Danger Danger, Graveyard Chamber


Joanne Kelley reports on an unholy pact between the Colorado Chamber of Commerce and state unions which, probably, will throttle a number of conservative ballot initiatives.

It began last spring when a group of conservatives proposed Amendment 47, which would ban compulsory union fees for workers covered by collective bargaining contracts.

"I was just one person among many who helped put together a peaceful truce," [Democratic Sen. Ken] Salazar said by cell phone this week. "It took a lot of work to figure out what kind of coalition and resources we needed."

The rundown:

* Labor and business interests agreed to work together… scrapping four labor measures that would have required employers to pay the bulk of employee health care premiums, made it harder for companies to fire workers without a reason, imposed a tougher corporate fraud law and allowed injured workers to sue for more damages.

In return, business leaders pledged to fight anti-labor measures on the ballot:

* Amendment 47 would do away with compulsory union fees for workers covered by collective bargaining.

* Amendment 49 would ban governments from deducting union dues from employee paychecks.

* Amendment 54 would prohibit contractors with no-bid government contracts and unions representing public workers from contributing to political campaigns.

Ballot measures are, from year to year, the only thing libertarians can actually, decisively, win. So if this strategy works…