Exposing Illicit Teachers Union Activity

The election law complaint filed by two Fort Collins parents against the teachers union, a story I have covered off & on here for the past 18 months, recently featured an important appeals court decision - namely, that the Colorado Education Association (CEA) and its local affiliate the Poudre Education Association (PEA) stepped over the legal boundaries by coordinating with the campaign of state senator Bob Bacon in 2004. I wrote it up in an op-ed for the Independence Institute last week. Personally, my favorite tidbit to share from the op-ed is one of the CEA lawyer's main arguments in defense of his clients: [Attorney Mark] Grueskin argued not only that CEA and PEA acted independently but also that their involvement was … [Read more...]

Of Fatcats and Rethinking Political Allies

Colorado's primary elections are upon us. So as Republican candidates in key districts reach the homestretch of throwing slings and arrows at one another, my friend Jessica Corry reminds us in a Sunday column for the Denver Post that the Colorado GOP coalition ain't what it used to be: the big business community has entrenched itself alongside labor unions, bureaucrats, and other "fatcat" special interest groups to work against the guiding principles of limited government and ordered liberty. A major problem, she argues, is that many of the party's insiders simply have not awakened to the fact yet. Should the Republicans wake up to despair then? Not exactly, says Jessica: Republicans, including Beauprez, should find their own real … [Read more...]

Pot Stirring in Senate District 22

Almost two weeks after I first highlighted Kiki Traylor's contribution from the teachers union - and her clarifying remarks a few days later - the Rocky Mountain News reported on a legal complaint filed via a friend of her opponent Mike Kopp. (HT: ToTheRight.org, Colorado's newest conservative blogging voice.) The News story indicates that the candidate followed my advice: Traylor said she didn't report the $1,000 check because she had torn it up. Inquiring conservatives want to keep an eye on Traylor's campaign funding after the primary, but this inquiring conservative prefers not to see her candidacy continue after the primary. So let's leave it a hypothetical. Any candidate who draws enough favorable interest from CEA to merit … [Read more...]

Is the Case for School Vouchers Dead?

The answer to the question above: hardly. While the news pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal (subscription required) made hay out of a recent government study that allegedly shows private schools really aren't outperforming public schools, the bigger point has been missed. Some good and thorough responses have come from respected and knowledgeable voices on the free market side of the debate. … [Read more...]

More Local Media Bias on Immigration Exposed

In his Saturday media review column for the Rocky Mountain News, David Kopel highlights two Denver Post stories that gave skewed presentations of the illegal immigration issue. The first half of the editorial piece was dedicated to giving a more thorough undressing to a Karen Crummy article first exposed here on this site. (Full disclosure: I work with Dave at the Independence Institute. He was prompted to examine the Crummy story after reading my post. However, he discovered the post on his own as part of his regular blog searches.) … [Read more...]

Kiki Traylor Responds

My observations on the CEA contribution to Kiki Traylor have stirred some attention through the grapevine. As a result, I fielded a phone call this afternoon from Senator Traylor with a very clear message: she does indeed support vouchers for low-income students, like the Opportunity Contract Scholarship Program that Senator Spence sponsored, Governor Owens signed, and the Supreme Court narrowly ruled unconstitutional. Furthermore, Senator Traylor said she made that fact clear in her interview with CEA. Even though she said they don't like her position on the issue, Senator Traylor surmised that CEA may have contributed to her campaign because of her hard work, her integrity, her independent intellect, or because they just figure she … [Read more...]

Slapstick on Immigration

Slapstick Politics has the lowdown on the ineffectual results of the recent state special legislative session. Republicans have a steep climb to face if they are going to turn immigration and/or judicial activism into winning issues. How about another issue to latch onto: maybe, private property rights vs. eminent domain? Or one of my perpetual favorites ... education reform. … [Read more...]

Disappointment

What else can I say about the deal Owens made with Democrat legislators to close the immigration session? It's bad news for the good guys. Of course, the trouble began when former governor Dick Lamm remembered which party he belongs to and pulled his support from the Defend Colorado Now initiative and cut his own backroom deal with fellow Democrat and erstwhile immigration opponent Federico Pena. Still, Owens held the high cards and had the authority and clout to limit the special legislative session to the narrow matter of addressing the Colorado Supreme Court's judicial activism. Instead of keeping the lid on things and making sure that legislators simply voted up-or-down to refer the Defend Colorado Now initiative to the voters … [Read more...]

Taking Both Sides on Education?

Kiki Traylor, a Republican candidate in Senate District 22, may have some explaining to do. While it is clear she has raised much more money recently than her two party rivals - conservative alternatives Justin Everett and Mike Kopp - one source of funding gives cause to raise some eyebrows among political insiders. On June 19, the small donor committee for the teachers union - the Colorado Education Association (CEA) - contributed $1,000 to Taylor's campaign. (To see for yourself... 1. Go to the Secretary of State Campaign Finance page 2. Click "Search Committee Reports" 3. Execute a search for Public Education Committee 4. Scroll down to click on "Data-Entered Reports" 5. Click on the most recent report dated 6/28/06 6. … [Read more...]