In nearly 4,000 words, left-leaning Politico tried to reignite the tired old media mantra that Colorado Springs represents failures of “right-wing” politics and running government like a business. It even dredged up the “Evangelical Vatican” label, which went out with the passé “People’s Republic of Boulder” slight.
Politico’s “The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise” essay revisits our city’s endurance of the Great Recession, questioning whether sound business principles work in government. It creates the illusion we toyed with business practices to our peril, then abandoned them to our benefit.
The essay explains how voters rejected a proposal to triple property taxes during the recession. Never mind that city leaders wanted more money just as unemployment was rising, the Pentagon was slashing budgets at local military bases and people feared losing homes.
Among the biggest advocates of the tax hike was then-City Manager Penelope Culbreth-Graft. A recent West Coast transplant at the time, she hadn’t been able to pay high taxes back home while asking for California-style taxes in the Springs. Her former employer’s credit union sued her for failing to pay on a $250,000 loan.