Creating a little 2007 deja vu, the state of my nativity has officially shut down non-essential government operations as Republicans and Democrats bicker over the budget and a daunting $2.8 billion deficit.
Welcome to Fiscal Year 2010: Oh Michigan, my Michigan…
It won’t solve the impasse by itself, but one part of the state budget that could be chopped is the Department of Human Services, at least the office that harasses moms who watch neighbor kids for a half hour a day while they’re waiting to catch the school bus. Sheesh!
If you live in my world, politics largely has taken a back seat this week. My two MLB teams — the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies — are respectively locked in the races for the last two playoff berths.
Last night, in probably the most consequential game of the Tigers’ regular season so far, ace Justin Verlander got it done and the team survived some last-minute cardiac-inducing pressure from the ever-pesky Minnesota Twins. Meanwhile, everyone in Colorado knows about Chris Iannetta’s 11th-inning pinch hit walk-off homer to take down the Brewers at Coors Field.
Result? With five games to go, Rockies have a three-game lead and a magic number of three to claim the NL wildcard, and the Tigers have a two-game lead and a magic number of four to claim the AL Central title. For me? After last night’s high drama, I just need a few relaxation exercises.
As far as being a baseball fan, this season has brought out the best for me. I’m enjoying (and sweating out) every minute of it. Hopefully, it gets even better heading into October.
Some of my Independence Institute colleagues have taken the show north of the border, organizing a conference to introduce journalists to the real-life stories of Canadians adversely affected by their government health care system’s painfully long waiting lists. Great coverage in the Los Angeles Times (shock!) and Washington Times.
For more, the prolific Gateway Pundit has been live-blogging the event — he also has conducted a compelling video interview (or two) of Canadian health care horror stories.
We’re two days away from the close of the political fundraising quarter. And maybe you’ve been getting harassed by the same amount of emails and other contacts as I have, urging you to give before the next reports come out.
But I’ll repeat it, too: If you have a clear favorite in one or more of Colorado’s Republican primary races or you just want to tell the NRSC and Washington bigwigs to take a hike, nothing sends a message like a campaign donation.
If you’re like me, you aren’t going to come close to making the max contribution ($1,050 for governor and other statewide races, or $4,800 for U.S. House and U.S. Senate). But if you want to earn the right to complain, you ought to put your money where your mouth is. A multitude of 10 dollar donations can send a powerful message.
I just gave 20 bucks each to Josh Penry and Ryan Frazier. What are you going to do?
For those who wish to dig a little deeper, today (at the end of this post) we release some more analysis of the results of our September survey of Colorado’s political temperature. A few highlights — in no particular order:
- The biggest gains fueling Josh Penry‘s surge in the latest poll come among those in the over-50 age group
- Of the eight candidates in the governor’s and U.S. Senate races who received at least 10 votes of support, five are favored most often because of agreement on key issues, while three were primarily chosen for their past record — none of the other five options registered as the main factor for support
- No surprises: Significantly more Ryan Frazier and Ken Buck backers think primaries are good and that national groups like the NRSC should remain neutral than do Jane Norton supporters
- Scott McInnis continues to receive the most confidence of general election strength among his supporters, with Norton not far behind — only gubernatorial hopeful Dan Maes registered less than 70 percent
The complete, three-page crosstab analysis is below: (more…)
From the Department of Bad Headlines comes yesterday’s Grand Junction Sentinel piece: “Penry, Norton clobber field in GOP straw poll”. Yes, by winning nearly 80 percent of the vote, Josh Penry clobbered Evergreen businessman Dan Maes and no-show Scott McInnis — earning nearly 8 times as many votes as his nearest competitor.
But Jane Norton — backed by Washington, D.C., powerbrokers and touted by the Denver Post as a campaign “game-changer” — flexed her high-powered campaign machine to win just 34 percent of the vote and best her rivals Ryan Frazier and Ken Buck by only 25 votes.
Clobbered? Hmmm, not exactly.
Another example that new media often is more on top of its game, better understanding and interpreting political news than their counterparts in the old media is liberal blogger David Thielen’s more accurate and perceptive headline for the same news: “Good news for Penry, bad news for Norton”.
What’s the bad news? As the Post‘s Vince Carroll called it a week ago, Norton’s poor start means Republican rivals have every reason to stick in the race. While the rest of us out here wait for her to answer the tough questions and show some fire in the belly.
He’s not my first choice for governor, but I have a lot of respect for Evergreen businessman Dan Maes. A very thoughtful email message he sent out recently has been reprinted by Backbone America:
The Democrats, liberals, progressives or whatever name they go by these days, have awakened the sleeping giant of the silent majority and a conservative revolution is upon us. In my now over 30,000 miles of campaign travel I have seen this revolution in the form of Tea Parties, new grass roots organizations like 9.12, I Caucus, ROAR America, Liberty on the Rocks, R Block Party, and others all around the state by names unique to their own region.
A clear message has been articulated and that is “Enough is Enough” of the recent and not so recent sins of our fathers in both parties. Generally speaking members of these groups want to be republicans but the sour taste of the sins is still wearing off. They want new and fresh faces in their candidates and anyone that has any similarity to a lawyer or “career politician” may as well pack their bags and go home if these folks have anything to say about it. They want common sense candidates and leadership that truly represents them and not party or special interests….
You can almost hear Democratic Senator Max Baucus pouting in a high-pitched, whiny voice: “It’s too ha-ard….” What, you ask, is too hard for one of the 100 most powerful people in Washington DC, who supposedly represents the people of the great state of Montana, and nearly all of his Democratic colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee?
From yesterday’s Washington Examiner:
A proposal by Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., that would have required the Senate Finance Committee to post the final language of the $900 billion health care reform bill, as well as a Congressional Budget Office cost analysis, on the committee’s website for 72 hours prior to a vote was rejected 12-11….
Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., himself admitted that “This probably sounds a little crazy to some people that we are voting on something before we have seen legislative language.” Indeed.
Baucus’ excuse – that it would take his committee staff two weeks to post the bill online – sounds a little crazy too. Finance Committee members are the only ones who vote based on the “plain English” version of a bill, not the legally-binding language.
Those of you in the Denver metro area (or perhaps chained to the Internet) who are bored this weekend can listen to a pre-recorded conversation as I talk to Brad Jones on Face The State weekend radio about the recent surveys of Colorado’s political temperature co-created by El Presidente. Tune in on Sunday either at 5:30 AM or 12:30 PM to AM 710 KNUS for the on-air conversation. If you miss it, I’ll post a link to the podcast later.
Quickly working to establish himself as the Republican frontrunner to challenge Bill Ritter for governor in 2010, Josh Penry — whom I am not ashamed to admit I support — once again is drawing attention in the national press. Take a minute to check out yesterday’s Christian Science Monitor piece: “The 33-year-old who would be Colorado’s next governor”.
Need more reason to read the article? Find out what Josh Penry has to say about Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal. Gotcha, didn’t I?
Update, 9/25: From this morning’s Denver Post: Sean Tonner said CPI “is not for elections” and “is going to be here long past 2010.” However, Tonner has a long track record of working on elections, and CPI has absolutely no track record as an independent organization. So despite the obvious explanation that there’s no formal relationship between CPI and these campaigns, the claim is dubious. Gulp — I even agree with the Dead Guvs on this one.
I’d been wondering when the new Colorado Policy Institute (CPI) would come to life and do something. So what did they finally do today? Publish a white paper? None of those yet. Post an item or two on their “Issues” page? Nope, still waiting for that to happen. One more guess, readers….
CPI published the results of a survey of issues and candidates (PDF). And what a bizarre, irony-rich survey it is.
The Colorado Springs Business Journal picked up on the finding that 55 percent of Coloradans favor “repealing TABOR, which requires all tax increases to be approved by voters.” And support for repealing TABOR is higher in the Colorado Springs-Pueblo media market. Are we supposed to take this seriously? Is CPI “a heck of a bigger deal” than yours truly? (more…)
I spend very little time on this page analyzing foreign affairs, but I just want to take the chance to go on the record now before returning to my regularly scheduled blogging on state and national domestic policy and politics….
For those who believe America primarily has been a force for evil in the world and should kowtow to foreign dictators, leave no doubt Barack Obama is your man.
It’s hard to find any rationale for yesterday’s pathetic U.N. speech, other than Obama might be trying to build up former president Jimmy Carter’s self-esteem or that possibly he’s trying to rewrite history to make Woodrow Wilson look like a foreign policy realist. If Obama believes what he said, it’s scary about where he wants to take our nation. If he doesn’t believe it, it’s scary that he would project such weakness just so some tinhorn dictators can slap his back.
But have no fear, children. We shall continue to praise The One in
song, er, rap.
Dangerous on domestic policy, weak on foreign policy. How long ’til 2012? (Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging….)
Who knew the fawning love affair between the old guard media and President Obama could produce such irony? Toledo’s top blogger Maggie Thurber documents how in the same interview her local newspaper quoted Obama as being concerned about the blogosphere for having “no serious fact-checking”, while failing to fact-check exaggerations and distortions from Obama.
People who believe everything they read in the newspapers as the standard of gospel truth deserve pity. People who uncritically accept Obama’s statements on important issues of the day as factual betray their own painful naivete. People who read a newspaper’s interview of Obama without raising an eyebrow of suspicion…? Judge for yourselves.
Thanks, Maggie (and thousands of other top-notch bloggers), for doing the serious fact-checking.
If you’re a concerned citizen who wants to get active in the political process and you’re anywhere around the south Denver metro area tomorrow evening (Thursday, September 24), check out the R Block Party meeting at Littleton’s Bemis Public Library.
Not only will local candidates be featured but Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls Jane Norton and Tom Wiens are slated to be in attendance. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But don’t just show up. Ask questions. Get involved. Because maybe — just maybe — (as my Independence Institute colleague Jessica Corry suggests) this could be the year the people woke up.
Update, 1:40 PM: Westword’s Michael Roberts notes that the Boulder Valley Education Association president is sending different messages about the possibility of a strike to members and the media.
(H/T Complete Colorado) The Daily Camera reports today that the Boulder Valley Education Association has filed official notice of the intent to strike. Which doesn’t necessarily mean a strike will happen or will happen imminently, but raises the specter of crossing picket lines to get to classrooms.
Colorado’s Labor Peace Act (PDF) requires a 40-day notice in the filing of intent to strike. That puts us right into early November. In the meantime, the director of the state’s Department of Labor is obligated to issue a ruling whether he believes the walkout “would interfere with the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.” In the likely event that a ruling would determine such an interference, the director then is obligated to order mediation and ultimately arbitration.
However, as was ruled by district court judge Larry Naves during the 1994 Denver teachers strike, there is no legal obligation for either or both sides to accept the director’s proposals. Ultimately, it is up to the Boulder officials and employees to determine their course of action. The 1992 state supreme court decision Martin v Montezuma-Cortez protects the right of public employees to strike. (more…)