two statewide petition drives will begin after Labor Day. One is a tax cut on utility, vehicle, income, and property taxes. It is $25 per tax the first year, then increases $25 each later year ($50, $75, $100, etc.) Because of the criticism of a similar proposal in the 2000 election, it will have four exceptions, so district voters can 1) vote to suspend future increases in the tax cut for one or two years, 2) small districts have only $5 property tax cuts, 3) government revenue is assured to grow by inflation so that the tax cut only trims revenue growth above inflation, and 4) individual taxpayers can check off on their tax bill that they don't want that tax cut. The text is found at www.colorado.gov by going to "general assembly," then "ballot issues," then clicking on the text for #55.
The second is the Petition Rights Amendment. Same web directions, but click text for #54. PRA will allow petitions to all local governments--today, we can't petition county, school, or special districts. It will have the same signature requirements for all petitions, which will be a reduction for local petitions that will match the state level. It will correct the practice of making nearly all laws "declared emergencies," so that citizens cannot challenge them by petition, as now guaranteed by the constitution. In one page, it will correct nearly every abuse that has arisen because politicians want to prevent another TABOR Amendment from getting on the ballot. The time to get signatures is doubled or quadrupled. Government workers who campaign against petitions using tax money will be personally liable for three times the amount spent, and will not have government lawyers to defend them. PRA has MANY, MANY good features. It is as important to pass as TABOR was, maybe more so. Both are for the November 2004 election.
We need 100,000 signatures on each petition in five months. They will be collected simultaneously. That is 500 people getting 200 each, or 200 people getting 500 each, etc. The more SERIOUS volunteers, the better, but we will pay 50 cents per signature (a dollar for both). That's up to $100,000 available for petitioners. We would rather pay people who believe in the issue than pay strangers. This is a GREAT fundraiser--better than any garage sale, car wash, or bake sale. Anyone following directions can make $100 per day, though standing in front of a store being rejected four times out of five is VERY boring. The only legal requirement is to be 18 or older. Petitioners should have a Colorado address and not look or act offensive to average citizens. We will train them, which will take 1-2 hours. They cannot be afraid of rejection or repetition, which are the hallmarks of petitioning. We want to have all our petitioners lined up and ready BEFORE we begin the petition drive.
For more information, call Douglas Campbell at (303) 420-6238 or Douglas Bruce at (719) 550-0010. Send emails to email@example.com . Thanks. Douglas Bruce
A Big Victory for We the People in Colorado!!!
Campbell tells me that 1290 was passed and it indeed prevents the governor from banning guns and gun sales in emergency situations. However, the bill in no way impacts other restrictions that currently impede the right of self-defense.
Drug War Hypocrisy
At the same time, a June 11 editorial by the Denver Post praised Jefferson County Sheriff Russell Cook for taking a leave of absence and seeking treatment for what he called "my addiction to alcohol." It's nice that Cook can seek treatment with the encouragement of his friends and community, rather than be sent to prison. As the Sheriff goes to treatment, how many people will the Sheriff's office send to jail because of their drug problems?
Only two months after the RAVE Act was passed by Congress it has been used by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to intimidate the owners of a Billings, Montana, venue into canceling a combined benefit for the Montana chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). One of the biggest reasons the Drug Policy Alliance waged a national campaign to stop the RAVE Act was that we feared it would be used to shut down political events like this.
Drug prohibition has already shredded much of the Bill of Rights, and now it threatens free speech and assembly, too.