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Colorado’s Got Initiative

Forget the Colorado Senate and guberantorial races. I’m keeping my eye on this one:

Ballot Initiative 300 would require the city to set up an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, stocked with Ph.D. scientists, to “ensure the health, safety and cultural awareness of Denver residents” when it comes to future contact “with extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles.

I suppose the vehicles could come without drivers, so it’s good the ballot sponsors are thorough. The contest is getting a tad nasty:

Promoting the initiative: Jeff Peckman, a silver-haired entrepreneur who lives with his parents. “Low overhead,” he explains. Mr. Peckman is a firm believer in intergalactic life, though he has never been personally contacted by an alien. That gives him more credibility, he says; it’s harder to dismiss him as biased.

Mr. Peckman has recruited about 20 volunteers for his campaign.

They face an impassioned opposition led by Bryan Bonner, who dismisses the unidentified-flying-object buffs as delusional if not outright frauds.

“Frauds” seems sort of harsh, no? Especially for a ghost-hunter. You got that right: “One thing about Mr. Bonner: He spends his spare time crawling through spooky spaces, deploying remote digital thermometers, seismographs, infrared cameras, electromagnetic field detectors and Nerf balls in pursuit of evidence of the paranormal. He is, in short, a ghost hunter.” Clearly this man is peeved that there is no initiative to “ensure the health, safety, and cultural awareness of Denver residents” when it comes to future contact with ghosts. Or their vehicles.

Now the election is getting ugly:

Mr. Bonner, the ghost hunter, is fighting back with his own website asserting that “Peckman and his ‘little green people’ are not representative of the people of Denver.”

“Little green people,” Mr. Peckman responds with outrage, is a “racial slur.”

Peckman is no political novice. He says this is about jobs, jobs, jobs:

Recognizing that ET contact protocols aren’t foremost in the minds of voters these days, Mr. Peckman has refined his pitch on Initiative 300. These days, he promotes it as a jobs bill. He envisions sci-fi film directors flocking here, space-travel researchers, and engineers hoping to pry the secrets of intergalactic technology from space visitors.

Councilman Charlie Brown is skeptical. “That’s not the kind of job we want to create,” he says.

But Kelly Brough, president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, says she’s game: “We are open for business to all other planets.”

It sounds like just the sort of thing stimulus money would be used for. You don’t want jobs going to other galaxies.


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