Conservatives in Colorado Decide it’s Time to Break Up with Everyone Else

Colorado has gone through some serious changes in the past few years: marijuana was legalized, same-sex civil unions are now the law of the land, gun control laws have became more strict, and the makeup of state and national legislators has taken a decidedly Democratic turn. Colorado voters even helped elect Barack Obama over the last two elections. Conservatives in more rural areas of the state have been left wondering exactly what happened.

As shop owner Lyle Miller told the New York Times, “I would’ve never believed the state of Colorado would become this liberal.” For urban Coloradans, the state’s increasing liberalism is long-overdue. But for residents like Miller, the rapid rate of change is terrifying. He says he fears for his grandchildren, that he wants them to have the “same heritage” he had growing up.

This election, in the name of “restoring liberty” to their homes, 11 conservative counties will vote on ballot measures that propose the northeastern corner of Colorado secede from the rest of the state to either form a 51st U.S. state, or be annexed by Colorado’s more conservative neighbor to the north, Wyoming.

It’s unlikely the push will be successful — even if the ballot measures pass, the state must hold a vote on whether to allow the counties to leave. Then the secessionists face an even more difficult battle: convincing Congress to admit them as an entirely new state, something the U.S. government hasn’t done for a breakaway state since West Virginia in 1863.

This isn’t the first time that an unlikely and bizarre initiative has made it onto Colorado ballots. It’s actually incredibly easy to get the signatures required to put your idea to a popular vote in the state — in recent elections, the ballot has often been several pages long, prompting many residents to complain about the number of issues they’re required to vote on.

For example, this year, the small Colorado town of Deer Trail will vote on whether to issue hunting licenses to shoot down unmanned drones (just in case any show up). In 2010, a Denver initiative called for the creation of an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission to welcome any potential alien visitors to the state. It only took 4,000 signatures to land on the ballot, and unsurprisingly, it didn’t pass.

In the past, conservatives have used the process to resurrect issues that have already been repeatedly voted down. For several years in a row, fetal personhood amendments that would effectively criminalize abortion in the state have made it onto the ballot, despite failing each time. Reportedly, anti-abortion activists are hoping to try again in 2014.

On the other hand, this extremely open process is what’s made so much change over the past few years possible. Medical marijuana and legalized marijuana were both results of the same process. Ballot measures have been responsible for increased minimum wages and renewable energy advances. So even if some of the proposals have had a negative impact on the state, like the 2006 amendment banning gay marriage, the positive change may well outweigh the downsides.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

Cletus W.
Cletus W.4 years ago

Paul B. spent three consecutive wordy posts back on Oct. 10 attempting to reposnd to my one, and the stupid wanker couldn't come up with even one sentence that was material to my subject matter. He was only able to spew even more dis-focused, inane, uber-partisan sophmorisms. It is a sad joke that the likes of Paul is what passes for a "conservative" in today's world. True conservatives are turning in their graves as they watch what today's little tailless rightwing monkeys are doing to their once meaningful [R] party.

Paul B. and the rest of the Teatards got their hairy little asses kicked, and kicked HARD, last week. And the [D]s didn't even have to lift a finger to accomplish it. The [R]s did ALL the work to get their own asses kicked. American's of every stripe know why and who shut the gov't down, and they are kicking the [R] party in the ass once for the shutdown, and yet again for being so politically stupid about it. The [R] party truly is moving towards an idiocracy.

Susan T.
Susan Tamanaha4 years ago

Maybe we should let them secede (not just join Wyoming but secede) - Texas too. Then have them pay a toll every time they want to use a federally funded road or bridge to go in and out of their little utopia or to have goods and supplies delivered to them, receive no federal money for their schools or programs like Head Start, no federal jobs, no federal benefits like Medicaid, no federal tax credits, no federal assistance like FAFSA to help their children go to college, no post offices, no right to military protection, no federal funds in case of a natural disaster, and the list goes on. Let them find out what it's really like to not be a part of the United States. They'll have their freedom from government intervention but they'd better be prepared to give up all of the benefits as well. Especially Texas whose farmers receive the largest amount of federal funds than any other state. Oh wait - isn't that where Ted Cruz is from? Make sure that he remains in the Texas border when they secede.

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago


Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K4 years ago

From what I can tell, Colorado seems to lean to a kind of libertarian bent. They were the first state to work towards legalization of abortion (although Hawaii was the first to truly make it open), and their laws towards guns, drugs, and free speech seem to be pretty loose. Libertarians mirror traditional Republicanism insofar as fiscal conservatism, but many times are pretty open to what people do socially. It's basically, hands off and let people decide for themselves. Hence, ballot initiatives.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm4 years ago

Good Lord Paul you couldnt spew more of Rush;s propaganda if you tried. Your diatribe is absolutely pathetic for a man of your intelligence. As I said Paul, we arent going anywhere. We have been here forever. Our stance hasnt changed all that much all through my life. Maybe you are too young to rememebr what life was like for the middle class 40 years ago. You were likely too young to understnad it. All I know is this kind of talk is simply insane talk. If you want to hate Obama please be my guest. There are no political facts anymore because lies and distortions are the new currency of the political world.

SS didnt make us go broke. Meidcare didnt make us go broke………unions didnt make us go broke……. all the things the right desperately wants to get rid of have NOTHING to do with why our country is going broke. But yet, thats all the right wants to discuss. Anyone with half a brain who hasnt been brainwashed with john bircher bullshit knows damned well why we are going broke. The little people are not bankrupting this country. The little people are NOT lazy louts simply because all the jobs are in China and India. I wonder if you are going to hate the nest Demcorat ib the white house as much as you hate this one. I am sorrry you are too stupid to deal effectively with democrats and consider us all bullies. WE ARENT LEAVING. We are NOT going to starve the new poor and working poor so rich people can do even better. Find

Joseph Glackin
Joseph Glackin4 years ago

If a rump segment of the right think we will allow them two Senators and a Congress member, for a population of about 250K (not including jackalopes)....
They really need a new brand of Kool-Aid.

Lori Hone
Lori Hone4 years ago

Republicans have gone beyond ridiculous, no one can take anything any republicans say seriously. Good luck on trying to hold on to the past republicans, RIP republican party, you've killed yourselves with your own guns and mouths.

Paul B.
Paul B4 years ago

And Congress including the Senate Dem Reid and company have a less than 10% approval rating.

Obama hasn't led, he has attempted to dictate, and the people, despite the cover job of the MSM, are waking up to the disaster that is led by Dem Senate and WH. The Reps are now winning the national pole on party politics due to their recent stand against the failures of the ACA and the rigidness of Dems to negotiate on these very important issues.

All Dems have to do is be fair, as they claim every day to be... eliminate special exemptions, or allow everyone the same exemption by postponing requirement for a year. If we don't address the spending problem now, when will we. Dems don't want to cut anything, Pelosi says there is NOTHING left to cut... now who believes that there is no waste and fraud to cut in DC.... only a fool. Without leverage, Dems won't cut anything, never have, never will unless made to. That strategy will kill this country, our economy and drive more into poverty than we have already. third world here we come is the dollar collapses. Just look at Argentina's history to see what happens when the wrong leaders lead.

So much evidence to support our WRONG track but so many closed ears that refuse to listen. Wake up to the pending disaster if we don't reign in the out-of-control DC.

Paul B.
Paul B4 years ago


Once the Fed quits printing the money that is supporting the stock market, we will see prices and interest rates soar. You can't triple the money supply without impacting buying power. Obama, who strongly criticized Bush's request for debt increase as being irresponsible and unpatriotic at about 8 trillion is now asking for more spending power beyond 17 trillion. How is that for hypocritical.... par for the course with this WH failure.

We can't raise taxes on the middle class during economic recovery and that is exactly what the ACA and other new regulations creates. it is more redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the poor, which actually creates more poor as the middle class is drained of resources. the rich will always be rich. Even this administration who touted the need to rob from the 1% has only helped increase their wealth through his financial policy decisions. It is rhetoric, hollow at best when he speaks. His intention is to create chaos, propose solutions that appeal to the compassion of citizens while in the background creates legislation to protect the wealthy, especially Wall Street.

He is a fraud, using his lackies Reid and Pelosi to beat up the opposition, but it is back firing. Obama's approval is about 37%, Bush's lowest, after months of pounding by the Liberal media was 36% near the end of his term. 83% think we are headed in the wrong direction, led by this president for 5 years, it is his direction we are headed. And C