Personhood, racetrack gaming and GMO labeling lose — gov transparency wins

Democrats were in dire need of a pick-me-up Tuesday, and the Vote No on 67 rally was the only party around.

The four ballot initiatives up for vote this year — about personhood, gaming, government transparency and GMO labeling — hadn’t garnered much attention compared to the pitched battles for the governor’s seat and the U.S. Senate.

But at the Westin Hotel in Denver, where Democrats had gathered to await returns, only one ballroom seemed to have any life in it Tuesday evening. Cheers erupted in the Vote No On 67 victory party. With a certain defeat of the personhood initiative in sight, the room was packed with high-fiving anti-personhood people indulging in what were perhaps the evening’s only elated selfies and whoops among Democrats.

From the Udall ballroom across the hall, where race after race was breaking bad for the party, depressed Dems drifted toward the Platte Room looking for something — anything — to toast about.

In Election 2014’s four-pack of ballot initiatives, the only other giddiness was taking place 13 miles south at the Republican pow-wow at the Tech Center Hyatt where John Caldara watched his initiative, Proposition 104, pass by a huge margin. The government transparency measure sought to open school-board negotiations to the public —  vexing school administrators and union reps alike. Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, Colorado’s free-market think tank, seemed to take special delight in his initiative’s measure’s success in the context of the evening’s lefty gloom.

“You want to know what a bad, bad night is for a liberal?” he asked. “When the only ballot initiative that wins is Caldara’s.”

And it was.

In addition to the defeat of the Amendment 67 personhood question, losses also came to Proposition 105 for labeling genetically modified food and to Amendment 68, an effort to turn the Arapahoe Park racetrack in Aurora into a casino.

It was, indeed, a bad night for Colorado health foodies who were trounced Monsanto, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, which chipped into the combined $12 million spend defeating the GMO requirement. Election results were also a bummer for one very rich Rhode Island-based gaming company that had its eye on bringing gaming in metro Denver. Mile High USA, the deep-pocketed Rhode Island-based gaming company that forked over $19 million pushing Amd. 68, failed convince Coloradans that racetrack gaming revenues would fix what ails our public schools.

Pro-personhood, anti-abortion, pro-Amendment 67 supporters took shelter when learning of the defeat of their third personhood measure in seven years. The group said Heather Surovik — the public face behind the measure who was eight months pregnant with her son Brady when a drunk driver slammed into her car — is still grieving and wanted privacy Tuesday evening.