Letters to the editor
Show him the money
In Cacioppo’s July 3 letter to the editor in the Vail Daily, he states, “Peplinski and others can continue to waste a lot of ink trying to spin the facts in an attempt to get me to back off.”
Let’s review some of the facts, shall we?
Cacioppo quote, June 6: “The problem is, most state judges have a conflict of interest because most state judges hate TABOR …”
Cacioppo quote, June 20: “I am well aware that the majority of judges in this state do not like TABOR and will violate it any way they can.”
If you believe Cacioppo’s quotes, our state court system is basically a sham when it comes to the TABOR amendment and thus, our state Constitution. Quite the sad state of affairs when you realize these judges are some of the few people who have actually taken a solemn oath to uphold our state Constitution. However, he still chose this avenue of recourse in his quest to save the state Constitution. Why?
Perhaps Cacioppo sees the court system and its related expensive legal fees as some sort of trump card. After all, he constantly notes how much he has cost the school district in legal fees and court costs. Maybe he thinks that even if he can’t win his case, if he can delay long enough, with appeals and extensions, it will force the school district to decide it is more economical to just settle with him. Not quite the Constitution-preserving action he claims to pursue.
I must also point out that Cacioppo has yet to deny that seeking a monetary settlement is his strategy. Again, let’s review some more of the facts.
Cacioppo quote, May 17: “The district will reimburse all of my legal fees and costs in the ballot issue case immediately. This should not be difficult to accept, as this will allow you to save ongoing legal fees and costs, and allow you to issue checks to the district’s employees immediately …”
Cacioppo quote, June 20: “First, I did not lose the lawsuit. I simply lost the first of three rulings. Second, people make settlement offers all the way to the jury in legal matters.”
Cacioppo quote, June 13: “Never, in my memory, have I sued a government and asked for anything beyond costs and legal fees …”
Cacioppo quote, June 13: “The district must also pay all costs and legal fees, and if it wants to avoid any future suit, it must pay for lost advertising revenue, to be determined. To date, they have refused all requests!”
Cacioppo quote, June 20: “I am willing to lose, and I will not give up without a reasonable settlement agreement!”
Cacioppo quote, May 30: “They’ll be dealing with me for the next four years.”
Why else would someone with so little faith in our judicial system utilize the courts? Fact one – Cacioppo knows that TABOR protects him from any monetary recourse by the school district. Fact two – it worked for him in 2000, the tune of $12,000 of our tax dollars, so one can’t blame him for trying to get back into the cookie jar. This settlement was supposed to be a reimbursement of Cacioppo’s legal and court costs. The $12,000 figure was provided by Cacioppo. One has to believe the odds of a five-figure settlement ending neatly in three zeroes have to be, well, 1,000 to 1. There had to be the cost of a few photocopies in there, maybe some long distance calls, even some postage to bring the total to an odd dollar amount. Maybe Cacioppo rounded down his “costs” to that figure.
If our courts are such a sham, and Cacioppo has no expectations of winning in them, why doesn’t he try another remedy to save our state Constitution? He could seek a recall of the school board, or he could try to generate support for a new question regarding the housing allowance to be placed on an election ballot. Those remedies might help patch up the state Constitution. But, alas, they don’t quite provide the same potential for any kind of money settlement for Cacioppo.