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Colorado Independent readers, your citizen journalism moment has arrived. Rocky Mountain PBS talk show host Aaron Harber is requesting questions for his two-part series on the future of the Colorado Republican Party. But hurry, your deadline is 10 a.m. Monday.
After a two day post-election limbo, Colorado's Amendment 46 failed yesterday on a slim margin. The so-called Colorado Civil Rights Initiative is the first anti-affirmative action amendment propped by California businessman Ward Connerly to make it onto a state ballot and flop. The significance is not lost on Amendment 46's detractors. "I am thrilled," says Melissa Hart, a University of Colorado law professor who co-ran the Vote No on 46 campaign. "Given that everyone kept telling us we couldn't do it, it is exciting that we did."
Anti-affirmative-action guru Ward Connerly will likely halt his nationwide push to end race and gender preferences. Connerly, a part black California businessman, spoke with the Colorado Independent an hour after Amendment 46 toppled by an extremely thin margin. The so-called Colorado Civil Rights Initiative was the first Connerly amendment to flop after making it onto a state ballot. It was also a key measure in Connerly's Super Tuesday for Equal Rights campaign, a nationwide thrust to dismantle affirmative action programs in five states this year. In three of those states, the measure failed to make it onto the ballot, and Thursday, after a feverishly close tally, it collapsed in Colorado. Nebraska was the only state this year to approve the proposal.
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter lambasted Amendment 46 at a press conference this afternoon, saying that the anti-affirmative action ballot measure will hurt our economy. "We are in a time in this country and in this state where we have to keep our economy moving forward," said Ritter, who spoke surrounded by supporters on the west steps of the state Capitol. "Amendment 46 takes us in the wrong direction."
An administrative law judge has thrown out charges that Amendment 46 petition circulators misled people into signing on to the anti-affirmative action measure. Amendment 46 seeks to end preferential treatment for women and minorities in public employment, education and contracting. The controversially named Colorado Civil Rights Initiative is part of a five-state effort launched by California businessman Ward Connerly to end affirmative action.
A Colorado campaign to defend affirmative affirmative action programs against a ballot initiative that seeks to destroy them has some harsh words for its opponents. With just six weeks and counting until voters are asked to weigh in on the controversially named Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, the Vote No campaign has dropped its lawsuit against its rivals and opted instead for a concentrated advertising campaign.
A campaign seeking to quash Colorado's anti-affirmative action ballot measure faces an onerous battle in the weeks ahead as the Nov. 4 election nears. The group hopes to convince voters to reject the initiative that will dismantle affirmative action programs if passed. But a series of failed legal challenges have left organizers with little cash as they scramble to put together a cogent counter-campaign.
Did we mention that Colorado's 18 issue ballot this year is long? As in, the longest in the country? And the longest in Colorado since 1912? We did? Well, here's something new to chew on. The two states pulling in second and third places -- Oregon and California -- don't even come close to touching our massive, large-and-in-charge ballot. Those states count a meager 12 questions on each of their ballots. Hell, Colorado beat that back in 1992, when voters weighed in on a record 13 questions. That was the longest ballot in recent memory. But now, Colorado has unearthed this leviathan ballot. In fact, the ballot is so big that it's impossible for us to continue our ballot run-down in neatly themed packages.