As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Monica Mendoza reports, the recall election against embattled Councilwoman Helen Collins will proceed:
Colorado Springs City Clerk Sarah Johnson, with input from Colorado Springs Municipal Court Judge HayDen Kane, ruled Thursday that recall petitions are valid and voters in District 4 will be asked on the April 7 ballot if they want to recall Collins, who also faces an investigation by the city’s Ethics Commission that alleges a questionable real estate deal with tax-limitation author and felon Douglas Bruce…
[N]o matter how the election ends, Collins faces an ethics complaint that alleges she participated in a real estate deal with Bruce that helped him avoid payment of a nearly $7,600 court judgment he owes the city.
The complaint, brought against Collins by the Colorado Springs City Attorney’s Office, was filed with the city’s Independent Ethics Commission on Jan. 21. After a 70-minute closed-door meeting March 5, the commission found that the complaint against Collins was within the panel’s jurisdiction and wasn’t frivolous and therefore should be investigated.
Via the Colorado Springs Independent, recall organizers are eagerly moving ahead–from their statement yesterday:
Her unethical and possibly illegal real estate deal with convicted felon Doug Bruce, as reported by the news media, may have cheated Colorado Springs taxpayers out of thousands of dollars. [Pols emphasis] It is the most telling example yet of the possible corruption she has brought to City Hall.
With an ongoing ethics probe and possible criminal investigation hanging over her, it would be best for our district and the entire city if Helen Collins would step down now. City government faces enough challenging issues just ahead of next month’s election without having to deal with this cloud of controversy a day longer.
As the author of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), Doug Bruce is an icon of the conservative movement to ratchet down the size of government. TABOR’s many convoluted provisions capping revenue, and complicating elections to raise taxes–far beyond the publicly salable requirement that voters approve tax increases–have seriously compromised the state’s ability to provide for basic responsibilities like roads, education, and health care.
That this central conservative policy achievement is the brainchild of a convicted felon tax cheat is something Republicans aren’t as eager to discuss. After Bruce was appointed to the Colorado legislature, his bad mannered antics led to a rare censure, and he was “euthanized” by HD-15 voters in 2008 in favor of Rep. Mark Waller. In December of 2011, Bruce was convicted of felony tax evasion and attempted bribery charges, and served just over 100 days in jail.
Honestly, is there anyone reading this who would be surprised that Doug “Mr. TABOR” Bruce is still cheating taxpayers? Didn’t think so! All we can say is, the continuing follies of convicted tax cheat Doug Bruce ought to be a message problem for more Republican politicians than Helen Collins–or at the very least, raise basic questions about the true motives behind TABOR.
Don’t you think?