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In the months since voters passed Colorado's controversial Amendment 54 in November, and from the moment it passed into law on the last day of December, its expanding implications have slowly come into focus, spurring heated arguments for and against it. As a high-powered lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the amendment wends its way to court, detractors and supporters are pleading their cases in the court of public opinion, underlining the fact that the showdown over 54 is just the latest skirmish in a larger battle over the evolution in lawmaking away from legislatures and toward ballot initiatives.
Amendment 54, the “clean government” initiative targeting union supporters and their family members, looks likely to pass, sparking was could be another costly legal battle.
A campaign criticized for refusing to disclose its financial supporters recently purchased a series of television attack ads targeting "backroom deals for political insiders," the first of which assails a Democratic state senator for failing to disclose his financial ties to specific legislation.
The newest campaign finance reports are in and supporters of a measure targeting labor unions have reported another $405,000 in contributions, all of it coming from anonymous sources.
Backers of an initiative campaign hyping the values of "clean government" are funding their efforts with anonymous cash, and the mainstream media is starting to catch on.
The campaign by the Independence Institute, a conservative think-tank, to weaken the political power of labor unions in the state has now gone digital, with a Web site now extolling the virtues of “clean government” via the “clean team,” a supposed grassroots effort meant to back an anti-union proposal being sponsored by the organization.