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A66 opponents mount last-ditch court challenge

Opponents of Amendment 66, the proposed $950 million P-12 tax increase, Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court, challenging some of the petition signatures that got the proposal on the Nov. 5 ballot.

According the FOX31, the plaintiffs are former legislators Norma Anderson, a Republican from Jefferson County, and Bob Hagedorn, a Democrat from Aurora. Both are associated with Coloradans for Real Education Reform, the main registered issue committee opposed Amendment 66.

The lawsuit claims more than 39,555 signatures are invalid, on top of the 75,890 signatures that the Department of State threw out when it reviewed the 165,710 signatures turned in by Colorado Commits to Kids, the campaign committee supporting Amendment 66.

The suit asks that those signatures be disallowed and that Amendment 66 in effect be taken off the ballot.

The department ruled on Sept. 4 that the campaign had 89,820 valid signatures, just over the 86,105 required.

The lawsuit alleges that the additional signatures should be invalidated because of errors committed by petition circulations. Most of the signatures were obtained by petition gatherers hired by FieldWorks, a Washington-based firm hired by Colorado Commits.

The lawsuit was announced in a news release by Coloradans for Real Education Reform.

According to FOX31, Colorado Commits campaign manager Andrew Freedman responded by saying, “We have no comment other than to say we are fully confident Colorado voters this fall will retain the right to vote on Amendment 66 and investing more in our schools.”

To date the “real reform” group has been seriously outgunned by Colorado Commits in traditional campaign efforts. Colorado Commits has raised more than $5 million and started its TV ad campaign this week. Coloradans for Real Education Reform has raised $10,000. (See this EdNews story for the latest on campaign fund raising, and this article for details on television advertising.)

The deadline for county clerks to certify ballot content was Sept. 6, and mail ballots will start going out to voters on Oct. 15.

Read the lawsuit here.

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