A pair of constitutional amendments on Colorado’s ballot for the upcoming election caught the eye of a seasoned corporate watchdog who recently penned her concerns about the ballot measures and how the process if adopted is likely to impact voting districts at both the state and federal level.
KGNU’s Robin Ryan spoke with Lisa Graves, Co-Director of Documented who says she opposes the amendments due to lack of transparency in the process.
“The people who are on the commission who are charged with voting on those maps are not accountable to the people of Colorado.”
Graves, who wrote an op-ed in the Pueblo Chieftan about the issue, says the amendments use bi-partisan veneer to advance a Koch brothers agenda.
The proposed amendments would establish a 12 member commission to map voting districts employing a formula that calls for 4 members from each of the two major political parties with the balance required to be not affiliated with either party. Other changes as it compares with current law involve limiting grounds for judicial review, which Lisa Graves told KGNU she finds problematic. Graves is the Co-Director of Documented, a watchdog group focused on undue corporate influence on public policy.
Her work has led to a greater public awareness and understanding of the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is reportedly promoting 51 bills in 16 states that, according to Michael Li from The Brennan Center for Justice, “seek to diminish the independence of the judicial branch”.
The leading political action committee raising funds to support the current campaign of redistricting is called Fair Maps Colorado and they’ve raised over $5 million. Campaign finance data list Kent Thiry, the chairman of DaVita HealthCare Partners and Pat Stryker of the Stryker Corporation have each donated a million dollars. The companies affiliated with these two individuals have obtained economic subsidies totaling $30 million and paid penalties or fines of nearly a billion dollars, tho the bulk of that figure stems from Da Vita settling justice department claims of fraud as a contractor with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.