The Jefferson County Republican Party has issued a ballot guide that neatly lays out the Republican right wing agenda, even though the Jeffco area is known to be among the purplish parts of state.
But when it came to Amendment 74, a far-reaching attack on the government’s ability to impose even the most modest health and safety regulations without potentially facing unsustainable financial liabilities, Jeffco Republicans joined a growing list of moderate Republicans in holding back support.
It took “No Position” on Amendment 74, and its comments were rather gloomy.
The guide states under the column of “Conformance with Republican Platform and Constitution:”
Unknown impact as this constitutional amendment has far-reaching implications. Just compensation is already guaranteed under the Colorado and US Constitution.
Under “Fiscal Impact,” the guide continues with this comment about Amendment 74:
It is likely there will be substantial financial impact to taxpayers as they will be on the hook for all future judgments.
The skepticism of the Jeffco Republicans reflects that of business groups, and allies oil and gas companies, who put the measure on the ballot in response to an environmental amendment that would require future drilling operations to be set back 2,500 feet from residences.
Opposition to Amendment 74 is growing. If approved, some are warning that the measure has unintended consequences that could bite the oil and gas industry in the wallet, or at least in the courts. For example, if a government regulation allowed an oil and gas drill to be set up close to homes, as demonstrated in the photo above, the homeowners could sue the government, claiming the rig lowers their property values.
But more and more groups that have traditionally aligned with the oil and gas industry are coming out against Amendment 74, and perhaps none more prominent than Club 20, the Western Slope organization that just held the first-of-the-campaign season debates. The event’s named sponsor was oil and gas giant Chevron, and many of the questions posed in the 17 debates, from state legislature all the way up to governor, focused on oil and gas issues.
Called the “Top 15 Decision Criteria for the Ballot Guide,” the document suggests voters should aim to advance the following policies (paraphrased from the guide above):
Concealed Carry in Schools. Allowing guns to be carried by trained teachers and staff in schools.
Vouchers. Calling for vouchers, which would deplete public schools by allowing the use of tax money for private schools.
End DACA. Eliminating the protections from deportation for undocumented children, who were brought to this country illegally by their parents and know no other home.
Abortion Ban. Defining life as beginning at conception and therefore outlawing all abortion, even for rape and incest.
Kill Obamacare. Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would throw an estimated 400,000 low-income people off the health insurance rolls.
The resolutions that make up the guide were approved by hundreds of GOP caucus goers and by the Jeffco Republican delegation at the country GOP convention.
Updated on 10-9-18 with additional information about Amendment 74.