Jeff Peckman considering legal action after UFO-friendly Initiative 300 fails at polls
Jeff Peckman knew he was facing an uphill battle when it came to Initiative 300, which would have created an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver. But he feels the ET Commission's big loss at the polls may have come as a result of misinformation from Denver's budget office and the state Democratic Party -- and he says he's considering legal action.
One reason the initiative garnered around 15 percent support among voters, Peckman feels, is because "Initiative 300 was lumped together with the Democrats' 'No on Numbers' campaign against amendments 60, 61 and 62, which all got within a percentage point or two of what Initiative 300 got."
Additionally, Peckman thinks Initiative 300 was undermined by a report from Ed Scholz, Denver's budget management director. As Peckman alleges in this Examiner.com article, Scholz noted that the ET Commission "would not become city funded... However, his itemized estimate totaling $22,800 annually in potential reimbursable costs by the DEAC was inaccurate. In fact, it was nearly ten times more than the correct amount. Unfortunately, his incorrect estimate was reported by Fox 31... in Denver and repeated elsewhere."
In Peckman's view, these two factors proved significant at the polls. "Some of our volunteers asked voters how they'd voted, and the ones who said they voted 'no' gave one of two reasons -- either because they thought it was going to cost taxpayers money, which it wasn't, and because they were voting 'no' on the numbers, like the Denver Democrats said. And the Democrats actually took no position about Initiative 300 on their website -- although it was under the heading of 'No on Numbers.'"
Jeff Peckman chats with David Letterman in 2008.
What can Peckman do about this situation now that the vote's in the books? "We're going to explore whether or not there was any irregularity or illegality in the director sharing this gross representation of what it might cost with our opponents, and having it out there influencing people in a way that undermined our efforts," he says. "We believe it was not an appropriate thing for the Denver budget management office director to do."
In addition, he continues, "$6.8 million was spent to defeat 60, 61 and 62 in the 'No on Numbers' campaign that attacked Initiative 300 by association. And if they weren't reporting how much money they were spending against 300... well, it's a gray area, an unusual circumstance, but I think in time it could work in our favor."
No lawsuit is in the works at this point, but Peckman notes that a representative from what he describes as "an expert in election law from an out-of-state university" sent him an unsolicited e-mail offering assistance if needed.
Meanwhile, Peckman's exploring other ways to will an ET Commission into existence. In his words, "I'm more confident that Denver will have the equivalent of an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission without the need for another citizen-sponsored ballot initiative. It might be something done through city council or the mayor's office. There are eighty or ninety boards or commissions, and I don't think most of them were established by a vote of the people."
Even so, he thinks supporters of Initiative 300 shouldn't be slighted. "We had 10,000 people signing a petition and over 27,000 people voting for it -- and that's more people than voted for any city council member to put them in office. That's a significant number.
"Momentum is going to keep increasing with this until the whole truth is out about UFOs and ET visitations," he goes on. "So stay tuned. This isn't the end by any means."