UPDATE: Colorado conservative columnist, David Harsanyi, has a great article today pointing out the hypocrisy of the lead lawsuit liberal, Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood). It appears he only supports federalism when it suits his tax and spend ways.
A team of Big Government liberals and Republican traitors have filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of the Colorado Constitution. The tag team of fiscal fools filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the citizen-approved Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which is currently part of the Colorado Constitution.
Their argument is that the current budget cuts mean that Colorado's entire Constitutional system of ballot initiatives is unconstitutional since TABOR requires lawmakers to seek citizen approval for all tax increases. As the Denver Post reports from their suit:
"Deterioration of the state's funding base has been slowed by many attempts to patch, cover over, or bypass the straitjacket of TABOR," the plaintiffs argue. "However, events have demonstrated that a legislature unable to raise and appropriate funds cannot meet its primary constitutional obligations or provide services that are essential for a state."
It's not as if every government in the country is facing budget shortfalls, regardless of whether they have a form of TABOR or not. Or a government could, you know, cut spending to deal with a deteriorated tax base in a recession.
The worst part of their case is the implication that the citizens petition process is itelf unconstitutional. They hold that it's up to politicians in the Legislature to set all budgetary matters, and not the right of citizens to voice their opinion through a citizen petition process.
Of course, if that is held to be true, all citizen initiatives would have to be bounced from the books. As Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute points out in the article, this would mean the end to many liberal favored amendments. If the power of the Legislature to tax is to be constitutionally unfettered by the petition process, why should constitutional spending increase requirements be any different?
"It's again another attack on the initiative process in Colorado," said Caldara, who has sponsored a number of prior initiatives.
If TABOR is unconstitutional, why wouldn't Amendment 23 — the voter-approved measure that requires spending on public schools to increase every year — also be unconstitutional? Caldara asked.
This case is fundamentally flawed and foolish. Were it to pass, governments across the country would have upending changes forced on them overnight. California, for example, has put dozens if not hundreds of laws on the books from the ballot process. The case is a fundamental attempt to redefine American democracy, which is one of many reasons why we think it is destined to fail.
As it is destined to fail, the real story is in the apostasy of the Republicans supporting the lawsuit.
As for Norma Anderson, she is an unthinking shill for every tax hike that comes along. She's the Republican Benedict Arnold of tax increases.
Bob Briggs of course supports it because he wants to build a billion dollar train. Since trains have proven to be financially successful and worthy of investment in the private sector only in the writings of Ayn Rand, it's no surprise Briggs wants a bigger public trough to feed from. Briggs is like the Alrdich Ames of Republicans.
It's epecially funny to see William Kaufman on the list of Republicans supporting the lawsuit. As if Mr. Kauffman has a shred of integrity or credibility after endorsing Democrat Governor Bill Ritter who turned out to be the worst in the history of Colorado.
The Republicans on the lawsuit should be ashamed. They are there as tokens for liberals to point and say there is bi-partisan support to overturn the Colorado Constitution. There is a reason the word former sits in front of most of their titles.