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Colorado's gargantuan ballot includes more than 14 constitutional amendments and referenda even after four measures were withdrawn on Oct. 2 by proponents after a surprise alliance of labor and business interests joined forces to oppose three anti-union amendments that remain. The Colorado Independent is putting the press to the test — we're compiling newspaper endorsements, analyzing them and then tracking the persuasive talents of editorial boards statewide.
Apparently Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former oil-and-gas executive Bob Schaffer didn’t get the party-line memo on Amendment 52 before Monday night’s debate with his Democratic opponent, Congressman Mark Udall.
Even as a shadowy conservative group backed by oil and gas money works to reclaim a state Senate majority for Republicans in 2010, other issues committees are taking a much more direct approach to fighting off attempts to end tax subsidies for the industry in November.
This November, Coloradans will be faced with two ballot initiatives dealing with how the state collects and allocates taxes on the oil and gas industry. Severance tax, so-named because it applies to natural resources permanently severed from the earth, not only dominates part of the the state's ballot, but also much of the political discourse this election season. Some fear that increasing taxes on the industry — as Governor Bill Ritter's Amendment 58 will do — will only scare off oil and gas companies or raise gas prices in Colorado.
State lawmakers and energy experts are hotly debating a pair of dueling oil and gas severance tax questions on the Nov. 4 ballot, with even some Republicans divided on Amendment 52, which is being touted by conservatives as an alternative to Gov. Bill Ritter’s Amendment 58 tax hike.
A Denver-based nonprofit legal watchdog group filed suit in Denver District Court Tuesday against three Republican state lawmakers, asking a judge to compel them to fully comply with an open-records request relating to their correspondence about Amendment 52.
With a record 18 proposals on everything from oil and gas taxes to unions to the developmentally disabled to gambling, Colorado voters will be weighing in on the longest ballot in Colorado since 1912 — and the largest in the United States this year.
Colorado voters haven't faced a ballot this long since 1912, the first year citizens were able to initiate laws in the state. After striking a pro-affirmative action measure for insufficient signatures Wednesday night, the Secretary of State's office drew a line under a total 18 statewide questions for the November ballot -- 14 initiated by citizens and four referred by the State Legislature.