“This is the hand on the knee, and if we don’t swat it away, they’re going to come for TABOR with a big, deep, tongue-down-your-throat kiss, here, next year or about a year after that.”
That’s Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler on KHOW radio yesterday (at 43 min 30 seconds), using a sexual-assault analogy to convince voters not to approve a ballot measure allowing Colorado to spend all the tax revenue it already collects.
“Slippery slope,” is a much gentler way of making Brauchler’s argument, and it’s not clear why Brauchler felt the need to use the inflammatory language.
The primary argument that advocates of the ballot measure are making is, the state needs to remove restrictions on its budget so that it can “fix our roads and bridges, improve our schools by hiring and retaining the best teachers, and improve our economy with investments that help all Coloradans.”
Opponents like Brauchler say there’s already enough money.
Do we need to bring up sexual assault to debate this, asked one proponent, pointing out that most Coloradans have already voted at the local level to let the government keep all the taxes it collects. This measure would extend it statewide.
The question, called Proposition CC, on the ballot reads: “Without raising taxes and to better fund public schools, higher education, and roads, bridges and transit, within a balanced budget, may the state keep and spend all the revenue it annually collects after June 30, 2019, but is not currently allowed to keep and spend under Colorado law, with an annual independent audit to show hoe the retained revenues are spent?”
Colorado conservatives have been using sex-assault analogies lately to throw punches in debates about state taxes and budgets. Jon Caldara used a similar date-rape analogy in Denver Post last month in a column headlined, “Why Date Rapists Hate Tabor.”
Given that one in five U.S. women has been raped, the use of sex-assault analogies in political campaigns is risky at best but more likely counter-productive, say political strategists.