Ed Quillen has an idea for solving the water problems in the South Metro area now that the voters have killed Referendum A [November 9, 2003, "A water solution that's not all wet"]. The solution that he is crafting centers on maintaining stream flows and making the beneficiaries of a project pay most of the costs. It was the first time I remember Quillen labeling Referendum A a "water grab." That was the argument I heard last weekend in Cortez.
The referendum went down for two primary reasons. Metro area voters didn't trust the coalition supporting the referendum with a "Blank Check" and West Slope voters saw it as a "Water Grab." Quillen lives in Salida, not the West Slope. He is more aligned with a rainy side point of view with respect to Denver.
Here's a look at voter participation and some of the effects of Tuesday's election from Fred Brown in today's Denver Post [November 9, 2003, "Election odds and ends"].
Gail Schoettler reviews some of the issues decided last Tuesday and pats Colorado voters on the back in her column in today's Denver Post [November 9, 2003, "Colorado voters got message across: Enough is enough"]. Says Schoettler, "As we go into the 2004 election, there will be another slew of ballot issues for voters to decide. While it would be more appropriate for our elected legislators to make some of these tough decisions during the legislative session, as they are elected to do, there will no doubt be a number of hard choices tossed back to voters. For those who will spend megabucks to influence voters one way or the other, it would be useful to look back to the election of 2003. Colorado voters aren't easily fooled. Most of us would be very grateful if you'd invest your money in really making our state better, not just the shams and scams we saw on our ballots this year."
Here's a story about Referendum A supporters, the day after the water proposal was defeated, from the Rocky Mountain News [November 6, 2003, "Water referendum leader pours heart out"]. From the article, "Referendum A, with strong support from Gov. Bill Owens, was touted as a way for Colorado to save water that now goes unused to other states, including California, Arizona and Nevada. But opponents - Western Slope interests, environmentalists and others, including Attorney General Ken Salazar and Republican Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo. - argued it was a blank check to build unknown projects with unknown impacts."
Here's a story about Referendum A and it's defeat from the Denver Post [November 6, 2003, "Ref. A defeat could prove a victory"]. From the article, "The defeat of a statewide water bond issue Tuesday could ironically prove to be a victory for the supporters of water storage, activists on both sides said Wednesday." Attorney General, Ken Salazar, banked some new political capital at Governor Owens' expense, according to the Denver Post [November 6, 2003, "Salazar gains in Ref. A rout"].
Denver Public Schools officials were celebrating the passage of 3A and 3B on Wednesday, according to the Rocky Mountain News [November 6, 2003, "Votes please educators"].
The Denver Post editorial staff weighs in on Tuesday's school issues [November 6, 2003, "Schools score at polls"].
Here's a editorial about Tuesday's election from the Rocky Mountain News [November 5, 2003, "The voters' verdict: No, no, no"].
Mike Littwin voted for Initiative 101 on Tuesday and admits it in his column from yesterday's Rocky [November 5, 2003, "Littwin: This Election Day, peace had no chance"]. Says Littwin, "Maybe that's why so many voted for Initiative 101. It was fun in a time when we need a little fun. It was a goof in a time when, well, it feels good to be just a little goofy. The headline may say that the peace initiative was beaten - and, no, I checked, that doesn't mean we voted for war - but my headline is that one third of Denver voters went for for an initiative that 99 percent of the voters thought was just a hoot. This gives me some hope. There is increasing evidence that Denver has a sense of humor. That may not be good news for politicians - other than John Hickenlooper, who, incidentally, was a winner Tuesday in his personnel system overhaul. But it's great for those of us who write about them. Let's be honest. Everyone voting for Initiative 101 knew the risk, which included the inevitable Ravi Shankar Music, Peace and Whatever-Happened-to-Bangladesh Festival."
The Post has a nifty application that enables readers to search the election results.
Colorado voters turned down Referedum A, Amendment 32, and Amendment 33 resoundingly, according to the Denver Post [November 5, 2003, "Colorado voters in 'no' mood"]. From the article, "Even with a big edge in advertising dollars, backers of all three statewide ballot issues - Referendum A and Amendments 32 and 33 - saw their proposals trounced by wide margins."
Denver Auditor, Dennis Gallagher, probably slept well last night, after voters defeated Amendment 32. The article is from the Post [November 5, 2003, "Voters defeat effort to lift tax cap on residential property"]. Here's the coverage from the Rocky [November 5, 2003, "Voters topple Amendment 32 early, decisively"].
Another big loser at the polls was Initiative 101, according to the Denver Post [November 5, 2003, "Foes of stress-cutting initiative can relax"]. The initiative would have mandated city goverment to employ scientifically proven methods to reduce stress. Here's the coverage from the Rocky Mountain News [November 5, 2003, "Denver voters stress no on bid to require no stress around city"]. From the article, "Peckman says he spent all of $80 on the campaign run from his parents' basement, but managed to attract more coverage than other issues whose supporters spent millions, thanks in part to the continued verbal volleys lobbed by his nemesis, Brown, which kept the issue in the spotlight. So now that it's over, how will Peckman make peace with the councilman? 'Maybe,' Peckman said with a soothing smile, 'I could take him some incense.'" Reach out Mr. Peckman!
More coverage from the Rocky Mountain News [November 5, 2003, "Three strikes for 'Big 3'"].
Denver voters elected Theresa Pena to the school board in the district's only contested race, according to the Denver Post [November 5, 2003, "Peña takes sole contested Denver school board race"]. Here's the coverage from the Rocky Mountain News [November 5, 2003, "Pena glides to DPS seat"].
Here's a story about Referendum A and it's defeat, from the Rocky [November 5, 2003, "Water plan is all washed up"]. Some see the defeat of Referendum A as a win for Attorney General, Ken Salazar, according Diane Carman in today's Denver Post [November 5, 2003, "Ref. A fight a big victory for Salazar"]. Here's another story about Referendum A from the Rocky Mountain News [November 5, 2003, "Lack of faith sinks bid for $2 billion in water bonds"].
Here's an article on Amendment 33, the proposal to put Video Lottery Terminals in some Colorado racetracks, from the Denver Post [November 5, 2003, "Gaming measure defeated soundly"]. Here's the coverage from the Rocky Mountain News [November 5, 2003, "Wembley loses wager on video slots at tracks"].
Voters were willing to part with their dough for schools and open space, according to the Denver Post [November 5, 2003, "Tax hikes triumph in most local elections"]. Both Referred Questions 3A and 3B for school financing in Denver passed. Here's another story from the Post [November, 5, 2003, "Denver, Douglas OK new facilities, repairs as charter expansions flop"] that mentions Questions 3A and 3B.
Here's an editorial about the election from the Denver Post [November 5, 2003, "Election's unresolved issues"]. According to the Post editorial staff, "But whatever one thinks about the individual results, the fact remains that all three issues represented real problems. The solutions rejected by the voters Tuesday may have been the wrong solutions, but that doesn't mean that politicians can ignore the underlying dilemmas."
Voter turnout was around 40%, according to the Rocky Mountain News [November 5, 2003, "Mail-ballot participation exceeds 40 percent in most metro-area counties"]. Denver had a 36% turnout according to today's The Stump from the Rocky Mountain News.
Update: Initiative 101 lost big today, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
Update: The Rocky's nifty ballot builder application has been replaced by an app that reports results by city, county, and school district.
Update: Here are the election results from the Rocky Mountain News.
Update: DenverGov has the election results from today's, Coordinated and Regular Biennial School Election, but the web page only works in Internet Explorer so I killed the Coyote Gulch link. The big three, Referendum A, Amendment 32, and Amendment 33 all lost in Denver. Referred Question 1A passed by the wide margin predicted here on Coyote Gulch. Theresa Pena won the only contested school board seat. Referred Questions 3A and 3B both passed. Initiative 101 was defeated.
Here's an article about the issues voters will decide today from the Rocky Mountain News [November 4, 2003, "Ballot a palette of issues"]. From the article, "(Mayor) Hickenlooper is facing his first ballot test since taking over the Denver mayor's office in a landslide in the spring. Hickenlooper promised to reform the city's civil service system, arguing that it is inflexible and archaic."
Voter turnout is expected to be around 40% in today's election, according to the Rocky Mountain News [November 4, 2003, "Denver election officials were sweating the returns last week, as only about 38,000 of the roughly 244,000 ballots mailed out had been returned. But by Monday afternoon, that number had climbed to about 70,000, according to Alan McBeth, spokesman for the Denver Election Commission. As of Monday, those numbers caused Denver turnout to fall behind all other metro counties voting by mail with a 28 percent turnout before Election Day. An additional 550 Denver voters won't have their ballots counted because they failed to sign the envelope. Under state law, mail ballots cannot be counted without a signature."
Ed Quillen speaks out on mail-in ballots in his column today in the Denver Post [November 4, 2003, "Why empower the lazy?"]. Says Quillen, "Democracy has some costs, and we should be willing to pay them - even if it means standing in line once or twice a year."
Here's today's On Point from the Rocky Mountain News. They're talking about mail-in ballots and mail-in only elections. They also remind you that it is too late to mail your ballot for tomorrow's election. Instead take it to a drop off location.
Here's a summary of the voting recommendations from the Denver Post editorial staff, from yesterday's edition.
Voters are not very engaged with respect to Tuesday's election, according to the Denver Post [November 2, 2003, "Experts: Little passion in vote"]. From the article, "So far, according to professional election watchers, the 2003 campaign has generated some spending records but aroused little civic passion." They obviously haven't been reading Coyote Gulch.
Here's an editorial about voting practices and mail-in ballots from the Denver Post [November 2, 2003, "Mailbox or ballot box?"]. From the article, "Mail ballots have been used for a decade in Colorado and have become the most common voting method in the non-partisan elections held in odd-numbered years. In many jurisdictions, you now you have to vote by mail, except for the inconventient option of driving to a county office to drop your ballot in a box." The Post is running viewpoints on mail-in balloting, both pro and con.
It's way too late to mail your ballot for Tuesday's election. Here's an article with voting advice from the Rocky Mountain News [November 1, 2003, "EXTRA!, November 1"]. Vote early and vote often.