A celebration and a new initiative in Colorado

The New Year brought to Colorado a celebration of an effective tax policy and a new take on an old idea to empower citizens more, both from the famous -- or infamous -- tax cutter who created the tax policy.  One could characterize Douglas Bruce as a fearless bulldog and patriot. His enemies, mostly Democrats, would use other words, and they have.

It was Saturday, January 14, 2023, and Bruce was in the venue in Lakewood as friends gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) Amendment to the Colorado Constitution with hundreds of conservatives from various political camps: Republican, unaffiliated, and Libertarian.

The party was the brainchild of beloved Jefferson County tax fighter and petitioner Natalie Menten and sponsored by Denver’s Independence Institute. Menten said she meant to create a small party, but it morphed into a noisy, raucous affair with a super potluck to feed the guests, alcohol with which to toast the anniversary, and decorations.  Tickets for the party cost $8.15 each because TABOR has put $8.15 billion back into the pockets of Coloradoans over the 30 years.

Another reason to celebrate was that TABOR has been the bane of tax-and-spend Democrats in Colorado. They hate it because TABOR makes politicians ask the citizens before they can raise taxes and it refunds money to the taxpayers if there is a surplus.

A presentation interrupted the hearty partying and featured a time to shine the spotlight on those who had petitioned to get TABOR on the ballot so the voters could vote for it, including Menten, former state representative Penn Pfifner, and Fred Holden, a public policy specialist, teacher, and author.

When Bruce stood for recognition as the creator of TABOR, he began speaking about a new project that he deems even more important than TABOR: the Petition Rights Amendment (PRA).

He said that this project in Colorado would be ten times more impactful than TABOR because it is about more than money and that, eventually, it could be copied by other states. Bruce had an assistant hand out a paper with details on the who, what, and why of the project. It’s worth sharing some of what Bruce wrote, including some of his prefatory remarks, which show his passion for the future of the USA:

“Our country is at risk. The conservative Right must defeat the Radical Left.

“Our parents fought fascists and communists; we must fight them again. This is our moral duty, the call to action of our generation. Freedom is not free.

“Our Founding Fathers gave us the tool to win -- the First Amendment’s eternal wisdom. Peaceful citizen protest by petition will always prevail.

“The Petition Rights Amendment restores the 1910 law politicians have cynically eroded as their revenge for TABOR’s win in 1992. Read PRA’s Fifteen Facts to see how far our right to petition has declined.

“PRA is short, simple, and fair. It allows petitions to all local districts; we now have no right to petition a school district or county.  We have the least time to petition of any state.  The state calls nearly all bills “emergencies,” and thus unstoppable by petition (35,000 lies since 1933).  The state, no longer neutral, is now openly hostile to petitions.”

What will be Petition Rights do for Coloradoans?

According to Bruce, the amendment will allow petitions to counties, schools, and special districts; will allow review of each petition entry, not a mere 5 percent to reject; have one election day each November for all petitions; reduce many pages of petition law to only 380 words.

The PRA is only for Colorado at this time. However, service group members from other states could come to Colorado to help get the amendment on the ballot for November 2023. Anyone interested in helping can go to the PRA website for more information and to make contact.

Bruce said that Colorado patriots statewide can put PRA on the 2024 ballot by 500 citizens each collecting 400-plus entries in two weekends at “Walmart exit doors.”  Those passing the petitions could be paid and earn good money and bonuses. “Citizen petitions can fix bad policy.”

Bruce concluded by urging all those at the celebration to activate once more. “Defeating injustice is not won by persons, but by petitions -- the voice of citizens. Our foe is tyranny. Americans will vote for Freedom. The Left is the enemy within. PetitionRights.com unites us. Keep the faith. Believe in America.”

Spoken like a fearless bulldog and patriot.

C.S. Boddie is the coauthor of the Lost Ski Areas of Colorado books.

Image: CS Boddie

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