Jon Caldara Offers To Withdraw Amendment 49 If Gov. Ritter Repeals Executive Order

(No chance of this happening. What a ridiculously lame offer. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rumors were swirling this morning, but this is from a press release from the Ethical Standards campaign:

Amendment 49’s leading proponent has formally offered to remove the initiative from the ballot if Colorado’s governor will work to stop the unionization of state government.

Jon Caldara today submitted a letter to Gov. Bill Ritter offering to pull Amendment 49 from the ballot, “contingent upon your repeal of Executive Order D 028 07 and your word to oppose any effort to bring it forward via legislation.” The proposal is made in hopes of restoring “a measure of peace to Colorado’s political landscape.”

97 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Caldara maybe could have worked some kind of deal to re-look at the whole situation with maybe some generalities. But this is offering to give up 49 if Ritter will instead just make 49’s requirements an established fact.

    With the business community about to throw 5 million in to defeat 49 the odds of 49 passing are awfully close to 0. It makes no sense to accept this offer.

    • Libertad says:

      Gee David, you are more of an insider then I thought. $5 million from Corrupt Businesses to Corrupt Unions.

      That smell of hard earned business money going to fund Union candidates has really wet your appetite.

      • Steve Balboni says:

        what are you blathering about?  

        • Libertad says:

          Blaboni’s stomach hungry for terrorist pay-off.

          Having gorged on forced union dues I can see why you might have a taste for something new.

          • bob ewegen says:

            doesn’t help you much. You don’t wet an appetite.  You whet it. It doesn’t help your lack of logic either.

            Now, go walk Julian’s dog.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            The tactic that unions used was in fact terroristic, and shows that it’s possible for some unions to have much more interest in holding on to their money and power than in getting anything constructive done for workers.

            You all know I’m not a union fan, but this was ridiculous.

            Like the card check thing.  You can’t tell me with a straight face that a card check is more democratic than a secret ballot.  If what you were offering was so great, it would pass. People aren’t stupid.

            But don’t tell me that your plan is so great that you just need to address the small issue of the secret ballot – it makes me very curious as to everything else on your agenda.

            • ClubTwitty says:

              You don’t see any problem with just tossing out that word to describe this?  Just wondering how insensitive you really are.

              • Laughing Boy says:

                To put something deceptively named on a ballot knowing that it would bankrupt many businesses in the State just to try to scare another amendment off the ballot is economic terrorism.

                Sensitize that.

                  • Libertad says:

                    It’s much worse than 47, which does nothing.

                    Wow, these Union terrorists and their consipring business partners sure got some Dems hungry.

                    $5 million dollars slip sliding away

                  • Laughing Boy says:

                    Show me where I’m wrong, then. Unless you’d rather just insult me.

                    Here’s the definition from Wiki that quotes the “Center for Security Policy of Geneva”

                       “Contrary to ‘economic warfare’ which is undertaken by states against other states, ‘economic terrorism’ would be undertaken by transnational or non-state actors. This could entail varied, coordinated and sophisticated or massive destabilizing actions in order to disrupt the economic and financial stability of a state, a group of states or a society (such as market oriented western societies) for ideological or religious motives.

                       These actions, if undertaken, may be violent or not. They could have either immediate effects or carry psychological effects which in turn have economic consequences.”

                    How does that differ from what I said?  The unions know that their amendments would do horrific damage to the economic health of the State, and only put them on the ballot to scare business away from supporting a very common law.  

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      Last week you compared me (unfavorably) to a piece of corn in John McCain’s stool.  Thus, any claims that you try to make weakening my point by linking it to ad hominid attack are without merit and worth.

                      This could entail varied, coordinated and sophisticated or massive destabilizing actions in order to disrupt the economic and financial stability of a state, a group of states or a society (such as market oriented western societies) for ideological or religious motives.

                      Your comparison of this to terrorism is hyperbole of the worse, most shameless kind.  So I am being kind in imagining you simply a fool, rather than a sociopath.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      But you can stick it in the corn in McCain’s crap.

                      You were being ridiculous in impugning McCain’s patriotism – calling him shameful.  He’s not shameful, he just disagrees with you.  Obama’s not a disgrace or shameful, he’s just wrong in my eyes.  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, unless you’re a fringe wacko on either side.

                      And sheesh!

                      This could entail varied, coordinated and sophisticated or massive destabilizing actions in order to disrupt the economic and financial stability of a state, a group of states or a society (such as market oriented western societies) for ideological or religious motives.

                      Thank you for making my point.  That is exactly what the Unions had in mind when they put their measures on the ballot, and why they are probably taking them off.

                      I’ll bet you’d really like me if you knew me.  I wish you’d lighten up a little.

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      is he himself shameful?  

                      I don’t know, I haven’t met the man.  His campaign is shameful.  It was you and Haners criticizing me for calling out McCain on his shameful campaign and the seemingly sameness of his policies with Bush.  I can take it.  I don’t really care if you’d like me or not if we met.  

                      I find it offensive to call this terrorism, certainly more offensive than calling McCain McSame or McShameful, which you took great umbridge at.  

                      53 people just got blown up in Islamabad by terrorists, the real kind.  

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      I’m calling the tactics the Unions used “Economic terrorism” and I’m exactly right, per the definition from Wikipedia that I posted.

                      Show me otherwise.

              • Bondo says:

                the use of violence or intimidation to pursue political aims.

                Just because terrorism can describe bombs and death does not mean it is not accurate to use it through lesser violence or coercion.

                Anyway, does Jon Caldara even have the power to pull an Amendment off the ballot at this point, what with ballots being sent out to mail-in voters in a week or two?

                • Libertad says:

                  the SoS will just not tally the votes

                • redstateblues says:

                  I’ve been wondering that myself. What exactly is the deal going to be, if one gets reached?

                  Are the ballots printed? Do they have the authority to remove something from the ballot at this point in the game?

                • ClubTwitty says:

                  Key criteria

                  Official definitions determine counter-terrorism policy and are often developed to serve it. Most government definitions outline the following key criteria: target, objective, motive, perpetrator, and legitimacy or legality of the act. Terrorism is also often recognizable by a following statement from the perpetrators.

                  Violence – According to Walter Laqueur of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “the only general characteristic of terrorism generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence.” However, the criterion of violence alone does not produce a useful definition, as it includes many acts not usually considered terrorism: war, riot, organized crime, or even a simple assault. Property destruction that does not endanger life is not usually considered a violent crime, but some have described property destruction by the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front as violence and terrorism; see eco-terrorism.

                  Psychological impact and fear – The attack was carried out in such a way as to maximize the severity and length of the psychological impact. Each act of terrorism is a “performance,” devised to have an impact on many large audiences. Terrorists also attack national symbols to show their power and to shake the foundation of the country or society they are opposed to. This may negatively affect a government’s legitimacy, while increasing the legitimacy of the given terrorist organization and/or ideology behind a terrorist act.[10]

                  Perpetrated for a political goal – Something all terrorist attacks have in common is their perpetration for a political purpose. Terrorism is a political tactic, not unlike letter writing or protesting, that is used by activists when they believe no other means will effect the kind of change they desire. The change is desired so badly that failure is seen as a worse outcome than the deaths of civilians. This is often where the interrelationship between terrorism and religion occurs. When a political struggle is integrated into the framework of a religious or “cosmic”[11] struggle, such as over the control of an ancestral homeland or holy site such as Israel and Jerusalem, failing in the political goal (nationalism) becomes equated with spiritual failure, which, for the highly committed, is worse than their own death or the deaths of innocent civilians.

                  Deliberate targeting of non-combatants – It is commonly held that the distinctive nature of terrorism lies in its intentional and specific selection of civilians as direct targets. Specifically, the criminal intent is shown when babies, children, mothers, and the elderly are murdered, or injured, and put in harm’s way. Much of the time, the victims of terrorism are targeted not because they are threats, but because they are specific “symbols, tools, animals or corrupt beings” that tie into a specific view of the world that the terrorist possess. Their suffering accomplishes the terrorists’ goals of instilling fear, getting a message out to an audience, or otherwise accomplishing their often radical religious and political ends.[12]

                  Disguise – Terrorists almost invariably pretend to be non-combatants, hide among non-combatants, fight from in the midst of non-combatants, and when they can, strive to mislead and provoke the government soldiers into attacking the wrong people, that the government may be blamed for it. When an enemy is identifiable as a combatant, the word terrorism is rarely used.[citation needed]

                  Unlawfulness or illegitimacy – Some official (notably government) definitions of terrorism add a criterion of illegitimacy or unlawfulness[13] to distinguish between actions authorized by a government (and thus “lawful”) and those of other actors, including individuals and small groups. Using this criterion, actions that would otherwise qualify as terrorism would not be considered terrorism if they were government sanctioned. For example, firebombing a city, which is designed to affect civilian support for a cause, would not be considered terrorism if it were authorized by a “legitimate” government. This criterion is inherently problematic and is not universally accepted, because: it denies the existence of state terrorism; the same act may or may not be classed as terrorism depending on whether its sponsorship is traced to a “legitimate” government; “legitimacy” and “lawfulness” are subjective, depending on the perspective of one government or another; and it diverges from the historically accepted meaning and origin of the term.[14][15][16][17] For these reasons this criterion is not universally accepted. Most dictionary definitions of the term do not include this criterion.

            • colorado76 says:

              But “terroristic” works as inflammatory language, but the metaphor doesn’t hold up.

              Assuming the applicability of the disputed definition:

              This could entail varied, coordinated and sophisticated or massive destabilizing actions in order to disrupt the economic and financial stability of a state, a group of states or a society (such as market oriented western societies) for ideological or religious motives.

              The point you’re missing is:

              coordinated and sophisticated or massive destabilizing actions in order to disrupt the economic and financial stability of a state, a group of states or a society (such as market oriented western societies) for ideological or religious motives.

              There’s no honesty in the argument that any of the union amendment supporters had any intent of disrupting the economy.  You might argue that that would be the effect, but that’s a whole different thing. As a matter of political strategy, they offered up several measures that would be onerous to business owners as a response to certain business owners offering up a measure that would be onerous to unions.  But put another way, Mr. Coors put up an initiative that he thought would create a better economic environment and in response unions put up measures that would ensure a decent working environment if such a law passed and the current methods of worker protection were weakened.  That’s not being terroristic, that’s politics.  Either way, Mr. Coors is doing to unions what the unions are doing to business owners, and calling one of the groups terroristic because you think they have less sense about economic realities may be fun, but it isn’t right.  

              • Laughing Boy says:

                There’s no honesty in the argument that any of the union amendment supporters had any intent of disrupting the economy.

                I think that’s exactly their plan, or more accurately to threaten it.

                • colorado76 says:

                  It’s always possible to impugn the worst possible motives to someone with whom you disagree. But a union advocate would be on equal footing to say that Mr. Coors and the backers of 47 desire to drive people into poverty and see to it that workers are injured on the job (or at least threaten it).  

                  • ClubTwitty says:

                    these days.  It eventually softens the impact of the word, and is used to disparage things in an inflammatory manner.  Given that terrorism is a real, and serious issue, I think it does a disservice to us all, and diminishes the real pain and suffering caused by terrorist acts.

                    Mea culpa for over-reacting, but I get kind of sick of it.  

            • tallport says:

                The purpose of union elections is not to give management time to break the union.  That is NOT what elections are for.  They are supposed to express the intent of the voters, not be used to target the employees and call in union busting law firms to reverse the application process. I am a Federal employee and when I joined a union, I filled the “card” and that was it. Your  pretending to advocate for employees is a joke.  You just care about your party and the merits of trickle down economics.

              Smart readers will support the Employee Free Choice Act. No on 47, 49, and 54. Handcuffing first responders will hurt everybody.      

  2. redstateblues says:

    The proposal is made in hopes of restoring “a measure of peace to Colorado’s political landscape.”

    You’re kidding me right? Why do the measure in the first place if you wanted any semblance of peace?

    And doesn’t the Governor rescinding his executive order do exactly what Amendment 49 would do?

    • Laughing Boy says:

      We’d be back to where we were before Ritter rolled over to union threats.

      Say what you will, but Caldara’s just employing the same Pyrrhic tactics on Ritter that the unions used on the business community.

      I’m getting some popcorn. This is getting good….

      • bob ewegen says:

        I’m with you. It won’t happen, of course. But in point of fact, the onlyjustification for 49 is the gov’s effort to coax state employees, who already enjoy job security guaranteed by the constitution (to the dismay of shills like libertine) and wages set by salary survey that rank ninth among states into unions.  Caldera was pushing this to local governments , it was on the ballot in Greeley and Arapahoe County. Now, he’s screwed because the right to work idots have brought a massive strike against all three anti-=labor amendments. I suspect, by the way, business would spend millions to defeat 54 even if labor didn’t. It’s much worse than 47, which does nothing.  54 would even prohibit Xcel from using company funds _ which by law can’t be passed on to ratepayers _ for franchise elections.

        I’m beginning to think business is funding the campaign against the trio to deflect 54. Joe Blake is a lot smarter than Jonathan Coors, it’s too bad Caldara got caught in the crossfire.

        Don’t forget, LB, I like real butter on my popcorn;-)

  3. Libertad says:

    Of course that takes away one entire angle of my whole Right-to-Work [Amendment 47] justification.

    I wouldn’t be able to say

    the Governor gave state employees the Right-to-Work, shouldn’t all COloradans have the Right-to-Work.

  4. Steve Balboni says:

    This is pretty funny, offer up a “deal” involving an Amendment that you know is going to fail at the ballot box. Nice try Jon.

    Jon Caldera is a joke. He’s the reverse of Midas – everything he touches turns to sh*t.

  5. sxp151 says:

    But maybe that would have been a better deal. “We’ll take our stuff off the ballot if you institute universal health care, unionize every worker, go to court to lay any of them off, etc.”

  6. Half Glass Full says:

    Now there’s a good laugh!


  7. bob ewegen says:

    or reading comprehension at shill school. So, fully realizing you will go on lying, I’ll set the record straight”

    If you read my post that you taking out of context, you’ll see I said that, from a business perspective, 54 is much worse than 47, which does nothing. It doesn’t do anything for business because it adds very little, if any, to the Labor Peace Act.

    That’s not anything new for me, I’ve argued that point in columns and posts, you were just too dumb to understand it.

    As for unions, 47 spits in the face of working people by demanding that free riders like you have the “right” to the benefits ande wages that unions negotiate while refusing to pay for those things.

    Now, go back to lying about Ritter being in favor of right to work and quite pretending you have inside information. In this thread alone, you made three different “inside” predictions about when and where the adults in the business community will squelch your little trust fund brat’s brainstorm.

    • Laughing Boy says:

      The fact that the same guy who called someone “ClubShitty” has upset you at all is making me a little worried about you.  Should we grab some coffee and a cigar sooner than later?

      Ask Parsing – I have a great stash…

      You’re totally wrong about 47, BTW.


      • bob ewegen says:

        And I’d be glad to have coffee with you when we can work it in.

         I’m quite serious, by the way, about wondering if business isn’t seizing on this deal with labor to turn up the heat on 54.  It screws bond houses, Xcel energy and other pillars of the business community.  I suspect they’d rather have the firefighters take it on than do it themselves but I’d be very interested to know where some of the direct funding against 54 comes.  

        • Laughing Boy says:

          I think it has more to do with what it does do to hurt the unions than anything it might do for business.  Most good businesses in CO have to pay better and give better benefits to keep good employees than the unions would force them to.

          I think it’s a partisan issue aimed at taking automatic money out of Dem hands, and I can’t say that I disagree with that.

          But that’s me, I’m anti-union and a Republican.

          • bob ewegen says:

            There are 22 RTW states and 27 free bargaining states. The Labor Peace Act is so restrictive that we’re more like the 22.9 RTWs, but the thing is, RTW has mostly set up in economic backwaters years ago. No state has adopted it in many years.  National unions fear Colorado going formally RTW could lead to other free bargaining states doing the same. I also suspect, however, that there is much of the NRA, Sierra Club, mentality here: Crying babylon to raise money. I’m a republican and pro union, by the way. We actually had a bit of a Republican caucus when I was a delegate to the Denver Area Labor Federation and in those days, a fair number of Republican legislators had pretty good labor records.

            • Laughing Boy says:

              Of any time in the last 20 years or so, it seemed more possible to create a good relationship with business and unions, and the opposite has happened.

              I blame the ‘Tad.

              • bob ewegen says:

                I tend to blame Ritter for upsetting the balance of power with the executive order that Libertine so passionately supports.

                Of course, before he acted, unions were slipping into oblivion, with about 8 pct of the private sector work force in Colorado, so maybe he just felt he had to strengthen them in the one place they still recruit, the public sector…the very place where I feel they really serve very little function.

                • Laughing Boy says:

                  For us anti-union folks.

                  The Card Check thing is brilliant, too.  Talk about a way to alienate moderates.  It’s a giant meatball over home plate for the union busters – “We need to talk about this whole, you know, secret ballot thing.  It’s not working for us.”

                  • bob ewegen says:

                    The problem is real, with anti-union employers like Wal-Mart openly violating the NLRA by firing workers for pro-union activities.  But the answer is to enforce the NLRA, which probably must wait until we get a new administrtion. The Card-check thing us does what you call it.

                    “It’s a giant meatball over home plate for the union busters.”  

            • Libertad says:

              With government unions thriving in a Right to Work environment, why on earth wouldn’t the Unions want this for all their sectors?

              Right to Work will make Unions stronger and more responsive to their members needs. Unions will become so attractive that employees in non traditional workplaces will demand formation a unions – i.e. David’s coders.

              I look forward to the opportunities that await America in a free choice era; where corruption has been turned back and real workplace values for all members are the goal.

              I look forward to the day when Unions offer companies and governments the ability to competitively outsource their health plans, outsource select job shops, outsource payroll, etc.

              This will make America a stronger nation.

            • tallport says:


              If you want to re-start that caucus, I can put in a word for you, but the fact is “those days” are gone unless Obama reverses the Reagan era. I am former Republican and frankly embarrassed by what my former party has become. Republicans still join unions, but fail to check the voting records.

              Removing democracy from the workplace is removing it from society.    

  8. DavidThi808 says:

    Caldara’s lame non-offer is proof that labor and business came together on all of these initiatives. The unions dropped theirs. With Unions & business together asking for a NO, the other 3 will go down to defeat. And afterwards there will be agroup hug by all involved.

    And Caldera and Coors will be on the outside looking in as the business community casts them out of their circle. Yes the business community can afford the 5 million, but that doesn’t mean they’re thrilled they have to spend it.

    • Libertad says:

      Was the $5 million handed over too?

      I’d be nervous about the Unions not showing up to defend their opposition to 47 and 49 on KDBI?

    • sxp151 says:

      The commercials I’ve seen more than any others are the ones griping about unions and card check and non-secret ballots. Not advocating for any particular proposition or against any particular candidate, but obviously intending to have SOME kind of impact.

      Who’s funding them, if not the business community?

      And doesn’t it cost a lot more than $5 million to run all those ads?

  9. DavidThi808 says:

    Ok, the odds are greatly against 49 passing. So Caldera is offering to drop something that will lose if instead the Governor will implement 49 by executive order. What is the upside for the governor? If 49 passes the result is identical to Caldera’s offer. If 49 fails, then Caldera loses any political oomph he had and the gov doesn’t have to do squat.

    There’s negotiating from a position of weakness, and then there’s negotiating from fantasyland. Big difference.

      • bob ewegen says:

        Of course, he is. He’s a shameless publicity hound and this is only one more step.  The pity is I actually think 49 had merit if it hadn’t been chained to the rotting corpses of 47 and 54.

        • tallport says:

          Merit how Bob?  That is part of the right to form and join unions. It is routine to have dues deducted and it is between the union and the employers.  It is should not be about some far right think tank protecting their failed ideology.  

    • bob ewegen says:

      If Ritter rescinds the exec order, then there are no dues to collect because there are no unions in the state gov. Even if 49 passes, unions can existr and collect dues, they just have to do it the hard way.

      Caldara is offering to trade a poke in the eye with a sharp stick at public sector unionism that probably will miss its target anyway in return for the governor killing them.  It’s heads I win, tails you commit suicide!  

      • PERA hopeful says:

        So why wouldn’t there be unions in state govt if Ritter were to rescind it?

        • bob ewegen says:

          the old CAPE truly was a professional/lobbying organization.  I was aware of a few AFSCME locals at the prison but simply put, most if not all of that is covered by civil service.  Of course, if you believe Ritter, there is still no collective bargaining. Obviously, I think they are using collective bargaining, though of an admittedly limited scale.    

          • PERA hopeful says:

            CAPE was primarily a lobbying organization, they did a little work like representing their members in grievance meetings and disciplinary appeals, but were most effective lobbying for better benefits. Since Owens gutted them by eliminating the payroll deductions, they haven’t been effective at that.

            AFSCME did business in the Pueblo area, and provided representation in grievances and appeals.  It didn’t lobby as much as CAPE, that I could see.

            There was also CFPE, and I could never really figure out what they did other than provide representation in grievances and appeals.

            The unions can’t bargain for money, that’s the simple truth.  However, for awhile I worked in the Department of Personnel, and I saw how the compensation system (which is in the Constitution and statute, which is why they can’t bargain for monetary terms) works.  Basically, the Executive Director of the department decides how to allocate funds.  For example, if the legislature appropriates money equal to 2% of total payroll for increased salaries and benefits, the ED decides whether to put that into salary survey (a/k/a COLA), merit increases, insurance premiums, or whatever.  Some EDs sought input from the employees on what would best serve their interests, but others just decided without providing formal avenues of input.  Now the unions will be able to negotiate that allocation with the ED.

            The unions can negotiate within departments on stuff like shifts, days off, etc.  Important to the employees, but not particularly significant to the taxpayers.

  10. Gray in the mountains says:

    I have never been in a union.

    The negotiations that I have had have always been fruitful. Both parties achieved some of what they desired. I have not had to deal with specific individuals coming to me asking for more and I know the dates that negotiations resume. I have less problem telling the union “Can’t do it, won’t do it.” than I would have with telling that to individuals.

    Libertad–you have been screaming so long that I have quit reading your posts.

  11. Jambalaya says:

    …isn’t it TOO LATE to be “withdrawing” amendments?  Once they are certified for the ballot by the Secretary, what power does anyone have to remove them?  Educate me, peoples!

    • Roger D says:

      as late as Oct. 2.  That simply means that while they will still be listed on the ballot, votes will not be counted.

      This has happened in the past, where an issue has been included on the printed ballot, but for one reason or another (often legal disqualification) the issue is not legally qualified to be on the ballot and so the votes are just not counted.

      This can also happen in the case of a candidate, where the candidate is no longer qualified to be on the ballot (death, withdrawal, legal disqualification) and it is too late for a vacancy committe to replace the candidate.

      • Jambalaya says:

        …because of “legal disqualification,” but I don’t understand how this remedy applies when a proponent wants to pull the amendment.  Don’t the signatures of those who signed the petition count for anything?  Has this remedy ever happened when the amendment was not disqualified for “legal reasons”?

  12. Dan Willis says:

    While it make great press coverage that this person or that group is think about pulling a ballot measure, it is too late.

    If counties have not printed their ballots yetr, they are at least on their way to the printers. The ballot was certified weeks ago.

    Pulling any measures at this point would not lessen the confusion or the length of the ballot, it would only increase the confusuon. Voters would be asking “Which ones count and which ones don’t now?”

    The time for this conversation was in July BEFORE petitions were submitted, now now.

    • colorado76 says:

      But given a choice between the additional confusion of pulling the initiatives and the massive uncertainty facing everyone if they all move forward, I’m betting most people will take the confusion.  

    • bob ewegen says:

      Rarely, for you, you’re wrong. Roger D is right.  The people listed as sponsors can legally pull the measure as late as Oct. 2. The measure remains on the ballots, which is already printed, but votes aren’t counted. This happened a few years ago for the Citizens Transportation Network plan that Romer first pushed and later pulled, if I recall correctly.  

      • Dan Willis says:

        You will see I talk about the confusion of not counting issues that are there. I know they can still withdraw the measures, but the questions will remain on the ballots. I think more people would be upset over voting on things that don’t count than any other outcome.

        Of course the best course fo action: Vote NO on ev erything if uncertain of the ramificatioms.

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