Colorado Labor Battle Debuts On Web

A week after supporters of a “right-to-work” ballot proposal announced the creation of their campaign Web site, opponents of the measure have also taken their cause to the Web.

Protect Colorado’s Future, an issue committee that is opposing the right-to-work proposal along with supporting other labor-backed initiatives, announced the creation of its own campaign site on Wednesday to organize volunteers and solicit donations. The committee supporting the proposal called A Better Colorado launched a similar page last week.The right-to-work initiative that supporters hope to place on the 2008 ballot would prohibit mandatory union membership for employees if they are covered by collective-bargaining agreements.

Proposal supporters say they have submitted 130,000 petition signatures to put the measure up for a vote. That’s approximately 57,000 more signatures than the required number needed by the Secretary of State’s office to put the initiative on the ballot.

Protect Colorado’s Future has been working behind the scenes of the right-to-work battle since the committee was registered in early February. Volunteers with the committee had been dropping leaflets and talking to individuals around areas where hired petition circulators were collecting signatures for the right-to-work proposal. A hot line number was also created for questions and comments regarding the petition.

The committee has now officially come out in support of two labor-backed measures dealing with corporate fraud and just cause for firing employees. It is also opposing the right-to-work measure and another proposal restricting  payroll deductions for public employees.

A Better Colorado was registered in early April and has been speaking as the voice of right-to-work supporters since.

In March, papers were also filed electronically for a federal tax-exempt 527 group called Clean Government Colorado to support the ballot proposal limiting payroll deductions for public employees along with another initiative that would restrict contributions to political parties or state candidates by sole-source contractors doing business with the state. Both measures have been sponsored by Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a conservative think tank.

Web-site registration information for Protect Colorado’s Future was not available. Jonathan Coors, a member of the Coors family connected to the brewing company, registered the site for A Better Colorado.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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