Denver is known as the “Mile High” city. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, it is actually a mile above sea level. As the capital of Colorado, a political swing state, politics tend to be interesting there. Reforms like term limits first took root in Colorado. But Denver itself has not been reform-minded.
When a 1994 statewide vote limited the terms of all local elected officials, career politicians in Denver thought it must have been meant for others, surely not them. The good citizens of Denver would understand that the city couldn’t survive without the miracles regularly produced by these professional politicians. After all, the city is a mile above sea level higher than most of the thrones of Europe. So the royalists on the Denver council put a repeal of term limits on the ballot.
Voters were not amused, and when the votes were counted neither were the mayor and council. Voters said “wait a second!” and kept term limits by a two to one margin. Now the council has dreamed up a new scheme.
Since the voters won’t agree with them, they’ll simply reduce the voters’ control of the council. The council is taking the first steps toward destroying the initiative process that allows citizens to reform government directly. They are seeking to raise the petition requirements by 600 percent. That’s more than a mile high. It would destroy the initiative process completely.
Thankfully, there’s a big fly in the council’s ointment. Voters must approve this change. And they won’t.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.