At a press conference yesterday, the bipartisan coalition opposing the billion dollar tax hike launched.

Led by former Democratic State Senator Bob Hagedorn, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, and education reform activist Karin Piper, Coloradans for Real Education Reform (CRER) is the official “No” issue committee for the ballot measure.

Check out their website here.

Reports The Colorado Observer‘s Leslie Jorgensen:

Coloradans for Real Education Reform officially launched their “No on Initiative 22” to fight the tax hike which the opponents assert is a bad investment that falls short of reform.

“With no safeguards in place to keep this money in the classroom, this is a bad investment,” said Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton.

“This bipartisan effort centers on the fact we recognize the need for real education reform,” said former Sen. Bob Hagedorn (D-Aurora). “One of the best drivers for improving student achievement is providing broad school choice opportunities, something sorely lacking in Senate Bill 213.”

Whereas the vote on the spending bill attached to the tax hike, SB213, found only party line support among Democrats, the opposition campaign is being spearheaded by a bipartisan coalition of elected leaders.

Former Senator Bob Hagedorn’s opposition is no small deal either. As the Colorado Springs Gazette‘s Megan Schrader reported:

“For the first time in my life, I’m opposing a school tax initiative,” said former state lawmaker Bob Hagedorn, a Democrat who focused on education issues while in office.

Hagedorn said he would like to see more emphasis on providing school choice to parents and funding charter schools at an equal level.

“Senate Bill 213 is a lost opportunity the legislators had,” Hagedorn said.

Supporters of the billion dollar tax increase keep pointing to Ref C as proof that a tax measure can succeed. Unfortunately for them, unlike Ref C, the notable bipartisanship is occurring in opposition to the measure, rather than in support.