As many have requested my recommendations regarding amendments and judges on the 2012 Colorado General Election ballot, I am posting them for readers’ information.
Amendment S – State Personnel System
Explanation: Makes modest changes to the state personnel system (written into the constitution in 1918) in order to give the Governor greater flexibility in hiring and firing one percent of all state employees (or 325 jobs out of 32,500). Changes to the state personnel system are long overdue. This is a small step, but at least it is a step in the right direction.
Amendment 64 – Marijuana Legalization and Regulation
Explanation: A few years ago, I was warming to the idea of legalization of some drugs due to the vast amount of money governments spent prosecuting drug users whose only crime may be drug use, which is largely a crime against oneself. I will concede that some people may use marijuana recreationally and responsibly with few adverse side effects.
However, after Colorado legalized “medical marijuana,” legalization became a reality I could see with my own eyes and not just a hypothetical discussion. I witnessed the criminal element of drug dealers coming out of the shadows and into our streets, parks and buses where they are closer to our kids. The fact that “medical marijuana” is now legal hasn’t changed the type of people who are drug dealers and who want to see more young people “experiment” with a drug that is harmful to them in so many ways. Making marijuana more readily available to adults obviously makes it more available to kids under 18.
Frankly, I don’t want to make it easier for drug dealers to do business or to lead our kids down a path that steals their potential and ruins their lives.
Amendment 65 – Instructing Colorado Lawmakers to Restrict Free Speech in Elections
Explanation: This measure would instruct Colorado’s legislative representatives to support a federal constitutional amendment to limit personal campaign contributions. Translation: a vote for Amendment 65 is a vote to restrict your First Amendment freedom of speech in elections. The U.S. Supreme Court has correctly said that political speech is the heart of the First Amendment and that obviously includes the right of every American citizen to freely choose to spend his or her own hard-earned money to elect or defeat the candidate or issue of their choice.
The way to get big money out of politics is not to restrict the freedom of citizens. The way to get big money out of politics is to take power and money away from government. Without government control of power and money, few people or corporations would be motivated to spend vast sums of money to influence elections.
Finally, our elected representatives should be accountable to the voters, not bound by some silly amendment passed by a self-serving special interest that, ironically, spent a lot of money to get this amendment on the ballot.
My recommendations regarding the retention of judges is based upon whether they generally apply the law as written in the Colorado Constitution and Colorado Revised Statutes. I recommend voting YES/RETAIN on those who adhere to the law as written and NO/DO NOT RETAIN on those who seem inclined to substitute their own policy preferences for those of the people and their elected representatives.
• Nathan B. COATS, Supreme Court, YES/RETAIN.
• Laurie A. BOORAS, Court of Appeals, NO/DO NOT RETAIN
• James S. CASEBOLT, Court of Appeals, YES/RETAIN
• Dennis A. GRAHAM, Court of Appeals, YES/RETAIN
• Gale T. MILLER, Court of Appeals, NO/DO NOT RETAIN
• Daniel Marc TAUBMAN, Court of Appeals, NO/DO NOT RETAIN
• John R. WEBB, Court of Appeals, YES/RETAIN