The 2005 off-year election in Colorado revolved around two letters: C and D.
Referendums C and D were made to limit the restrictions of TABOR in the state constitution. And, while the measures enjoyed bipartisan support, their were still vocal critics who believed that TABOR should not be touched.
One of the most vocal groups was the Golden, Colorado based Independence Institute (II), a think tank self-described as having a “free-market, pro-freedom perspective.”
The II is not a new entity however, and many influential people have worked with the group.Including:
- Gale Norton:
According to SourceWatch, run by the Center for Media and Democracy, Norton was a Fellow and Board Member at the Institute. She would later become the United States Secretary of the Interior and resign following accusations that her department was influenced by Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist convicted of fraud.
- Tom Tancredo:
Currently Tancredo is a Republican representing Colorado’s 6th congressional district, and has been since his first election in 1998. He has also made a name for himself with his controversial positions on immigration and assimilation.
- John Andrews:
- Mike Rosen:
During the Referendum C and D election the Institute’s “Vote No It’s Your Dough” campaign sponsored automated telephone calls that told voters budget money would be going to illegal immigrants.
Tancredo was president of the Independence Institute from 1993 to 1998.
Andrews is the founder of II, and was succeeded by Tom Tancredo. He would go on to become state Senate president, before Democrats took both houses. Currently, he is Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute.
Rosen used to be an institute board member, and now hosts his own conservative radio program on KOA-AM, a Clear Channel station. He is also a columnist for the Rocky Mountain News.