Scare tactics by a hired gun |

Scare tactics by a hired gun

Dear Editor:

Thursday’s letter from Dan Hopkins (“Bruce’s poison apple,” June 24, 2010, The Aspen Times) attacked the three tax relief issues on the November ballot. What he did not tell you is he is being paid tens of thousands of dollars as the media advisor to the special interest groups opposing tax relief. Their donation list is exposed at

Of their donations, 99.8 percent of them are from groups, many out of state; only 0.2 percent are from individuals. To call those donors “Coloradans for Responsible Reform” when they don’t reside in or can’t vote in Colorado is dishonest.

To say they are “for” anything is also deceptive, since they exist only to oppose these three modest reforms.

The above website also documents 15 falsehoods at “Fibs by Foes.” Hopkins repeats two of them in his letter.

His favorite scare tactic is an absurd claim that schools will be hurt. “School revenue from property taxes cut in half … thousands of more teachers will be let go … More schools will be closed, squeezing more kids into already overcrowded classrooms …” Thankfully, he left out the part about tax relief causing cancer, famine, suicide, birth defects and nuclear warfare.

Here are the facts:

1) School property tax relief occurs gradually over 10 years.

2) It is less than half of school property taxes.

3) It is replaced 100 percent by state aid, as current law (Amendment 23 and the School Finance Act) requires.

4) Amendment 60 says in the same sentence as the phase-out that “state aid shall replace that revenue yearly.”

Schools will not lose one dollar. Why didn’t Hopkins say that? Because his job is to con you into voting against tax relief for your family.

The other whopper was this: “Amendment 61 eliminates any viable way [for governments] to bond for improvements.” What the text says is, “Future borrowing … shall be bonded debt…” Does that sound like a ban on bonds? What he doesn’t like is that those bonds must be voter-approved, not reckless deficit spending by politicians that your children must repay. Do you now see why one of his donors is a group that benefits from putting taxpayers in debt without their consent? They gave $100,000 to protect current practices of unlimited government borrowing, from which they get paid huge commissions. Just see the website –

Ask yourself why this shadowy group would raise $1 million (so far) to oppose tax relief for your family. Ask yourself how old you were when you learned people would lie to you to get your money.

Sean Doherty


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