Loveland's Independent News Source

Loveland - August 16, 2013

Loveland resident Larry Sarner has filed a challenge to Loveland City Clerk Teresa Andrews'
determination that a petition circulated by local Democrat Party activists (
Protect Our Loveland) to
ban oil and gas development (fracking) in Loveland for two-years is qualified to be on November's
ballot.  Protect Our Loveland is operated by Sue Mullins from her small condominium on Hahns Peak
Drive in Centerra and by her friend and fellow Loveland political activist
Deanna Ball.

According to Loveland's City Charter,

(b) An initiative petition shall be signed by registered electors of the City equal in number to at
least five (5) percent of the total number of electors of the City registered to vote as of the date
established by the State statutes for determining such percentage.

Last January, a Colorado state district court judge ruled in favor of Denver County Clerk Debra
Johnson who sent mail-in ballots to "inactive" voters despite warnings by the Secretary of State not
to include these voters.  Subsequently, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law a
hastily passed elections overhaul bill which eliminates the category of “inactive” voters, a
designation that previously restricted voters’ eligibility to get mail ballots in some counties.

Traditionally "inactive" voters are those who fail to vote in a general year election and also fail to
validate their address or other information when contacted (normally by mail) by the county clerk.   
However, Larimer County must now send ballots in the upcoming election to these voters thus the
argument forwarded by Sarner that those people qualify under the city's charter as
"electors of the
City registered to vote"
should also include previously "inactive" registered voters.

Complaint Specifics

Sarner is represented by Denver law firm Holsinger Law, LLC which co-authored:  Water, Oil and
Gas:  A Legal and Technical Framework in the latest issue of the University of Denver Water Law

According to Sarner's complaint, 558 of the 3,000 petition signatures submitted by the group
"Protect Our Loveland" are invalid therefore the petition falls 238 signatures short of the threshold
required by the city's charter of 5% of the electors which would be 2,423.  According to Sarner, the
group Protect Our Loveland submitted only 2,185 qualified signatures.

Other issues raised in Sarner's complaint include the initiative deciding more than one issue which
violates Loveland's single-subject initiative rule, it is retroactive and it contravenes already
established state law and authority on the matter.   A hearing before the city clerk has been
scheduled for August 22, but is will likely end-up in court regardless of which side prevails next

Larry Sarner - Loveland Resident  & National Activist

Larry Sarner is a self-described mathematician and inventor who operates the national organization
Advocates for Children in Therapy out of his modest downtown Loveland home on 9th Street with
wife Linda Rose.  They also operate the national organization
Institute For Science In Medicine from
the same location.   Something of an amateur skeptic, Sarner is a follower of the "
Amazing Randi"
who debunks clairvoyants, palm readers and other nationally known psychics.

Larry and wife Linda are the parents of Loveland native and
child prodigy Emily Rose who
published a research paper in the peer reviewed
Journal of the American Medical Association on
therapeutic touch when only nine years old.  She later graduated from Colorado State University
with a degree in psychology.

Next Steps

Regardless of how Loveland's City Clerk decides in the hearing scheduled for August 22, it is likely
the issue will go to court.  While judges are normally reluctant to throw-out the "will of the people"
in qualifying initiatives for the ballot based upon technical arguments (
like it violates the singe-issue
) they will block initiatives they believe fail to reach the threshold of signatures required by the
city's charter.  Judges historically do not strictly apply voter registration requirements upon
signatories (despite the legal requirement) so each of the 558 challenged signatures may need to be
adjudicated before a final determination can be made.

Loveland's City Council has an option to simply adopt the petition for a two-year fracking ban when
presented to Loveland's City Council officially or to refer the matter to November's municipal
election ballot for voters to decide.  Given the current make-up of the council and the votes favoring
the "enhanced standards" for fracking, it is likely the initiative will be referred to the voters instead
of being adopted by the council.
Anti-Fracking Ballot Petition:
238 Signatures Short
According to Complaint

Read the official protest
Read the City Clerk's Response
Loveland City Clerk
Teresa G. Andrews
Colorado House Bill 13-1303
was signed into law May 10,
2013 by Colorado Governor
John Hickenlooper

"Inactivity by reason of failure to vote.
The bill repeals the category of voter
inactivity that is triggered by an
elector's failure to vote and
makes all
such voters active
. As a result, such
voters will receive mail ballots in future