Education Funding “Adequacy” Lawsuit Standing Restored

As the Denver Post reports:

In an opinion that could have profound implications for the state budget, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled today that a group of plaintiffs has the right to challenge whether the state provides an adequate level of funding for schools.

In a 4-3 decision, the state’s high court overturned the ruling of two lower courts that said the question of how much funding for schools is one for lawmakers, not the courts.

The ruling today means that the plaintiffs, which include students and school districts around the state, can now go to Denver District Court and argue that the state does not provide enough money for education.

Huge implications if such a lawsuit were to be successful–an establishment of funding standards to meet the state’s constitutional requirement for a “thorough and uniform” public education, based on education benchmarks enacted (like CSAP) that require a minimum investment to achieve. Most importantly, the suit seeks to overturn restrictive measures like the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) where they have proven counterproductive to the Education Clause.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Doug Bruce.

83 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Middle of the Road says:

    I kind of think this is a big deal. Where oh where is Libertad? I mean, we’re talking about his favorite subject here…and you’d think he’d be all over it like stink on shit but alas…he’s probably off copying and pasting entire sections of the Bible right now and claiming them as his own writings…

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      Let’s be fair — he’d add some [ed note:]s here and there.

    • Libertad says:

      What’s todays prek-12 cut of the state budget 55-60%?

      Why do Denver’s leaders feel the need to undertax their citizens, then cry about their lack of k-12 funding?  All the while they’ve managed to grow the dropout rate at DPS from 40% to 52%+ in the last decade?

      Why is Denver a net receiver and burden to the rest of Colorado, yet refuses to take self responsability or accountability?

      • Middle of the Road says:

        That’s your territory, according to you.

        As to the rest of your question, it’s a load of crap so back to the diary. What do you think about the court decision? Does it feel right to you? Wrong? What say you? Because despite your unintelligent bitching, this isn’t just about Denver. It’s about the entire state of Colorado and the funding of education within our state. Do try and remember that there lies an entire state outside of Denver city limits.  

        • Libertad says:

          I’ll repeat again … Why do Denver’s leaders feel the need to undertax their citizens, then cry about their lack of k-12 funding?  All the while they’ve managed to grow the dropout rate at DPS from 40% to 52%+ in the last decade?

          Why did Denver get to throw PERA further under the bus by further offshoring its budget items into the pension then dumping it on PERA?

          Why is Denver a net receiver and burden to the rest of Colorado, yet refuses to take self responsability or accountability?

          Where is the justice and equity?

          Where is the CSC opinion?

          How much will the removal of busing save and how will that impact the involvement of parents in their childrens education?

          • ohwilleke says:

            The lawsuit is in Denver only because that is the designated place to sue the state government because the state capitol is there.  The Plaintiffs’ and their school districts are in the San Luis Valley.    

            • Ralphie says:

              It wastes keystrokes and makes your fingers tired.

              And it has no effect.  Libertad doesn’t trade in reason.

            • Libertad says:

              Public education is a statewide matter here in Colorado, but alas this case is a local control issue vs state back-fill.  

              In theory the State could demand a full accounting of the costs of education – this could last for decades as the school districts play games versus stipulating the facts, factors and costs of public education.

              The plaintiffs, “The Valley”, claim they don’t get the required funding to educate Obama bowling coaches (special needs), whites (minority students) and illegal alians (non-English speakers).

              They assert they should get more State money to back-fill their local taxes because they are poor, have refused to hike their own taxes and the amount of money sent by the State apparently does not meet the CEA and bloated administrations required amount.

              By extension they’re asserting that Denver abuses the system by overloading PERA, hogging state cash, running inefficient operations, and fails to tax itself at the “right” level.

              Of course the basis of this is that under the constitution, the General Assembly shall … provide for … a thorough and uniform system of free public schools …

              Its truly sad that so little of the money makes it to students in the classroom, that the teachers have to buy supplies out of personal cash, that these districts have abdicated core benefit and system responsibility for their employees, forced employees to join unions for legal protection, and on and on.  Unlike private schools, the bloated administrations force parents to be hit up every day for donations, fundraising and volunteering in the classrooms.  

              It is truly a dysfunctional system of opposing institutional interests that thrive off of gaming the system … all the while failing to deliver education to the kids while they point fingers at each other and sue in court.

              So is busing a required function?  Are local residents and businesses paying their fair share of taxes or pushing off funding to the State?  

              At the end of the day the Democrats will get the right questions in front of the CSC such that the court can break TABOR, establish liberal whack-a-do public policy, and further crater any scent of accountability.

          • dwyer says:

            Libertad, what do you mean by this:

            How much will the removal of busing save and how will that impact the involvement of parents in their childrens education?

            You do know that court order busing for integration was lifted in Denver in 1995.  You knew that, right?

            So, I presume that you are for removing all school buses from Colorado?  Or not? Or what?

            You do know that Denver Taxpayers voted to increase the mil levy in 2003 and 2008 to fund schools, and also voted to float more bonds for that purpose.  Or do you?

      • Conservative sources put the preK-12 budget at 43%… of the General Fund.  The General Fund is somewhere (shy?) of half of the total state budget, but I’m guessing some of the non-General Fund budget also goes to education, so perhaps 25% max of the total budget is spent in preK-12 education.

    • One Queer Dude says:

      but this is a close second

    • Ralphie says:

      He’s probably off posting something boldfaced with no links in the wrong thread.

  2. Gecko says:

    we change things and soon. I say we should enact a law stating that all state school districts should have the ability to access each and every one of our checking and savings accounts. That way whenever they need or simply want more money, they can just take it. What the hell, we don’t need it.

  3. KinCO says:

    The most succinct and blunt analysis came from Rep. Pommer:

    “In terms of education, this might ultimately force the state to provide a thorough education to every student. Of course, we can’t afford that.”

  4. ohwilleke says:

    The issue in the case is whether it is so hard for school districts with a small property base, basically in the San Luis Valley, to raise funds locally, that they can’t provide an adequate education to the kids in their districts.

    One could easily imagine a resolution that would simply shift money under the state formula from districts with large property tax bases to property poor districts, while leaving the Amendment 23 top line unchanged.  The districts bringing the suit are small enough a pretty small consession from the rest of the state could do the trick.

    This said, the Plaintiffs have a formidable challenge ahead of them to win on the merits; the state need only show a rational basis for the state funding formula and is entitled to deferrence from the court in making that determination.  If someone can make an argument that the state formula makes rational sense, even if it is poor way of doing things, the Plaintiffs lose.

    The Plaintiffs in a similar 1982 suit alleging unequal school funding lost.

    • Things are much different now than they were in 1982.

      TABOR and Gallagher combine now for a serious 1-2 punch that alters education funding for the worse on an ongoing basis.

      IIRC (and I wasn’t here when Colorado’s education funding was last “healthy”), Colorado’s traditional funding model was to have local districts fund themselves, and the State made up for shortfalls in districts like the SLV where the district couldn’t raise the money to provide an “adequte” education.  That formula is no longer functional; the State is increasingly paying out of its General Fund for districts that formerly funded themselves – all because of TABOR and Gallagher.

      Having said all of that, and supporting Plaintiff’s cause in a general way, I have to agree with you that their road ahead is long, and it is not at all certain how the courts could undo the problem on their own without an intervention by the Legislature, resulting in a Referendum on the ballot.  A Referendum with court-ordered backing, however, has much stronger standing IMHO.

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      That’s not the only thing at issue in the Lobato case. The constitutional mandate is for “thorough and uniform” funding.

      … plaintiffs allege that supplemental funding above the PSFA total program amount, intended to meet the needs of certain underserved and minority student populations, is insufficient and irrationally distributed.

      • ohwilleke says:

        The suit makes the case that the districts involved have insufficient funding, not necessarily that the entire system is underfunded.  

        Indeed, if the claims was that the entire system was underfunded, the case that Amendment 23 supercedes other provisions of the state constitution would be much stronger.

        • RedGreenRedGreen says:

          and failure to comply with constitutional mandates are system-wide, not just in the plaintiffs’ districts.

          From the Lobato opinion:

          The plaintiffs claim that the system is severely underfunded and allocates funds on an arbitrary and irrational basis.

          The claim made by plaintiff districts that the severe underfunding undermines local control is a separate part of the complaint and speaks more toward unfair distribution of financing.

          But:

          Plaintiffs also claim that the PSFA total program funding level is arbitrary and irrational.  They allege that the base amount and statutory increases, as set by the 1994 amendment to the PSFA, were determined on the basis of “historical spending levels and political compromise . . . and not upon a valid determination of the actual costs to provide every student with an opportunity for a constitutionally adequate, quality education, or to an education that meets the standards and goals mandated by education reform litigation and the Consolidated State Plan.”

          Lujan challenged the system on equality grounds, not adequacy grounds, but Lobato does both.

          In sum, plaintiffs allege that the state’s public school financing system is unconstitutional because it is underfunded and disburses funds on an irrational and arbitrary basis in violation of the “thorough and uniform” mandate.

          Amendment 23 doesn’t take precedence because it didn’t address “thorough and uniform” funding, just established a “minimum” funding.

    • cunninjo says:

      Shifting funds to districts that can’t fund themselves sounds good, but you run into a problem. Seeing as how counties set their property tax rates and, therefore, determine their own school funding means that a county need only lower property taxes and allow the state to make up for the shortfall.

      We already see this in places like Mesa County. They lower their property taxes to make themselves look good and the rest of us fund their k-12 program.

      The state needs to require a minimum level of funding from the county for those counties to receive any state k-12 funding. Much like the Federal government does to states. If the people in those counties want quality education then they must pull their own weight.  

      • Car 31 says:

        the voters in those counties to vote yes on raising their taxes?

        • MADCO says:

          In some districts it can’t be done (see Douglas County School District and Mesa COunty Valley School District 51). They just don’t raise taxes.

          In others- see CCSD #5 and DPS – you make the case for how the budget is needed and will be used and the voters will decide on the merits and their preference for funding those needs or not.

        • cunninjo says:

          If they choose not to raise their own taxes then then don’t give them any state funding for education. In the end it is up to them whether or not they value education.  

          • Car 31 says:

            technically that is illegal currently and if it was up to CO voters to only support the education they want, then rich kids would be well educated and the poor kids would not.

            No, wait a minute, those pesky rich people again in Douglas County, one of the richest counties in the country, voted against additional school funding last year.

            So, we’d have poor school districts refusing to pay getting dinged by the state and rich school districts refusing to pay more getting dinged by the state.

            Doesn’t really solve much, does it?

      • MADCO says:

        Not necessarily any more.  SB291 fixed that and the Governor signed it earlier this year- and I’m pretty sure it applies to the next budget.

  5. Automaticftp says:

    all the Court did was to allow the lawsuit to go forward.  It has not ruled on the merits of the underlying case.  

    • ohwilleke says:

      Indeed, part of what is going on in this case is that the majority on the Colorado Surpeme Court did not want to concede that there was a “political questions” doctrine for issues arising under the state constitution, which is an issue that goes to Colorado Supreme Court power in the long term over a very wide variety of issues.

      This ruling stakes out broader powers for the Colorado Supreme Court to decide cases than the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed to itself to decide cases under the federal constitution (both on the standing issue and on the political question issue).  This isn’t inappropriate.  Article III of the United States Constitution has a narrower jurisictional grant to the U.S. Supreme Court, than the Colorado Constitution gives to the Colorado Supreme Court.  Federal courts are fundamentally courts of limited jurisdiction that are allowed to decide only cases where they are expressly given the power to resolve cases.  State courts are fundamentally courts of general jurisdiction that have power over all cases that are not excluded from their jurisdiction (something that itself is subject to state constitutional limitations).

      If a trial court rules in favor of the Plaintiffs, it is entirely possible that someone in the Colorado Supreme Court majority on this case could find that as a matter of law, given the evidence, that there was a rational basis for the current school funding formula.

      • dwyer says:

        I have stumbled onto a logical, rational, fact based discussion on an important issue.

        I though this was Colorado Pols.  

      • Automaticftp says:

        I think the U.S. Supreme Court has taken an overly limited view of its power to decide cases involving political questions.  It is also a potentially interesting erosion of the standards regarding standing.

        At the state level, I generally think it appropriate for a state supreme court to involve itself in more political question cases, as most of them historically have involved state questions that go beyond the federal constitution and thus do not bring the federal constitution into play.  

        With respect to the school funding, I rather suspect that the Colorado Supreme Court made the statement it wanted to regarding its own power to decide what the lower courts labelled political questions, as you point out.  Correctly, in my view.  Further, the school districts have a difficult challenge to show that there is no rational basis for the current school funding formula.  To overturn it, the trial court will have to either find that a higher level or scrutiny should be applied, which seems problematic, or use “rational basis with bite,” as the U.S. Supreme Court did in Romer v. Evans.  

        So while it is a major statement by the Colorado Supreme Court, it is not necessarily for the reasons most people on the street will believe.  Without trying it, I’d think that most people, if asked, would say the Court’s decision ordered a change in the funding formula, and would have no idea that the Court simply allowed the suit to proceed.  

  6. This suit could radically alter the way Colorado taxes and budgets.  It could, at its broadest, overturn portions of TABOR and alter the balance of local vs. State taxes in the educational funding mix.

  7. One Queer Dude says:

       Isn’t he due to be wheeling out his latest brain fart of a constitutional amendment to retroactively term-limit all Democratically-named appellate judges?

      This should provide fuel for his fire.

  8. Sharon Hanson says:

    I hope it’s not too late. Tabor is bad for our state and bad for our economy. What business wants to move to Colorado where the population is undereducated? And incidents like balloon dad are making our state look like a bunch of retards.  

  9. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights was passed by a majority of statewide voters in the 1990′s

    The current efforts to undermine the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is being done by a Supreme Court that could care less for what the people have voted on – let me understand this – a group of office holders exercising their will to forcibly take more money from the taxpayers, despite public votes to prevent such action???

    Again – if the Democratic Party of Colorado and its supporters want more money for ‘education’ then I suggest they reduce their prison spending, which is sky rocketing

    And this Supreme Court is completely dishonorable – they proving to work as an activist court that is fiscally liberal, yet they’ll refuse to touch any kind of decision that would legalize civil unions/marriage for our GLBT community and/or do something to strike down Romanoff and the Democratic Party’s anti-immigrant laws from 2006 (House Bill 1017)

    AND SHAME ON ANY DEMOCRAT FOR SUPPORTING THIS COURT

    Again – the Democratic Party here in Colorado has made it harder for immigrant families to work (Romanoff’s HB 1017), they have made it harder for small businesses to operate (again Romanoff’s HB 1017), they have not legalized civil union/marriage rights for our GLBT community, prison spending is sky rocketing, labor union initiation is also sky rocketing, and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is under continual barrage

    The Colorado Democratic Party, like Stalin, is in the business of stealing our money and reducing our civil rights – fiscal liberal combined with social conservative – it is the essence of Communism, and such is why the Tea Bag Movement is using such signage to describe the current Democratic Party

    Peace and love all!  

    • redstateblues says:

      Did you just compare your friends across the aisle to mass murderer Josef Stalin? We’re all a bunch of communists? Are you kidding me with this?

      I’m probably your biggest fan on this site, but that is just stupid.

      • You’re certainly not a group of mass murderers and I’ll take back any hints of that sort – my apologies – however, it is my highest conviction that the State Democratic Party is practicing fiscal liberal and social conservatism – do you disagree with that?  

        • RedGreenRedGreen says:

          You sure about that?

          I note above you retracted your original comparison to Stalin, so you must mean the kinder, gentler side of Stalin. Still, MAH, that comparison is completely fucking insane and shows why Republicans are having such trouble in states like Colorado.

          • Insane is being deprived of our civil rights and money – regardless of how Republicans debate it, the Democrats WILL lose their majorities in Colorado, based on the fact that their political idealogy is completely out of touch with Colorado

            • RedGreenRedGreen says:

              It’s an overblown, hysterical analogy that has nothing to do with politics in Colorado.

              How many states have TABOR on the books? Are all the ones that have rejected it communist states? Is every state that hasn’t yet sanctioned gay marriage a communist state?

              Democrats are so out of touch with Colorado that voters have swept Republicans from office in an unprecedented reversal over the last four years. It’s true Democrats are facing challenges because the economy is in the toilet — courtesy the Republican rule of the first part of the decade — but voters back the Democratic platform by large majorities. Whether you make insane comparisons or not.

              • Yeah… we’ll see about that one, come November 2010

                Certainly, political Parties are not perfect and Republicans and Democrats both have their fair share of mistakes

                But what have the Democrats here in Colorado truly accomplished since fully taking over in 2006?

                The GLBT community, despite Democratic pandering, is still without union/marriage rights….

                HB 1017 alienated immigrants and small business owners..

                You keep blaming low education spending on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, while quietly driving up prison spending…

                The Colorado Democrats have had since 2006 to fix the above issues, and rather than fix them, they’ve made many of them worse (again, HB 1017) – you can’t hide behind the Iraq war anymore either

                Feel free to call me a Crazy-Right-Wing-Republican all you want…. but us Republicans were VOTED OUT of power because our Party ‘leaders’ supported Ref C in 2005, thereby hurting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights…..

                …and with the stains of Amendment 59 and the current efforts to repeal the Taxpayer Bill of Rights… believe me, the voters will not look well upon this in 2010… and the normal Democratic constituencies, the GLBT community, immigrant communities, etc, will not have much reason to have your back either based on a 4 year record of thorough incompetence

                • sxp151 says:

                  Republicans were kicked out of office for not being batshit crazy enough. What you guys need to do is double-down on the crazy. Maybe you could use your dad’s money to run ads across the state claiming that Bill Ritter is secretly a Communist Nazi lizard-man, and prophecy that Ayn Rand will return from the grave to abolish government and lead Colorado to 1000 years of anarchist paradise.

                  • SX – can I hire you as a media spokesperson the next time I potentially run for office? I think you’ll rival my own bad gaffes

                    As far as a re-incarnated Ayn Rand goes…. I hope the good woman listens NOT to the Ayn Rand Center, who have lost me for good until they issue an apology for this piece:

                    http://www.aynrand.org/site/Ne

                    • sxp151 says:

                      A sidekick who says crazy over-the-top things to make the boss look good?

                      A Dan Quayle for George H.W. Bush?

                      A Joe Biden for Barack Obama?

                      Hmmm…

                      I can definitely do crazy Republican (check out my new signature), the only problem is that there isn’t really a Vice State Representative position.

                    • That is hilarious – and, obviously, as a crazy right wing Republican, I completely agree with your sig!

                      :)

                    • MADCO says:

                      But don’t hold your breath.  If one thing is true about the ARC , they are certain always and forever about their rightness.

                      R’s didn’t lose because they supported  Ref C. How would that have worked- angry R’s voted D for revenge?

                      R’s lost …

                      …the Senate seat vacated by Nighthorse Campbell because they had a fractious primary and put up a weak candidate.

                      …the Governor because they had a fractious, damaging primary and put up a weak candidate.

                      …the Senate seat vacated by Allard because they had a fractious primary and put up a weak candidate.

                      … the White House because they had a weak candidate (who, ironically, would have won in 2000 if not for a damaging primary that ended his chance for higher office. He didn’t even carry Colorado.   Not even Arapahoe county which last voted D in 1964)

                      Blame Ref C all you want- and cling to TABOR as hard as you want. The only part of TABOR that polls well is the “ask the voters” for tax increases*.  It is not a winning formula for a return to R majorities in Colorado.

                      *Ref C should be a positive TABOR proof.  The Legislature and Governor sharpened their pencil, came to the voters and asked for Ref C & D.  The voters said ok.  TABOR works.  Instead, with no detail and no alternative, the R reaction has to been to embarrass and destroy any R who supported C&D.

                    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

                      except when the state actually asked the voters — then there’s something foul about the process and the voters be damned!

                    • I’m going to politely disagree

                      We have destroyed ourselves since Ref C – our Party had a history of tough primaries that we overcame in the past – not so after the Ref C fall out

                      Republican strongholds, like Grand Junction and El Paso, have had a history of much lower than expected voter turnout since Ref C – this is why we have continually lost Colorado – and it will be the undoing of the Democrats

                    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

                      You mean the Coors-Schaffer primary, which was the last actual race that went to the August primary? That was before Ref C and any fallout.

                      Beauprez-Holtzman rivalry did have a lot to do with Ref C but the eventual nominee blew it without any help from Ref C fallout — statewide, not just in Mesa and El Paso.

                      You’re seeing the world through TABOR-colored glasses, MAH, and it’s warping your perception.

                    • …I believe Wayne Allard and Norton had a tough primary that we overcame – that would be the best, modern example

                      The Colorado Republican Party’s lack of commitment towards empowering the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is truly what has sealed our Party’s doom these past years

                      Nonetheless, I’ll continue wearing my TABOR-colored glasses proudly… enjoy your ‘I’m against gay marriage even though I’m a Democrat’ Barack Obama glasses dude….  

                    • MADCO says:

                      But look at the numbers. The only part of TABOR that polls well is the “ask the voters” part.  It’s a little disingenuous for Colorado R’s- anytime we “ask the voters” here the R”s claim we are weakening TABOR.

                      You can run on TABOR all day long. It’s not the path to R stability and recovery.

                      Now insane, hypocritical D arguments- that might work.  

                      Though I suspect that the gay marriage thing is more of a wedge issue than anything else – I really don’t know you well enough to make that conclusion.

                  • MADCO says:

                    And that doesn’t seem to play that well in Colorado’s redder neighborhoods.

                • RedGreenRedGreen says:

                  Don’t look now, but by one measure, the GOP is in the same position as it was heading into the 2008 and 2006 elections, both of which resulted in crippling landslide losses for the Republican Party.

                  If you look at the generic Congressional matchup in the internals of the new Washington Post poll, you’ll see that the Dem advantage over the GOP is virtually identical to what it was heading into the two previous Congressional elections.

                  http://theplumline.whorunsgov….

        • One Queer Dude says:

             Most definitely disagree.  

            When the Dems in the General Assembly tried to pass hate crimes legislation and ENDA (Employment Nondiscrimination Act) in ’06, nearly all of the Republicans opposed both measures. Repbulican Governor Bill Owens vetoed ENDA and only grudgingly allowed hate crimes to go into effect without his signature because there was $$$ attached to the bill.

            When the Dems took control of the governor’s office and retained the legislature, they enacted ENDA which Gov. Ritter signed.  Again nearly all Republicans voted against ENDA.  In the Senate, only Ken Kester and Al White (I believe Senator White is a friend of yours, MAH) voted in favor of these two bills.

            When the Dems tried to extend civil rights protections to transgendered people (S.B. 200), your party went bat shit crazy, talking about how the bill would turn sexual predators loose in public restrooms.  (As if there aren’t enough sexually aggressive, widestance Republican politicians trolling in public rest rooms without S.B. 200!)

            IMHO, the only thing the Dems did wrong on GLBT issues was a tactical error in running Referendum I as a referred question.  I understand they wanted to avoid a gubernatorial veto which our then-family values oriented Governor, Bill Owens, would salivated over.

            Reasonable people who support GLBT civil rights could disagree over how to achieve the goal.  I would have run “I” as a bill, let Owens get his political jollies by vetoing it (like he did with ENDA), and then come back in ’07 with “I” again as a legislative bill.  I have philosophical and moral problems with putting civil rights issues to a public vote at which 50% plus one decide on such issues.

            But it’s laughable for you to claim that the Dems are somehow social conservatives on GLBT issues when you have assholes like Scott Renfroe quoting Leviticus as setting out the appropriate penalty for gay relationships.  

          • RedGreenRedGreen says:

            this past session’s passage of designated beneficiaries and state health insurance for same-sex partners of state employees — the first derided as “marriage light” by that socially progressive Republican Kevin Lundberg. These were Democratic bills that only saw opposition from the usual suspects — the loudest voices in the Republican caucus.

            MAH, you and some other forward-thinking young Republicans are all about marriage equality — though you seemed to have exactly zero sway when your party ran the country and the state — but like OQD enumerates above, stop pretending that’s a representative position among your party’s leadership. It’s not.

          • The Dems have the Governorship, the Senate, and the House – if they wanted to fully address the rights of our GLBG community then they could have – they have not

            Certainly, I wish my Party took a different position on this issue, but at least we have made no shadow promises towards solving it like the Dems have  

            • sxp151 says:

              We Republicans can’t stand them! We think they’re all going to hell! They have sinned against God, and their iniquity must be punished by a good solid smiting!

              But hey, at least we didn’t promise them marriage rights and then only deliver civil rights, I meant that would have just been homophobic.

              (This is sxp151, in full pinch-gaffer mode. Doesn’t that make Ali look so much more reasonable? Note this is all on spec.)

    • One Queer Dude says:

         That was then, this is now.  How relevant is that?  The Terrance Group recently did some polling showing even El Paso County voters would oppose TABOR if it were on the ballot today.  (And not mention that last year, Republican primary voters in part of El Paso County went so far as to dump Mr. TABOR as the GOP candidate in his House district.)

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