Opponents of ballot initiatives hit ground running
By Michele Ames, Rocky Mountain News
October 29, 2002
A group formed to fight election-related ballot initiatives jumped to a strong
fund-raising start just one week before Election Day.
The Citizens for Honest Elections campaign, headed by high-profile conservative
pundit Jon Caldara, posted $55,000 for its fight to defeat four initiatives,
according to campaign finance reports filed Monday.
"On their own, any one of these rich-guy initiatives is dangerous," Caldara
said. "But in combination, they are absolutely devastating to fair and honest
elections in Colorado."
The money came primarily from deep-pocket Republican donors, including apartment
mogul Terry Considine and former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong. Both men gave
"The question is, is it enough?" Caldara said. "It's spectacular.
"But compared to $2.5 million that a couple of rich guys are putting into their
pet projects, is that going to be enough?"
Caldara's group plans to spend all its funds on radio ads, already airing.
Amendment 27 sets limits for how much individuals can contribute to candidates.
Amendment 28 institutes mail balloting in most elections. Amendment 29 requires
candidates to petition their way onto primary ballots and does away with the
party caucus and assembly nominating system.
Amendment 30 would allow individuals to register to vote and cast a ballot on
The Bighorn Center for Public Policy, the group pushing amendments 28 and 29, is
part of a think tank founded by millionaire Rutt Bridges. Amendment 30 is being
financed by Internet millionaire Jared Polis.
Peggy Lamm, governmental director for the Bighorn Center, questioned Citizens
for Honest Elections' intentions.
"I think it's interesting that this group, who apparently seems to be opposed to
big money in politics, are themselves big money in politics," she said.
In other initiative-related news, English Plus, the committee opposed to
Amendment 31, reported raising $51,632 during the end of October.
The National Education Association donated $50,000, which was used for a
mailing, the report said.
Staff writer Burt Hubbard contributed to this report. amesm@RockyMountainNews.com