Election 2018Hot SheetLegislature

Colorado interest groups offer up ballot guides

Author: Joey Bunch - October 17, 2018 - Updated: October 17, 2018

ballot(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

There are plenty of smart people who want to help you understand the ballots on their way to Colorado voters this week.

Special interest groups on the right and left, be they business interest groups or groups promoting reproductive rights, tell their supporters their positions on ballot questions. Here’s a round-up.

> RELATED: Election Preview 2018 | Here’s CoPo’s complete special report

Common Sense Policy Roundtable

The Common Sense Policy Roundtable, a Colorado business coalition that seeks pragmatic solutions to policy conundrums, provided fiscal analysis of the ballot proposals Tuesday.

“We believe the more informed policymakers and voters are, the better decisions will be made for the benefit of our state,” Kristin Strohm, the roundtable’s executive director, said in a statement.

Among its findings: Proposition 112, to require 2,500-foot setbacks for oil and gas operations, would cost the state 43,000 jobs in the first year and more than 145,000 jobs by 2030, as the fossil fuel industry finds fewer placers to tap underground reserves.

Dr. Ian Lange and Dr. Braeton Smith with the Colorado School of Mines Mineral and Energy Economics Program vouched for the findings.

The roundtable found that Amendment 73, to raise $1.6 billion in corporate and income taxes for K-12 education, “would result in an average annual loss of private-sector jobs is over 11,400. The average annual impact on state GDP is a loss of $850 million and disposable personal income is estimated to be lowered by $1.8 billion on average annually.”

You can read the full report on the cost of other ballot questions, including for transportation, by clicking here.


ProgressNow Colorado

The state’s leading advocacy organization for liberal views sent out an email to its supporters Tuesday touting its guide.

The organization supporters lowering the age to serve in the legislature to 21 (Amendment V), regulating industrial hemp (Amendment X), both anti-gerrymandering questions (amendments Y and Z) and a $1.6 billion tax hike for schools (Amendment 73).

“It’s a crowded ballot this year, but there are plenty of great things to vote for and horrible things to vote against, so it’s more important than ever for Coloradans to vote the whole ballot,” said Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado. “This election represents a fork in the road for Coloradans, do we want to realize our full potential as a state, or do we want to let the forces of unbridled greed permanently tilt the playing field to their own advantage?”

Those views and others can be read by clicking here.

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado

The Denver-based reproductive rights organization endorsed a list of candidates and ballot measures in a guide released Tuesday.

“At a time when reproductive rights are under constant assault from the Trump Administration, and Roe v. Wade could be gutted or overturned, protecting our rights here in Colorado matters now more than ever,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado leader Karen Middleton stated. “We must elect a pro-choice Governor in Jared Polis, continue our pro-choice majority in the state House, and flip the state Senate. And we must elect pro-choice candidates to all statewide offices and to Congress.

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado claims more than 56,000 members statewide.

Read its ballot guide by clicking here.


The Bell Policy Center

The left-leaning economic think tank in Denver released its ballot recommendations three weeks ago, supporting Proposition 110 to raise the state sales tax by 0.62 cents to fund transportation and transit, while opposing Proposition 109 to repay $3.5 billion in bonds out of the state budget.

Bell backs Amendment 73 to raise corporate taxes and income taxes on high earners for schools, and opposes Amendment 74 to compensate those whose property values are reduced by regulations. It also supports Proposition 111 to cap short-term loans at 36 percent.

Read Bell Policy’s ballot analysis by clicking here.


Outdoor Industry Association

The Boulder-based national association says those who love the outdoors should take some political advice from those invested in it. At stake in the midterms is the health of a national industry valued at $887 billion outdoor and 7.6 million jobs.

The industry released its guide Monday.

“After an election cycle where we have seen unprecedented attacks on our national monuments and a failure by Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund – the most successful public lands funding program in our nation’s history — the outdoor industry is ready to make our voices heard and help elect Republican and Democratic candidates who will stand up for our public lands and who recognize the power of the outdoor recreation economy,” Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA, said in a statement.

“The 2018 midterms are our moment, and we are asking for every outdoor-minded business and individual to help to amplify this message on their brand and personal social media channels on October 15 – and continue a social media storm through Election Day on Nov. 6.”

You can read the outdoors voters guide by clicking here.


Douglas Bruce

Colorado Politics told you last month this was coming, and now Colorado Springs anti-tax and general rabble rouser Douglas Bruce has his “13 Issues” online.

The former state lawmaker, county commissioner and inmate is opposed to lowering the age to serve in the legislature and opposes changing how legislative districts are drawn, issuing what he deemed a “Fraud Warning” over the widely supported measure.

Bruce also opposes the setback proposition for oil and gas, and both amendments to raise money for the state transportation system.

You can read his full list by clicking here.

Editor’s note: This story was corrected to say Proposition 109, not Proposition 110, calls for the legislature to use money already in the state budget to pay for transportation.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.