Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter

Ritter’s arrogance, undeterred

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June 2, 2008

Face The State Staff Editorial

Give credit where credit is due. Gov. Bill Ritter is gutsy these days. Even after having a controversial tax increase he championed slapped down in district court as unconstitutional, he remains undeterred. The Governor will use your tax dollars to backfill his endless promises to taxpayers.

On Friday, Denver District Judge Christina Habas sent shock waves throughout Colorado when she ruled that Ritter’s 2007 tax “freeze”, passed into law by the state’s Democrat legislators and which raised $118 million in revenue this year alone, amounted to an unconstitutional tax increase. Under Colorado law, all tax increases must be approved by voters, not simply adopted by a majority of state legislators. Ritter’s plan, according to Habas’s reasoned ruling, was a tax increase.

Ritter has only been emboldened, telling The Denver Post, “We’re still confident in our position here, we really are…We understand this is in greater flux than it was, but we have to still go forward and budget with what we believe will be in place.”

In other words, Ritter is banking on the likelihood of the Colorado Supreme Court to overturn Habas’s ruling on appeal. And maybe he’ll win his gamble with a notoriously liberal high court. (Last month, under the direction of Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, the court issued an opinion that gives unions free reign to ignore important coordination prohibitions under Colorado’s campaign finance laws).

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