The Denver dailies are filled today with the meltdown over Amendment 41.


Reports of Jared Polis going to the capitol, “wigging out” and “threatening” House Minority Leader Mike May – which he describes as “another poorly worded moment” in a clear dig at Polis’ poorly worded amendment.

And on, and on.An editorial likening 41 to the days of amendments 1 and 2, and noting that not since 1992 has there been so much “handwringing” over what the voters have themselves wrought.

A letter to the editor of the Denver Post chastising the newspaper for continuing inaccuracies in its editorials about 41 – and suggesting “the particulars of the amendment are still beyond your grasp.”

And finally, the attorney who is credited with being Amendment 41’s chief author – Martha Tierney, who has previously declined requests to talk about her handiwork – finally weighs in. After weeks of wide criticism that the amendment is poorly crafted and overly broad, Tierney, in a guest op/ed that has her name and photo on it, claims that Amendment 41 was “borne out of a “thorough drafting process that invited and received review from numerous stakeholders.”

“Common Cause evaluated the ethics laws of many states, requested input from ethics specialists, and invited local government groups and legal professionals to react to the language and its impact,” Tierney writes. “The Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services reviewed the law and commented on its potential effect. In response to all of this feedback, Common Cause and its coalition revised the law to take into account the recommendations raised by the various constituencies.

Now, the Denver attorney doesn’t actually identify any of those “numerous stakeholders” by name. And it’s likely they appreciate that.

Cara DeGette is a longtime Colorado journalist and a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential. E-mail her at

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