DENVER – A judge’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to have the Colorado government correct the “outright lies” handed to voters in an explanation of a pro-life initiative on the November ballot will be appealed, organizers have confirmed.
Amendment 62 sponsors and lawsuit plaintiffs Gualberto Garcia-Jones and Leslie Hanks say there is no question the analysis of the amendment included state “bias,” and that it failed to include major arguments for the plan.
“The Blue Book’s false claims are so egregious that we were forced to take action,” said Garcia-Jones. “Outright lies were printed about Amendment 62, and it is ridiculous that we weren’t even allowed input into the ‘Arguments For’ the amendment that we wrote and sponsored. That is why we plan to appeal this dismissal and right the grievous wrong that has been committed against our campaign. The Colorado Blue Book is incorrect and unfair, and must be corrected immediately.”
The Blue Book is the state’s tax-funded information booklet printed by the millions and distributed to voters to “explain” the ballot initiatives and other issues pending on this year’s state election ballot.
WND reported earlier when the lawsuit was filed. Supporters of the amendment, over the issue of the “personhood” of the unborn, said the state editorialized in the “explanation.”
“The Colorado Blue Book … claimed that treatment for miscarriages, tubal pregnancies, and infertility could be limited by the amendment, all of which is false. The Blue Book also claimed that the measure could subject doctors and nurses to legal action for providing medical care to a woman of child-bearing age, which is also false, and alleged that ‘the beginning of biological development’ has no established legal meaning and is not an accepted medical or scientific term, despite pages of expert evidence to the contrary. These are just some of the blatant falsehoods and biased statements published in the Colorado Blue Book,” the organizers said in a prepared description.
Garcia-Jones said the amendment sponsors first were disallowed from including the text of the amendment in the ‘Arguments For’ section. Then the Blue Book authors “published several falsehoods about Amendment 62.”
Officials said while the judge has dismissed the case seeking the corrections, and the booklets, in fact, have been printed and mailed, the case is being appealed with the goal of having Colorado send statements to voters correcting the information.
“I believe that the ruling … is wrong. The Colorado Legislative Council can print anything they want to based on their own prejudices, and my tax dollars have to pay for it,” said Garcia-Jones. “In a government based on checks and balances, it is appalling that the council can print slanderous, false statements and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.”
The state constitution, in fact, requires, “A fair and impartial analysis of each measure, which shall include a summary and the major arguments both for and against the measure, and which may include any other information that would assist understanding the purpose and effect of the measure. Any person may file written comments for consideration by the research staff during the preparation of such analysis.”
The “personhood” movement takes aim at the foundation of the
1973 Roe v. Wade decision in which the Supreme Court created the “right”
to an abortion. It is based on Justice Harry Blackmun’s statement in his
majority Roe v. Wade opinion that the landmark case would
collapse if “the fetus is a person,” because the unborn’s “right to life
would then be guaranteed” by the Constitution.
Personhood efforts simply call on voters to define an unborn child as a person from the moment of begnining of biological development.
Amendment 62 sponsors and organizers say they attempted several times to change the text, in writing and at the public hearing, yet none of their objections was recognized.
Officials with the Legislative Council declined comment.
According to a recent report in the Denver Post, the fights over language describing three other ballot measures – all cutting taxes – also has been “especially nasty.”
The report documented how supporters of those campaigns “have complained there is an unprecedented bias against them by staff of the Legislative Council.”
Amendment 61 would require local governments to get voter approval to borrow, require debt to be repaid within 10 years and prohibit borrowing by the state. Amendment 60 would cut mill levies and allow voters to roll back previous votes to let government keep more money. Proposition 101 gradually would cut the state income tax from 4.63 percent to 3.5 percent and reduce vehicle-registration fees, which several years ago rocketed upwards, sometimes by several hundred percent.
Another ballot plan also would exempt Coloradans from President Obama’s “mandate” that every person be forced to buy health insurance.
The “personhood” effort has faced intense opposition from abortion interests who fear their revenue stream would dry up instantly.
The issue also is on the radar screen already in many other states.