13 October 2005

Ken Gordon on Referendum C

Colorado State Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon (D-Wash Park) describes his debate about Referendum C (TABOR relief) with Douglas Bruce (the person who brought us TABOR and now an El Paso County Commissioner) below:

On Friday I had debated Doug Bruce at Trinidad State Junior College. It was an interesting venue because the junior college had already had $2,000,000 cut from its state funding and was in danger of losing the rest of the remaining $4,600,000. Bruce was in his usual form. He told the audience that you couldn't trust politicians. Apparently we lie, and steal as well. That would be me and my liberal friends. Liars and thieves all.

I told the listeners that I doubted he would be making personal attacks if he thought he could win on the merits. On the way out, I overheard County Commissioner, Politician Bruce telling a professor that we didn't need to cut higher ed any more. "Medicaid is an optional program," he said.

I said, "Yes it is optional. All 50 states have it, and we get matching Federal dollars but we could stop giving health care to poor children, seniors, and the disabled." Last night Kelly Stahlman told me that the amount of money we get from the Feds for their share of Medicaid, $1,621,580,650, is the second largest source of revenue, second to income tax, that we have for state services. This is money that Commissioner Bruce thinks we would be better off leaving in Washington for distribution to other states.

Vote yes on Referendum C, on November 1, if you vote in person on election day, or sooner, if you early vote or mail in vote. Colorado can't afford to have a crappy government because it has to use tax revenues for sales tax rebates instead of urgently needed government programs.

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