Thursday, September 14, 2017

Douglas Bruce announces "anti" campaigns on four ballot measures

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 12:46 PM

click to enlarge Media gather to hear Douglas Bruce, right, hammer four revenue measures on the Nov. 7 ballot. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Media gather to hear Douglas Bruce, right, hammer four revenue measures on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Douglas Bruce held court today, Sept. 14, with the media outside Pioneers Museum to announce opposition to four ballot measures proposed by Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado Springs School District 11 and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.

He also announced that he and former City Councilor Helen Collins have filed a campaign finance violation complaint with the Secretary of State's Office alleging D-11 illegally spent taxpayer money on a promotional card for its $42 million mill levy override question.

D-11 Public Information Officer Devra Ashby tells the Independent the district designed and printed 1,750 copies of the card at a cost of $312.49. "The card was printed before the Board of Education approved the ballot language and set the question," she says.

"We understand that the district is not permitted to spend taxpayer funds on 'promotion' of election questions," Ashby says via email. "However, we believe that the information on this document is factual and is important to the education of the measure as opposed to the 'promotion' of the measure. We continue to believe that voters have a right to be well informed and educated about factual matters."

She also noted the card, which has been distributed at meetings and from a counter at the central office, doesn't say anything about how voters should vote.

"Manipulating elections by misuse of public funds is a serious offense," Bruce and Collins say in their complaint.

At the news conference, Bruce also hammered the city for its stormwater measure, saying, "I have never seen such a dishonest ballot title as this one." He contends the city is playing a bait and switch game on voters by saying the $17 million to be raised through stormwater fees would fund drainage projects while plans call for using the money for police and fire.

Mayor John Suthers has said by funding stormwater through fees, $17 million would be freed up to spend on police and fire and other needs.

Bruce is the author of the statewide and city Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, which limits how much new revenue governments can generate from year to year. He served in the State House and as a county commissioner, but was convicted of tax evasion in 2011 and did prison time following a judge's ruling that he violated probation. He was released several months ago.

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