In today’s lead editorial, the Denver Post throws itself in front of the careening Colorado Democrat bus and yells out to the driver, “Stop!” The state’s leading liberal newspaper implores Governor Bill Ritter not to be “a toady for special interest legislation,” and instead to veto House Bill 1072. (On Sunday, Post columnist Fred Brown already highlighted what a political disaster this bill could potentially be for Ritter and the Democrats.)
Making his inaugural official appearance on the Mike Rosen Show yesterday, Ritter said the legislation attacking individual workers’ rights “is no big deal.” That’s right: the best defense for HB 1072 has become that it really won’t hurt that much. All part of “The Colorado Promise,” I suppose. (The “promise” to big labor bosses must have been redacted from the final version.)
While the threat to economic development is not the chief travesty with the pro-union proposal headed to Ritter’s desk for signature, I agree with the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Clark that “House Bill 1072 is a solution in search of a problem.”
No signal has yet been made from the governor’s office that would indicate he plans to hit the brakes or at least steer the bus away from the cliff. In spite of the Post‘s protestations, the “full speed ahead” approach on HB 1072 – bad for Colorado – works for me. It may well mean not only a statewide “right-to-work” ballot initiative but also a revival of the flagging Republican Party’s fortunes in the state.