Thursday, March 17, 2016

Banning Businesses - What Could Go Wrong?

Colorado business journal is reporting that the greenies will be collecting signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the Colorado ballot this fall that would allow any municipality in the state to ban any business it doesn't like for any reason at all or no reason whatever. The stated reason for this is to allow towns to unilaterally ban oil and gas exploration without having to pay landowners for the lost income. Here's the text:
“Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a right to local self-government, and, in connection therewith, declaring that the people have an inherent right to local self-government in counties and municipalities, including the power to enact laws to establish, protect, and secure rights of natural persons, communities, and nature, as well as the power to define or eliminate the rights and powers of corporations or business entities to prevent them from interfering with those rights; and exempting such local laws from preemption or nullification by any federal, state, or international law if the local laws do not restrict fundamental rights or weaken legal protections for natural persons, their local communities, or nature?”
Under the greenies stated purpose, this violates the 5th amendment to the U.S. constitution if the municipalities don't pony up a plausible mount to compensate landowners for lost mineral rights. Of course if compensation is offered, the amount is subject to litigation with neither side able to definitively say how much oil and gas might be recoverable and at what retail price. Welfare for tort lawyers for sure.

Moving beyond this narrow focus, it allows any municipality anywhere to ban any business of any sort for any reason or none at all. Any business the city council or county commission decides it doesn't approve of can be summarily banned. Ban gun stores in Boulder county? Sure! Ranges of any type at all? Absolutely! Wal-Mart? Yup! keeps the riff raff out of the area if they can't afford to shop here. Adult toy stores? Gone without even needing to invoke scripture.

One supposes that the Budweiser folks up near Ft Collins could start a campaign to pressure the city council in Golden to ban any business with over 1000 employees that lacks union representation for the employees. For you out-of-staters, this rather narrowly defines the Coors brewery. It would also make it possible for a town or a county to ban charter schools.

Funding to get this on the ballot and get it passed will come from out of state, notably Tom Styer and George Soros, probably others, and largely filtered through the usual front groups. So who is going to fund the informational commercials against this?

What we need is a constitutional amendment calling for all ballot questions to have 3 options available to the voters; Yes, No, and Hell No. Should the third option win, the sponsors and principal supporters of the failing question will be subject to tarring and feathering. Stupidity should be painful.


Merle Morrison said...

In some places the tar was ignited, just to make sure the lesson was learned!


Billll said...

Sounds about right for a second offense.

Third time we light the tar after it's applied.

Anonymous said...

"Banning Businesses - What Could Go Wrong?"

I look forward to your companion piece -- "Giving Corporations Rights As Persons Under the 14th Amendment - What Could Go Wrong?"