Letter: Keep Constitution easy to amend
In May 31 Post Independent, an editorial argued that the Colorado constitution is too easy to amend and that we need an amendment to “raise the bar” for future changes to the state’s guiding document.
As a private citizen who is not paid by a special interest group and who is circulating petitions, I can assure you the process is not an easy one. Making it harder for citizens to bring issues to voters is most in the interests of those people frightened by others taking a stand against allowed injustices. This would include specifically, in our state, health-sacrificing oil and gas interests, as well as anyone else who buys lobbyists by the bucketful, and wines and dines legislators, discreetly stuffing their pockets or their campaigns.
The “raise the bar” folks have already received or bought TV time. You can identify their fingerprint by a discussion guided by the same script. They put in an aside that attempts to be humorous by saying, and printing as in the case in the Post Independent, “Relax, don’t worry; the marijuana amendment would have passed” under the new proposed rules. Apparently marijuana is all we are credited with taking seriously; and because we are all stoned we won’t notice the RTB’s repetitive attempt at patronizing humor.
In the very same issue of the PI there is an analysis of how little our Legislature is willing to do for us. We are well acquainted with our geologist governor and his collusion with extraction interests, they who will talk endlessly about new toothless, unenforced regulation. But, in particular, this article points to legislative desire to keep some things from public scrutiny.
The Department of Labor will not make legal the public inspection of wage-law violations. With no reason and no discussion for a no vote on the “common-sense transparency,” the Senate Business Committee killed the bill. All’s quiet on who cheats their employees. Whistleblower protection proposals were axed by a state Senate committee in a gift to mismanaged counties, municipalities and school districts. Why? It almost seems as though employees’ subordination were a legislative theme.
For the sake of keeping Colorado on the fair and honest side, do not “raise the bar” on our only means of beginning change without the Legislature. The initiative process, only in the case of amendments, gives us access to the possibility of control of issues that the courts cannot then turn around and say, ”these issues are not the province of statutory law”; ”these issues are settled”; the court’s interpretation overrides a mere law lately made. Making the amendment process harder works against citizen groups who are without the resources to send out hired guns for signature gathering. Is it really any wonder there is bipartisan support, side by side with some business interests, to keep this power in place?
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