Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Re-thinking my position on the labor v. business ballot initiatives

When news broke in early April that Governor Ritter was seeking to broker a compromise between labor and business in regards to their competing ballot measures I called it "a real display of leadership" and generally concurred with Ritter's position. I said at the time,

A nasty and expensive food-fight between business and labor wouldn't do anyone any good at all. Labor is not going to see most, if any, of their ballot measures approved and business will not pass a right-to-work ballot measure either. The state will instead be caught up in a prolonged and nasty battle with shadowy outside interests dumping money into negative television ads. Nerves will be frayed on both sides, grudges will be held and gridlock will ensue.

The more I think about it though the more I think my initial position was wrong.

Let's put it all to a vote. Let each side muster their troops and let's hash it out. I'm not sure why I was so conflict averse, this is democracy and nobody said democracy was supposed to be neat, tidy or polite. These are real issues and the people of Colorado deserve the opportunity to speak on them.

I understand the optics of the issue for the governor. With the DNC coming to town he'd rather the airways and streets not be filled with competing and acrimonious campaign messages. Still, these issues deserve and fair and public hearing. We live in economically turbulent times and labor as well as business interests deserve the opportunity to take their cases directly to the people of Colorado.

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