Doug Bruce hates government. The anti-tax crusader and the man behind the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” (TABOR) subscribes to that conservative Republican doctrine espoused by former President Ronald Reagan that government isn’t part of the problem – it is the problem. If Bruce had his way, we wouldn’t pay any taxes at all in Colorado. How would roads and schools be built? Magic, I guess.
Anyway, Bruce is once again on the warpath, as The Colorado Springs Gazette reports:
Douglas Bruce is back in court, and his opponent is once again the city of Colorado Springs.
Bruce filed suit Monday against the city and several officials in El Paso County District Court for not allowing his measure onto the November ballot. Bruce wants to overturn the city’s new stormwater fee, require voter approval to create future enterprise funds and lower the city’s property tax.
City Attorney Patricia Kelly, City Clerk Kathryn Young and Municipal Judge Robert Briggle, sitting as the Title Board, ruled Friday the measure has multiple subjects. State law restricts ballot questions to single topics.
In his lawsuit, the anti-tax activist and El Paso County commissioner accused the city of “trashing” his constitutional right to petition government. He also called Friday’s hearing at which the Title Board ruled “a pre-arranged sham,” because the panel’s decision was announced prior to Bruce making his argument.
Bruce has sued the city several times over taxes and fees after his Taxpayer Bill of Rights was adopted by voters of the city and state in 1991 and 1992, respectively.
I understand the rationale behind the theory that government is the problem; I don’t agree with it, but I understand it.
What I don’t understand, however, is why people who think government is so bad end up running for public office (Bruce is an El Paso County Commissioner). Isn’t that sort of like an animal rights activist taking a job at a meatpacking plant? Bruce doesn’t like taxes and thinks the government is evil, yet he has no problem taking a salary derived from tax dollars and working for the government.
Sure, you can say that by serving as a public official he is trying to change the system from the inside, but I still think it’s a little hypocritical to be such an anti-government activist and want to be an elected official. Bruce sues the Colorado government entities all of the time, which is fine. But he should be doing it as a private citizen and not as a public official.
Bruce reminds me a little of one of my favorite candidates for public office, Gary Swing. I remember Swing campaigning several years ago as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. One of the major pieces of his platform (I don’t remember what political party he represented) was that if elected, he would work to abolish the Senate because he thought that the House of Representatives was the more righteous chamber on Capitol Hill. I’ll always remember listening to him speak because I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t be running for congress instead; wouldn’t it have been better to work to get rid of the legislative body that you aren’t a member of? Can you imagine applying for a job and telling the interviewer that you hoped to destroy the company if you were hired?
There’s a little of Gary Swing in Doug Bruce, but not enough. I’d like to see Bruce try to abolish the Board of El Paso County Commissioners. At least then he wouldn’t be an elected official anymore.