The Denver Post‘s endorsement of Amendment 66 is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the billion dollar per year tax increase. In fact, it’s so caveated that we had to wonder if Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, master of caveated statements (see signing statement on gun legislation), didn’t write this piece himself.
On one hand, the piece is titled “Colorado’s Schools Need Amendment 66” and notes that the board “enthusiastically support[s] the passage of Amendment 66”. Then, there’s the criticism of the tax hike:
“We won’t pretend to be happy with everything in this measure. At nearly $1 billion, the tax hike is larger than we’d like. And the new top tax tier of 5.9 percent for income over $75,000 is a burden for small businesses that file taxes as individuals and yet create a large number of new jobs.”
And, stinging criticism of those behind this massive tax increase:
“And then there is the treacherous attitude of the Colorado Education Association to consider. Although the teachers union and National Education Association, its national counterpart, are huge donors to the Amendment 66 campaign, the CEA has admitted that it might sue to overturn a key reform aimed at teacher accountability that is already law and is being implemented this year.
In a disgusting display of narrow self-interest, the union is pursuing the amendment’s money to add to its membership but rejects the responsibility that goes with it.”
The editorial board has taken Hick’s word that he will fix this situation should the unions win this lawsuit. Here is what the Denver Post said: “[Hick will] personally lead a drive to pass a constitutional amendment to restore accountability.” We’d love to think that Hickenlooper would be good on his word, but his refusal to take public stances on controversial issues makes us question his commitment to “accountability”. Additionally, Hick has proven time and time again that he’s no fan of transparency. In fact, his very endorsement of this initiative was done behind closed doors with rich CEOs. And, then, he told Time magazine, “we elected these people, let them go back into a room like they always did.”
What convinces the ed board that Hick suddenly would be a champion for accountability and transparency on this issue?