The New G: Marx Would Be Proud

Now here’s something you don’t see every day – the conservative Colorado Springs Gazette accused of being a socialist rag.

Sure we’re used to reading about how the Gazette‘s editorial page editor likes to eat rare silverback mountain gorillas (medium rare, please) and make fun of 65-year old women getting dragged across the street by police officers, and even picking a fight with the city manager.

But leave it to El Paso County Commissioner Douglas Bruce to accuse Colorado Springs’ daily newspaper of being a government-loving tax-and-spend collectivist that supports the city’s “socialist empire.”

Keep reading.On Aug. 17, the Gazette published the following letter from Bruce, the well-known author of Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, who was responding to a recent editorial:

August 17, 2007

`Tax-and-spend’ Gazette has collectivist tendencies

The Gazette’s Wednesday our View, “Grab your wallets,” was deceitful and hypocritical. It referred to the 2005 tax increase called Referendum C, in which the state asked to keep about $3 billion of our TABOR tax refunds. That retained amount is now closer to $6 billion, as I had warned. The Gazette then shed crocodile tears over future tax increase proposals. It wailed, “politicians are counting on us having a case of mass amnesia.”

I don’t have amnesia. I remember The Gazette endorsed Referendum C, that largest tax increase in state history. In 2004, The Gazette also endorsed the largest tax increase in county history, $70 million yearly for that new layer of unaccountable government called RTA.

Consistent with its Big Government philosophy, The Gazette opposed last fall’s city tax cut and balanced budget petitions. In 2000, The Gazette opposed modest statewide tax relief. In 1999, The Gazette opposed selling even one of the dozen enterprises now part of our city’s socialist empire. In 1991, The Gazette opposed a voter-approved city tax relief petition. The Gazette even opposed phasing out those noxious downtown parking meters, which charge taxpayers again for using our own curbs and streets.

In my 21 years here, The Gazette has never endorsed any Colorado ballot issue to lower taxes.

Now The Gazette, counting on our “amnesia,” wishes to insinuate itself with taxpayers and pose as our friend and ally. Whom does it think it is fooling? The Gazette is not part of “us,” meaning taxpayers. You are part of “them,” meaning tax-and-spend collectivists.

Douglas Bruce
Colorado Springs

Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at

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