Game Over: Initiative 302 Passes
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Game Over: Initiative 302 Passes

The first returns in Denver's June 4 runoff election were just announced at 7 p.m., with an update due at 8:30 p.m., but one campaign has already declared an easy victory.

Ordinance 302, which will give Denver residents the right to vote on whether they want to subsidize any effort to bring the Olympics Games to Colorado, was pushed by the Let Denver Vote campaign, and vote Denver did: According to the first count, close to 80 percent of voters have approved the count.

"The people of Denver have spoken loudly, clearly, and with near unanimity," said Owen Perkins, spokesman for the YES on 302 — Let Denver Vote Campaign, when the results were announced. "This is an incredible testament to the power of a grassroots movement to triumph over the forces of big money and entrenched special interests."

Initially, Let Denver Vote had wanted to get the proposal on the May 7 ballot, but a scramble to fill a signature shortage moved it back to the next election, which happened to be the mayoral runoff.

The rest of the contests on that ballot are much closer.

Denver was the only city to ever reject an offer to host the Olympics, after Colorado voters approved a statewide initiative in 1972 that determined that no public resources could be used to host the 1976 Olympics.

"Colorado has a proud tradition of its citizens standing up for their values at the polls, resisting the pie-in-the-sky promises of easy money and enduring fame and, instead, wisely focusing on protecting their resources — both economic and environmental," Perkins added. "Denver is carrying on that tradition, taking a dramatic step of self-empowerment in giving residents the authority to weigh the potential benefits and risks of any proposal to bid on or host the Olympics with public money or resources and to ultimately endow Denver residents with the final say on approving or rejecting any such use — direct or indirect — of public resources.

"Outside moneyed interests seeking to profit off our city and state can consider themselves on notice. Denver has no appetite for writing blank checks that bring no benefit to the city or serve the public interest. If Denver has anything to say about it — and with 302 passing, they do — Colorado is, as ever, not for sale."

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