Seebach Skeptical of NEA-Funded Review Project

In Saturday's Rocky Mountain News, columnist Linda Seebach brought attention to the biased, teachers union-funded Think Tank Review Project - featured on Mount Virtus back in January. When I publicly criticized the Project, I received a long, friendly email response from Project co-chair Kevin Welner. In our exchange, Welner and I came to agreement on our mutual respect for Ms. Seebach's evenhanded, analytical approach. A couple key grafs from Seebach's column: After the formal discussion was over, I broached that subject with Welner. He said there is no intention on anyone's part to make the project political, and I have no reason to doubt his sincerity. He also said it's difficult to find expert reviewers on the right, and I don't … [Read more...]

Hardly a Surprise: CEA Officials Caught in a Lie

The Denver Post reports today that State Representative Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) has filed a lobbyist-ethics complaint against the Colorado Education Association for spreading misinformation about the Governor's property-tax measure before the legislature: He cited an e-mail Mason sent to eight CEA members and a CEA website posting as including the misleading statements. According to Lambert, Mason and the CEA are saying the proposal, which was added Monday to the annual funding bill for schools, would "take pressure off future cuts to K-12" and "is NOT a tax increase." Of course, both statements are untrue. Amendment 23 protects K-12 from any potential future cuts - even before Amendment 23, K-12 rarely received a funding cut. … [Read more...]

Don’t Stop the Presses: House Ed Dems Vote for Tax Increase

Colorado's liberal, out-of-touch House Education Committee has just voted to approve the governor's amendment to the School Finance Act that would raise taxes for most property owners in the state. The vote passed on an 8-5 party line vote, with all Democrats lining up to raid taxpayer pockets. By listening to much of the testimony, you would think that school revenues in Colorado are running dry. Nothing could be further from the truth. And whenever other possibilities for raising funds for education have been introduced, the Democrats resist - unable to dream of doing anything but hiking property taxes. The dirty little not-so-secret? The property tax increase advertised for the "children" is being used so the state government can … [Read more...]

Colorado Schools Keep Raising Funds from Property Taxes

My report for the Independence Institute on Governor Ritter's tax-raising proposal to fund new education programs is officially released today. Here is the summary: On March 12, 2007, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter proposed the “Colorado Children’s Amendment,” a plan to spend $84 million to expand preschool and kindergarten programs. To free state money to fund the programs, he proposed a mill levy rate “freeze” that would shift some of the school funding burden to local sources. On April 10, the governor revised the plan—offering tax relief to property owners in 33 school districts while creating higher property tax bills in 104 districts. The annual revenue estimate for the plan’s new version is $55 million. State … [Read more...]

Va Tech Massacre: Heroism, Compassion Amid a Great Evil

In case you haven't seen this, there is at least one especially poignant tale of heroism to be told among yesterday's incident of great evil, terror, and tragedy at Virginia Tech University: As Jews worldwide honored on Monday the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, a 76-year-old survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday's shooting at Virginia Tech College that left 33 dead and over two dozen wounded. Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, "but all the students lived - because of him," Virginia Tech student Asael Arad - also an Israeli - told Army Radio. Several … [Read more...]

Toe to Toe with the Treasurer on a Touted Tax Increase

In yesterday's Pueblo Chieftain, my opinion piece arguing the case against Governor Bill Ritter's property tax hike to subsidize state preschool and kindergarten programs ran as "counterpoint" to the argument for the Governor's proposal by State Treasurer Cary Kennedy. Kennedy skillfully avoided discussion of the back-door tax hike while plugging the benefits of the plan for Pueblo. How? Under the Governor's revised plan, 33 school districts will receive a tax cut while most districts will receive a tax increase. Pueblo happens to fall in the latter category. But that doesn't take into account the plight of taxpayers in Grand Junction, Englewood, Pagosa Springs, Wray, or nearby Alamosa, among others. But two points are worth repeating … [Read more...]

With Democrats in Charge, Forget Common Sense

The reactionary Democrats in the State Capitol are at it again, and one of them got caught in a lie! This afternoon, the House Education Committee - on a party line vote - killed Senate Bill 73, a proposal sponsored by two commonsense Democrats (Senator Chris Romer and Representative Michael Garcia) and supported by the Republican caucus. The bill would require students receiving a public high school diploma to demonstrate basic English competency. It even lets local school boards define the standards. SB 73 passed the Senate 33-1, with only arch-education establishment apologist Senator Sue Windels (D-Arvada) voting against it. But the House Education Committee is stacked with a flock of reactionary Democrats, who want to preserve the … [Read more...]

The Phony “Watchdog Group” That Cried Wolf Before

Today's Rocky Mountain News gives a platform for partisan criticisms from Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government (CCEG)'s Chantell Taylor of the Senate Republican website Colorado Senate News. Democrats under the Golden Dome are too clever to launch the same frivolous charges and half-baked conspiracy theories that Taylor has made, yet it's apparent they are politically allied. Is there any thing legally or ethically wrong with their political alliance? Of course not. Let's just be a bit more transparent about it, so people can judge fairly for themselves. As far as Taylor goes, she has been exposed before. When she came forward to hurl ethics accusations against Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez and then-Secretary of … [Read more...]

Giving a Hearty Second to “Colorado Call to Action”

Coloradans need to be more aware of and engaged with what's going on at the state legislature, especially when economic freedom, educational choice, individual rights, and good judgment are regularly under attack by the Democratic majority. Hello ... are you paying attention? Well, to help facilitate more interest in the goings on under Denver's Golden Dome, I commend you to check out Backbone America's "Colorado Call to Action" on 710 AM KNUS. I'd be interested to hear from someone who got a chance to tune in for this evening's 7 PM debut, since I was occupied at the time. Of course, if you're a reader of some of Colorado's active center-right blogs - like Best Destiny, View from a Height, The Daily Blogster, Exvigilare, Slapstick … [Read more...]