New York mayor tries to buy another Colorado election

GAZETTE EDITORIAL Published: October 30, 2013 | 12:00 am 0

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants Colorado as his personal plutocracy and is willing to spend. If he succeeds, Coloradans will be subject to laws and politicians bought and controlled by an outside demagogue.

Bloomberg, the man who tried to control how his constituents consume soft drinks and salt, has never received a vote in Colorado. He has never lived here. Yet, he's paying for ads that tell Coloradans to spend their hard-earned wages on the Amendment 66 tax increase - a deceptive attempt to channel more than $1 billion a year to state government under the guise of helping children.

Few would vote for 66 if they knew what might happen to the money, which cannot be protected from pressure to backfill the state's financially troubled Public Employees' Retirement Association. To fool the masses, proponents are spending more than $10 million on ads that talk about bringing back gym class and hiring more teacher aides for a measly $133 per taxpayer. It's simple and sly. We all favor better education for kids.

The "Yes on 66" campaign filed reports Monday that show a $1.05 million contribution from Bloomberg and an additional $1 million from Bill and Melinda Gates.

Bloomberg and other Big Left contributors tried to defeat the recalls of Colorado Senate President John Morse and state Sen. Angela Giron, outspending combined recall campaigns at least 6-to-1. In their battle to impose new taxes with 66, they may outspend opponents by 10-to-1 or more.

With net worths of $31 billion and $72 billion respectively, Bloomberg and the Gates couple have the means to control Colorado if money buys its elections. Combined, these three activists could throw $1 million into a Colorado campaign every day for nearly 300 years without earning another dime. Given the fact they earn millions a day in interest, no reasonable limits apply to what they could spend buying future elections if this effort pays off.

Only voters can stop their power grab from working.

We don't resent the well-deserved fortunes of Bloomberg and the Gates family, who are free to spend as they choose. Yet, their willingness to buy votes does not obligate anyone to sell. Watch the ads and understand their deceptive nature. Enjoy the fact this out-of-state money circulates through Colorado's economy. Take the money, vote "no" and send a message that Colorado voters are not for sale.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., has naively thrown his support behind the tax hike. In doing so, the governor has worsened a growing credibility issue.

Only two weeks ago, Hickenlooper urged out-of-state gun control activists (read: Bloomberg) to stay out of Colorado elections.

"Colorado is a state that people like to be themselves and solve their own problems," Hickenlooper told USA Today. "They don't really like outside organizations meddling in their affairs . "

Despite this advice, Hickenlooper thanked Bloomberg and the Gates family for meddling in Amendment 66.

"Our deep thanks go to Bill and Melinda Gates, Mayor Bloomberg, and all of our Colorado donors for supporting Amendment 66," Hickenlooper said in a written statement.

The tax increase is not what advocates claim and will hurt Coloradans. When researchers for Denver's Channel 7 did the math, they found Amendment 66 would cost Coloradans earning $40,000 a year an additional $148 in taxes. Those earning $75,000 would pay an additional $278, and at $100,000, the measure would impose annual new taxes of $595.

These taxes, of course, wouldn't phase Bloomberg and Gates - even if they had to pay them. For Coloradans struggling to support children, Amendment 66 poses an enormous burden without meaningful guarantees the money will reach classrooms. Don't let out-of-state celebrity billionaires impose this suffering on a state they seldom even visit. Vote "no" on Amendment 66.

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