Merrifield-Windels Email: Pro-Charter School Backlash?

Overlooked in a lot of the brouhaha over now-former House Education Committee chair Mike Merrifield's incendiary comments was the outright duplicity he and Senator Sue Windels (D-Arvada), fellow sponsor of Senate Bill 61, publicly shared to hide their true anti-charter school motives for the legislation. Michael at Best Destiny was one who caught the important point, which is also explained more fully in a new story from Colorado Senate News. The highlight of the CSN story is that pro-school choice legislators are redoubling their efforts to ensure that SB 61 gets amended into a pro-charter school bill: Now, [Republican Senator Nancy] Spence said she and [Democrat Senator Peter] Groff will push for that key provision – which lets the … [Read more...]

Republican Gardner: Remove Merrifield

Update: Representative Merrifield delivered an apology from the floor of the House and distributed an official memo that reads: "I don't want my remarks or my health [Ed. Note: It has been reported that Merrifield is suffering from neck and throat cancer] to sidetrack the important work of the House Education Committee. Accordingly, I am asking Rep. [Judy] Solano [D-Brighton] to assume my duties as chair for the remainder of the session." According to a fresh report from the Associated Press, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has called for House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to remove Rep. Mike Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) from the chairmanship of the House Education Committee in the wake of the revelation of a controversial email saying that … [Read more...]

Education Quick Hits

Kudos to the Rocky Mountain News editorial board for calling out Senator Sue Windels' attempt to overregulate online schools. The Rocky also highlights yesterday's sensational discovery of the email from Representative Mike "Give 'Em Hell" Merrifield. In the article, Merrifield was rebuked by a prominent member of his own party: "It shows there's absolutely no good faith on the Rep. Merrifield's part, who is clearly more concerned with defending a crippled and ineffective status-quo public education system then [sic] creating opportunities for all kids," said Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver. Finally, Governor Ritter's plan to raise property taxes received a bit of good news, as the legislature's legal team said the plan could be enacted … [Read more...]

Colorado Democrats: Sex Ed Trumps the 3 Rs (and Science)

On a party line vote today, the Senate Education Committee passed a bill sponsored by Senator Sue Windels (D-Arvada) to mandate standards on Colorado schools that teach sex education. Three committee members, all Democrats - Windels, Bob Bacon, and Ron Tupa - voted to support the House Bill 1292 mandate six weeks after voting against a mandate setting higher state graduation requirements for math and science (Senate Bill 131), and eight weeks after voting against a requirement that high school graduates have basic competency in English (Senate Bill 73). Suzanne Williams (D-Aurora) was the only committee member to cast votes for all three measures. … [Read more...]

Mount Virtus Bound for the Nether Regions?

If you want to know why a prominent Democrat state legislator thinks the proprietor of this blog and so many of my friends and allies - including those who provide an educational service in demand by thousands of Colorado families - merit "a special place in Hell," then check out what was uncovered at the new Colorado political news site Face the State. Representative Mike Merrifield is chairman of the House Education Committee and one of the Colorado Education Association's favorite lawmakers. His antagonism toward school choice - now seen to border on hatred - is well-known. No information about his theological credentials was readily available. … [Read more...]

Colorado Republicans Aligning with Presidential Favorites

Dan Haley writes yesterday that the Colorado GOP's gubernatorial also-ran and former Congressman Bob Beauprez is raising coin for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney (I received the same email request). Of course, former Governor Bill Owens is a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, and perennial donor and former candidate Bruce Benson is also on board. No doubt many of the state's Republicans rank-and-file are going to find the support of the Benson-Owens-Beauprez axis as a reason to be skeptical of the former Massachusetts governor's candidacy. Meanwhile, some other big Republican names in Colorado are throwing their support behind Rudy Giuliani and organizing an April fundraiser. Among them are former U.S. Senator Ben "Nighthorse" … [Read more...]

Salazar & Udall Explain Defeatist Votes

No time for in-depth writing this morning. Instead, if you haven't already read them, read Michael's coverage of the statements of Ken Salazar and Mark Udall regarding their respective votes to telegraph a date for defeat to our enemies and to load down the funds for our troops with wasteful pork. Colorado's own Democrat Senator and would-be Senator have a LOT more explaining to do. As usual, kudos to Best Destiny for keeping a close eye on our state's defeat caucus. … [Read more...]

Straw Poll Deadline

Thanks to all those who have voted thus far in the Colorado Senate GOP straw poll. After the early rush, the voting has slowed down. But since the campaign is in no hurry, I'll keep the polls open until Saturday, March 31, Noon MDT (or as soon thereafter as I get time to deal with it). … [Read more...]

Democrats Officially Married to Iraq Defeat

It's official: the Democratic Party has married its political future to American military defeat, voting 218-212 in the U.S. House of Representatives today to send a gift telegram to Islamist terrorists and Iraqi insurgents. Trapped in their political bubble, Congressional Democrats have convinced themselves that the United States can't prevail in establishing even a measure of stability in Iraq and thus are working to fulfill their own hand-wringing prophecies: "The American people have lost faith in the president's conduct of this war," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "The American people see the reality of the war, the president does not." I'm left to wonder if Pelosi and her cohorts didn't come away from the last election … [Read more...]