Colorado has a rich history of direct democracy. The most widely used form of direct democracy-the so-called citizen initiative- allows individuals and groups to circulate petitions in an effort to qualify a statutory or constitutional measure on the ballot for a statewide vote.1 For nearly a century, the initiative has shaped the political landscape of Colorado. As we have seen in earlier chapters, many Coloradans consider direct democracy the bane of the state's existence, allowing disjointed and destabilizing policies to become embedded into the state constitution. Others, though, view the initiative process as the state's salvation, rightfully returning the policymaking process to the people. Regardless of which extreme depiction is a more accurate portrayal of the initiative process, voting on ballot measures has become a permanent fixture in the Centennial State. In the 1990s, Colorado pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli (1996) referred to the initiative process as the state's "New Growth Industry." That description is still apt today. At times over the past century, the process of direct democracy has managed to share equal billing with the traditional institutions of representative democracy, leading some scholars to refer to such a blend in some US states as "hybrid democracy" (Garrett 2005; Kousser and McCubbins 2005). Colorado's experience with the institution of the initiative, adopted during the Progressive Era, is neither unique nor without controversy. As we shall see, Colorado is a high-use initiative state. Immediately following the adoption of direct democracy in 1910, wealthy individuals and economic interests were frequently able to co-opt the plebiscitary mechanism. The irony is rich, as the initiative process in particular was originally advanced by populist and progressive political forces intent on wrestling power from a slate of entrenched interests and the elected officials who did their bidding (Cain and Miller 2001; Goebel 2002). To be sure, since that time citizen groups have placed dozens of liberal and conservative initiatives on the statewide ballot. Voters have cast ballots on initiatives dealing with abortion restrictions, parental rights, hunting and trapping regulations, education vouchers, the expansion of water rights, restrictions on hog farming, the legalization of medical marijuana, the banning of gay marriage, tax and spending limitations, and legislative term limits. Colorful defenders of the initiative process itself-led perhaps most prominently by Douglas Bruce, the author of the notorious 1992 Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR)-have helped animate the process over the years. Using populist tropes, they have rather successfully used the language of "us" versus "them" to cast the initiative process as a mechanism for "the people" to keep the state legislature in check and more responsive to citizen demands (Citrin 1996; Smith 1998). After detailing the adoption and early use of direct democracy in Colorado, I trace the recent rise in the number of initiatives on the ballot and the role of money in ballot measure campaigns. In doing so, I highlight some of the more captivating initiative campaigns over the past century and briefly profile the efforts of Douglas Bruce and other initiative proponents. I then assess the impact of increasingly partisan ballot initiatives on minority populations, including racial, ethnic, and sexual-orientation minorities as well as the state's rural residents. Finally, after acknowledging lawmakers' bipartisan attack on the initiative process in recent years, I conclude with normative considerations of the practice of direct democracy in Colorado. As Fred Brown, one of the state's most sage political observers, wrote nearly two decades ago, many see the citizen initiative as "needed as a safety valve, but not as a replacement for the legislative process"; further, election day lawmaking "wouldn't be a problem if we actually had some real deliberation during the initiative process . . . but [instead] we have 30-second sound bites on some very complicated questions" (quoted in Smith 1998: 2-3).