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Local-control initiative dies



Colorado Initiative 75, which would have given citizens of local communities broad powers, won't be on the November ballot.

Known as the "Right to Local Self Government," it was brought by the group Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights. Like many of this year's proposed state initiatives, it was inspired by safety concerns about the state's growing oil and gas development, and particularly fracking. But 75 was unique because it never actually mentioned oil and gas or fracking.

Rather, 75 aimed to empower local communities to make their own laws "protecting health, safety, and welfare by establishing the fundamental rights of individuals, their communities, and nature," which it stated would trump state and federal laws.

In a letter published by the Pagosa Daily Post on Monday, organizers said a tally of signatures revealed they'd be "well short" of the 125,000 necessary to reach the ballot.

In an earlier story about the initiative ("Frack-down!" News, June 11), Tom Russell, a University of Denver law professor, said the initiative violated the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause and the rights of corporations under the 14th Amendment, among other issues.

The single-named Lotus, one of the initiative's proponents, took issue with that, saying that 75 did violate parts of the Constitution but that he viewed it as a way of challenging laws he felt weren't in the best interest of the people, much as civil rights movements had in the past.

At least two other initiatives that aim to limit fracking are still collecting signatures to get on the November ballot.

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