Constitution not a playgorund for special interests | AspenTimes.com

Constitution not a playgorund for special interests

It's becoming commonplace to have many initiatives on the ballot and this year is no exception. For the large majority of initiatives, a reasonable argument can be made for "yes" and "no." Not so for Amendment 74. I would argue its the most reckless proposed constitutional amendment I've ever read and I implore you to vote "no." It's a pretty safe bet when you have Club 20, environmental groups, homebuilders associations, real estate associations, The Denver Post, the Grand Junction Sentinel and many more very diverse groups all agreeing that this amendment must be defeated.

My read is that this amendment is nothing more than a vindictive grudge against Amendment 112. I don't support Amendment 112 either but this atrocious quid pro quo approach amounts to carelessness with our state Constitution and is inexcusable. Crafted and supported by a few powerful out-of-state oil and gas interests (fronted by the Colorado Farm Bureau), Amendment 74 would cripple local communities.

This amendment is intended to expand existing law regarding property value "takings" in a way that would prevent local government (and therefore its citizens and businesses) from doing just about anything without a barrage of lawsuits. By design, it's written with such incredible ambiguity that even basic municipal functions could be portrayed as a "taking."

Please vote "no" on Amendment 74 and help send the message that Colorado's Constitution is not a playground for special interest issues, regardless of who they represent.

Dan Richardson

Carbondale