In the run-up to yesterday's election, Rollie Heath, chief backer of the Proposition 103 education tax, told us the vote would be "very, very close."
But it wasn't -- and its statewide defeat was joined in misery by Initiative 300, which would have mandated paid sick days in Denver.
At this writing, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, Proposition 103 is on the short end of the stick by an approximate 63.6 percent to 36.3 percent measure. And the numbers on Initiative 300 are equally dismal. That amount stands at 64.5 percent against to 35.4 percent in favor.
The No on 300 campaign didn't wait long to declare victory, sending out its press release on the subject at 7:34 p.m. last night, with Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, praising Mayor Michael Hancock for not only opposing the measure, but starring in the main TV ad against it. In a statement, Door said, "Mayor Hancock has proven that his support for small businesses goes far beyond lip service. He showed courage and leadership critical to protecting Denver's economy in this difficult time. Mayor Hancock's commitment to making Denver the small- and start up-business capitol of the nation was clear during this efforts to protect our economy on this campaign."
Of course, pro-300 forces insisted that the measure wasn't a job killer and would actually help businesses by reducing the number of illnesses capable of taking down an entire staff. But in this economy, neither that message nor Heath's plaintive cries on behalf of struggling school districts, some of which are only holding classes four days per week due in large part to budget constraints, resonated with enough voters to win the day.
Click here to follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our Politics archive: "Denver Paid Sick Leave Initiative: Opponents rally to support Denver's hospitality industry."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.