Anti-tax pioneer and two-time inmate may join Colorado House race

Anti-tax pioneer and two-time inmate may join Colorado House race

Douglas Bruce, an anti-tax crusader who passed Colorado’s “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” two decades before beginning the first of two prison stints, tells Colorado Politics that he’s “strongly leaning toward” joining the June 25 Republican primary for the state’s conservative 5th Congressional District.

“I was a big fan of Doug Lamborn,” Bruce said of the retiring GOP congressman (who didn’t actually seem to have many fans), “and I think one Doug deserves another.” Ernest Luning writes that Bruce intends to make a decision “within weeks.” 

In 1992, Bruce spearheaded a state constitutional amendment that, among other things, requires voter approval for most tax increases. It also requires any excess revenues to be returned to taxpayers, hampering the state’s ability to create a proper rainy-day fund. Bruce was later elected to the El Paso County Board of Commissioners in 2004 and appointed to the state House in 2007, but things began going wrong for him the very day he was sworn in.

The new legislator kicked a news photographer and refused to apologize, and he soon became the first member in the history of the chamber to be censured by his colleagues. Bruce lost his primary for a full term later that year, yet he soon had larger worries. He spent 104 days in prison following his 2012 conviction for tax evasion, then served another 180 days behind bars four years later for violating his probation. Luning says that Bruce “maintains his innocence.”

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