Who Would You Pick as John McCain’s VP Running Mate?

NewsMax is hosting a poll to help John McCain choose a Vice Presidential running mate. Fellow Colorado blogger Steven Nielson (welcome back!) will be disappointed to learn that there is no way to vote for Sarah Palin. I went with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, but thought about choosing Mitt Romney - who I supported for almost 3 weeks until he dropped out less than 2 days after so many Colorado Republicans cast a vote for him in the February 5 straw-poll. The two former rivals campaigned together today in Utah. Warning about the NewsMax poll: Participation automatically puts you on their email list, and the only way to find out the poll results is by waiting to receive an email. Fifteen minutes after I cast my vote, I've yet to … [Read more...]

Corry: Colorado Conservatives Uniting?

My Independence Institute colleague Jessica Corry has a column up at Politics West about a Denver event last night that she says holds out hope for re-uniting key wings of the old Reagan Republican coalition. Former Owens adviser Sean Duffy and Colorado Family Institute president Jim Pfaff were two of the panelists:Duffy calls himself a "pro-life, pro-gay" Republican, jokingly claiming that he's been kicked out of the Republican Party multiple times only to come back for more abuse. You may remember him as the right-hand man of former Gov. Bill Owens, a conservative Republican. "At the end of the day, as Republicans, we should all just want the government to leave us alone," he told me. And Pfaff, while frequently identified by his ties … [Read more...]

Statehouse Dems Pushing Colorado Farther Away from Tax Freedom

The Tax Foundation's yearly "Tax Freedom Day" report is out (H/T State Policy Network Blog), and the results as usual are not startling. The average taxpayer both in Colorado and nationwide has to work until April 23 to pay off their share of the tax burden:This year’s Tax Freedom Day falls three days earlier than in 2007. Fiscal stimulus rebates and a projection of slow growth in 2008 are the principal reasons for the earlier celebration. However, if the large projected deficit for 2008 were counted as a tax in the current year, Tax Freedom Day would fall on May 3. “Government continues to dominate the American taxpayer’s budget,” said Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge. “Americans will still spend more on taxes in 2008 than … [Read more...]

More Outrageous Teacher Stories

The Center for Union Facts' campaign to pay the 10 worst teachers $10,000 each to retire, over at Teachers Union Exposed, has picked up some colorful entries in the past couple weeks. How about "The Drunk Gunman"?This week’s featured nominee pulled up, drunk, to the drive-thru window of a fast-food restaurant. After ordering, he became angry that he wasn’t getting his food fast enough, so he took out a gun and started waving it at restaurant employees. After his arrest, he pled nolo contendere to all charges and was sent to jail. His students, meanwhile, were told he was caring for an ill family member; now out of jail, he’s back in the classroom with his job intact. Or "Teaching to the Test":Two years ago [nominee] was caught … [Read more...]

Hoping Mark Hillman Runs Again

How delighted I was to see this headline in the Grand Junction Sentinel Political Notebook: "Hillman open to future electoral bids." Former Senate leader and former interim state treasurer Mark Hillman is one of Colorado's strongest, most articulate, most principled, and most genuinely down-to-earth conservative leaders:“I’m not ruling anything out, but at the same time I don’t get up in the morning trying to figure out how to torture myself by running for office,” Hillman told Political Notebook. That's what we need: the kind of leader who doesn't live for the ambition but is willing to step up and run in spite of the "torture." I haven't told Mark this personally, but I would be glad to see him run someday. Hope he is led to … [Read more...]

Second Look at Health Insurance Statistic: One Coloradan Dying Per Day?

The Rocky Mountain News reports:Each day in Colorado one person dies unnecessarily because he or she doesn't have health insurance, a group advocating universal coverage said Tuesday. The nonprofit Families USA used a 30-year study of deaths and insurance status to reach the conclusion that 360 Coloradans die prematurely every year because they didn't have health insurance. The assumption, based on death statistics, is that a person without coverage has a 25 percent greater chance of dying prematurely. So when it comes to health care reform, it's safe to assume that it would be better to do almost anything than nothing at all - right? Not so fast. Unfortunately, there are several problems with this report. Besides the assumption … [Read more...]

I.I.’s Free Market Minute Debuts, Debunks Health Care Figure

As in any debate, the debate over health care reform in Colorado demands the use of honest facts. But a group called Partnership for a Healthy Colorado has misstated the facts. So demonstrates the inaugural edition of the Independence Institute's "Free Market Minute" video series: Ouch. Facts are stubborn things. And good public policy depends on good facts, rightly understood. The implications for health care reform are real, and will affect real Colorado families and businesses. Shouldn't we be sure our facts are straight first? … [Read more...]

Top Initiative on Colorado’s 2008 Ballot: Yes on Amendment 46

From the Rocky Mountain News today:The secretary of state certified a measure for the Nov. 4 ballot Monday that would ban race and gender-based hiring preferences in Colorado. Supporters of the the measure, Amendment 46, submitted 128,744 signatures March 10. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Coffman declared that a random sampling showed that enough of them were valid. The measure is pushed by Ward Connerly, a black Republican who has been vilified by civil rights groups for supporting anti-affirmative action policies. Connerly has led similar successful initiatives in California, Washington and Michigan. Supporters say that the measure's language mirrors the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This should mean Connerly's Civil Rights … [Read more...]

Iowa, Like Colorado, Bending to Government Employee Union Pressure

The pressure to expand the power of government employee union officials at the expense of taxpayers is not isolated to Colorado. The Des Moines Register reports:Ignoring pleas from the governor and a slew of local elected officials to give Iowans time to weigh in, Democrats in the Iowa Senate today approved a labor-backed bill that would give unions more power at the negotiating table. House File 2645 would give public employees the same power as managers to open up contract talks to almost any workplace subject. The Senate approved the bill on a 27-23 vote. Six days passed between when this proposal was offered and the bill’s passage by both chambers. It marks the first substantial change since the collective bargaining law was … [Read more...]

Colorado Democrats Stick It to Taxpayers AND College Students

With Democrats in charge at the State Capitol, we get more reminders than we would like about their party leaders' priorities: 1) Stick it to the taxpayer on the collection end; and 2) Use personal politics to stick it to certain users of state services on the distribution end. What does this add up to? Average Colorado citizens like you and I get stuck. This morning's reminder comes via Rocky Mountain Right, as it appears that statehouse Democrat lawmakers are using their dislike of new University of Colorado president Bruce Benson to undercut the students and faculty on Denver's Auraria campus. Yes, Auraria funding was arbitrarily revoked, leaving a $120 million science facility construction site uncompleted. If you recall, during … [Read more...]