Tax crusader: Amber Alerts ‘stupid’
Bruce locks horns with Springs police chief over notification system
Douglas Bruce, the father of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, isn’t a fan of the Amber Alert.
In an email exchange with Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey earlier this week, Bruce complained about getting two Amber Alert messages on his telephone late Saturday.
Bruce said the alert was a “stupid practice,” and asked to be removed from the call list.
“What do you expect me to do at midnight about some juvenile in the city who does not tell her parents where she is?” Bruce wrote to Carey on Sunday. “I have no role in finding other people’s thoughtless or runaway children. Put my phone number, 550-0010, on the city’s ‘Do Not Call’ list, except to return calls to me about specific crimes against me and my property.”
The 15-year-old girl in the alert, described as an “at-risk teen,” had walked away from a family outing, prompting a missing-person’s alert, according to a story first reported by the Colorado Springs Independent, but since reported by numerous newspapers, television stations and websites across the state.
Carey, who said it was that alert that helped locate the girl, criticized Bruce in his response, calling the well-known former state representative and county commissioner “obnoxious.”
“I regret that the phone notifications took you from your beauty rest. In truth, the beauty rest ain’t working anyway,” Carey wrote. “Your complete lack of care, concern and compassion for anyone but yourself fits perfectly with your obnoxious and bullying personality.”
Carey went on to say that Bruce shouldn’t be concerned about anyone issuing a search for him should he become lost.
“That would actually require someone to miss you enough to make an initial report,” Carey wrote. “Moving forward, I will see what I can do to remove you from notifications for anything but your sole, personal welfare, if you promise to remove my email address from any more boorish correspondence you choose to send.”
Bruce became a well-known state figure for drafting and getting the government revenue-limiting TABOR amendment passed in 1992, making Colorado the only state to do so.
He was admonished by the Colorado House at the beginning of the one term he served there in 2008 for kicking a newspaper photographer during the session’s opening prayer.
In addition to the TABOR amendment, Bruce has sponsored several other proposed tax-limiting ballot measures, none of which were approved by voters.
He was convicted in 2012 on three felonies related to backing some of those measures, including tax evasion, filing a false tax return and trying to influence a public servant.
Bruce initially served 104 days in Denver County Jail, and was released on good behavior. But after being convicted of violating the terms of his probation, he was sentenced to two years in state prison. He was released from the Delta Correctional Facility last fall.