“Raise The Bar” is a newly packaged campaign designed to serve some elected officials who want to insulate their influence at the legislature from contrary intentions of a majority of voters. They wish to make it difficult for ballot questions immune from overturn by the legislature to reach the ballot. Initiative 96 resembles a power play by officials vs. the public. Politically active citizens know that the special interests of the legislature plus lobby don’t always serve the public interest. In this case ballot initiatives that are constitutional amendments may be the only way the public can arrange to be well served.
I agree that the constitution deserves respect. If initiative proponents would create a citizen initiative mechanism that cannot be so easily overturned by the legislature without a constitutional amendment, I might support that. As it is constitutional amendments are needed by both left and right to defend the public interest against special interests at the legislature and its lobby. Visitors to the Capitol in Denver know from personal experience about special interests that uniquely motivate elected officials.
I experienced the limited citizen involvement of the “Build A Better Colorado” process. I know that “Raise The Bar” intends to take advantage of the current “ease” in amending the constitution fully intending to close the same doors to anyone who follows. I call that disrespectful. I will work to defend the public by defeating the “Raise the Bar” initiative.
To be fair, 96 must collect 2 percent signatures per state senate district and demand support of 55 percent of Coloradans to pass. Otherwise please consign the campaign to the laughing stock of Colorado politics.