September 22, 2008

Jon Caldara Offers To Withdraw Amendment 49 If Gov. Ritter Repeals Executive Order

Rumors were swirling this morning, but this is from a press release from the Ethical Standards campaign:
Amendment 49's leading proponent has formally offered to remove the initiative from the ballot if Colorado's governor will work to stop the unionization of state government.

Jon Caldara today submitted a letter to Gov. Bill Ritter offering to pull Amendment 49 from the ballot, "contingent upon your repeal of Executive Order D 028 07 and your word to oppose any effort to bring it forward via legislation." The proposal is made in hopes of restoring "a measure of peace to Colorado's political landscape."

Gov. Ritter issued the executive order to introduce collective bargaining to state government in November 2007. The Denver Post published a rare, front-page editorial chiding the governor as "a bag man for unions and special interests."

"The governor wants everyone to 'holster their weapons,'" Caldara said. "Let's be clear: with his executive order, Governor Ritter was the first to draw his weapon."
What is Amendment 49, and who is supporting it?
Amendment 49 is designed to prohibit governments from bundling money from public employees' paychecks and delivering the funds to special interest groups. These special interests use the money to lobby the same politicians who just delivered the cash to them. Local governments across Colorado have set the pattern for the Ethical Standards Initiative. Twelve counties representing more than half the state's population (including Arapahoe, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, and Weld) have implemented this reform since 2007.

Amendment 49 additionally has been endorsed by former Gov. Bill Owens and former U.S. Senator Hank Brown; major newspapers, including the Rocky Mountain News, Pueblo Chieftain, and Grand Junction Daily Sentinel; and numerous business and civic organizations, including the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, Colorado Contractors Association, Colorado Health Care Association, Colorado Homebuilders Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Realtors Association Issue Committee, Southeast Business Partnership, Association of Builders and Contractors, and the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.

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