Letter to the Editor – Odd Bedfellows Come Together to Defeat Amendment 71

Dear Editor:
Opponents to Amendment 71 (the state ballot issue to raise the bar for constitutional amendments) have united to stand up for the rights of all Coloradans against the demands of the political elite. These opponents make up the broadest coalition in Colorado history, spanning both ends of the political spectrum, and include a diverse array of groups that are frequently opposed to each other. The broad-based coalition has come together ensure special interests do not succeed in limiting access to the ballot to only wealthy corporate interests.

The No on 71 Coalition, listed below, is made up of average Coloradans, including Republicans, Democrats, environmentalists, gun rights advocates, union members, women’s rights advocates, pro-life organizations, Latino and African American organizations, local governments, and political parties.

New campaign finance reports were released yesterday for the No on 71 campaign and Amendment 71’s proponents. These documents show definitively that the No on 71 Coalition is funded solely by public interest groups, non-profit organizations, and individuals, while the majority of funding for the proponents of the initiative came from corporations and special interests. The proponents, funded by corporate and special interests, have raised $4.2 million in their efforts to limit access to the ballot solely to the wealthy and political elite, which is more than six times the amount raised by the opponents.

State Representative Joseph Salazar declared, “Raise the Bar’s campaign finance reports clearly show that Amendment 71 is being funded by wealthy special interests. In our effort to stomp down the corporate interests to protect our rights, we are proud to have the spectrum of public interest organizations, from teachers and environmentalists to the Independence Institute, working side by side to defeat these special interests. While you may be tempted to believe that we need to make it tougher to amend the Colorado Constitution, it should not be at the expense of democracy, take away the power of the People, or abdicate power to big special interests.”

“In my nearly three decades in Colorado politics I have never seen, I mean NEVER, seen such a diverse coalition of organizations that are usually at war with one another come together like this. Only a massive threat to the state could bring us all together. And Amendment 71 is that massive threat. What binds this coalition is a fear of unchecked power by the political establishment. If passed, 71 will disempower citizens for generations to come,” said Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute.

Amendment 71 claims to give voice to the entire state with respect to amending our Constitution while in reality, this flawed initiative is merely a smoke screen by corporations to protect their interests.

“The Colorado NAACP State Conference opposes Amendment 71, which would make it nearly impossible for our members to participate in direct democracy by making citizen initiatives that have been key drivers of progress and change more difficult. Amendment 71 is an attack on our democracy and serves only to silence the voice of everyday Coloradans,” said Colorado NAACP State Conference President Rosemary Harris Lytle.

Opponents of Amendment 71 include the following:

Elected Officials and Political Parties
Congressman Jared Polis
Former Congressman Bob Beauprez
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo
State Senator Irene Aguilar
State Senator John Cooke
State Senator Matt Jones
State Senator John Kefalas
State Senator Kent Lambert
State Senator Kevin Lundberg
State Senator Michael Merrifield
State Rep. Kim Ransom
State Rep. Joe Salazar
State Rep. Jonathan Singer
State Rep. Jesse Ulibarri
State Rep. Faith Winter
State Rep. Mike Foote
State Rep. Justin Everett
State Rep. Brittany Pettersen
State Rep. Steve Lebsock
Former CO State Senate President John Andrews
State Senate Candidate Steve Fenberg
Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones
Boulder City Council
Boulder County Commissioners
Longmont City Council member Joan Peck
Weld County Commissioner Candidate Anne Harper
Regent at Large Candidate Alice Madden
RTD Director Natalie Menten
Adams County GOP Chair Anil Mathai
Arapahoe Tea Party
Colorado Libertarian Party
Denver County Democratic Party
Denver County Republican Party
Eagle County GOP
Eagle County Republican Party
Jefferson County Republican Party

Community Organizations and Labor
350 Central Colorado
350 Colorado
ACLU of Colorado
America Votes
Be the Change – USA
Bell Policy Center
Citizens for Huerfano County
Citizens in Charge
Citizens Project
Clean Energy Action
Colorado AFL-CIO
Coloradans for Civil Liberties
Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development
Colorado Campaign for Life
Colorado Center on Law and Policy
Colorado Common Cause
Colorado Community Rights Network
Colorado Education Association
Colorado Firearms Association
Colorado Firearms Coalition
Colorado Fiscal Institute
Colorado People’s Alliance
Colorado Right To Life
Colorado Rising
Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition
Colorado Tea Party Patriots
Colorado Term Limits Coalition
Colorado Union of Taxpayers
Conservation Colorado
Divestment Student Network
Families Against Court Embezzlement
Unethical Standards
Food & Water Watch
Frack-Free Co
FRESC: Good Jobs Strong Communities
Generation Latino
Green Cities Coalition of the Pikes Peak Region
Greenpeace USA
Humane Society of the United States
Independence Institute
Judicial Integrity Project
Lakewood Fracktivists
Metro Denver Community Rights
Mi Familia Vota Colorado
NAACP CO-MT-WY State Conference
NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado
New Era Colorado
North Metro Neighbors for Safe Energy
Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont
Padres & Jóvenes Unidos
ProgressNow Colorado
Question Alliance
SEIU State Council
Servicios de la Raza
Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter
South Park Coalition
TABOR Committee
Wall of Women Colorado – WOW
Weld Air and Water
What the Frack?! Arapahoe

Newspapers and Media
Denver Post
Greeley Tribune
Aurora Sentinel
Boulder Weekly
Boulder Daily Camera
Vincent Carroll
Radio host Jeff Crank
Radio host Mike Rosen