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I am the ghost of Colorado conservatives’ future, a warning to those who choose not to listen to those of us who have seen a party collapse from its own political shortsightedness.

Colorado is California 25 years ago.

Twenty-five years ago, California had exported its brand of conservatism through Ronald Reagan, a former two-term governor and twice-elected president. Those values destroyed international communism and resulted, by 1994, in every statewide office in California, save one, held by Republicans. The GOP even controlled one house of the Legislature (unthinkable today).

As the Golden State lost its presidential battleground status, Republicans collapsed into oblivion. The policies that followed destroyed California.

Now that [ inn my opinion] Colorado has lost its battleground status, conservatives in the Centennial State are on the same road that the California conservatives have already tread.

I believe Proposition 113, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, is the best course for the conservatives, both nationally and in Colorado.

It allows conservatives in Colorado to join up with conservatives in Utah, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona and the five million of us that live in California to elect a conservative president. Right now, Colorado’s conservative vote is canceled out by Denver and its environs. More simply put, Proposition 113 makes Colorado relevant again.

Some opponents claim that the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended the present winner-take-all method in which the winner of a state gets all of that state’s Electoral College votes — a method in effect in most, but not all states.

There is just one problem: James Madison, aka the father of the country’s most seminal document, favored a national popular vote. In fact, the 1787 convention took 30 votes over 22 days on how to elect the president. Not one of them was for winner-take-all, the method presently used by Colorado.

The framers would be turning over in their graves if they saw the states with laws that [ inn my estimation] 80 percent of the states irrelevant in presidential elections.

Others wrongly say Hillary Clinton would be president. Tell that to now-President Donald Trump, who says he favors a national popular vote and would have campaigned differently in 2016 were that the way presidents are elected. Trump campaigned to win battleground states, which was great for those states, but not for Colorado conservatives.

Colorado conservatives are being ignored this November, which only furthers the slide toward the irrelevancy that California conservatives now experience. We all know what ensues when conservatives are losers.

Proposition 113, if passed, would require the GOP to pay attention to what Colorado conservatives think, at least if Republicans want to win. This will lead to a stronger conservative movement in Colorado.

If opponents believe their position is better for Colorado conservatives then I challenge them to debate me at any forum of their choosing. Voters deserve an open and honest discussion, not the disinformation and fake news.

I can tell you, as a California conservative, that Colorado’s current path is the path toward destruction and irrelevancy. Don’t do what we did, change course now by voting ‘yes’ on Proposition 113.

Ray Hayes

Sacramento, CA

Former Republican state legislator, having served in both houses of the California State Legislature.

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