Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage across America, slammed the Colorado Civil Rights Commission as “neither tolerant nor respectful.” The Commission’s unfairness landed it in the U.S. Supreme Court and on the front pages of newspapers across the country last year. It is clear that the Justices and the nation expect changes.
Family Research Council Action, which tracks pro-family and pro-life federal legislation, rated Cory Gardner, Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton with a 100% pro-family rating for the first session of the 115th Congress.
It has come to our attention that state legislators are accepting campaign donations from the marijuana industry. As educators and researchers, we hope this is not the case. Marijuana has devastated Colorado by nearly every metric and we are particularly concerned about marijuana’s health impact on youth. Consider the following statistics:
Conservatives believe that the most influential government should be local governments – not bureaucrats thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C. If you’re going to make decisions that affect our lives, you better look us in the eye.
That’s why we take local government so seriously. Because when people are working hard to make their lives better, the difference between success and failure can be a local government’s decision to stand in the way, or get out of the way.
Unfortunately, local government can make bad decisions just like Washington, D.C. bureaucrats can. If conservatives fail to challenge the culture of big government at the local level, these defeats in city halls and county courthouses will send a powerful message to lawmakers and bureaucrats in state legislatures and the nation’s capital. We must first look after our own backyards, even as we champion limited government at the federal and state level.
Therefore, I am opposing the anti-growth ballot measure in Lakewood this fall, and invite other conservatives to join the cause. This measure is bureaucratic in the extreme. It ignores basic economic principles, tramples property rights and promises to drive up taxes and living expenses for working families. It’s more than 4,800 words of red tape that authorizes even more red tape. It’s the opposite of limited government.
Dive into the details and you’ll find the measure caps residential growth at one percent per year. Why one percent? Why not a half percent, or one and a half percent or some other rate? Central planners and social engineers love setting arbitrary goals, but these made-up numbers should ring major alarm bells for everyone else.
Lakewood’s growth is the product of many different factors, including supply and demand for housing, employment opportunities in the region, and case-by-case permitting and zoning decisions by city officials. Imposing top-down, command-and-control limits on residential growth will throw the local economy out of balance, inviting all kinds of unintended consequences.
Consider transportation, for example: If people with jobs in Lakewood can’t afford to live here, how much worse will traffic get when they start commuting longer distances?
Then there’s the matter of enforcement. The one-percent growth cap would be policed with a complex new system of building rights – or “allocations.” Without an allocation, it doesn’t matter if a property owner has a project meeting all the relevant zoning and permitting requirements. Their project, and their right to invest in their own property, will be denied.
In the end, of course, only the biggest property owners and developers can afford the lobbyists and lawyers needed to secure their allocations. Smaller businesses and property owners will be mostly shut out, forced to sell or partner with a handful of large and politically connected players in the real estate market.
This kind of cronyism is inevitable when governments try to ration goods and services. It always results in higher costs for the average consumer. The anti-growth ballot measure in Lakewood is no different.
By artificially restricting residential development, and limiting competition only to firms that can navigate the new allocation system, the ballot measure guarantees supply won’t keep pace with demand. This pressure will drive up property taxes, rents and mortgages to levels that many Lakewood families cannot afford.
As conservatives, we have a responsibility to defeat this ballot measure. But I also see an opportunity to show how the principles of limited government can help working families, seniors and other residents in Lakewood who may be forced out if the ballot measure passes.
Finally, we should recognize this ballot measure for what it really is: A throwback to the discredited “limits to growth” philosophy of the 1970s. That philosophy lives on today in elitist liberal enclaves like San Francisco and Boulder, but it’s wrong for the country. It certainly has no place in Lakewood.
Please, join the fight against the forces of big government in our own backyard and defeat the anti-growth ballot measure in Lakewood.
Proponents of Proposition 106, legalizing doctor-assisted suicide, claim the law has worked well in Oregon and other states. It’s simply not true. If proponents told the truth, Proposition 106 would go down in flames. Here’s the truth, legalizing doctor-assisted suicide opens the door for insurance companies and the government to get involved with everyone’s end-of-life decisions.