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November 03, 2021 08:53 AM UTC

TABOR Trolls Lose Big In Colorado On Wild Election Night

  • 10 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
TABOR author Doug Bruce.

While big-picture analysis of last night’s off-year elections across the country continues this morning, here in Colorado a pair of statewide ballot measures heavily funded by the state’s fiscal conservative special interest groups went down in unexpected defeat–outcomes that have left Democrats in Colorado unexpectedly cheery today unlike many of their colleagues in other states. The Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports:

Proposition 120 and Amendment 78 were backed by conservative political group Colorado Rising State Action, and executive director Michael Fields conceded the measures’ defeat after 9 p.m.

Proposition 120 called for cutting the residential tax assessment rate from 7.15% to 6.5% and commercial property tax assessment rate from 29% to 26.4%, with backers saying it would have saved an average of $1 billion annually…

Sen. Chris Hansen said he was surprised by the results of Proposition 120 because of spending by proponents and no organized campaign against the measure, but he said it would have been a “backward move” to approve it.

Proposition 120 had been substantially neutered by the legislature by changing classifications of property for tax purposes along with a (smaller) tax cut, but that doesn’t fully explain its defeat given expectations–expectations based on years of experience with progressive priorities getting shellacked in off-year elections. Going into yesterday, Michael Fields of Colorado Rising Action was confidently vowing to bring these measures every off-year cycle in order to bedevil Democrats he can no longer stop from winning general elections.

After last night, raising the dough for that might become tougher.

The other measure pushed by conservatives in Colorado this year, Amendment 78, was a measure to complicate the distribution of emergency and other “custodial” federal funds, meaning funds that had been allocated by federal legislation including disaster relief, by requiring such funds to be appropriated by the legislature. As the Colorado Sun’s Thy Vo reports, voters on both sides weren’t having it:

With more than 1.1 million ballots counted as of 10:30 p.m., Amendment 78 was failing with 44% voting in favor of the measure and 56% against it. The results are incomplete, but the constitutional amendment needed approval from 55% of voters to pass.

Voters in the conservative strongholds of Mesa and Douglas counties were rejecting the measure. Amendment 78 was only barely above water in El Paso County, Colorado’s most populous conservative county.

“I think on 78 it was always going to be an uphill battle,” said Michael Fields, the architect and main proponent of the measure. He also leads the conservative fiscal nonprofit Colorado Rising Action.

In previous years, Republicans enjoyed much greater success passing these kinds of fiscal chokehold measures with simplistic messages focused on government waste and malfeasance in the abstract. In 2021, however, it looks like even conservative voters weren’t interested in applying yet another arbitrary chokehold on the smooth functioning of government in an emergency. This is consistent with polls that show Gov. Jared Polis and the Democratic majority in the Colorado General Assembly still have the trust of a majority of Colorado voters for their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s not the end of Colorado’s self-imposed fiscal malaise, but maybe it’s the end of making it even worse.

Comments

10 thoughts on “TABOR Trolls Lose Big In Colorado On Wild Election Night

    1. Aurora COUNCIL had wins friendly to Coffman and Republicans.  the Aurora Schools board looked as if it had 3 of 4 winners endorsed by the union, and the 4th has a mix of progressive ideas with an enthusiasm for charter schools being the main "conservative" issue. 

  1. Big win for those who believe public schools are still a public good, too. Curious, why no mention of the failure of Prop 119 despite proponents spending 52 times what the opposition to it could spend?

      1. On the contrary, it started as a Republican brainchild that sucked in a lot of big-name former Dems in the spirit of "bi-partisan solutions to education." A wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf.

    1. Nah, just Zvonek and Sundberg. Jono Scott another victor, is Republican but not reportedly a Coffman flunky. So Coffman has 3 out of 7 ( 5 wards, 2 at large) to approve his ban on homeless camping and whatever other heartless policy agenda items he wants passed. 
      Progressive Noelle Johnston resigned to move to the Springs, which made votes deadlockd 3-3 on her replacement. . The City Council will probably stay deadlocked with Coffman’s 3 musketeers, against Ward 1’s Crystall Murillo and the remaining two progressive members. 

      https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/next/progressives-non-partisan-aurora-city-council-political-party/73-2335db0d-a388-4f50-8959-70b57f0fd0b9

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