About Defend Colorado Now
As of September, 2006, Defend Colorado Now was registered with the Colorado Secretary of State as a multiple issue committee to support immigration reform and the two ballot measures:
- Referendum H: "Unauthorized Alien Labor Tax Deduction".
"Should employers who cannot verify an employee is a legal U.S. resident be prohibited from claiming that employee's wages as a deductible business expense?" It would apply to employees hired on or after January 1, 2008, and who were paid $600 or more in one year. (Referred via HB 1020.)
- Referendum K: "Attorney General Initiate Immigration Lawsuit".
"Should the state attorney general sue or join with other states in suing the federal government demanding 'enforcement of all existing federal immigration law' by the federal government?" (Referred via HB 1022.)
These ballot measures were referred to the ballot in the July, 2006 special legislative session. (See DCN's 2006 legislative summary). The voters will vote on these measures in November, 2006.
Prior to September, 2006, DCN was a registered issue committee in support of Ballot Issue #55.
History of Defend Colorado Now
Defend Colorado Now (DCN) was formed in 2004 as to support a pro-citizen, pro-legal-immigrant amendment to the Colorado constitution to ensure non-emergency taxpayer-funded public services go only to those lawfully in Colorado. (Ballot Issue #55.)
Defend Colorado Now was a bi-partisan citizens' initiative that would amend the Colorado constitution to prevent persons unlawfully present in Colorado from receiving publicly funded services that are not required by federal law. If DCN supporters collected the required number of voter-registered signatures by August 8, 2006, and if the Colorado Supreme Court had not sabotaged the initiative process, the proposed amendment would have been placed on the ballot for voter approval in November, 2006.
An initiative is a petition procedure that allows registered voters in Colorado to propose a law and submit it to the voters for approval. In Colorado, approximately 68,000 valid petition signatures are required to place a proposed law on the ballot that will amend the Colorado Constitution. In Colorado, the legislature can also refer a measure to the ballot, thus bypassing the need to collect petition signatures.
Defend Colorado Now is a registered initiative with the State of Colorado Secretary of State. As an issue committee, Defend Colorado Now is subject to strict Colorado campaign finance reporting requirements in order to prevent misuse of contributions.
The registered agent of the Defend Colorado Now issue committee is Fred Elbel. The 2006 steering committee consisted of former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm and Waldo Benavidez, Director of the Auraria Community Center - a west Denver social service agency. John Andrews, former President of the Colorado Senate, was a member of the steering committee from January - June, 2006.