Tuesday, July 2, 2013

November Ballot Will Test Democrats’ and Education Establishment’s Power

Initiative 22, the $950 million income tax increase, will be on the November ballot, assuming the advocates can gather 86,105 valid signatures, a modest undertaking given the powerful forces supporting the bill.

But, as recounted in a blog on June 11, the initiative faces a difficult political environment. And, the biggest challenge is the diminished turnout in odd-year elections. It was just two years ago when less than a million votes crushed Proposition 103, State Senator Rollie Heath’s half a billion dollars temporary tax for K-12 education.

The 2011 voters were in an anti-tax mood, to some extent left over from the 2010 Tea Party-dominated election. Heath was largely on his own. This year, the full weight of the Democratic Party and the state’s education establishment are behind this initiative. They are hoping to attract the business and general civic communities due to the initiative’s accompaniment by a significant education reform measure.

However, Colorado voters are hardly easy targets for state tax increases, and this income tax hike is major.

It remains to see what the general mood is toward the initiative, but there is a mini revolt brewing among some voters upset with the Democrat’s aggressive legislative agenda.

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