May 11, 2010
A Denver district court judge has issued an order requiring anti-tax advocate Douglas Bruce to appear for a deposition in connection with campaign finance complaints filed against the backers of three statewide measures that will be on the November ballot.
District Court Judge Brian Whitney issued the order on Monday at the request of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. The court order stipulates that there must be proof that Bruce, who lives in Colorado Springs, has been served with notice of the deposition before May 17.
The three ballot issues, Amendment 60, Amendment 61 and Proposition 101, would curtail the ability of local and state governments to borrow and spend money. The measures were put on the ballot after both professional and amateur petition circulators collected hundreds of thousands of signatures in 2009.
According to Secretary of State’s Office records, eight of the professional signature collectors lived in an apartment house that Bruce owns.
In a April 28 motion field with the Office of Administrative Courts, Bruce said that he was told that the deposition was cancelled after he filed a motion to quash it. “It was a case that did not involve me, alleging campaign finance violation claims by six people in the metro area,” he wrote. “The subpoena bore an unreadable rubber-stamped anonymous signature and no printed name below. It demanded I show up, testify, and furnish private business records, and made other patently improper demands.”
Bruce also alleged that subpoena was "illegal and void" because attorneys involved in the case were supposed to submit documents on recycled paper.
Bruce also pointed to the “hostility” between himself and Mark Grueskin, the lawyer who is pursuing the campaign finance complaints on behalf of various private and public organizations, including Protect Colorado’s Communities.
Bruce noted that Grueskin was co-counsel in 1988 in an “illegal and perjurious effort” to remove from the ballot his first petition for the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Although that effort of Bruce's failed, such a measure was put on the ballot as a constitutional amendment and approved by voters in 1992. The amendment has limited government growth and made tax hikes subject to voter approval.