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POPULIST ENTREPRENEUR: DOUGLAS BRUCE AND THE TAX AND GOVERNMENT LIMITATION MOMENT IN COLORADO, 1986-1992

Daniel A. Smith
Great Plains Research
Vol. 6, No. 2 (Fall 1996), pp. 269-294
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23775558
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
POPULIST ENTREPRENEUR: DOUGLAS BRUCE AND THE TAX AND GOVERNMENT LIMITATION MOMENT IN COLORADO, 1986-1992
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Abstract

In 1992, Douglas Bruce, a non-practicing lawyer and landlord from Colorado Springs, Colorado, successfully “mobilized” popular support for Amendment 1, a ballot initiative that has restricted the taxing and spending powers of state and local governments in Colorado. For most Coloradans, “Douglas Bruce” is now a household name. Using a historical perspective to examine the role Bruce played in advancing Amendment 1, this study offers the analytic concepts of faux populism, populist entrepreneurs, and the public mood. Faux populism is the transposition of an illdefined, but tangible public mood into a ready-made ballot initiative that is offered to the people by a populist entrepreneur. The primary question driving this inquiry is: How did Douglas Bruce successfully tap the widespread, but ambiguous animosity held by many Coloradans towards government and taxes, and turn it into his particular cause of limiting the taxing and spending powers of state and local governments?

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