BREAKING: TABOR Author Bruce Goes Back To Prison

Doug Bruce.

Doug Bruce.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Maria St. Louis-Sanchez reports, it’s back to jail scrubs for the author of the notorious 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), former GOP Rep. Doug Bruce:

Former state Rep. Douglas Bruce was taken from a courtroom in handcuffs after he was sentenced to at least two years in prison Friday.

Bruce, 66, was convicted in 2012 of tax evasion, filing a false tax return and trying to influence a public servant. Denver District Judge Sheila A. Rappaport ruled on Jan. 19 that he violated five terms of his probation…

“The probability of success on your probation is zero,” she told Bruce. “You were manipulative, you were deceitful, you lacked transparency and you tried to make a charade of probation.”

The profound irony of the author of TABOR, a sacrosanct law for Colorado Republicans due to its effect of severely constraining the legislature’s ability to raise revenue for necessary functions of government, becoming the state of Colorado’s highest-profile felony tax evader has…well, it’s never sat well with Republicans. They take great umbrage to anyone with the temerity to point out the stupefyingly obvious irony that the mastermind of TABOR is now a convicted felon tax evader.

The principal reason for this is that it’s not ironic at all. TABOR’s complex limits on revenue, stripping of power from the legislature to raise taxes, and (especially) the stilted requirements on the ballot questions needed to raise taxes combine to create a system that doesn’t work–where raising revenues for any purpose is nearly impossible. TABOR has created a system where the only way the state can take care of basic needs like roads and schools is through license fees, accounting gimmicks and weed money. Even with revenues growing in a booming economy, TABOR forces the state to refund money while years of budget cuts go unrestored.

That this intentionally dysfunctional system created by TABOR happens to align with Republican ideological goals of “drowning government in the bathtub” does not make it any less nefarious. But at the very least, as long as one side of our politics is devoted to upholding Bruce’s handiwork, they need to acknowledge the truth about TABOR’s creator.

Because his motives have never changed.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    I long believed Bruce was a rigid ideologue, not a crook.   Turns out he was both.   He was also the kind of man who "would lie on credit when he could have told the truth for cash," in John Henry Faulk's wonderful phrase.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      He was Cruzian before Teddy!!

    • ZappateroZappatero says:

      Dougie never felt obligated to pay a penny in taxes and has done everything in his power to make that true in every possible way and in every venue.

      This same pattern was clear in the ethics case Bruce instigated with Springs Councilwoman Helen Collins:

      Colorado Springs City Councilwoman Helen Collins engaged in fraud, abuse and corruption in government, violated ethical standards and created the appearance of impropriety in her real estate dealings with friend Douglas Bruce, a retired U.S. magistrate judge ruled this week.

      The City Council's only available sanction is to officially reprimand Collins, wrote Boyd Boland, the retired magistrate who served as hearing officer in the case brought by the city's Independent Ethics Commission. 

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Hmmm, …

    … two more years in prison for the Dougster …

    …. no heterosexual white-guy homoerotic rape-fantasy comments necessary, please!!!

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Remember what Dr. Ben Carson said happens to straight guys who go into prison…..surprise

      Seriously, this reminds me of another greedy, lying sack of fecal matter who was in the real estate business:  Leona "Only the Little People Pay Taxes" Helmsley. IIRC, Ms. Helmsley was given some prison time followed by supervised release (or parole) during which time she was obligated to do useful public service.

      Turns out the "Queen of Mean" thought that meant sending one of her employees to pick up trash or whatever menial tasks she was order to do. When it got back to the judge, they yanked her parole and send her back to prison. (Apparently she was unable to delegate that to her employee.) 


  3. Doug "TABOR-daddy" Bruce has long embodied the prototype for the Tea Party and the Sovereign Citizen movement; there's no wonder whatsoever in him violating his probationary terms. His only respect for government was in his ability to pass laws that screw over government and the people who rely on it (like people who lived with him as a landlord…).

  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    Maybe this time…a tattoo. Teardrop on cheekbone. A full back piece. 

  5. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    "I fought the law and the law won; I fought the law and the law won……."

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