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ET, phone home: UFO initiative moves to Denver's November ballot

Jeff Peckman, the creator of a ballot initiative to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver, has promised that the measure would not cost the city anything -- and by moving the proposal from the August ballot to the November election, the Denver Elections Division has made good on at least part of that promise.

Removing Peckman's proposal from the primary ballot means that the only Denver votes left to be decided on August 10 concern contested primary races, so that rather than mail ballots to every registered voter in the city, the Denver Election Commission will only have to send them to voters who are registered members of political parties with contested seats.

Peckman was contacted by the Denver Elections Division last week and asked if he'd mind moving his measure to the November ballot. He jumped at the chance, he says, "since I was disappointed thinking about lower voter turnout in August, and students wouldn't be in school."

Now he'll be able to campaign through the fall, taking advantage of increased interest in UFOs, as exemplified by the History Channel's recent Ancient Aliens: The Series and the success of Avatar.

As for critics' claims that the ET commission, if approved by voters, would carry costs that the city would have to pick up, Peckman cites Ed Scholz, director of Denver's Budget Management Office, that the commission would be funded "entirely by grants, gifts and donations, without requiring any fiscal outlay from the city budget."

And, in fact, Peckman points to another possible benefit if Denver puts out the welcome mat for aliens: "advanced extraterrestrial technologies that are able to clean up BP's Gulf oil castastrophe."

That should grease the political wheels.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun