Union members are calling on Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck to take a position on three tax-cutting ballot proposals.
Buck’s campaign said he is not taking a position on state ballot initiatives, despite having originally taken a position in support of a pro-life state ballot initiative before stating that he is opposed to the proposal.
The AFL-CIO said last week that it would like to know how Buck feels about Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101. Critics of the proposals, including the AFL-CIO, say the initiatives would cripple government’s ability to provide basic services to working families.
The union believes if Buck is to represent Colorado — even on a federal level — he should take a position on the local initiatives.
“The time has come for Ken Buck to take a position on the Bad Three,” said Stephen Clapham, an Aurora Station 14 firefighter and International Association of Fire Fighters union member “He has evaded taking a stand on the most important issues to working families and we deserve to know his position. Colorado would not be able to compete in a 21st century economy if the amendments pass. Our jobs are on the line here.”
Amendment 60 would reverse a measure that froze property tax mill levies in local school districts, and also reverse the effects of the 2005 voter-approved Referendum C, which approved a five-year reprieve from TABOR refund requirements to be spent on education, health care and transportation.
Amendment 61 would prohibit government from incurring any debt without voter approval, and then reduce tax rates after borrowing is fully repaid.
Proposition 101 would reduce vehicle ownership taxes over four years; end taxes on vehicle rentals and leases; phase in over four years a $10,000 vehicle sales price tax exemption; set total yearly registration, license and title fees at $10 per vehicle; lower the state income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.5 percent, then phase in a further reduction to 3.5 percent; and end taxes on telecommunication services, except for 9-1-1.
A spokesman for Buck told the Denver Daily News that because Buck would be representing Colorado on a federal level, he is not taking a position on state ballot initiatives. When asked why Buck took a position on Amendment 62, the spokesman avoided a direct response.
“Ken is running for federal office, and is focused on issues at that level,” Owen Loftus, Buck’s campaign spokesman, said.
Buck had originally come out in support of the pro-life so-called “personhood” ballot initiative when he stated for a Christian family group’s questionnaire that he supported Amendment 62. But following attack ads by his Democratic opponent, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, Buck eased back on his originally definitive pro-life stance.
Bennet is opposed to Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101. He is also opposed to Amendment 62.
“Michael stands with most fair-minded Republicans and Democrats in opposing these extreme, job-killing measures that are just wrong for Colorado,” Michael Amodeo, spokesman for Bennet, said in a statement. “We still don’t know where Ken Buck stands, but after his attempts to hide other extreme positions like limiting common forms of birth control and eliminating taxes for billion dollar corporations, it isn’t surprising.”