Discussing the Greeley ballot measure Initiated Question 200, which the Independence Institute is promoting through the Ask First campaign, Amy Oliver of 1310 KFKA told listeners on her October 22 show: "[Y]ou all should know, I work for the Ask First Greeley campaign." As Colorado Media Matters noted, Oliver -- who is also the Independence Institute's director of operations -- had promoted Initiated Question 200 on her October 9 broadcast without disclosing her ties to the campaign behind it.
Following an October 11 Colorado Media Matters item noting that Independence Institute director of operations Amy Oliver has promoted Initiated Question 200 on her 1310 KFKA show without disclosing her personal ties to the measure's campaign, Ask First Greeley, Oliver finally told listeners on October 22, "[Y]ou all should know, I work for the Ask First Greeley campaign."
The Independence Institute launched Ask First Greeley as far back as July to promote Initiated Question 200, which would limit payroll deductions for public employees in the city of Greeley. According to a July 7 Greeley Tribune article, the Independence Institute "gave money and manpower" to help place Initiated Question 200 -- which the Tribune reported would "stop the city of Greeley from deducting union dues from city employees' paychecks" -- on the ballot.
After disclosing her ties to the Ask First Greeley campaign, Oliver once again touted the measure, saying, "I think Ballot Question 200 is a no-brainer." She also echoed comments she made on her October 9 broadcast, saying, "[G]overnment now using government resources to ... collect dues that then make their way into political campaigns. It's just an, I mean, it's a blatant conflict of interest." As Colorado Media Matters noted, Oliver asked on October 9, "Should your taxpayer dollars be used for the infrastructure of private organizations that have political purposes?" then stated, "It's pretty simple. There's an enormous conflict of interest there."
During her October 22 broadcast, Oliver read from a Tribune editorial published the same day that stated, "Ballot Question 200, which would prohibit the city of Greeley from deducting union dues from employees' paychecks, is a solution in search of a non-existent problem." The Tribune further wrote:
Any proposed ballot measure should pass several tests for it to succeed. First, there should be a clearly demonstrated need for an ordinance or law. This measure fails the first question.
It's not a problem for city government to handle the deductions and the 100 members of the Greeley Police Officers Association appreciate the service.
Residents who are anti-union should realize that this won't have the desired effect of weakening the local organization or lessening whatever political pull it has.
Members will simply continue to contribute directly. It's really an issue of convenience.
Ballot measures should be used to address issues that are important and vital to the majority of a city's residents. Ballot Question 200 is not one of those and is not deserving of support.
From the October 22 broadcast of 1310 KFKA's The Amy Oliver Show:
OLIVER: Tribune has an op-ed today says, "200 doesn't pass the test." And by the way, believe there's a press release coming out today, list of endorsements, those people who are endorsing Ballot Question 200. Now, in a policy that, you know, you all should know, I work for the Ask First Greeley campaign. I think Ballot Question 200 is a no-brainer. I really do. In fact, I don't know what the heck government is doing being involved with private organizations that collect dues for political-fundraising purposes. So it says, so the Tribune says today: "Ballot Question 200, which would prohibit the city of Greeley from deducting union dues" -- and by the way, any other private organization collecting those dues -- "from employees' paychecks, it's a solution in search of a non-existent problem."
Well, I got a whole series of stuff that shows you that this is an issue. And by the way, also, just to show you that there is already influence going on, isn't it interesting how those people who are opposed to, those city council persons who are opposed to this measure also received union money? Interesting. So, yes, yes, government now using government resources to, government resources to collect dues that then make their way into political campaigns. It's just an, I mean, it's a blatant conflict of interest.