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Truth Check: Is Amendment 74 a wolf in sheep clothes?

DENVER -- The Truth Check team continues to look at the candidates and their commercials in the 2018 midterms. Every advertisement that claims something -- we will research and determine if the candidates are actually telling the truth.

You can watch our previous “Truth Check” segments here and you can read our criteria and standards here.

The latest Truth Check involves  an attack on Amendment 74, the statewide ballot measure that would allow property owners to sue local governments if a regulation or policy results in the devaluing of their land.

The commercial is by Save Our Neighborhoods a group against the proposition.

CLAIM #1 

Oregon passed a similar law and special interests demanded $19.8 billion

Exact quote in ad: "When you read the language of Amendment 74, it sounds harmless right? But the cold hard reality is this. How much would  74 cost Colorado taxpayers. It passed in Oregon, but special interests demanded $19.8 billion dollars."

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: Amendment 74 is not the same as Measure 37 that passed in Oregon in 2004. It's close but not the same. Oregon's measure language was lengthier and it wasn't all special interests that demanded cash from the government, many property owners did as well .

The commercial also does not cite any sources in their ad, which the truth check also is a sign of a misleading claim.

However Measure 37 in Oregon and Amendment 74 in Colorado are similar in that they both give property owners the ability to sue in the event a property owner's land is devalued.

Amendment 74 is an 11 word change in Colorado's Constitution.

Oregon commented how their measure resulted in "no clear procedures" for local and state governments to follow and that total claims exceeded $17 billion dollars.

Colorado's non partisan blue commented how "the potential liability for large payouts to private property owners may discourage governments from making decisions that benefit communities and protect vital public resources, such as water, air and infrastructure."

CLAIM #2 

Oregon repealed their law a few years after passing it

Exact quote in ad: "When they realized how horrible it was Oregon repealed it."

Verdict: Not Exactly

Reason: Oregon never fully repealed Measure 37 but they did scale it back dramatically by passing Measure 49 in 2007. It is accurate to say some Oregon voters had buyers remorse after passing it. 

 

CLAIM #3 

Special interests want Amendment 74 to pass in Colorado

Exact quote in ad: "Are we going to be fooled by the special interests?"

Verdict: True

Reason: It is true oil and gas industry have a huge stake in this Amendment passing.

According to Secretary of State records, oil and gas have given over $10 million dollars to pass Amendment 74.

Why are they interested in this? Simple. If a government passes a measure banning or restricting oil and gas development, Amendment 74 could allow a property owner to sue.

The logic is that local governments would not pass a ban out of fear they would face too many lawsuits.

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