On KHOW talk radio Tuesday, Peter Boyles promoted the Denver “Impound Initiative” by speculating incorrectly that the city council intentionally mangled the initiative language to confuse voters and discounting analysts who see the initiative as motivated in part by racism.
“What I find fascinating is, if that is all you got– to scream racism– then the damn thing is a probably a pretty good ordinance.”
On a hunch, Boyles suggested city council, through Denver Elections Director Michael Scarpello, engineered a confusing title for the Initiative 300. Boyles irritated at being confused by the language, asked initiative proponent Dan Hayes who had appointed Scarpello. Hayes offered that perhaps it had been the city council.
“Ah, and City Council voted what on this [initiative]?” said Boyles
“Oh, [the council voted] overwhelmingly against it,” said Hayes.
But Scarpello was appointed by Denver’s first elected Clerk and Recorder, Stephanie O’Malley, in 2007, not by the Denver City Council.
Boyles also railed against present state laws outlining legal driving as “legalese, gobbelygook, verbal diarrhea.”
The gobbelygook states in part that vehicle will be immediately impounded if a person is driving contrary to the restrictions indicated on their license, including, for example, people who fail to wear glasses if they’re required to do so or people driving a car when they only hold a motorcycle license.
The law also states that undocumented citizens or illegal aliens would have their car impounded.
Boyles said he saw nothing in the law that smacked of racism.
Hayes expanded on the point. The man who has described his initiatives as an attempt to get “Hernandezes off the road” commented that in fact the current law is racist– but in favor of illegal immigrants. He said legal drivers are treated “wholly differently” from illegal aliens.
In discussing his initiative earlier this month, Hayes told the Colorado Independent that it’s important that everyone be properly licensed but he indicated that finding and penalizing illegal immigrants was at the heart of the bill’s objectives.
The authorities who would be affected by the law see it as a legal fishing expedition and have vocally opposed it. The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police and County Sheriffs have come out strongly against the initiative, saying they would be diverting and costly and would unnecessarily take discretion out of the hands of officers on the scene. Colorado Common Cause and Coloradans for Safe Communities also oppose the initiative, as do Denver Mayor Hickenlooper, the Denver police and the city council.
“Danny we are going to have you on again tomorrow, and tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow up until the final day,” said Boyles. “And remember, it is only a mail-in initiative, or a deliver ballot. Remember, vote yes,” Boyles told his listeners.
27 October; 6 a.m.
BOYLES: I got my ballot on Saturday sat down yesterday. That is probably the most confusing ballot initiative that I have ever read.
HAYES: Huh. Well that is what Michael Scarpello wanted–he demanded at the ballot title.
BOYLES: Who is Michael Scarpello?
HAYES: He is the new head of elections.
BOYLES: That is what I thought.
HAYES: He is an attorney.
BOYLES: And he is appointed by whom?
HAYES: Well, I don’t know who appoints him actually. Probably city council.
BOYLES: Ah, and City Council voted what on this?
HAYES: Oh, well, you know, overwhelmingly against it. I guess there was Jeanie Fautz.
BOYLES: So how tough is this for the average bear to figure out.
Hayes: I don’t know but I’ve got dozens of calls wanting me to explain it. .
BOYLES: Just vote yes.
HAYES: Right. Apparently the city put something on the ballot where No is Yes and Yes is No. I am not familiar with what that was.
BOYLES: That is right. I read it yesterday. I opened it up. And I have been receiving email on it. And I opened it up and I am sitting there and I said ‘Oh my god. Yes means No and No means Yes.’ So when you are getting ready to vote on your 300. You vote Yes. Just ink in the line that says Yes. That is all you need to know. Because the rest is a bunch of legalese gobbelygook verbal diarrhea.
HAYES: It is a laundry list of state law really why you would be driving without a license. That is if you drove a big truck and you needed a chauffeurs license and you just had a regular operators license you would actually be driving unlicensed. If you were glasses and didn’t have them on. Remember some people are practically blind. it is a good thing to require people to drive the way they are supposed to.
BOYLES: I know and I am going to drop mine off today.[…]
BOYLES: My Fear is that you will say Yes I want this ordinance or No I read it wrong. The answer is read and vote Yes. It is one that you just ink in between two dots. And the Yes means you want this enforced.
HAYES: Yes, it is a yes vote.
BOYLES: We will see. This is my day. The initiative that will toughen the impound ordinances. And as I tried to make the case. We had very interesting go around with one of Denver’s City Council members. David Hancock was on the show. He couldn’t even describe why he called it racist. He would just get mad.
HAYES: I know. But really it is reverse racism on their part because they are allowing illegal aliens.
HAYES: If they even bother to go in, ticket–if they are identified at all get a small fine and walk. If that happens to you three times and it’s a habitual driver.
BOYLES: That’s right.
HAYES: Treated wholly differently. It’s not fair.
BOYLES: Well, what I find also fascinating is, if that is all you got– to scream racism– then the damn thing is probably a pretty good ordinance.[…]
BOYLES: Danny we are going to have you on again tomorrow, and tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow up until the final day up. And remember it is only a mail in initiative, or a deliver ballot. Remember vote yes.