Americans For Prosperity Eats Its Own, John Suthers Edition

Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs.

Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs.

We noted it in today’s Get More Smarter, but worth its own mention as the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Billie Stanton reports:

Americans for Prosperity says no sales tax increase is needed to fix Colorado Springs roads, but Mayor John Suthers says that contention is based on “an incredibly uninformed analysis.”

AFP, a Republican political advocacy group, issued a news release Thursday saying a certified public accountant had reviewed the city’s budget and found Colorado Springs has “more than enough money” to fix its infrastructure without pursuing a sales tax increase…

So, here’s the thing about driving around in Colorado Springs: the roads are in very bad shape. We know you all regularly drive over rough patches in your commutes wherever you live, but in Colorado Springs, those rough patches are more like the whole road. As with just about every other public service in Colorado’s world-famous conservative mecca, the maintenance of the city’s ribbed backsides has always been carried out on a shoestring budget.

But forget all that, folks, this is the land of the Ronald Reagan Highway! And if a shining city on a hill like Colorado Springs were to vote to raise taxes on itself to pay for something done by the government, why, those pesky liberal blogs would never let them hear the end of it.

Americans for Prosperity.

Americans for Prosperity.

And that is how conservative Republican Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs, the state’s former attorney general, would up on the wrong side of Koch brothers-funded conservative astroturf group Americans for Prosperity.

Suthers said he had been in office about a week when Jeff Crank, formerly of AFP, asked if his budget expert could look at the city budget. But no one did, nor did they contact the city’s finance office or the citizens committee that’s studied city budgets for six years, the mayor said…

Suthers completely dismissed [AFP accountant Steven] Anderson’s recommendations, pointing out that sales tax money comes from more than city residents, [Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority] money is distributed as it should and tax rebate deals to promote development bolster the economy and create jobs. Furthermore, he said, the only entities excluded from city property taxes are churches, nonprofits and the military.

“Do you think the citizens of Colorado Springs would vote to tax churches and nonprofits? We’d be the only jurisdiction in Colorado that did that,” Suthers said. [Pols emphasis]

It’s tough to say how this one will play out. Groups like AFP are masters at pushing the precise messaging buttons needed to turn out the blind-charging anti-tax conservative base in droves, and the deep pockets to give them all T-shirts. Against that, you have the credibility of a popular conservative Republican mayor, asking for money to fix his city’s monumentally crappy roads.

The outcome will show who’s doing the proverbial wagging: the tail or the dog.

Or maybe AFP is the dog now.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Progressicat says:

    AFP, 9/12ers, Tea Partiers, whatever.  They're arsonists.  They don't care what they burn, they just love to watch the flames.

  2. BlueCat says:

    The outcome will show who’s doing the proverbial wagging: the tail or the dog.

    Or maybe AFP is the dog now.

    That last one.

  3. bullshit! says:

    AFP is just another hand the Kochs use to control the GOP from above and below. AFP and RMGO should exchange notes.

  4. davebarnes says:

    What I don't understand is how those True Americans™ living in Colorado Springs put up with GOVERNMENT RUN/OWNED utilities.

    Isn't Gubmint bad? Especially SOCIALIST Gubmint.

  5. mamajama55 says:

    It's a sad day when fixing the roads is considered to be government overreach.

    • BlueCat says:

      They think there's really plenty of money for that. It must be that evil government employees are using that money to pay for their yachts. Bet Suthers, being Mayor, has three or four but just one each for cops and firefighters.

  6. Zappatero says:

    To quote Heckuvajiob Brownie: Dipwads!

  7. Duke Cox says:

    Looks like the good mayor may have hung around with Bernie a little too long….smiley

  8. OrangeFree says:

    This is local government, the basest of the base for government services. Even the staunchest conservatives is willing to let their sales tax go up a bit if it means the roads are drivable. AFP is probably in for a rude awakening on this fact. 

    • Zappatero says:

      CO Springs is a perfect example of the failure of Republican ideology and prove of their complete inability to govern. Local city and county offices have been held by Republicans and far-right Repubs and out-and-out pyschotics for years. This is the result and D's* should remind everyone in CO every chance they get. 

      Well, that is those D's who aren't perfectly happy with being in a "purple" state where we all get along so well and create bipartisan joy every time there's agreement on something.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Exactly. He spent too much time in Denver and has become a weak liberal. How did he ever get elected mayor in the Springs where there are some many real conservatives?

    • notaskinnycook says:

      RINO? DP, you're too soft on him. Heretic is more like it. He's stopped worshipping at the Church of Soak the Lower Classes.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        Didn't he also defend a gun control bill while he was AG? And he threw in the towel too soon (in the eyes of some) on same sex marriage?  He's bedwetting, panty-waste liberal in the eyes of real conservatives!

  9. ElliotFladen says:

    I've lived in Colorado Springs for a number of the years in the past and I am pretty sure that the rough patches are not the whole road. 

  10. Moderatus says:

    Your sense of imagined importance never ceases to amaze me, Colorado Pols.

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