Post says Beauprez "wins" because initiative he supported failed to get on ballot

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

The headline of a Denver Post article called the demise of Initiative 88 a "win[]" for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Bob Beauprez, who was a strong supporter of the measure and has said he was the first person to sign a petition to place it on the November ballot.

The headline of an August 8 Denver Post article called the demise of a conservative-backed ballot initiative a "win[]" for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Bob Beauprez (Arvada), who was a strong supporter of the initiative and has said he was the first person to sign a petition to place it on the November ballot.

The article by Post staff writer Chris Frates, headlined "Beauprez wins as plan fails," reported on the demise of Initiative 88, a proposal backed by Independence Institute president and Newsradio 850 KOA host Jon Caldara, that would have "refunded to taxpayers some of the estimated $4.9 billion that voters allowed the state to keep last year when they approved Referendum C." Referendum C lets the state retain and spend all state revenues collected in the next five years that it otherwise would have refunded to taxpayers because of Colorado's constitutional spending limits, known as TABOR (an acronym for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights). Caldara said he did not submit the signatures needed to put Initiative 88 on the ballot because its backers did not have sufficient funds to promote the initiative successfully.

As the Rocky Mountain News reported on May 8, Beauprez was the first person to sign a petition to place Initiative 88 on the ballot. According to the News, "Beauprez said he agreed to back the measure because he is frustrated that the Democratic-controlled state legislature ... killed proposals to establish a rainy-day fund the state could rely on in lean times."

As Colorado Media Matters has noted, a May 30 Post article about Initiative 88 reported, "The Colorado treasurer's office is warning that a proposed ballot measure to return some Referendum C money to taxpayers could blast a multimillion-dollar hole in the state budget."

In an August 3 article, also written by Frates, the Post reported that "Republican Rep. Mark Larson of Cortez said Beauprez's support for 88 makes him unsure of 'how well he does his homework.' " Larson has endorsed Beauprez's opponent, former Denver district attorney Bill Ritter. The Post further reported on August 3 that "longtime Republican Dick Kaufman said Beauprez has lost a 'big chunk of the Republican base' that is not coming back."

In his August 8 article that called Initiative 88's failure a "win[]" for Beauprez, Frates reported: "With much of the Republican business community lined up against the measure and Beauprez supporting it, Initiative 88 could have cost Beauprez money and support within his party, observers say." Frates quoted political analyst Eric Sonderman as saying, "It's moderate good news because this is a party in desperate need of healing and unity and this takes one particular issue of friction and division off the ballot."

From Frates's August 8 Denver Post article:

With much of the Republican business community lined up against the measure and Beauprez supporting it, Initiative 88 could have cost Beauprez money and support within his party, observers say.

So its demise is a welcome sign for the Republican [Beauprez], said political analyst Eric Sondermann.

"It's moderate good news because this is a party in desperate need of healing and unity and this takes one particular issue of friction and division off the ballot," he said.

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