The label of origin is clearly visible, as the Denver Post reports:
To all you Coloradans who have paid late fees when registering your vehicles, gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis wants you to know he feels your pain.
The Grand Junction Republican is going to have to shell out the maximum $100 late fee in coming weeks when he registers what he calls his “cow-camp wagon.”
McInnis is not happy about the late fee, which is part of a bill Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law to raise more money for transportation.
“It’s a ‘speed-trap’ tax, in my opinion,” McInnis said. “It’s the sneakiness of it.”
Many Coloradans hit with late fees have been vocal about their unhappiness, but others have ripped tardy owners who drive around with expired plates.
The fees are expected to be a campaign issue.
Most Coloradans who are assessed late fees let their registrations lapse. In McInnis’ case, the custom-built wagon was delivered in January. It has been up on jacks while a drain and other equipment were installed…
Ritter and Democrats said they chose the fee increase because it had the highest level of support among groups committed to finding more money for roads.
Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry led the Republican fight against the measure in the Democratic-controlled legislature.
Penry is also running for governor, and he and McInnis have heard plenty about registration fees.
“I tell you, people are very angry over this,” McInnis said.
So there does seem to be an unintended wrinkle in the new registration fee structure as it pertains to trailers and other non-motorized/seasonal vehicles–Governor Bill Ritter agreed with this over a week ago if you don’t remember, cited by the same Denver Post:
It seems Gov. Bill Ritter has found an appropriate compromise to calm at least part of the recent uproar over higher penalties for late vehicle registrations. Ritter said Thursday that the new law needs to be tweaked so the owners of boat trailers and other non-motorized vehicles don’t get stuck with $100 late fees.
It seems a little odd that today’s article, essentially written to give Ritter’s opponents a place to grouse windily about the new fees as they have for months, doesn’t bother to mention Ritter’s acknowledgement of the problem a week ago, in the same newspaper–but of course putting that in wouldn’t leave the reader as fired up about “the man,” an emotional state that reliably sells more newspapers. Like that story from last week about off-duty cops protecting DMV workers from late fee vigilantes:
At one Motor Vehicle office, an unhappy customer told the manager he might have shot someone if there hadn’t been an off-duty Arvada police officer on standby. [Pols emphasis]
“It’s really been a challenge, especially trying to explain the late fee to people,” said [Jeffco Clerk Pam] Anderson.
We hope and, based on our persistent faith in humanity’s basic goodness, believe it’s not always that much of a ‘challenge.’ Folks, how many of you are seriously ready to threaten violence over a $25 a month late fee? For something you know full well, politically convenient ‘outrage’ aside, you should have paid on time? After all, Republicans are the “party of personal responsibility,” aren’t they? Just not when there’s political points to score–then they throw up their hands and ask how people could ever be asked to…pay their bills on time? What the hell kind of conservative position is that?
Obviously, it’s the hope of those wishing to grandstand on these fees for political advantage that Democrats will be too timid to come out and say it, but we will: this is a load of whiny scofflaw crap being exploited at full tilt by opportunist political candidates and talk radio for rankly partisan purposes, and it’s wrong. We’re a little disgusted by the rhetorical escalation being willfully enabled by candidates for high office, on a nonpartisan functioning-government level. And frankly, if one of these off-duty cops were to (God forbid) actually become necessary, this kind of irresponsible agitation would complicate the decision of who to blame.