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Anarchy reigns

Michael Cacioppo

With the conclusion of the town of Vail election Tuesday, the results, along with the 2004 Colorado Supreme Court decision regarding the 2001 local school district tax increase election, now confirm that anarchy reigns in Colorado. Citizens have no ability to count on anything that they vote on to actually happen. Nor do citizens have any ability to count on our state or federal Constitution to provide them with what rights those documents claim to guarantee us. A few examples of this include the wrongful jail time that Rick Stanley, the former Colorado Libertarian candidate for U.S. senator, served for openly carrying a weapon on his hip, authorized by state law, the Colorado Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. Those documents did not prevent Stanley from serving time for legally carrying his gun openly. The lack of integrity on the part of Denver County and Adams County saw to that. The 2004 Colorado Supreme Court demonstrated a lack of integrity in the Cacioppo vs. Eagle County School District when the local school district failed to follow the Colorado Constitution’s requirements in the teacher tax increase election of 2001, as acknowledged by Judge Richard Hart. Even though Hart agreed that the district failed to follow the law, he allowed them to get away with it, and the Colorado Supreme Court refused to review that decision,and allowed a state law to overturn the public’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights Amendment (TABOR), which allowed lawsuits involving illegally run elections to be challenged for up to four years after an illegality occurs. The Colorado Legislature had previously passed a new law saying that elections had to be challenged within five days of announcing the ballot question, even if the subsequent election failed. Audio tapes from the Legislature, which were provided to the Colorado Supreme Court, clearly demonstrated a liberal legislative acknowledgement (Sen. Bill Thiebaut) that the five-day law did not apply to TABOR challenges. However, the state supremes didn’t care, and they wrongfully legislated what they wanted to happen for their liberal friends, the public school teachers. Any student of government should know that state laws do not trump constitutional law. Allowing that to happen was another example of anarchy. Locally, the prevailing proponents of the Vail conference center election of 2002 should have been able to rely on the conference center getting built a year or two after the successful election. Instead, with I believe a lack of integrity, Councilwoman Diana Donovan and Kaye Ferry, the head of the Vail Chamber and Business Association, joined forces to do all they could to interfere with the prevailing vote of 2002. Both of them put on a full-court press to say, “2002 voters be damned. Let’s vote again until our side wins!” And it worked for them, just as I told Avon resident Peter Buckley last week that it would. The fact of the matter is that winning is not necessarily winning, and losing is not necessarily losing. The prevailing voters of 2002 expected a conference center to be built. They expected their taxes to pay for that. Now they may face no refund of their taxes that have been collected to date and possibly even a vote by a new group of voters to spend that money elsewhere, possibly on something the 2002 prevailing voters don’t want it spent on. Not only is that possibility grossly unfair, but it clearly demonstrates once again that anarchy prevails. Interestingly, the conference center issue pitted liberal versus liberal, and conservative versus conservative. Donovan, who I had previously written about in a column titled “Princess Diana, nabob of negativity,” led the conference center to defeat by obfuscating the facts and misleading the public. Fortunately, and incredibly, it cost her re-election to council, since the 2005 voters agreed with her about ending the conference center but didn’t return her to office. From my vantage point, she got what she deserved, even though her personal council defeat is inexplicable. Kaye Ferry appeared to be hypocritical after her quote in the Nov. 9 Daily, in which she said, “Now it’s time to do what the voters want to do, instead of what the lodging interests want to do.” If only Kaye had felt that way after the 2002 voters voted to pass the center. We all wouldn’t be so angry with each other. Anarchy is the reality of the day when integrity and principle no longer matter! Michael Cacioppo, a former radio talk show host and newspaper publisher, is managing director of BookPlayaDelCarmen.com LLC, a local travel planning consultant on vacations to Mexico. He can be reached at 280-5555 or by e-mail at Cacioppo@BookPlayaDelCarmen.comVail, Colorado


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