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Survey after survey reveals that many Coloradans believe that the U.S. government is too big, too wasteful, and too intrusive. Yet Colorado is arguably one of the most federally subsidized states in the union, with forests, national parks, military bases, and research laboratories benefiting from the federal government’s largesse. A concise history of Colorado’s constitution and central political institutions, Colorado Politics and Policy offers a probing analysis of the state’s political cultures. It shows how the state, in many ways a template of the deeply contrary politics of the nation, puts political power into the hands of an ever-more-polarized electorate increasingly inclined to put the concerns of government to the test of the citizen-initiative. Colorado Politics and Policy is the result of broad-gauged and sophisticated research which includes author interviews with citizens and officials across the state, three specially commissioned statewide public opinion surveys, and extensive interviews with governors, legislators, judges, lobbyists, interest group leaders, and leading political analysts.
This fresh and engaging interpretation is essential reading for those who want to understand Colorado’s major election trends, chief public policy and budget challenges, and this distinctively purple state’s unique political history.