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LAKEWOOD, CO-Prominent developer Greg Stevinson resigned from the free market think tank, the Independence Institute, because he doesn’t like the way the group is campaigning against Referendums C and D, which will become before voters on Nov. 1. Stevinson’s late father, Chuck, was a co-founder of the group and Stevinson continues to provide the group free rent for its office in his Denver West Office Park.

Gov. Bill Owens, who like Stevinson is a Republican, supports the referenda, which have received national attention. The measures allows the state to keep money for five years that otherwise would have to refund under the TABOR amendment to the constitution that voters approved in 1992.

Owens is a fan of TABOR, or Tax Payers Bill Of Rights, but says he also needs enough money in state coffers to continue to govern the state. Groups such as NAIOP and the Downtown Denver Partnership, as well as Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, support it, as well as most Democratic legislators and some Republican legislators.

Owens says Stevinson’s resignation could help the measure pass because he is so well respected in Jefferson County, which includes Lakewood. Jefferson County is considered one of the key swing counties in the vote, and could play a crucial role in the election, officials tell GlobeSt.com.

Stevinson, in a letter to Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, stresses the group’s opposition to the measures is not why he resigned. “That is not the issue,” Stevinson wrote in the letter, obtained by GlobeSt.com. “It’s the way the campaign is being run.”

Ari Armstrong, who researched the issues that Stevinson criticized, such as Red Robin restaurant chain receiving $100,000 from the state in “corporate welfare,” tells GlobeSt.com Stevinson is wrong.

Indeed, to make Stevinson’s resignation even more complex, he is not a fan of the measure. He says if it passes, that would be OK, but if it fails, he expects the Democratic legislature and the Republican governor to come up with a measure that is better than the two referenda. “I’ve met with Gov. Owens and Mayor Hickenlooper and listened to what they had to say,” Stevinson tells GlobeSt.com. “I told that I would not actively campaign against C&D.”

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