Our “new energy economy” Governor Bill Ritter went before a Senate committee and tapdanced his way around the question of whether he supports the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill. (Yes, I’m late to the story. Yes, I’m hopping on the bandwagon. Yesterday was an important personal day away from blogging, but with a story like this one, better late than never.)
El Presidente was quick to put up the video of Ritter’s exchange with Senator James Inhofe, as well as the video of Senator Kit Bond explaining how the governor’s highly-touted new “green” jobs are heavily subsidized by taxpayers: $71,000 per job.
Michelle Malkin brought national attention to Ritter’s refusal to endorse cap-and-tax. At American Spectator, Paul Chesser posted the transcript and observed that Bill Ritter offered a “whole lot of talk without saying anything”.
On the Denver Post’s Gang of Four blog, John Andrews highlighted “the squirmy nervousness in Ritter’s face, voice, and body language as he tries to wiggle past a direct yes or no.”
Finally, Face The State offered a wrap-up of different responses to Ritter’s testimony.
Here’s my question: Why didn’t Ritter send the message about the cap-and-tax bill to fellow Democrat freshman Congresswoman Betsy Markey, whose subsidized vote for the massive energy tax may have been the decisive moment in her brief political career on Capitol Hill?
Rocky Mountain Right has the scoop: J.J. Ament today officially has thrown his hat into the ring as a Republican candidate for Colorado state treasurer. I took a few minutes a little while ago to chat with the newly-minted candidate himself.
J.J. Ament stressed his “hands-on experience” in previous dealings with the treasurer’s office, that he “knows where the waste and inefficiency is” and doesn’t have to rely on the bureaucracy like incumbent Cary Kennedy has. He also said that Colorado needs the treasurer to be “a strong independent voice”, and that Kennedy hasn’t filled that role, either. (more…)
Today marks the 40th anniversary of an event that made possible many a wry observation to begin with, “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t….” (For a more serious take on how times have changed in the past four decades, check out yesterday’s Detroit Free Press column by bestselling author Mitch Albom.)
Update: The poll is closed. Thanks to all 619 people who participated. Results are undergoing analysis and will be published next week.
Time is running out. Only four hours remain for you to join the hundreds of other Coloradans who have shared their views on the political temperature survey. That’s right: the deadline is today at 5 PM local Mountain time.
Whether you somehow missed all the hype until now, or you are the type of person who loves to procrastinate, now is the time to make your views known.
More information on the survey is available at Slapstick Politics. Stay tuned, as we plan to announce the results of the survey next week.
The YouTube hits bashing the serious problems with Obama Care just keep on coming. First, there was the Independence Institute video of the problem with health care mandates for the young, with the scene of Justin’s bike getting hit by the bus. Then there was Steven Crowder’s hilarious 20-minute undercover documentary of the tremendous deficiencies in the Canadian health care system.
Now there’s the introduction of the “Health Administration Bureau” with its effectively stylized — read “funny because it’s true” — introductory video (below the fold): (more…)
So now the ongoing saga of Movable Type has a new twist.Â The upgrade from 4.21 to 4.261 did not go smoothly.Â Apparently there was a significant change at 4.23, so I’m going to try to roll back to 4.21, and then upgrade to 4.23 as an intermediate step before trying 4.261 again.
If anyone out there has experience upgrading MT, I’d appreciate any help you can offer.Â I’m at jsharf-at-jsharf-dot-com
In the past, I’ve commented about the difference between cumulative returns and average returns, especially when there’s an outgoing cash flow to meet obligations.Â I have learned that Walker Stapleton is claiming that PERA, Colorado’s Public Employees Retirement Association, which has fallen to 50% funded, is now selling assets to meet obligations.Â Evidently, PERA administrators have been making this statement off the record to during briefings.
That’s right: our public pension may have been reduced to eating its seed corn.
Mr. Stapleton, whose campaign for State Treasurer will certainly make PERA administration a centerpiece issue, has filed a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request to see exactly what assets are being sold.Â PERA is already having trouble meeting its asset allocation targets.Â Rebalancing is one thing; shrinking the pie is another altogether.
Gov. Ritter’s reckless accumulation of unfireable new state employees, at salaries that average 6% above the private sector, has only made this situation worse in the long run, while doing nothing to keep the Ponzi scheme going in the short run.
This past quarter’s fundraising numbers look even better for Colorado GOP treasurer candidate Walker Stapleton than I reported a couple days ago. His $138,211 take was not just a record for non-incumbents, but a record for any candidate ever in a Colorado treasurer’s race.
Incumbent Democrat treasurer Cary Kennedy was blown away by more than two-to-one — as she only raised $65,999 during the past three months. The result for Stapleton is a cash-on-hand advantage of more than $53,000 over Kennedy.
Rocky Mountain Right further takes Cary Kennedy’s campaign to task for the last-minute desperate plea for money that suggested she was near the $100,000 mark on the last day of the fundraising period (or maybe just $34,000 away):
This suggests that she and her campaign were doing an awful job keeping track of their finances and had no idea where they were at or they were vastly over-estimating their ability to take in cash. Neither is a quality that is especially desirable in a treasurer.
Meanwhile, the Stapleton campaign is off to an impressive start. It’s getting harder for fellow Republicans J.J. Ament and Muhammad Ali Hasan to sit on the fence. The need grows apparent for them either to hurry up and get in the race to limit Stapleton’s significant head start on fundraising, or to bow out so Stapleton can focus on Cary Kennedy.
Fundraising numbers are out in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race. While the indecisive Michael Bennet has awed observers once again with his million dollar-plus cash intake, numbers for the two most highly-touted Republican challengers Ken Buck ($330,000) and Ryan Frazier ($140,000) were significantly less overwhelming.
Given their different positions, statuses, and backgrounds, one cannot reasonably hold the same expectations for the three candidates. Still, at this point it’s clear that the appointed incumbent Michael Bennet is winning this phase of the game.
Frazier wisely is using the opportunity to transition from the exploratory committee phase to an officially declared campaign. His first quarter fundraising numbers doubtless have raised concerns in some circles. He will need the big momentum from this transition to carry forward into a more impressive take this fall. Though not as urgently, Buck also would do well to pick up the pace.
As Rocky Mountain Right blogger Senate Watch notes, if you support either or both of these Republican candidates and are disappointed by the numbers, there is something you can help to do about it. (more…)
Hats off to the Washington Times for the scoop on what my representative in Congress has been up to:
Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado inserted a provision into the recently passed House climate change bill that would drum up business for “green” banks, such as the one he has invested in and his family and a political donor helped found in San Francisco.
The bill calls on bank regulators to promote green banking and says federal dollars should be used to support energy-efficient home improvements at government-funded housing projects.
Mr. Perlmutter, a two-term Democrat, has two investments in the 3-year-old New Resource Bank, which calls itself the nation’s first green bank. Among other environmentally conscious banking products, the bank offers home equity loans for consumers to make their homes more energy efficient, in addition to construction loans for green builders….
According to financial disclosure forms, Mr. Perlmutter holds shares in New Resource Bank valued between $15,001 and $50,000 through a trust for his children. His stake in a separate investment partnership totals between $1,001 and $15,000.
For those who are interested and have the time to kill, I will be appearing as a guest at 10:00 this morning (Wednesday, July 15) on News Talk 1310 KFKA’s Amy Oliver Show. The topic will be the shifting politics surrounding national teachers unions — as explained in somewhat greater length in this recent blog post I authored for Ed News Colorado.
While the National Education Association is embracing the labor union image more than it has in a long time, prominent liberal critics are making a strong statement to their NEA political allies, telling them to stop blocking effective reform and get out of the way.
Click here to listen live at Noon Eastern / 10 AM Mountain.
A couple of the questions on our survey of Colorado’s political temperature (still open through Friday, July 17, at 5 PM) relate to the concept of hate crimes legislation currently before Congress. Well, I guess it’s not a mystery where I stand on the issue.
With the Sotomayor confirmation hearings eating up what little media oxygen exists for national political issues, these days, S.909 can be easily overlooked. But as Carter Clews explains at Net Right Nation, it shouldn’t be:
That’s right, S. 909 — aka, the “hate crimes bill” — being pushed through by the Obama Administration as one of its highest legislative priorities would make it a federal crime to commit a violent act against anyone based on race or gender orientation — unless the race was Caucasian and the orientation was towards the opposite sex.
So much for equal justice under the law. Since the legislation is currently before the U.S. Senate, I urge my fellow Coloradans to contact Mark Udall and to contact Michael Bennet (or call 202-224-5852) regarding this issue.
For anyone living inside or outside Colorado, you can call the Senate switchboard at 202-225-3121 to reach your elected Senators and share your opinion about the evils of descending down the slippery slope of “hate crime” legislation.
Rocky Mountain Right reports that GOP state treasurer candidate Walker Stapleton made a very impressive showing during his first quarter of fundraising: (more…)
In case you need a reminder of how much Big Labor bosses hate the secret ballot, Face The State brings a story today about a simple, newly proposed 2010 initiative and the union legal challenge facing it:
Unions have challenged the language of a ballot initiative that would amend the Colorado Constitution to guarantee employees’ right to a secret ballot in unionization elections. Meanwhile, legislation is pending before Congress that would remove that requirement from federal law.
â€œThe purpose for this amendment is to guarantee the fundamental right of an individual to vote by secret ballot,â€ said Patrick Davis, a Colorado Springs political consultant backing the measure….
The 39-word proposal reads, â€œThe right of individuals to vote by secret ballot is fundamental. Where state or federal law requires or permits elections or designations or authorizations of employee representation, the right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed.â€
And, in case you need to be reminded, the same Face The State story is graced by a photo of Colorado’s appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet — whose waffling on the secret ballot-killing “Employee Free Choice Act” has bypassed legendary status to reserve himself a wing in the Political Indecision Hall-of-Fame.
Are we watching the slow-motion death of a Senate career by a thousand card-check cuts? Get serious, Senator Bennet. And get real, labor bosses.
Last week I introduced readers to a one-of-a-kind, in-depth survey of Colorado’s political temperature co-created by El Presidente and myself. The response so far has been great, with hundreds registering their opinions on key national and state issues, as well as candidates for national and state office. Everybody else is doing it … why not you?
Don’t miss your chance — Click here to vote in the July 2009 survey of Colorado’s political temperature!
El Presidente has added some enticing questions to pique your interest. Don’t forget: You can only take the survey one time, but you have to take it by this Friday, July 17, at 5:00 PM local Mountain time. We look forward to hearing you chime in!