Government and the pop-off valve syndrome

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Government and the pop-off valve syndrome
Schieffelin, Joseph B
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91 leaves : ; 28 cm


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Political science ( lcsh )
Political science ( fast )
Politics and government -- Citizen participation ( fast )
Politics and government -- Citizen participation -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Colorado ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 75-77).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Department of Political Science.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Joseph B. Schieffelin.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Full Text
Joseph B. Schieffelin
B.A., Yale University, 1950
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Department of Political Science

This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Joseph B. Schieffelin
has been approved for the
Department of
Political Science

Schieffelin, Joseph B. (M.A. Political Science)
Government and The Pop-Off Valve Syndrome
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Michael S.
Many contemporary political science writers have
looked upon the surface of public participation in
decision making in the United States with dismay. Citing
what they perceive as declining public interest, they use
voting statistics to justify their position. This thesis,
using the State of Colorado as an example, digs into
public participation much more deeply than many studies.
Quantifying participation from advisory committees to
those working for all levels of government, and including
election participation, the thesis opines that participa-
tion is wide spread, that the definitions and the statis-
tics used by many writers are suspect, and that, when all
types of participation are added together, vast numbers
of people are involved.
The importance of these numbers lies in their
effect on the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome, the drive to have
some control over one/s own destiny. The thesis explores
the many pop-off valves in Colorado, some of them forma-
lized in law and others in common institutions. These
pop-off valves are spread out geographically, and are so
varied in types that if one does not want to take part in
one type, he or she can seek out a different type, e.g.,

one might not want to write a letter to the editor or to
vote, but might enjoy joining in a demonstration.
The material cited in the thesis is also varied.
It ranges from constitutional provisions to statutory
law; from well-known books to obscure pamphlets; from
newspaper article to computerized studies; from legis-
lative research reports to findings of the Colorado
Secretary of State.
If the political health and longevity of a state
or a nation is dependent upon how a government handles
the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome, as this thesis suggests, then
this study of how Colorado handles it can be instructive.

I. INTRODUCTION .................................... 1
WISDOM ......................................... 8
Elections and Voting Patterns.................14
Initiative, Referendum and Recall.............22
Numbers of People Holding Public
Citizen Committees Appointed by
Elected Officials ........................... 27
Courts and Juries.............................29
Public Hearings............................ 30
News Reports and Editorials...................46
Letters to Elected Officials are
Obvious Ways to Let off Steam.................49
Telephone Calls to Elected Officials
Serve the Same Function as Letters............50
Demonstrations and Rallies are
Another Outlet of Expression
Used by Many People..........................53
CANDIDATES' OWN ORGANIZATION .................. 56

Financial Contributors ....................... 60
VI. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES IN COLORADO ................... 66
VII. CONCLUSION......................................70
5. CONTRIBUTIONS OF 10 LARGEST 1984 PACS............88
1976 1984.................................... 89
7. THE 1980 NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY.................90

In 1764, just 23 years before the United States
Constitutional Convention took place, Scottish scientist
James Watt invented a device he incorporated into a crude
Newcomen steam engine which made that engine much more
efficient and widely adaptable. He called it a governor,
a device which regulates the speed of the engine by auto-
matically and continually letting off excess steam
pressure into the atmosphere. The steam pressure within
the boiler thus remains constant, providing consistent
force against the pistons and driving the engine at a
desired speed. Thus the governor governs.
James Madison's notes on the United States
Constitutional Convention make no mention of Watt's
invention, but he and his fellow delegates accomplished
for government what Watt accomplished for the steam
engine: a system of letting off steam continually and
automatically. Without such devices both a steam boiler
and a government can blow up. While Watt's device is
called a 'governor', we will reject the temptation to
adapt that name to the Madisonian governmental system and

instead refer to it as the governmental answer to
handling the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome.
This syndrome is a characteristic drive within
men or women which needs to be recognized and handled by
any government, the drive to have some control over one's
own destiny.
The authors of The Federalist Papers recognized
this drive, particularly in their discussions over the
rights of a minority as they described "this propensity
of mankind to fall into neutral animosities"1 which
governments must control and "ambition must be made to
counteract ambition"2 by setting up checks and balances.
So did Adam Smith when explaining competition and the
market phenomenon as being a person's self interest
clashing with that of other persons in the market place.3
Even the Declaration of Independence states "that they
are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable
rights .... that whenever any form of government becomes
destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people
to alter or abolish it."4 So where these writers use the
terms "propensity," "ambition," "self interest," and
"endowed...unalienable rights," I use the term
"characteristic drive" to describe the Pop-Off Valve
Even as Watt was perfecting his governor in
Scotland, frustrated citizens of the United States were
building up a head of steam which resulted 12 years later

in the American Revolution and the long list of
grievances recited in the Declaration of Independence.
These citizens wanted a say in influencing their own
future. They were denied that opportunity and lost their
tempers; the boiler exploded for lack of a pop-off valve.
The French and Russian Revolutions were 'explosions7
resulting from the same cause.
The 1986 experience in the Philippines is a
modern example of what happens when a government tries to
hold down a pop-off valve. The people were hopeful the
Philippine elections would provide a peaceful way to make
some changes. When widespread force and fraud was
employed at the voting sites and in vote counting, the
lid blew. The people's will was not being recognized and
change was being denied. There followed a revolution.
The ability of a government to respond to change is
crucial to its continued existence.
This thesis opines that all governments must deal
with this innate characteristic in men or women (the Pop-
Off Valve Syndrome), or they will eventually fail. Their
success in dealing with it will determine their longevity
as a government. Governments deal with it one of three
ways: 1. they keep it subdued by force or threat of
force, but allow non-threatening changes in society to
occur; 2. they 'vent' it institutionally; or 3. they
try to do both simultaneously. The American Political
Science Review published in December, 1974, reports the

results of an exhaustive study of 336 major changes in
governmental direction from 1800-1971, worldwide. The
article's purpose was to try and find a key to govern-
mental longevity. The author, Ted Robert Gurr, found
that the third option above does not work, but that the
other two provide longevity. In his words, "The more
closely a polity resembles a pure democracy or pure auto-
cracy, the longer it is likely to have persisted."6 He
found two other characteristics of longevity, "The most
durable political systems a) are those which have
responded to the stress of socioeconomic change by assum-
ing the task of managing it directly by state control
or indirectly through allied but quasi-autonomous insti-
tutions; and b) demonstrate a capacity to adapt more or
less gradually in response to internal and environmental
stress through small incremental series of changes."7
Gurr's study is useful for our purposes, because
it suggests that there are two extremes used to handle
the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome successfully over a long
period of time, and that these two extremes both have the
two characteristics noted above. The autocratic extreme
is characterized by lack of public involvement and a
careful blend of force, media use and educational
techniques to keep peace and to create slow change. Even
though by current United States values, progress may be
slow for people living in Third World nations or
Communist nations, if the native peoples perceive

progress, their head of steam will not build. The type
of autocracy is not important. It may^ be a military
junta, a dictatorship, a Russian model, etc. What is
important is its ability to respond to change gradually
so no explosion occurs. For the rest of this paper,
however, we will be considering the way one state in the
United States, Colorado, handles the Pop-Off Valve
Syndrome through people participation in institutions,
the second method referred to above.
In 1787, having recently freed themselves from a
despotic English King and rule by Parliament, Madison and
his cohorts recognized the need for the common citizen to
have peaceful outlets for venting his frustrations. Such
outlets had to be formalized or institutionalized, so
that they could not be changed by a capricious executive
or legislative body. Combining this thought with their
wish to decentralize power, which they achieved by creat-
ing three distinct branches of government as well as
sharing government with states and local communities,
they set about to institutionalize the venting process.
State and local governments copied these formulae as they
appeared in the Constitution particularly, and we will
examine these as they appear in Colorado from the per-
spective of how well and in what manner they accommodate
the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome and accomplish the continuing
and automatic letting off of steam that Watt's 'governor'
did for the steam engine.

We believe that this study will lead to three
conclusions: 1. There are many and varying opportunities
for peacefully venting frustrations in Colorado; 2. They
are widely used; 3. They have permitted slow changes to
occur which allow (per Gurr's study) for governmental
longevity into the future. A possible follow-up study
would involve extending this work to other states, to the
federal governmental institutions, and into private
business and business-government settings.

Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison,
The Federalist Number 10
2Ibid. No. 51
3Robert Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophies.
Chap. Ill, (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1980 Revision),
p. 53
4Declaration of Independence, first paragraph
5Ted Robert Gurr, "Persistence and Change in
Political Systems, 1800-1971." The American Political
Science Review. December, 1974, pp. 1482-1504
6Ibid. p. 1502
7Ibid. p. 1503

This study concerns itself with numbers of people
who express themselves in some way, either directly by
their own actions, or indirectly by supporting an insti-
tution to speak for them. Many people will be counted
more than once, e.g., a person may be on an appointed
committee, may vote, may hold public office, and may
write letters to the editor; another may fall into two or
three other categories. This phenomenon strengthens
rather than hurts the argument made herein: there are
many and varied ways to pop-off and most require rela-
tively little effort to use. But conventional wisdom, at
least in much modern political science literature, tends
to ignore these happenings and concentrate on one or two
areas of participation, using questionable data and sta-
tistics to back up their argument. Let us examine the
data and the arguments.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the American
people, as measured by voter participation, are losing
interest in their contribution to government,1 and that
political parties are losing influence, thus making
elected officials less responsible to anyone. This
paper, based on the experience of one state tends to

refute these assertions. Why are they wrong? I believe
there are four reasons:
1. All these studies use national data and
do not delve into state and local decision making where
most decisions affecting individual citizens occur.
2. These studies only cover two of the
fifteen areas of citizen participation discussed in this
paper elections and political parties.
3. The studies on voter turnout and compar-
isons with other countries are based on very questionable
statistics, assume other countries gather statistics the
same way we do, and define eligible voters the same way.
Walter Dean Burnham even suggests "our very low rates of
voting may undermine the legitimacy of our democratic
4. Even the United States statistics are
unreliable and tend to make participation look low. They
are based on body counts of people over age 17 taken by
the United States Census Bureau every ten years. That
body count is based on "everyone occupying a housing
unit"4 and includes diplomats, aliens (both legal and
illegal), prisoners, hospital patients, etc. Since
America hosts vast numbers of aliens and since only citi-
zens are eligible to vote, any base figure including
categories not eligible to vote will make any conclusions
unreliable. For the purposes of this study, we will
adjust the voting participation figures upward by 1 1/2

to compensate for the alien population within Colorado.5
In states like New York, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and
California, the adjustment would probably be higher.
A further discussion on these reasons follows.
When people look around them and want to affect
their own lives, what do they look at? It is logical to
suggest that they first look at their immediate environ-
menttheir shelter, food, job, transportation, schools
and recreation. The outer environmentthe nation, the
world, other countriesis too far away and will only
generate peripheral interest. So where do most of their
frustrations build? Locally. Does the Pop-Off valve
work locally? Much of this paper will look at this
question, which is not addressed by most of the liter-
ature. It will show considerable people participation in
various activities which activate the Pop-Off valve.
By concentrating on elections and political
parties, conventional writers are really zeroing in on
participation one day, election day, every two years.
They recognize that party activity takes place over time,
but that such activity is always directed toward the en-
suing election day. These arguments ignore the consider-
able citizen participation that takes place daily, week-
ly, and monthly. For instance over 20% of Colorado's
population is either active or retired government workers
at all levels of government, including the military.6
They are discussed in a separate section of this thesis,

but are indicative of the argument made herein that large
numbers of people avail themselves of pop-off mechanisms
that are ignored by these writers.
To compare United States voter statistics to
those of any other country is not comparing apples to
apples and is thus misleading at best and possibly mean-
ingless. The alien problem is a prime example of this.
With the possible exceptions of several countries which
have experienced severe refugee problems (e.g., Pakistan,
several African countries), the United States has more
non-citizens within its borders than any other country,
and, in particular than any West European country, with
whom comparisons are often made. Being a large country
geographically, and permitting freedom of movement within
this large geographical mass, this country will have many
citizens away from home (the polling place) on election
day, vacationing or working, which is another factor
possibly not present in other countries. These two
examples alone point out the vagaries of United States
statistics. What are the vagaries in the statistics of
countries used in comparison? They are never discussed.
Such comparisons do not add to a goal of higher partici-
pation because they inevitably tend to down grade the
American experience.
This thesis contends that both voter turnout
figures and political parties are in better shape than
the conventional writers suggest, and that they are both

major contributors to solving the Pop-Off valve syndrome,
though by no means the only ones. The following analysis
will begin by studying institutions written into law, and
then will follow with discussions of the media, political
parties, and other outlets for Pop-Off valves.

^Walter Burnham, "The Appearance and
Disappearance of the American Voter," The Political
Economy. 1984 edition, edited by Thomas Ferguson and Joel
Rogers, p. 112.
Ralph Hummel and Robert Isaak, The Real American
Politics (Prentice-Hall, 1986), Chap. 5.
2Arthur H. Miller and Martin P. Wattenberg,
"Measuring Party Identification: Independent or No Party
Preference," The American Journal of Political Science.
Vol. 27, No. 1, p. 106.
Everett Carll Ladd, Where Have All the Voters
Gone? (Second Edition, 1982, W. W. Norton & Co.)
Pietro S. Nivola and David H. Rosenbloom, Classic
Readings in American Politics. Part IV Introduction, p.
JWalter Dean Burnham, Democracy in the Making.
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983, p. 295.
4Discussions by phone, March, 1985, with the
Information Office of the United States Census Bureau.
6Kris Newcomen, "Battle Rages over Military
Tuition," Rockv Mountain News. March 12, 1986, p. 15.

Elections and Voting Patterns
The United States Constitution requires
Congressional elections to be held every two years and
Presidential elections every four years. The Congress
has decreed the second Tuesday in November of even-
numbered years as General Election day, but has left to
State Legislatures the setting of other local elections.
By various Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, virtually
any citizen 18 years of age or older may vote, but the
mechanics of running the election is left to the states.
In Colorado, four categories of people can NOT vote -
prisoners, students maintaining out-of-state residency,
migrant workers and other non-citizens, and military
personnel retaining a different 'home' state.1
How many people take advantage of this right to
vote? A recently completed report to the Colorado
Secretary of State, prepared by its Division of
Elections, studied this question regarding every biennial
election from 1972-1984.2 The 1980 data show that 83% of
the citizens who registered actually did vote. The
similar figure was 82.9% in 1984. The actual numbers are

1,184,000 in 1980 and 1,344,063 in 1984. Perhaps a
better question is to ask how many people over 17 years
old voted, noting that many people do not register to
vote. Using the state demographers' figures for 1980 and
1984, 59% and 58% of Coloradoans over 17 years old did
vote. Adjusting the lower figure for 12,054 out-of-state
students, 43,000 military personnel and 3,000 prisoners
(Spring, 1984, body counts), the 58% becomes 59.5%.3
Adjusting this figure upward 1.5% to compensate for the
alien factor discussed in Chapter 1, moves this figure to
Voting statistics are skewed by another
phenomenon the mechanical problems in maintaining
current voters lists caused by mobility within the popu-
lation. People move both out of state and within the
state between elections. They may or may not vote in
their new location, but they are still listed on the
books of the old location until 'purged' after the
General Election. Thus statistically, they show up as a
'no show' in the old precinct. One large group involved
in this statistic is junior and senior college students.
Often, they have moved during the past two years. This
mobility factor results in the necessity to indulge in an
educated guess as to percentage of participation in
voting. The Secretary of State's Office estimates an
average county upward effect of 10% additional participa-
tion of registered voters, although individual County

Clerks believe this figure could increase by 20%. One
must recognize the mobility factor can be far greater in
one county than another, the chief cause being variations
in employment and other economic conditions. This factor
does not change the 61% of those eligible who voted, but
it does change upward the 83% of registered voters who
actually voted, probably above 90%.
Although the above mechanical problem existed in
all prior elections to 1984, an initiated Constitutional
Amendment (see B below) passed in that election makes two
drastic changes in voter registration: it allows
eligible citizens to register to vote when they renew
their drivers licenses or obtain their first such
license, and doubles the time before purging takes place.
How this law will affect the percentages above is
unknown, but it will probably increase the number of
people who are registered and thereby encourage more
people actually to vote. Since the purge time will be
doubled, people who geographically move between elections
will be kept on the old books longer, resulting in a
percentage decline when comparing numbers of actual
voters to registered voters. (The 83% and 82.9% figures
above). This possible percentage decline may well be
viewed as an indication of declining interest in voting,
when the opposite may well be true, if the total number
of those voting increases.

The 39% of Coloradoans over 17 years old who do
not register to vote make up over 800,000 people. Who are
they? I know of no empirical study of them.
However, an important study called the 1980
National Election Study by the University of Michigan was
published by the American Political Science Association
in 1981.5 It studied voter behavior in the 1980 general
election by use of a stratified random sample and care-
fully worded questions. It then took the answers to
these questions and put them into a computer in a manner
that the relationship between the questions could be
quantified. For purposes of analyzing the effect of the
Pop-Off Valve Syndrome, the chief value of the study lies
in what it might tell us about those people who did not
vote (they may or may not have been registered) Do
these people represent a potential unified force against
the present methods of popping off discussed herein?
Let's look at this study (Appendix 7).
It shows that 28.6% of the respondents in the
sample did not vote. Of those nonvoters, however, when
asked to comment on the statement "People like me don't
have any say about what the government does" (Table 1,
Appendix 7), only 39.6% agreed. This percentage is only
15.9% of the total sample, but this is one group from
which potential trouble could come, since they did not
avail themselves of this method of popping off. So a
further analysis of nonvoters is necessary.

The study indicates in three comparisons (only
one is shown in Table 2, Appendix 7) that the stronger
the loyalty to either major political party, the more apt
were respondents to vote, although even 61% of the non-
active respondents voted. For unknown reasons many
active party people did not vote, but since they partici-
pated in some way during the election, they were
certainly not antiparticipation. But, the 39% of the
politically inactive nonvoters, or 16.6% of the total
sample, is still a possible trouble-making group.
Another analysis involves voting and education
(Table 3, Appendix 7). The data show that the more edu-
cation, the greater the likelihood to vote, but again a
majority of all groups voted. 25.7% of the sample did
not graduate from high school, but only 43.5% of them did
not vote, or 11.2% of the voters. This makes up the
largest educational classification among the nonvoters.
Is a protest movement apt to come from this group?
Possibly, but it takes organizational skill to build a
protest movement, and such skill is more apt to be
present in an educated group. However, the potential for
large numbers of followers exists in this group, if they
could rally behind one banner.
Another analysis involves voting and age (Table
4, Appendix 7). Of those who did not vote, 53% were ages
18-34. The older the citizen, the more apt he or she was

to vote, but again a majority of all ages voted. The
younger nonvoters made up 15.2% of the total sample.
The final analysis involves voting and income
(Table 5, Appendix 7) It shows that the higher a
voter's income, the more likely he or she is to vote. In
the lowest two economic classes, 34.4% did not vote
(11.9% of the sample.). In the highest two economic
classes, only 17% did not vote (6.7%) of the sample).
What do these analyses tell us about the
nonvoter? Most nonvoters are:
1. Apt to be disinterested in voting, because
they think they do not have a say;
2. Not participating in or taking interest in
the processes leading to an election;
3. Only educated through high school or less;
4. 18-34 years old;
5. Making less than $17,000 annually.
Do these people make up a potential anti-
establishment group? The data would say no. The age
analysis indicates that, barring some temporal-
generational change, over half the younger people who did
not vote will go to the polls as they grow older. The
same thing happens as they advance in income. There
remains a hard core of people who feel outside the
system-the 21% over age 35 who don't vote. These tend to
come from the lesser educated and lower economic group.5
The statement about them in the education analysis above

would indicate that they realize the privilege of the
vote is available to them, but they choose not to use it.
Nevertheless, it is from this group that occasional cries
of displeasure have come throughout our history, e.g., in
labor union strife or farmers' marches, and this could
happen again, for these activities are also methods of
popping off.
There may be another potentially troubling group:
people who have voted, but who have become disillusioned,
believing their vote was meaningless, because the
problem(s) they championed was not resolved by this
method of popping off. Examples would run from Shay's
Rebellion in the late 1700s, involving disillusioned
farmers, to the sit down strikes of the 1930s, where
voting did not solve perceived factory problems. Such
groups do indeed attempt to take the law into their own
hands, and, particularly on a local level, can cause
problems to the governmental establishment. The illegal
tactic employed is often preceded by rallies and demon-
strations which are dealt with in Part 2 of this paper,
and which, generally, are legal. But, on a broad
spectrum, such tactics are generally not supported beyond
the local level, even though there may be broad support
for the issue. The American people seem to believe that
the legal popping off methods described herein will
effect desired changes over time, and that disillusioned
people should avail themselves of these and not employ

other tactics. Often, however, the publicity deriving
from the disapproved tactic will be sufficient to force
the hand of the lawfully elected officials to undertake
reform, and in this sense the sit down strikes work. New
working conditions and laws regarding the work place have
been enacted and enforced.
However, elections are a key Pop-Off valve. They
occur every two yearsnot a long time between opportun-
ities to create change. Votes are taken on candidates
and on issues (see the discussion below on Initiative,
Referendum and Recall). Individuals really concerned
about issues or candidates can participate to a far
greater degree than merely casting their vote. They can
actively work for or against the issue or candidate which
interests them by becoming part of the campaign organiza-
tion. (See No. 3 below).
It is important to note that the November
elections every two years are not the only elections
available to citizens for voting or for working for
change. Historically, in Colorado, school board
elections and school bond elections are held in the May
after a General Election. In addition, by use of the
Referendum and Recall statutes, special elections within
a certain time frame must be held. These elections are
normally limited to the voters within a geographical
taxing district and are therefore local in nature. The
result is that they generate very little widespread

publicity, and the voter turnout is low. Occasionally,
this low turnout is reversed and the voters turn out in
large numbers. This usually arises when there is wide-
spread neighborhood opposition to a candidate or an issue
(e.g. rezoning elections, growing disgust with a city
council). But if the present officials are viewed as
having done a good job, opposition will not arise and the
turnout will be low. The importance of these elections
lies less in the numbers of voters participating than in
the ability to make changes peacefully, and the knowledge
that such opportunities exist. But the General Elections
bring on the most interest and the largest turnouts.
Whenever over two-thirds of the adult population partici-
pate in such elections, the "small incremental series of
changes" suggested by Gurr as necessary for making a
political system durable are taking place peacefully.
The Pop-Off valve is working.
Initiative. Referendum and Recall
The United States Constitution states that
"powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution are reserved to the states or to the
people".6 In Colorado, the State Constitution reserves
the rights of initiative and referendum to the people
(see below) and outlines the procedure the people may use
to recall any elected official of the state. Thus are
these procedures formalized or institutionalized. In

addition, any change in the Constitution proposed by two-
thirds vote of the State Legislature must be voted on in
a referendum by the people.
Are these 'rights' used in Colorado and are they
practical? Indeed they are alive and well. The 1984
General Election ballot provides a wonderful example of
these 'rights' in action. There were five proposals on
the Colorado 1984 ballot.8 Two were placed there by the
State Legislature, because it sought to change the
Constitution. Two were placed there by petition
("initiative") to change the Constitution. One was
placed there by petition to change a law, not the
Constitution. Amendment Number 3 concerning Abortion was
petitioned by 66,361 registered voters; Amendment Number
4 concerning drivers' licenses and voter registration
contained 61,511 signatures; Amendment Number 5 concern-
ing casino gambling in Pueblo County contained 50,744
, Q ,
signatures. Considering that these three subjects had
very different initial constituencies, it is unlikely
there were large overlapping signatories (perhaps 5%) .
Thus one could assume that 169,685 different people
signed one of these petitions. A computer printout of
eligible voters as of October 5, 1984, from the Secretary
of State's office shows 1,621,306 registered voters.10
Thus 10% of the registered voters or 1 voter in 10 signed
one of the petitions, an astonishing number.

The initiative and referendum process works as a
Pop-Off Valve for frustrations resulting from inaction by
a legislative body--in the above cases, the State
Legislature. In all three cases noted above, the State
Legislature was asked to act but did not. Often, the
frustration can be felt against positive action by a
legislative body, e.g. twice in 1984 in the City of
Lakewood, Colorado, citizens protested zonings by the
city council and by petition forced a vote which over-
turned the city council's action. The Legislative body
involved may consider the issue as being too much of a
'hot potato' and suggest to the proponents they mount a
petition or initiative drive to place the item on the
ballot and not force the elected politicians to vote on
it. The abortion issue noted above was such an issue,
and the closeness of the public vote was such that had
the issue been resolved in the legislature, legislators
up for reelection would have been hounded by whichever
side he or she slighted, so the legislature was smart to
let the people decide directly.
Recalls of elected officials also require the
circulating of petitions and then an election. The
petition drive is a great deal of work. To be success-
ful, it requires dedicated people who must spend
considerable energy and time collecting the signatures
after traveling a long legal path to prepare the
petitions properly. It could be alleged that the poorest

and most ignorant in our society may not be aware of this
useful popping off tool. But their leaders know it well.
Labor unions have been large circulators of petitions
within Colorado. Lawyers representing the poor have been
leaders in petition drives. Recall is a peaceful and
useful tool to effect change. Many people know it is
available and use it as attested to by the numbers cited
Numbers of People Holding Public Office
There are five types of elected officials in
Colorado: federal, state, county, city and special
district officials. The federal classification provides
ten elected jobs President, Vice-President, two
Senators, and six Congresspeople. The state classifica-
tion provides five jobs Governor, Lieutenant Governor,
State Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Attorney
General. There are 62 counties in Colorado plus the City
and County of Denver (which for our purposes we will
count as a county). Four counties elect five County
Commissioners (Denver, El Paso, Pitkin and Weld
counties). The other 59 counties elect three
commissioners. In addition, each county elects a County
Treasurer, County Assessor, County Clerk, and County
Sheriff. Thus there are 449 elected county officials in

There are two types of cities within Colorado -
Home Rule and Statutory. All cities are statutory cities
until they adopt their own Home Rule Charters by popular
vote. There are 18 statutory cities, 64 Home Rule
cities, and 179 towns. The governing boards consist of
elected trustees if they are a town and councilmembers if
they are a home rule or statutory city. In addition,
each entity has an elected City Clerk and Mayor. In
1983, 1,289 individuals served as trustees or council-
members, 261 as mayors, 200 as Mayors Pro Tem, and 261 as
clerks. This totals 2,011 individuals serving in these
various elective jobs in the municipal area.12
There are 17 types of special districts in
Colorado. These have various statutory authorities, but
each provides a special service for a specified geograph-
ical area. They range from pest control districts to
school districts. The most common services provided by
districts are water, sewer, recreation, fire protection
and schools. They are each governed by an elected Board
of Directors, usually five in number, and there are 1,154
such districts.13 This equates to 5,770 elected board
members, each wrestling with the problems of providing a
given service within their boundaries.
The grand total of elected local officials is
8,240. The state demographer's estimate of Colorado's
1984 population 18 years old and older is 2,288,983.14
Thus one out of every 278 adults is an elected official.

In most cases each faces opposition in an election, so
one can double the number of citizens participating in
the political system as potential elected officials.
Citizen Committees Appointed bv Elected Officials
The extent of citizen involvement in public
decision making does not end with voting or holding
public office. Virtually every governmental entity above
the special district level makes use of citizen advisory
boards. Some of these are required by statute, such as
Planning Commissions or School District Accountability
committees, and some are appointed for special local
needs and are temporary in nature. Colorado's cities and
towns have 140 Planning Commissions. On these 742
citizens serve. The Governor alone appoints 2,520
citizens to serve on 212 different boards (See Appendix
1) A review of these appointees by name suggests that
there is a small overlapping of names on these boards,
because some cabinet members sit as directors of some
boards or commissions, but such overlapping could not
exceed 5% or 120 names, still leaving 2,400 separate
people serving on such boards. Jefferson County (the
second most populous county in the state) has 20 boards
appointed by the County Commissioners with some 200
members (Appendix 2) School District R-l, Jefferson
County, the largest such district in the state, has over

200 citizen committees appointed by the School Board
involving over 2,000 adult citizens. These committees
help the School Board in various ways to run the
District, as shown in Appendix 3. The R-l School
District involves roughly 10% of the state's K-12 grade
students. Assuming the other districts parallel this one
in citizen boards, an estimate of 20,000 participants can
be made for this phase of education and its appointed
committees, or slightly less than 1% of the population of
Colorado adults.
These three examples merely begin to show the
extent to which elected officials make use of citizen
boards. Virtually every level of government extensively
uses this mechanism for public input, including popping
off. The mechanism is not limited to use by merely
elected officialsappointed officials also use such com-
mittees. Sometimes such committees have limited
duration, e.g., budget review committees and special
project committees. Others are more permanent although
subject to change by the executive involved, e.g. various
citizen advisory committees to the Division of Wildlife
on land acquisition, to the State Auditor on Government
accounting methods, and to University or College govern-
ing boards on community-college relationships. Based on
the three examples above, I would estimate approximately
2% of the adult population in Colorado participates on at

least one such citizen committee. Since each board takes
a member's time, very little overlap occurs.
Normally the people appointed to these boards are
ones who have shown an extraordinary interest in the sub-
ject assigned to the board. Often, they have appeared
before the elected officials as a citizen witness in
recreation, on libraries, on zoning, etc. Once on the
board, they may feel their recommendations are not
listened to by the elected officials and get frustrated.
The frequency of this happening is low, but it does
occasionally occur, particularly with the decision of
Zoning Boards. The elected officials appointed the board
in the first place to perform detailed research which
they personally could not do, so that the normal reaction
is positive to the results of that research. Most board
members understand that their decision is not the final
one and that occasionally it will not be sustained. If
they bat .750 ordinarily, they will be happy that they
are being listened to and their time not wasted.15
Courts and Juries
There are three ways citizens participate in the
judicial branch of government in Colorado: 1. They hold
office as either a judge, a prosecutor, or a public
defender. 2. They serve on juries. 3. They serve on
Judicial Nominating Committees. This is, of course, a
simplification, because there also are plaintiffs and

defendants and private attorneys, but the interest of
this thesis lies in trying to determine the participation
of citizens who are making the system of government work.
With this caveat, and based on information gathered from
personal interviews with the Office of the Court
Administrator and with the office of the Supreme Court
Clerk, held on December 31, 1984, the following numbers
of people were involved in the three classes noted above,
during the year 1984:
Judges and Prosecutors
Public Defenders
Judicial Nominating Committees
Juries No. of Paid Juror days'
Est. No. of people
Practicing Attorneys
255 (excluding federal)
165 total members
Total participation
Thus approximately 2 1/2% of the adult population
of Colorado takes part annually in the judiciary process.
Public Hearings
Colorado has an Open Meetings Law which requires
public bodies to open all meetings to the public, except
those which involve the hiring or firing of employees.
*The only accurate statistic maintained by the Court
Administrator is the number of paid juror days. Jurors
are paid $3.00 per day for being called to sit on a jury
panel. If called from that panel to be on an actual
jury, they are paid $6.00 per day. A normal jury panel
lasts two weeks, but he estimates actual service at three
days average. The actual paid juror days were 141,791.
When one divides that by three, the result is 47,2 64
different people.

Thus all such meetings, from legislative committee meet-
ings to subcommittees of city councils, might fit under
the term 'public hearings'. Many of these meetings are
statutory, spelled out in state law or City Charter, and
the statute normally requires public notice be posted
(and sometimes published) well in advance of the meeting.
These public meetings satisfy two important elements of
the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome. First, testimony from in-
terested parties is taken at the meeting, normally in-
cluding all persons who wish to express themselves per-
sonally or as representatives for a group.
Secondly, decisions by the elected representa-
tives are voted on at such meetings, allowing the
spectators and the press not only to see how each elected
representative voted but also allowing him or her to
explain why the vote is being cast one way or the other.
There are many additional public hearings held by
various elected bodies and appointed officials which are
not required by statute, but are called by the elected
officials to evaluate public- opinion, e.g., many school
districts hold public hearings on the proposed budget for
the following school year to see if the priorities ex-
pressed in the budget proposal are in line with those of
the general public, including special interests. Many
state agencies hold hearings in advance of adopting regu-
lations in various fields, e.g., game and fish seasons,
licensing requirements, rewriting tax forms, etc. Such

hearings give special interests opportunities to 'spout
off'. Thus, at a school budget hearing, the School Board
might hear from representatives of teachers, maintenance
personnel, cooks, coaches, music program boosters, tax-
payers' organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and PTAs.
These types of hearings seldom end with a vote, but
rather are advisory and often result in rewriting the
document which is the subject of the hearing.
It is impossible to get a nose count on
attendance at these hearings. Most are tape recorded,
but many participants do not speak, only listen. Some
are sparsely attended. Others are crowded. Budget hear-
ings are seldom well attended, but rezoning hearings are
often adjourned into bigger quarters. The important
happening is that they are held and the opportunity is
there to participate. For public officials, it is well
known that the attendance will be directly proportional
to the emotionalism of the issue. If people are angry,
they will attend and will be heard. If people are
complacent, attendance will be sparse. In Colorado,
there are thousands of public hearings held every year.
The range of issues is great. Most people zero in on
certain areas of interest. The chances are good that
public hearings will be held on their areas of interest
at some point during the year. A few phone calls will
determine when and where and perhaps information on other
interested parties.

For the purposes of this thesis, this area of
Public Hearings must be evaluated in a manner similar to
that in the area of Lobbying. Participation is readily
available to all who want to participate and will take
the time to do so. Certainly thousands of citizens do
make the effort and thereby trigger the Pop-Off valve.
Hearings take place year around and thus resentments are
less apt to build.
Occasionally, the issue of availability of people
to appear at public hearings is raised. It is an issue
which will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
In general, hearings on local issues are more accessible
to the average man or woman than hearings on state or
national issues. Local hearings are held in a local
place, often at night or on the weekend, and are publi-
cized locally. Legislative hearings are normally held
during the day at the State Capitol. State executive
branch hearings are held throughout the state, during
both day and night sessions. Federal hearings are held
chiefly in Washington D.C., although some traveling
Congressional committees hold local Denver hearings.
Both State and Federal hearings that are held locally get
good local media coverage.
As noted above, many public hearings are held at
night. Virtually all political meetings are held at
night or on weekends. It is felt that these times are
more convenient for the majority of citizens, be they

employees, employers, self-employed or retired. Obvious-
ly, everyone cannot be accommodated, but a conscious
attempt to meet during non-working hours is made. How-
ever, partly because there are so many hearings going on
and partly because of the limits on an individual's time,
most people rely on interest groups they belong to for
attending the State and Federal hearings, while local
hearings are attended chiefly by individual citizens.
Most people seem to realize that if they personally are
not willing to put their own time in on a given subject,
they will be subject to the decisions made by others who
are willing to make that time commitment. They also rely
on organizations they belong to for reflection of their
own news. Local hearings are normally attended by repre-
sentatives of neighborhood organizations and chambers of
commerce. Citizens take comfort in knowing that the
machinery for change is available to them if they want to
take the time to become involved.
Another major method of public input into govern-
mental decision making is through lobbying. The average
American adult and even children are represented by
lobbyists at every level of government. Lobbyists are
very active in both the legislative and executive
sphere.17 They have input into law making at the legis-
lative level and into law implementing, by helping write

regulations, at the executive level. On the Colorado
list of Registered Professional Lobbyists for 1984,18 the
first lobbyist represented the Colorado Education
Association, a teachers union, and the last one
represented the Colorado Assessors Association (county
assessors) and the Colorado Motor Carriers Association
(the trucking companies). These are indicative of the
wide variety of interests and causes represented by
lobbyists. Of the 441 people on the above list, most
represented either trade associations, e.g. the cable
television association, the Health Insurance Association,
the Colorado Farm Bureau, or private companies, e.g.
Adolph Coors Co., Public Service Co. of Colorado,
Homestake Mining Co. Unions and governmental subdivisions
also employed lobbyists or assigned an employee to lobby.
Virtually every job in Colorado would come under the
special interest of one or more lobbyists on this list.
In addition, every citizen of the state may be affected
by their efforts.
In addition to these paid lobbyists, there are
many citizen lobbyists who are not paid. The law does
not require them to register, so no accurate count can be
made of such people, but they probably outnumber the paid
lobbyists. These would include environmental groups,
Parent-Teacher Associations, college alumni, welfare re-
cipients, the over-age-65 lobbying groups, and
pensioners, both privately financed and retired govern-

ment workers. Unlike the paid lobbyists, these people
politically do not necessarily command a pipeline to
money for possible donations to a political race, but
they do have a public following which may be able to be
mobilized for a candidate or an issue, so that they often
receive a very friendly hearing from lawmakers and
Most lobbyists are either experts themselves in a
given field or can call in experts at a moment's notice.
In the legislative arena, wherein no legislator can be
expert in all fields and where even the seasoned legis-
lators are expert in only one or two areas, it is very
important that the legislator be able quickly to acquire
up-to-date and accurate data before voting any change in
law. The chief function of the lobbyist is to provide
such information. It is a valuable and needed function.
The public is protected, rather than exploited, by most
lobbyists. Most of the time, the average citizen does
not realize that there may be many voices articulating
his own position on many issues. This is not to say that
this is always true. There are many issues in which
lobbyists representing big constituencies may be on
opposite sides, and the legislature must choose sides.
But the important thing to remember is that both sides
are heard in well presented cases. A good example is the
wilderness vs. mineral exploration and extraction debate.

In the executive arena the situation is somewhat
different. Administrators of laws can themselves become
expert in their fields. The lobbyists7 position with
them is to see that legislative intent as it affects
their industry or company is observed when regulations
are written. There are multitudes of cases where civil
servants have subverted legislative intent when writing
regulations to implement legislation. This is not always
the civil servants7 fault, although it can be. If the
legislation is ambiguous or poorly written, it is often
necessary for the regulations to 'clarify7 the meaning,
and, in those cases, bureaucrats do indeed 'write7 law.
Hence the lobbyists' interest.
A recent book discussed Congress' increasing
tendency to write laws using a very broad legislative
intent section, but then not including any standards for
compliance.19 Such standards are left to the govern-
mental agencies assigned to implement the law to formu-
late. In writing these rules and regulations, which have
the force of legislative law, the governmental agencies
involved turned to the industries to be regulated and
asked them to participate in seminars, ad hoc committees,
and informal discussions with government employees.
These discussions and meetings produced the standards to
be included in the rules and regulations, and, in the
process produce a different type of lobbying effort, one
involving a team rather than an individual. Such a team

might include a corporate officer, a corporate attorney
and an engineer. Inevitably, the only types of
businesses that can afford such a team are large busines-
ses. The regulations produced often favored big
companies and evoked a loud outcry from affected small
businesses and local Chambers of Commerce. In the
Occupational Health and Environmental regulations, such a
debate is still going on. It is a healthy debate in
which the public interest is usually represented by the
government and its regulation power opposed to the self-
ish interest of the corporation. The government must be
careful to balance one set of public interests, in these
cases public health is involved, against another set of
public interests, the maintenance of jobs, i.e., the
regulations cannot be so expensive to implement that it
would bankrupt the industry.
Possibly because of the subject matter involved
in team lobbying, interstate versus intrastate, at the
state level of government this phenomenon rarely occurs.
In Colorado, from my personal experience, the State
Legislature is very aware of these dangers and reacts in
three ways: 1) The legislative intent section is very
carefully drafted; 2) Standards for compliance are also
carefully included; 3) The Legislative Audit Committee
conducts Performance Audits (to check compliance with the
law) of every executive agency on a three year surprise
audit schedule. However, no matter how carefully a law

is drafted, the inherent breadth of the meanings of
English words inevitably requires bureaucratic clarifi-
cation to fit specific factual and field situations, and
within Colorado, lobbyists do assist' in interpretation
many times.
Is this inimical to the public interest? I argue
that it is not. If unknowing bureaucrats write regula-
tions putting some firms out of business, or forcing them
to cut services or raise prices, is the public interest
served? Or is the public served better when the firms
stay in business while simultaneously working with the
government agency and improving gradually the offending
situation. The same book20 discusses the Consumer
Products Safety Commission (CPSC) which, when faced with
a broad intent section did not consult with industry.
"CPSC keeps its own counsel, not by adopting its own
standards and regulations that can be expected to apply
to a broad class of consumer items, but by not making any
advance rulings at all." This agency "arbitrarily
pounces (on a firm) without any administrative guidelines
at all." Does this serve the public interest? I argue
it does not. The absence of lobbyists may well hurt the
public interest through lost jobs and less choice of
products. In this area of writing regulations and rules,
lobbyists perform as they do with the legislature, serv-
ing as experts and sources of facts and information
needed by the bureaucrats.

Although there are probably realistically over
1,000 lobbyists in Colorado, if a citizen does not per-
sonally know one, he/she tends to feel unrepresented, but
the chances are very good that on any given issue,
his/her position is being articulated very well. To
illustrate this point, let's take a hypothetical casea
couple, age 57 and 55, with 3 childrenone in a state
college, one working in construction and one still in
high school. The husband has been with the same employer
for 27 years. The wife resumed employment after raising
her children, and has been in a new job for seven years.
The family likes to ski, fish and hunt, and owns their
.own home, which still has 8 years left on a mortgage.
What issues are these people interested in? One key one
is approaching retirement. It is in their interests that
their jobs remain viable for ten more years, so any law
affecting their jobs is important. Such things as tax
rates, pollution requirements forced onto their
employers, health care costs, and availability of outdoor
recreation facilities are vital interests. How can they
possibly have an effect on these? Every subject mention-
ed above is lobbied. How about their children's
interests? Again all lobbied: students, teachers and
alumni relating to the college; PTAs, various teacher and
administrator organizations relating to the high school;
contractor and union organizations relating to the con-
struction job. Even their recreational interests of

hunting, fishing and skiing are lobbied. They pay local
government taxes on their home, and the local officials
who spend these taxes are available by phone or through
local lobbying.
Over the years, through well-publicized scandals
and through cartoons, lobbying has seemed to develop a
bad connotation in the minds of many uninformed citizens.
This is too bad, because it continues to be one of the
most effective ways to be heard, to pop off in our
system. For our purposes, we will only count 1,000
people as being involved in lobbying, but, in a true
sense, many more citizens should be counted, because so
many interests are being articulated and considered.
There are lobbies which seem to be more effective
and perhaps more powerful than others. Those affecting
the most people are the most powerful. For instance, at
the Federal level, those lobbies representing jobs for
people, e.g. the Chambers of Commerce, the unions, the
small-business lobby, etc., get the most attention. At
the state level, the education lobby made up of teachers'
organizations, administrators' organizations, PTAs,
Alumni Associations, etc., is the strongest. On some
issues, these lobbies will be united, and on some issues
at loggerheads. When they unite, they almost always get
their way. When they differ, anything can happen. More
narrowly based lobbies always try to picture their
interests as integral parts of a larger lobby, e.g.

special education is a small part of the total education
picture, wildlife management is a small part of the over-
all ecology picture.
There are also individual lobbyists who seem to
have inordinate power. These seem to have the following
common characteristics: 1. They NEVER lie; 2. The in-
formation they give has proved to be reliable; 3. They
have thorough knowledge of their field of interest; 4.
They enjoy the total backing of the various leaders in
the field; 5. They are never pushy in articulating their
cause, i.e., they never threaten retribution at the
ballot box, nor do they talk behind someone's back.
Are lobbyists more concerned with a private good
as opposed to the public good? They don't say so. They
always explain their cause within a framework of the
public good. A good example is the push from time to
time for new licensing laws covering a given profession.
Take cosmetologists. Their argument is public health:
there is a real possibility for scalp damage resulting
from poor methods of hair care. Therefore, the public
should have legally mandated standards for those people
seeking to follow that profession. Other people say such
laws keep out competition from the field. The definition
of the 'public good' is quite subjective and thus
mechanisms for determining it must be set upthe courts,
the Public Utilities Commission, various hearing bodies.
The fact remains that the lobbyists who are the most

successful are able to lead the discussion regarding
their field of interest into a broader context of the
public good. Thus, although a lobbyist may have a
private goal in mind, his/her chances on achieving this
goal will depend on his/her ability to include this
private goal with a public one.

United States Constitution, Articles I, II.
Amendments: Art. XIV, XV, XIX, XXIV, XXVI, Colorado
Revised Statutes 1-2-103.
^Analysis and Comparison of Voter Turnout and
Registration A report to Natalie Meyers, Colorado
Secretary of State, May, 1984. Submitted by Betty M.
Chronic, Elections and Licensing Director, Department of
4Discussions held in October, 1985, with Betty M.
Chronic, Elections and Licensing Director, Department of
State, Colorado.
5This 1980 study is available on the University
of Colorado Denver Center, computer.
6The United States Constitution, Article X
Constitution of the State of Colorado, Articles
V and XXI.
8Research Publication No. 288, 1984, issued by
the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly.
90fficial figures certified by the Colorado
Secretary of State.
10/,Party Affiliation Recap of Registered Voters,"
A computer printout dated October 5, 1984, and used as
the basis for a press release by the office of the
Secretary of State, Colorado.
1:LData from The 1983 Directory of Municipal and
County Officials, published by the Colorado Municipal
13Data from Memorandum No. 2, June 4, 1984 from
the Legislative Council Staff to the Legislative
Committee on Special Districts and the Staff Summary of
the Committee meeting June 6, 1984.
14State Demographers October, 1985 Computer
printout for Colorado Population Estimates by Age and Sex

15Interview with Secretary of Jefferson County
Board of Commissioners, February, 1986.
"Personal interview with the office of the Court
Administrator and the office of the Supreme Court Clerk,
December 31, 1984, and March 21, 1985.
'Lobbyists are regulated by Colorado Revised
Statutes. 1973. Title 24, Part 3 called "The Colorado
Sunshine Law."
1ft* * *
Registered Professional Lobbyists, January 15.
1984 through January 15. 1985. a pamphlet published by
the Secretary of State, Colorado.
19Theodore S. Lowi, The End of Liberalism (W. W.
Norton & Co., Second Edition, 1979) Chap. 5.
Ibid. p. 118.

News Reports and Editorials
The introduction to this thesis quoted
Ted Robert Gurr on the subject of governmental longevity
as follows: "The most durable political systems demon-
strate a capacity to adapt more or less gradually in
response to internal and environmental stress through
small incremental series of changes."1 Legislatures
seldom write new laws. They tinker with old ones, i.e.
they gradually change the law. These changes are
'responses' in the sense Gurr notes. Such changes may
have been articulated as possibilities within the media,
often for some time. The articulation is important, the
ability to place into words a concept or idea. Once
articulated, the debate begins. Perhaps an editorial or
two may promote a change. Opposite positions begin to
emerge and be heard, possibly through guest editorials,
or letters to the editor. Public opinion begins to be
The media occupy a unique and important position
in this process. First, the people involved in the media
are expert articulators, good communicators. Second,

they are deciding what they want everyone to talk about,
the agenda. They may be influenced by Governors or
legislators or others, but the final decision on what
they want to stress is theirs. The Governor, President,
Mayor, or others may want to stress certain areas, but
unless the media agree with these priorities, widespread
discussion will not follow. Third, they can commission
and time polling of the public. Such polling allows the
media to determine if their biases are being reflected by
the public; if not, they may want to change the bias or
change their approach; the leaders of the media are in
Political leaders try to use the media to get
across their own message to the public. As such, they
grant special interviews and play a cute game of "media
politics", a version of 'I'll scratch your back if you'll
scratch mine'. In return for a good television inter-
view, the politician will reciprocate with 'exclusive'
treatment of the reporter when he controls a news story.
A different sort of happening occurs when media
reporters do investigative reporting. Watergate and many
other governmental scandals have been brought to light in
this manner. All these happenings tend to lower the
pressure on the Pop-Off Valve. I would argue that the
public enjoys the picture of the media taking on the
politicians and indeed relies on this occurrence, thus
never getting up a group head of steam to do the same

thing the media are already doing. The public partici-
pates vicariously, but the effect is the same as when
they participate directlypotentially troubling subjects
are diffused.
Since the media control the agenda, and since
virtually all media outlets are owned by the wealthy, do
the media reflect the ideas and values of only the
wealthy, or are they a good outlet for popping off? I
would argue for the latter, because media owners' wealth
is conditioned on their ability to attract advertisers,
who, in turn, are interested in the numbers of viewers,
readers, or listeners, i.e., the general public. Govern-
ment is kept relatively clean, because of the threat of
scandal. Scandal sells media space and time, so the
owners like scandal and seek to root it out.
Another power of the media lies in convincing the
public that the media's opinion on a given issue is the
correct one and the one behind which the public should
rally. So, they not only set the agenda, but also
attempt to effect a cure, a possible form of brain wash-
ing. If the reader, listener or viewer perceives that
the media are doing his popping off for him, he will stay
guiet and watch for results.
Thus the media function as an additional Pop-Off
Valve, a lesson lost on many governments in many parts of
the world, but not in the United States.

Letters to elected officials
are obvious wavs to let off steam
There are two types of such letters, and they
present two types of problems for the elected official.
First are the organized campaigns, in which members of an
organization are asked to write their elected represent-
ative with a sample letter furnished to them. The elect-
ed official receiving these messages realizes immediately
that they are part of a group effort, and that many of
the writers have little knowledge of the subjectbut he
can't be sure. He knows a short, brusque answer might
fu'el the fire, no answer will frustrate the writer (or
signer on a group letter) and he does not have staff
enough to personalize each answer. So he may give a
speech on the subject and send everyone a copy of it, or
send a detailed letter explaining his position, the same
letter to each person, or include the subject in a news-
letter to constituents, including the signers. Such
letters do affect him/her. He/she mentally records them
and weighs them against mailings on the other side of the
issue. Individually, however, the signers do not have as
great an impact as the second kind of letter, but they do
allow people to vent their feelings and thus blunt the
Pop-Off pressure.
The second type of a letter is from individuals
who have taken the time to sit down and explain their
reasoning on the subject at hand. Such letters are often

very helpful in crystallizing and articulating the argu-
ments on the subject. They are often quoted in debate or
at Press meetings. They are answered personally by the
elected official with a detailed account of that
official's thinking. The citizen involved often feels
that he/she has had a definite impact on the issue, and
thus he/she will not be prone to take other actions to
vent his frustrations. If the articulate potential
troublemaker can be satisfied, opposition will be less
apt to gather around a leader, and these letters can and
do accomplish this end.
Telephone Calls to Elected
Officials Serve the Same Function as Letters
They are widely used in local government issues
where the elected officials are readily available by
phone, particularly at night. Telephone calls are seldom
used with national officials, including Congress people.
With locally elected officials, this method of communica-
tion can be very troublesome for the official at home. A
few people want to call on every issue. Others want to
call often on the same issue"How's the Bill going?".
Voices become familiar, and it is helpful to have a
member of the family screen phone calls for this reason.
Obviously a much better exchange of ideas can occur this
way than can occur with letters, so the phone can be

useful, but it has the above drawbacks. It is, however,
a good method of popping off.
In both the areas of letters and phone calls,
suspicion exists that the wealthy will get more attention
than the non-wealthy, i.e. money talks. To a limited
extent, this may be true, because the elected official
already knows the name of the wealthy person, as opposed
to the name of the average person, and the wealthy person
may have contributed to the elected official's campaign
either directly or through a corporate or PAC donation
(thus contributing to the name awareness issue). But
wealthy persons can be (and often are) big pains in the
neck to the elected official. More important than wealth
is knowledge. Most politicians are suspicious of wealth
and do not want to give even the suspicion that it can
'buy' their vote. But everyone respects knowledge. An
experienced office holder already has a lot of knowledge
on many questions, and he/she can quickly discover from a
letter or a phone call if the sender or speaker knows
what he/she is talking about. The office holder always
wants to increase his/her own knowledge of an issue. New
information may change his/her perception of the issue,
so any communication which promises that possibility will
be answered immediately.
Of course, this result presupposes that most
office holders are open minded. This is normally true,
but every office holder has his or her pet projects, and

the new information may not change their view. But even
in these cases, it forces them to change their reasoning
to take in the information.
However, most communications request help of some
kind from the elected official. Some program is not
working correctly; some employee erred; how do I apply
for a Service Academy, etc. These requests are normally
turned over to a staff person who answers them. In these
cases, the presence of wealth or lack of it is seldom
known by the official, and these form the great majority
of communications at all levels of government.
However, money does talk in any area of govern-
ment in which media exposure is important. Money buys
media exposure. Thus, in any referendum issue, when the
voter must make a policy decision to cast his/her vote,
he will watch the media presentations. In close
elections, a paid media blitz can overwhelm an opponent.
In the 1984 state legislative campaigns in Colorado, as
reported in the campaign reports published by the
Secretary of State, the candidate spending the most money
won in four out of five cases, or in 80% of the disputed
races. In this latter statistic, care must be exercised
in interpreting it, because in eight out of eleven State
Senate races, the incumbent won and also spent the most
money. In 25 out of 44 disputed House races the same
phenomenon is present. How much weight to give the power
of incumbency in relation to the power of money is a moot

question. Thus, money can be decisive in certain races
and issues, particularly if one side has a clear edge in
raising it. But it is only one of many parts to any
Demonstrations and Rallies are
Another Outlet of Expression Used bv Many People
Because of the informal nature of demonstrations
and rallies, it is almost impossible to gain any accurate
information as to numbers of people participating. They
normally have one goal in mind, to gain attention both
from the media and from particular elected officials.
The success of the effort in attracting numbers of people
will determine partially how well the goal is achieved.
To be really effective, such demonstrations must be
followed up with well presented and articulated
positions, and, if any violence occurs during the demon-
stration, the cause involved may well- take a back seat to
the violence. Properly used, however, demonstrations can
and do spotlight problems and solutions. They present
another Pop-Off Valve.
The Selma, Alabama marches for Civil Rights
legislation in the 1960s woke up politicians to certain
problems, and legislation was passed thereafter to ease
these problems. The Women's Suffrage marches in the
early 1900s aroused public opinion to the point that
remedial legislation was passed. A popular Colorado
demonstration technique to air local issues is the State

Capitol demonstration, complete with public speakers
(good articulators) and hand-painted signs. If these
include some well known politicians or other public per-
sonalities such as actors or athletes, there may be re-
sulting publicity which is the immediate goal of the
demonstration organizers. The public does communicate in
this fashion, so the pop off valve is activated.

^Ted Robert Gurr, "Persistence and Change in
Political Systems, 1800-1971." The American Political
Science Review. December, 1974, p. 1484.

Political texts, almost without exception, have
suggested that the importance of political parties has
declined in recent years.1 They cite statistics which
state increasing numbers of people are not affiliating
with either major party, Republican or Democrat, or with
minor parties. But a study of the official reports from
the Colorado Secretary of State contained in Appendix 6
reveals that since 1976 a larger percentage of registered
voters in Colorado are affiliating with the two major
parties. In 1976 59.6% registered with one of the two
major parties. That figure had increased to 63.4% by
1984. Bearing in mind a peculiarity in Colorado's
election lawsthat one spouse can register the other one
to vote, but cannot declare the spouse's political
preferencethese figures seem to refute the declining
importance of political parties, at least in Colorado.
Another aspect of the importance of political
parties lies in their abilities to provide effective
organizational tools to candidates and hence to the out-
come of elections. The American Journal of Political
Science published a recent study of party organizations.

This study concluded that "Party organizations scored
substantially higher on the organizational strength
measures (complexity and programmatic capacity) at the
close of the 1970s than in the early 1960s."2 Such tools
as polling ability, issue research, financial help,
responding to charges, and volunteer mobilization, are
welcomed by candidates and add to their own efforts.
This is another example of resurgence in importance of
the political parties.
Numbers only begin to identify the importance of
the two parties and the participation of citizens
therein. In order to gain a better insight into this
phenomenon, it is necessary to understand some of the
election laws3 and the party organizations. The election
laws spell out the requirements for nominating both local
and state candidates. Both parties, in a specified time
frame, are to hold nominating conventions, complete with
delegates, in each county, each state legislative
district, each Congressional district, and for the whole
stateor 147 such conventions for each party.
The two parties are organized into sixty-three
county subdivisions. Each county in turn is organized
into precincts, local geographical areas containing fewer
than 1,000 registered voters. Each precinct is supposed
to have both a Precinct Committeeman and a Precinct
Committeewoman. These officers are nominated at a
Precinct caucus held each general election year and

elected at the Primary election to hold office for two
years. In addition to their political function of
organizing the precinct for their respective party and
getting out the party vote on election day, they serve a
legal function of being the responsible parties to see
that the election is run smoothly in their precinct. In
Colorado, there are 2,600 precincts. Assuming a 10%
vacancy rate (based on 1984 county convention totals) and
assuming four precinct officers per precinct, there are
9,360 Coloradoans who serve in these capacities. Other
party officers in counties (County Chairman, Vice-
Chairman, Finance Chairman, etc.) numbered 378. One can
assume that all county and precinct officers are also
delegates to the county conventions.
There would also be a big overlap with delegates
to other conventions, because Party by-laws require that
a delegate to higher conventions (State, Congressional,
District Attorney, State Legislative Districts) first be
a delegate or alternate to the County convention. Thus
the County Convention estimated figures of 33,000 dele-
gates and 25,000 alternates give a good estimate of the
different numbers of people involved. But it is
important to note that the most interested activists
participate in many conventions. One political writer
recognized the intensity factor, characterized in these
delegates, but found it was not measurable. To quote
him, "However strongly we may believe sensate intensity

to be a fact, we cannot directly observe and measure
interpersonal differences in sensations."4 The degree of
enthusiasm could be partially measured by following
delegates to see how many of nine possible Conventions or
Assemblies he or she attends. I know of no such study,
but such intense participation makes each delegate aware
of his or her contribution to the selection process and
thus gives such people ample opportunities to relieve
tension. The Pop-Off Valve Syndrome is stronger in some
people than others. Thus, governments must consider this
factor and take care of it. The multiplicity of
conventions, combined with the citizen demonstrations,
absorbs this intensity. They feel that they make a real
contribution, that the people elected or nominated at
these conventions will listen to them because of this
effort, and that therefore the system is working peace-
fully for them. Their need to pop off is being met.
Other conventions in which these delegates participate
are the Congressional District Assembly, State Senatorial
and State Representative District Assemblies, Judicial
District Assemblies (for nominating candidates for
District Attorney) and the State Convention. For
example, the 1984 Republican State Convention consisted
of 3,671 delegates and an estimated 3,000 alternates.5
Each of these people was already a County Convention
delegate and had served in that capacity prior to the
State Convention. The estimated 58,000 County delegates

and alternates are not the only actors involved in these
conventions. Depending on how many disputed nominations
are involved in the Convention's choices, many more
people can be involved. These are volunteers for the
candidatesputting up banners, handing out brochures,
balloons, hats, score cards, etc. In a hotly contested
race, these people can easily outnumber the delegates and
alternates. These figures show that approximately 4% of
the registered voters take part in this political
activity or one out of 25, and that this number could
increase substantially in a hotly contested race.
Significantly, a lot of people are involved, feel they
are making a real contribution, and are using this peace-
ful method to let off steam and pop off. This activity
is time consuming, so that these participants are not
available normally to partake in other time consuming,
possibly violent movements to effect change.
Financial Contributors
Many people who do not want to donate time to
political parties, are willing to donate money. This is
done through a variety of ways: direct donations to can-
didates, indirect donations to candidates via Political
Action Committees, direct donations to the political
party organization, donations to non-profit issue-
oriented organizations which distribute money to
candidates or to an organization involved in an

initiative effort. A study of financial disclosure docu-
ments filed with the Colorado Secretary of State
(Appendix 4) for the 1984 political campaign, discloses
some information regarding financial contributors and
state office campaigns. This study encompassed roughly
25% of the reports filed for each set of offices, i.e.
25% of those running for a State Representative position,
25% of those running for Regent, etc. There are wide
differences in types of contributors who are personal
friends or business acquaintances of the candidate, but
for the purposes of this thesis, I will take averages to
try and arrive at a logical number of total contributors.
An interesting side effect of this study is the discovery
of a lack of PAC contributions in the Regents and
Judicial District (District Attorney) races. These races
were chiefly financed personally and from individual
contributions, whereas legislative races relied heavily
on PAC contributions. The averages are as follows:
House District candidate 31 individual gifts, 36 PAC
gifts; Senatorial District candidate 73 individual
gifts, 44 PAC gifts; Judicial District candidate 115
individual gifts, seven PAC gifts; Regent candidate 55
individual gifts, 5 PAC gifts. One can assume that there
is virtually no overlap with individual contributors, who
are normally personal friends of the candidate, but that
there is substantial overlap with PAC contributors.

A word of caution for using Appendix 4. The
second column includes three types of group contri-
butions: PACs, corporations, and Political Party
Organizations (Republican Women's Club, Democratic
Campaign Committee, etc.)* We can make an educated guess
as to the numbers of people involved in PACs (see below),
but it is impossible to tell how many are involved in the
other two categories. The numbers in these two are
significant, and it is important to know that the con-
clusions below will be understated as to numbers of
people participating in this phase of Popping Off. The
wide variations between contributors in different races
can be traced only by studying the personalities of in-
dividual candidates (ability to raise money is a big one-
-Senator Armstrong's candidacy raised as much money for
this one race as the combination of all other races
totaled together!), the caliber of the opposition, and
the perceived chances of the candidate. In many cases,
candidates raised more money than they needed and then
donated some of that money to other candidates.
In order to compile the numbers of people involv-
ed in contributions, one must obviously need to know
about PACs. A recent study of PACs was done by an inde-
pendent research organization.6 Three hundred PACs were
involved in the study, representing over 100,000 individ-
uals. These PACs were all business-employee PACs, not
union, trade association, environmental group, etc. But

since we are looking at numbers of participants and not
at ideology, this study should be representative of PAC
contributors. The key disclosure of this study is that
the average number of individual donors to a PAC was 311.
The 1984 Summary of Campaign Contributions and
Expenditures prepared by the Colorado Secretary of State7
separately lists all Political Action Committees (PACs).
There are 119. Assuming the above 311 average number of
PAC contributors would also be true in Colorado, over
37.000 people would be PAC contributors (over 1.6% of
eligible voters), and their average contribution would be
$47.18. Appendix 5 shows the top 10 PACs in contribu-
tions. These PACs contributed 50% of the total PAC 1984
contributions ($870,000 out of the total $1,740,000).
The above report shows total contributions to all
candidates of $11,621,185. Thus, PACs contributed 15% of
the total.
In the December, 1984, issue of "The Armstrong
Times",8 a campaign tabloid issued by the campaign staff
of Senator Bill Armstrong, Terry Considine, campaign
manager, reported that "there were over 5,000 people
doing precinct canvassing for Bill Armstrong in their own
precincts, 2,000 within industry groups, and another
8.000 in other aspects of the campaign, such as staffing
county offices, getting out mailings, etc." In addition,
there were over 25,000 financial contributors reported in

this article, or an astounding 1% of the Coloradoans over
17 contributing.

'Ralph P. Hummel and Robert Isaac, The Real
American Politics, p. 65
Hiller and Wattenberg, "Measuring Party
Identification," American Journal of Political Science.
Vol. 27, No. 1, February, 1983, p. 106
2James L. Gibson, Cornelius P. Cotter, John F.
Bibby, Robert S. Huckshorn, "Assessing Party
Organizational Strength," American Journal of Political
Science. Volume 27, No. 2, May, 1983, p. 215.
3Colorado Revised Statutes. 1973. Title 1
"Elections and Political Parties."
4Robert A. Dahl, A Preface to Democratic Theory.
University of Chicago Press, 1956, page 76.
5Actual count of delegates and estimate of
alternatives from Republican State Headquarters, June,
"Jack E. McCandless, "PACs are People, not
Sinister Forces," Rockv Mountain News. August 19, 1984,
quoting a study commissioned by the National Association
of Business, National Association of Manufacturers,
Business Industry Political Action Committee and the
Public Affairs Council.
7Colorado Secretary of State, "1984 Campaign
Reform Act. Summary of Contributions and Expenditures"
The Armstrong Times was an 8 page monthly
reporting mini newspaper, issued approximately April,
1984, through December, 1984, by the Bill Armstrong
Campaign Committee, with a large but selected mailing

An analysis of the institutions involved in
handling the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome would be incomplete
without the inclusion of government employees. Their
roles are different from the roles of others discussed in
this paper. Employees of the Federal Government are sub-
ject to the provisions of the Hatch Act, which
specifically limits their ability to take part in
partisan political activity. As a result, very few are
active politically during their government careers,
although many become active after retirement, often be-
cause of their frustrations concerning the Hatch Act
while they were active. But they do enjoy internal com-
munications while in government service, so that they can
often have a very positive effect on policy within their
own field. It has often been observed in political
science theory that 'bureaucrats' (and this term is
usually used to describe any type of government admini-
strator at any level of government) when they write
implementing instructions to new laws, are actually re-
writing the law and interpreting it in their own way and
thus having a personal input into public policy.

Theodore Lowi, in his book The End of Liberalism,
describes this phenomenon and then observes "Everyone
from the meat inspector to the hearing examiner can feel
he is part of one big policy making faculty". Some of
the bureaucrats' own frustrations can be met this way,
but they often cause increased frustration for others,
because of the relative difficulty the public has in
providing input to them. Since they are not elected, and
most are not even appointed,2 they do not have to pay
attention to special interests or general interests, but
they do have to be concerned about the actions of
Congress, particularly relating to their budget. This
dependence on Congress results in a limit on their
ability to set up small empires within the system, but
such limit at times seems very weak, and it often takes
media attention to straighten out a power-seeking
In Colorado State government, there is no Hatch
Act as such, but historically the State employees have
stayed away from partisan activity. On the other hand,
county and city employees are often very involved in
partisan activity, because most local governments (the
City and County of Denver is an exception) still operate
on the spoils system (where they can appoint relatives,
friends and political allies to government jobs) regard-
ing local government jobs. Such people therefore possess
an additional method for popping off beyond what is

available to most peoplethey have communications within
government as well as political opportunities.
There is one other element which public employees
bring to the resolution of the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome.
There are many public employees, and they are geographi-
cally widely dispersed in their jobs and in their
residences. This results in a human factor coming into
play: every citizen knows someone who works for some
layer of government, including the children. They know
their teachers, fellow students whose parents work "at
the court house", or "at the Federal Center" or "for the
fire department", etc. Their parents may have served in
the armed services or they may have an aunt or uncle in
the forest service. This tie results in a feeling that
government is not necessarily an enemy, and allows them
to articulate frustrations to these government employees
without the fear of retribution. So their role is
How many public employees are there? The U.S.
Census Bureau reports that the. official 1980 Colorado
Census report shows 64,150 federal employees, 63,322
state employees, and 112,762 local government employees.
Thus, there are 240,234 total governmental employees at
all levels of government.3 The state demographers' 1980
estimate of the population over age 17 is 2,288,983.
Thus almost 11.5% of the adult population are public

1Theodore Lowi, The End of Liberalism. (Second
edition, W. W. Norton & Co., 1979) p. 93.
2The Colorado Governor has only 15 appointments
out of an estimated 141 top administrators in state
government. Figures supplied by the Legislative
Librarian, March 20, 1986, after a review of Colorado
Revised Statutes 24-1-110, "The Executive Department." 3
3Official Report of the United States Bureau of
the Census, Colorado Section, reported to me by the
Information Officer of the Denver Office, September 22,

In this paper, I have attempted to show that in
Colorado, there are a great many people participating
through various institutions in handling the Pop-Off
Valve Syndrome, to the point that it is highly unlikely
that any widespread anti-establishment movement would
evolve designed to effect change. The system is not
static. Slow changes do happen and they happen in an
orderly way. The catalyst for any change can be a single
citizen, a media drive, a politician, a natural disaster,
a bureaucrat's interpretation, or many other things. Not
only are there many catalysts, but there are many paths
to effect change. I have discussed many of these in this
paper. To those who are pessimistic about America's
future and about our system of government, I would urge
them to contemplate this thesis. There is great strength
in this system. An analogy would be to compare it to a
rope. The more strands there are inside the rope, the
stronger it will be. The more these strands interact
with each other, the stronger the rope will be. So it is
with our system.

We have identified thousands of people as being
involved, possibly 20% of the adult population (excepting
voting, which is 61%). This does not mean that there are
no groups which feel alienated or outside the system.
But the wide variety of participation discussed here
provides hope to those groups. They need to form their
own strand of the rope. This takes dedication and time.
One insight that politicians have observed is that in
order to understand the issues within a community, a
person must spend some time within that community. This
somewhat obvious statement has real ramifications, be-
cause there are segments within the population who do not
spend much time in one spot, but move around often. Thus
servicemen and servicewomen take very little interest in
local problems; renters of high-turnover properties
similarly take little interest in such subjects; college
students are notoriously sporadic about their interests
locally; many jobs are short-lived and those taking them
realize they will be transferred and thus don't interest
themselves in such issues. Into these categories of
people fall great numbers. In effect, they are allowing
others to handle these problems. They are doing it will-
ingly, and are thus not a threat to existing insti-
tutions, even though they do not participate.
The Founding Fathers postulated that property
owners should be the only ones who can vote. Their
theory was that such people are more stable, more apt to

know what is going on, will pay most of the taxes, and
thus would be more apt to make intelligent decisions than
non-property owners. America long ago took away property
restrictions for voting, but ironically a much larger
proportion of property owners than non-owners not only
will vote, but will also be the actual people who will
fill elected and appointed positions and make the
decisions affecting all citizens.
The statistical data reviewed in this paper is
summarized in Appendix 8. The summary alone shows 15
activities used by citizens to pop off. Each has been
discussed. In about one-half of the activities, the
numbers of citizens involved are well documented. Other
activities are estimated, because hard data is not avail-
able, and still others cannot be documented or estimated
very intelligently. But all are important avenues for
expression. The numbers of citizens involved justifies
the theorem expressed in this thesis.
But it is extremely important to note that, with
the exceptions of voting numbers and public employee
numbers, the participants are constantly changing, e.g.,
next year's juries will include a different set of people
from this year's. A recently completed study of Colorado
Political Party Activists1 noted that approximately 50%
of the State Convention delegates had never done that
activity before. We thus have, within the adult popula-
tion, many "alumni", who once were participants and could

be again, because they know how, and thus do not feel
left out. Their numbers are significant but uncountable.
Their presence within the population serves as a
deterrent to dissent and is part of the safety valve to
control explosions. Another such group is military
veterans. A recent estimate2 of either active duty mili-
tary personnel, veterans or retired military personnel
put them at "one-fifth of Colorado's population."
One measure of America's success, and Colorado is
an example, lies in its ability to handle successfully
the Pop-Off Valve Syndrome. It has done it so well that
it has attracted dissidents to its shores from almost all
other countries. This very success presents its own set
of problems for the future, overpopulation not being the
least of these. But the United States has shown an
amazing ability to absorb slow change as it occurs
through the efforts of the people and institutions
described herein, and one should be optimistic that the
problems of the future will also be successfully

^Thomas H. Simmons, Colorado Political Party
Activists, Colorado Center for Public Policy Research,
University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. Survey
results of the 1980 Democratic and Republican State
Conventions. 2
2Kris Newcomen, "Battle Rages over Military
Tuition" Rocky Mountain News. March 12, 1986.

Hamilton, Alexander; Jay, John; Madison, James. The
Federalist. Random House, Inc., 1937.
The Declaration of Independence. Random House, Inc.,
Heilbroner, Robert. The Worldly Philosophies. New York,
Simon Schuster, 1980 Revision.
Hammel, Ralph and Isaak, Robert. The Real American
Politics. Prentice-Hall, 1986.
Ladd, Everett Carll. Where Have All the Voters Gone?.
W. W. Norton & Co., Second Edition, 1982.
Nivola, Pietro S. and Rosenbloom, David H. Classic
Readings in American Politics. St. Martin's Press, Inc.,
Burnham, Walter Dean. Democracy in the Making.
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.
Lowi, Theodore J. The End of Liberalism. W. W. Norton &
Co., Second Edition, 1979. Chap. 5.
Dahl, Robert A. A Preface to Democratic Theory.
University of Chicago Press, 1956.

Gurr, Ted Robert, "Persistence and Change in Political
Systems, 1800-1971". The American Political Science
Review (December. 1974) 1482-1504.
Burnham, Walter, "The Appearance and Disappearance of the
American Voter," The Political Economy. 1984 edition.
Miller, Arthur H. and Wattenberg, Martin P., "Measuring
Party Identification: Independent or No Voter
Preference." The American Journal of Political Science.
Vol. 27. No. 1.
Colorado Municipal League, The 1983 Directory of
Municipal and County Officers.
Meyers, Natalie, Colorado Secretary of State. Registered
Professional Lobbyists. January 15. 1984 through January
15. 1985.
Gibson, James L. ; Cotter, Cornelius P.; Bibby, John F. ?
Huckshorn, Robert J., "Assessing Party Organizational
Strength." American Journal of Political Science. Vol.
27, No. 2, May 1983, p. 215.
Simmons, Thomas H. "Colorado Political Party Activists."
Colorado Center for Public Policy Research, University of
Colorado, Boulder, survey results.

Information Office of the United States Census Bureau.
March 20, 1985, discussions.
Newcomen, Kris. "Battle Rages Over Military Tuition,"
Rocky Mountain News. March 12, 1986, P. 15.
U. S. Constitution. Articles I, II, X Amendments,
Articles XIV, XV, XIX, XXIV, XXVI.
Colorado, Revised Statutes. Title 1 and 24.
Colorado Constitution. Articles V and XXI
Chronic, Betty M. Analysis and Comparison of Voter
Turnout and Registration A Report to Natalie Meyers,
Colorado Secretary of State. May, 1984.
Chronic, Betty M. Elections and Licensing Director,
Department of State, Colorado. Discussions held in
October, 1985.
Michigan University of The 1980 National Election Study
University of Colorado Computer.
Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly.
"Research Publication No. 288, 1984;" also "Memorandum
No. 2, June 4, 1984 to Legislative Committee on Special
Meyers, Natalie, Colorado Secretary of State, Various
official reports on elections and lobbyists. Also
various computer printouts.
Interview with Office of the Court Administrator,
December 31, 1984.
Interviews with Supreme Court Clerk, December 31, 1984
and March 21, 1985.
Interview with Republican State Headquarters Staff, June,
McCandless, Jack E. "PACs are People Not Sinister
Forces." Rocky Mountain News. August 19, 1984.
The Armstrong Times. December, 1984.
U. S. Bureau of the Census. Interview with Information
Officer of the Denver Office, September 22, 1985.

Colorado Governor's Appointments
Source: Computer Printout, October, 1984, Governor's
Name of Entity Appointed Members
Clemency Advisory Bd. 12
Coal Mine Inspectors, Bd. of Examiners 5
Collection Agency Bd. 5
Colo. River Basin Salinity Cont. Adv. Counc. 3
Colo. River Water Cons. Dist.
(App. by County Comm.) 15
Comm. Coll. & Occ. Ed. State Bd. 9
Consortium of State Coll. Bd. of Trust. 8
Consumer Credit, Council of Advisors 9
Consumer Credit Comm. 3
Correctional Ind. Adv. Comm. 9
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR Comm. 2
Colo. School of Deaf & Blind Adv. Bd. 5
Deferred Compensation Comm, for State Employees 6
Denver Area Council for Comm. Colleges 5
Dental Examiners, State Bd. 8
Dental Comm, for Elderly PI & Mgt. 13
Area Committees 91
Drunk Driving, Gov. Task Force 35
Educ. Bloc Grants Adv. Comm. 17
Educ., Excellence in, Gov. Task Force 40
Educ. Commission of the States 7
Electrical Bd. 9
Emergency Medical Services, State Adv. Council 20
Energy Imp. Assistance Adv. Comm. 9
Energy Imp. Assistance Comm. No. 2 8
Ethics Bd. 5
State Fair Auth. 12
Family Medicine Adv. Comm. 17
Firefighters Vol. Cert. Program Bd. of Dir. 5
Fire Sc Police Pension Bd. of Dir. 9
Gasohol Prom. Comm. 9
Government Accounting Adv. Comm. 8
Governor's Mansion Adv. Comm. 8
Ground Water Comm. 12
Hazardous Waste Reg. Comm. 9
Exec. Dir. Administrative Dep't. 1
Commissioner of Agriculture 1
Corrections Dep't. Exec. Dir. 1
Health Dep't. Exec. Dir. 1
Dep't. of Highways Exec. Dir 1
Dep't. of Institutions Exec. Dir. 1
Dep't. of Labor & Employment Exec. Dir. 1
Dep't. of Local Affairs Exec. Dir. 1

Name of Entity
Appointed Members
Dep't. of Military Affairs Exec. Dir. 1
Dep't. of Natural Resourc Health
Coordinating Council 17
Student Obligation Bond Authority 9
Judicial District Recommendation Bds. 23
Otero Junior College Council 5
Water Conservation Board 13
Vocational Education, State Sdv. Council 25
Veterans Affairs Board 7
State Compensation Ins. Fd. Adv. Council 13
Postsecondary Educ. Facility Health
Coordinating Council 17
Student Obligation Bond Authority 9
Judicial District Recommendation Bds. 23
Otero Junior College Council 5
Water Conservation Board 13
Vocational Education, State Sdv. Council 25
Veterans Affairs Board 7
State Compensation Ins. Fd. Adv. Council 13
Postsecondary Educ. Facilities Auth. 7
Plant Operators Cert. Bd. 9
Medical Advisory Board 9
Lottery Commission 5
Insurance Board 6
Industrial Commission 3
Health Facilities Auth. Bd. of Dir. 7
Health Facilities Review Council 9
Hearing Aid Dealers 5
Hemophilia Advisory Comm. 11
Fire Safety Adv. Comm. 13
Prof Eng. & Land Surveyors Reg. Bd. 9
Emp. and Trng. Adv. Council to the Division 13
Education, State Bd. Adv. Comm, on
Accountability 17
Governor's Disaster Emergency Council 9
Development Disabilities Council 21
Div. of Commerce & Dev. Adv. Committee 15
Banking Board 7
Board of Assessment Appeals 3
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Adv. Council 17
Commission on the Aging 15
Apprenticeship Council 6
Accountancy, State Board 5
Adjutant General 1
Advanced Tech. Inst. Comm. 11
Agriculture, State Bd. 12
Agriculture Commission 9
Agriculture Dev. Auth. 7
Air Quality Hearings Bd. and Alt. 18
Air Quality Control Comm. 9

Name of Entity
Appointed Members
Always Buy Colorado (ABC) Policy Bd. ,36
Alternative Care Facility Adv. Comm. 9
Arapahoe Comm. Coll. Council 5
Architects, State Bd. of Examiners 7
Arkansas River Compact Adm. 3
Arkansas River Basin Interstate Comm. 5
Arts and Humanities, Colo. Council 11
Auraria Higher Ed. Ctr. Bd. of Dir. 9
Barbers & Cosmetologists, State Bd. 5
Beef Board 8
BLM Forest Service Team 1
Breast Cancer Control Comm. 16
Career Education, State Advisory Council 23
Child Care Facilities Adv. Council 11
Childrens Code Review Comm. 25
Children & Families Comm. 30
Chiropractors Examiners Bd. 5
Civil Rights Comm. 7
Clean Air Task Force 27
Higher Ed. Comm. Tech Adv. Group 6
Higher Ed. Comm. 9
Colo. Comm. Higher Ed. Adv. Comm. 15
Colo. Comm. Higher Ed. 9
State Highway Comm. 9
Highway Leg. Review Comm. 15
Historic Preservation Officer 1
Historic Preservation State Review Bd. 15
Historical Records Adv. Bd. 11
Housing Finance Authority 9
Housing Board 7
Humanities Program State Committee 4
Incentive Award Suggestion System Bd. 7
Interstate Oil Compact. Comm. 26
Judges, Court of Appeals 10
Judges, County 92
Judges, District 89
Job Training Coordinating Council 27
Judges, Supreme Court 7
Judicial Discipline Comm. 10
Judicial Dist. Nominating Comm.
(22 Dist. at 8 members) 176
Juvenile Justice Adv. Council 33
Juvenile Parole Board 7
Lamar Comm. Coll. Council 5
Land Commissioners State Bd. 3
Land Use Comm. 9
Legal Services Adv. Council 9
Low Level Radioactive Waste Adv. Comm. 13
Lowry Landfill Comm. 25
Mapping Adv. Comm. 19
Medical Assistance & Services Adv. Council 16

Name of Entity
Appointed Members
Medical Examiners Bd. 11
Medically Indigent Tech. Adv. Comm. 9
Mental Health Adv. Bd. 15
Merit System Council 3
Metric Advisory Bd. 15
Mined Land Reclamation Bd. 7
Morgan Comm. College Council 5
Motion Picture & Television Adv. Comm. 9
Motor Vehicle Dealer Lie. Bd. 9
Multi State Tax Compact Adv. Comm. 9-
State Bd. of Nursing 11
Bd. of Examiners, Nursing Home Administrators 9
Oil & Gas Conservation Comm. 5
State Bd. Optometric Examiners 7
Outfitters Licensing Bd. 5
Parks & Outdoor Recreation Bd. 5
Passenger Tramway Safety Bd. 7
State Personnel Bd. 5
State Bd. of Pharmacy 7
Phys. Adv. Counc. Primary Care Ohys. Program 15
Physical Therapy State Bd. 5
Pikes Peak Comm. Coll. Council 5
Plumbers Examining Bd. 8
Podiatry Bd. 5
Poet Laureate 1
Policemens & Firemens Pension Reform Comm. 15
Peace Officers Standards fit Training Bd. 9
Private Occupational Schools Advisory Comm. 9
Procurement Advisory Council 8
Property Tax Admin. Adv. Comm. 5
Psychologist Examiners Bd. 9
Public Health Trust Bd. 5
Public Utilities Comm. 3
Pueblo Voc. Comm. Coll. Council 5
Racing Comm. 3
Radiation Adv. Comm. 9
Real Estate Comm. 5
Revenue Estimating Adv. Comm. 12
Rio Grande Water Cons. Dist. Directors 9
Rocky Mtn. Corp. for Public Broadcasting 3
Rocky Mtn. Low Level Radioactive Waste Bd. 1
Rocky Flats Monitoring Comm. 20
School of Mines Bd. of Trustees 8
Science fit Technology Adv. Council 10
Sickle Cell Anemia Adv. Comm. 11
Small Business Council 33
State Bd. of Social Services 9
State Bd. of Social Work Examiners 7
Soil Conservation Bd. 9
Solar Advisory Comm, to Office of Energy Cons. 25
State Bd. Stock Insp. 5

Name of Entity
Appointed Members
State Officials Comp. Comm. 9
Student Loans Adv. Comm. 12
Supreme Court Nominating Comm. 14
Tourism Board 7
International Trade Advisory Council 20
Traffic Safety Adv. Comm. 12
Transit Finance Commission 7
Trinidad Comm. Coll. Council 5
Appointed Public Trustees 10
University of Northern Colo. Bd. of Trustees 9
Uniform State Laws Comm. 6
Upper Colo. River.Comm. 1
Veterinary Medicine Bd. 5
Volunteer Citizen Participating Adv. Bd. 21
Waste Management Adv. Council 25
Water Well & Pump Inst. Cont. Exam. Bd. 5
Water Quality Control Comm. 9
Water Resources & Power Dev. Auth. 9
Water Resources Research Policy Adv. Comm. 10
Weather Modification Adv. Comm. 10
Western Interstate Nuclear Compact 1
Western Interstate Comm, for Higher Ed. 3
Wildlife Comm. 8
Total Numbers of Appointments

Jefferson County Appointive Boards
Name of1 Entity Appointed Members
Board of Adjustment 7
Airport Authority 5
Animal Shelter 14
Community Corrections Board 14
Community Responsibility Center 11
D R C 0 G 7
Emergency Preparedness Advisory Board 8
Telephone Service Authority Board (911) 5
Extension Advisory Board 7
County Fair Advisory Board 8
Board of Health 6
Historical Commission 19
Housing Authority Board 5
Library Board 7
Mental Health Board 6
Open Space Advisory Board 11
County Planning Commission 9
Prospect Recreation District Board 5
Board of Review 4
Jefferson Parkway Committee 42
Source: Secretary to the Board of County Commissioner

Citizen Participation in Education
Jefferson County School District R-l
Information based on personal interviews with the
School Board Secretary and the executive director of the
Communications Office on January 2, 1985.
There are 5 types of standing committees in the
school system. These are:
12 Area Advisory Committees. These consist of
parents, employees, and non-parent taxpayers within the
general boundaries of each high school enrollment area.
118 School Improvement Committees. These exist at
every school with the same type of membership as noted
3 Curriculum Councils. One such council is formed
for each level of education grade school, junior high
school and high school. Again it has a membership as
noted above.
1 Citizen Textbook Committee. This advises the
School Board in this area.
Varying numbers of Special Task Forces set up for
individual projects. These include Citizen Budget
Review and Recommendation Committees, committees formed
to promote bond elections, and special subject
committees. An example of the latter is a recent
Religion in the Schools Committee.
In an average year, the two key employees
interviewed believe that there are more than 200
committees involving more than 2,000 people active within
the District. These do not include some separate PTAs who
are independent, in some schools, from the School
Improvement Committee for that school. These committees
vary in the numbers of meetings held,
least quarterly.
but most meet at

Sample Financial Disclosure Information from
campaign reports filed with Secretary of State for
1984 political campaign for state offices
Office Sought Individual
House Dist. #24 8
Judicial Dist. #4 (Dist. Att'y.) 71
Judicial Dist. #7 15
House Dist. #55 3
House Dist. #48 20
Judicial Dist. #3 3
House Dist. #48 20
House Dist. #27 63
Senate Dist. #14 167
House Dist. #2 17
House Dist. #21 24
House Dist. #46 32
Regent of Colo. Univ. 13 0
House Dist. #18 49
House Dist. #64 6
House Dist. #50 67
House Dist. #57 7
House Dist. #4 39
House Dist. #21 39
House Dist. #11 102
House Dist. #47 68
Corporate of PAC Contr. Non-itemized under $25.00 donations
41 $ 577.00
0 $ 876.00
0 $ 60.00
44 $ 89.00
63 $ 2,217.00
70 $ 2,265.00
15 $ 320.00
14 $ 1,990.00
70 $ 2,470.00
74 $ 2,405.00
60 $ 1,442.00
14 $

Office Sought Individual Contributors Corporate of PAC Contr. Non-itemized under $25.00 donations
Judicial Dist. #1 68 3 $ 2,345.00
House Dist. #45 0 32
House Dist. #33 5 2 $ 488.00
House Dist. #59 45 75 $ 1,945.00
Judicial Dist. #1 96 9 $ 1,237.00
Senate Dist. #18 12 0
House Dist. #54 75 51
House Dist. #22 2 2
House Dist. #52 15 22
House Dist. #20 30 58 $ 1,626.00
House Dist. #8 5 0
House Dist. #25 10 23
Regent of Colo. Univ. 72 6 $ 1,542.00
Senate Dist. #35 52 41
House Dist. #12 20 30 $ 450.00
House Dist. #15 4 7
House Dist. #36 38 36 $ 2,136.00
Senate Dist. #12 16 51 $ 110.00
2nd Judicial Dist . 435 29 $15,376.00
Senate Dist. #34 127 35 $ 9,079.00
Regent of Colo. Univ. 81 11
House Dist. #60 14 60 $ 380.00
House Dist. #31 39 12 $ 460.00

Office Sought Individual
House Dist. #40 26
Senate i Dist. #26 122
House Dist. #1 32
Senate Dist. #28 65
House Dist. #20 8
House Dist. #50 42
House Dist. #23 41
House Dist. #9 94
House Dist. #31 34
Senate Dist. #17 90
orporate 87 Non-itemized
of PAC under $25.00
Contr. donations
17 $ 1,162.00
22 $ 2,946.00
71 $ 505.00
96 $ 1,998.00
43 $ 265.00
1 $ 1,640.00
72 $ 3,534.00
72 $ 4,450.00

Contributions of 10 largest 1984
Political Action Committees
Name of PAC
Total Contr. Amount
Colorado Realtors PAC $243,007
Education PAC (CEA) $ 98,434
United Mine Workers PAC $ 93,858
Home Bldrs. Colo. Sprgs. PAC $ 89,635
Colo. Comm, on Pol. Educ. (COPE) $ 85,507
Marathon Oil Co. Employees PAC $ 80,670
Metro Housing PAC $ 70,186
JCEA PAC (Jeffco Teachers Ass'n) $ 43,077
Energy Resources PAC $ 36,343
Empire Savings Emp. PAC $ 29,625
Total Contr. $870,432 = 50% of all PAC contri- butions in 1984.
4 Biggest Groups from above
1. Realtors $243,007
2. Builders (Colo. Spgs., Metro) $159,821
3. Teachers (COPE, JCEA, CEA) $227,018
4. Oil Co. Empl. (Energy Res., Marathon Oil) $117,013

Party Affiliation of Registered Voters as of
the first week of October 1976, 1978,
1980, 1982 and 1984
Year Number Rep. % Rep. Number Dem. % Number Dem Unaf. % Unaf. Total
1976 345517 25.6% 458713 34% 544641 40.4% 1348871
1978 373270 27.8% 470858 35% 500878 37.2% 1345006
1980 439610 30.6% 455825 31.8% 538822 37.6% 1434257
1982 462837 31.6% 465566 31.8% 536146 36.6% 1464549
1984 514383 31.7% 514715 31.7% 592208 36.6% 1621306
Source: Official Reports of Colorado Secretary of State

The 1980 National Election Study
Key Question: Did you vote in the election this
past November (1980)?
Did Not Vote 403 (28.6%)
Did Vote 1004 (71.4%)
Table 1: "People like me don't have any say about
what the government does."
Disagree Agree
Did Not Vote 20 .6% 39.6%
Did Vote 79 .4% 60.4%
Table 2: Political Activity Index
Total Number of Activities Respondent Did
0 1 2 3+
Did Not Vote 39% 25% 20% 7 %
Did Vote 61% 75% 80% 93 %
Table 3: What was the highest grade of school you
Grade Some H.S. Some Coll.
Sch. H.S. Grad. Coll. Grad.
Did Not Vote 41.4% 45.2% 30.3% 24.2% 9.3%
Did Vote 58.6% 54.8% 69.7% 75.8% 90.7%
Table 4: Respondent's Age in Years
18-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60+
Did Not Vote 48.8% 34.6% 22.7% 21.3% 21.4%
Did Vote 51.2% 65.4% 77.3% 78.7% 78.6%
Table 5: What was your total family income last
8000 17000 25000 35000
8000 16999 24999 34999 and over
Did Not Vote 40.6% 31.7% 29.2% 20.2% 13.5%
Did Vote 59.4% 68.3% 70.8% 79.8% 86.5%
o\ o\o

Review of Citizen Participation in Colorado
from Statistics in this Paper
Number of
% of Those
over 18
Voting General Election
Initiative Referundom and
Recall (No local election
Public Officeholders
Education Citizen Boards
Governor's Appointments
Other Boards
Courts, Juries and attorneys
Public Hearings
Political Parties and
PAC Contributions
Campaign Workers
Public Employees
Military active and
344,063 (1984) 61%+
169,685 (1984) 7.4%
7,781 (1983) .34%
20,000 (est.) .87%
2,520 . 11%
25,000 (est.) 1%
58,584 2.5%
1,000 (est.) .04%
unknown unknown
58,000 2.5%
37,000 (est.) 1.6%
58,000 (est.) 2.5%
240,234 11.5%
450,000 20%