The Irony Of The Bruce Anti-Tax Machine

After another week of drubbing by the mainstream media over a $750 tax-paid tip that Rep. Douglas Bruce initially accepted for time he didn’t serve in office, it’s about time that someone should point out that the “nonprofit” that that lawmaker claims he’s donating his government paycheck to is an anti-tax group that that is devoted to dismantling government. In a nutshell, Bruce accepted a government check for $3,450 for January, which amounted to $750 too much because he opted to skip the first five days of the legislative session.

He told at least one reporter (he apparently is still speaking to at least one!) that he planned to give the $750 back — and also that he donates his government salary to a nonprofit group that he founded, called Active Citizens Together. The Colorado Springs Gazette delicately described the outfit as ” a charity … to educate people about their rights as property owners and taxpayers.”

During his three years as an elected commissioner in El Paso County, before being appointed to a vacant legislative seat, Bruce also claimed he donated his tax-paid $63,200 government salary to Active Citizens Together.

According to the group’s website, Active Citizens Together currently has three unpaid members of the Board of Directors. They include, Jeffrey L. Wright of Peyton, Colo., who is a longtime Bruce supporter; and Douglas Campbell and Frederic Holden, both of whom live in Arvada, north of Denver.

Active Citizens Together’s mailing address is Bruce’s longtime Colorado Springs postal box, and its Website lists the state representative’s home phone number as the key contact for the group.

In a general letter, to you, Colorado taxpayer, Rep. Bruce, as “Active Citizens Together,” asks,  “Are you tired of feeling helpless to change big government’s bureaucratic policies? Would you like to learn more about your rights and powers as a citizen to benefit and protect you and your family? That is what Active Citizens Together (ACT) is all about.”

Active Citizens Together also advocates for jury nullification – that is, the notion that people on juries can determine not only whether someone on trial is guilty or innocent, but also whether or not the law that they are accused of breaking is legal. (Back in 2000, Bruce caused an uproar after he was called to jury duty in Colorado Springs and distributed a stack of leaflets claiming that that jurists need only follow their conscience — and not the law — when deciding a case. He, and 50 other potential jurors, were dismissed.

Among other stances, Active Citizens Together also backs privatizing everything from hospitals to utilities to libraries and parking garages, parks and recreation programs, public transit, job training programs and much, much more!

Since Active Citizens Together is a nonprofit, it’s unclear who else — besides you, the Colorado taxpayer — donates to Active Citizens Together by way of Rep. Bruce’s government salary.

Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at The Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at cdegette@coloradoconfidential.com

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