02 November, 2005

Split Decision

Well, the votes have been counted. The blood has been mopped up. The chickens have come home. And the fat lady has sung.

Off key.

According to the Denver Post, Referendum C passed by a comfortable 4 point margin, while the companion bill of Referendum D failed by 1.2 percent. Which is how I voted myself, incidentally.

From the moment I moved to this state 4+ years ago, I could see that TABOR was a millstone around the government's neck, dragging it down towards bankruptcy. Yet I have this reflective knee-jerk response against any measure that proposes a bond for anything other than education. If the state doesn't have the money, then they shouldn't build up half-billion dollar projects all at the same time, which is exactly what Referendum D was proposing.

So yes, I call this a split decision, even though Colorado Luis is under the impression that D was simply an add-on to keep Gov. Owens happy. Not so, in my view. They were marketed together, whether the marketing was for or against them. They were almost incestuously intertwined from the word "go". And they were designed to go along together, even to the point of D stating that if C failed then D would never come to pass, and reserving a specific percentage of the "additional revenue" from C into the bonds of D. Therefore, they were part and parcel of each other, and this is now a split decision.

But what makes yesterday really interesting, and may have affected Luis' logic, is that the three major city-(and county-)level de-Bruceing measures (so called as a salute to the godfather of TABOR, El Paso County Commissioner Doug Bruce) known as Denver 1B, Castle Rock 2A, and Boulder 1A both passed by very confortable margins. And oddly enough, the highly Republican Castle Rock's measure passed by a wider margin than the much-derided People's Republic of Boulder, yet not by as much as in the well-known liberal territory of Denver City And County. Odd how that works, isn't it?

So the arguments regarding taxation and state-level spending is far from as wide and convincing as folks like Jon Caldara's Independence Institute would have had you believe. A vast majority of us have services that we depend on the state to perform, whether in the areas of education or law enforcement or firefighting. And this time, a majority of Coloradans saw it that way and voted to preserve them so that we don't have to pay still more down the line.

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