Update, 11/2: Another campaign email from Ritter begging multiple times for contributions, with only a brief passing mention of “improving the quality of our children’s education” …. Yes, that’s one bait-and-switch online petition.
The Bill Ritter email bait-and-switch continues. Three weeks ago, during my first and only ever contact on Bill Ritter’s website, I signed an online petition urging “the U.S. Department of Education to recognize Colorado’s distinct education reform initiatives, and to award Colorado a ‘Race to the Top’ grant….”
What followed within the first couple weeks were a pair of emails from Ritter urging me to take action in support of Obama Care. Did it occur to anyone in the Bill Ritter re-election office that just because I or anyone might agree with some aspects of the governor’s education reform efforts that it doesn’t mean I’m also a fan of increasing government intervention in the health care system?
But the bait-and-switch continues…. (more…)
(H/T Complete Colorado) The Grand Junction Sentinel reported yesterday that Colorado 3rd District Democratic Congressman John Salazar has opted to back Nancy Pelosi and the Party leadership’s attempt to push a government health care takeover.
Might this development be enough to prompt a repeat challenge from a strong conservative like state Rep. Scott Tipton? My guess is yes, it will. Colorado may have three competitive challenges to Congressional Democrat incumbents in 2010. Stay tuned.
Update, 1:50 PM: I also will be talking about the Lobato case and school funding adequacy on Face The State weekend radio with Brad Jones. In the Denver area, that’s AM 710 KNUS on Saturday at 5:00 AM and Sunday at noon. Check local listings for additional stations and times.
A sense that the Colorado Supreme Court is growing out of control continues to pick up momentum after the October 19 Lobato v State ruling (PDF), in which the 4-3 liberal majority arrogated to itself the power to determine school funding policy.
On Wednesday my friend and former state senate leader Mark Hillman ably dissected the dangers in this decision. Yesterday, Colorado’s leading conservative talk show host Mike Rosen leaped into the fray with a strong condemnation in his Denver Post column.
But writing for the Colorado Daily, yours truly offered the first big broadside against the dangerous Lobato ruling — noting among other things that other state courts have backed away from judicial activism in school finance adequacy cases even as Colorado seems to be embracing the idea.
I’m glad this issue is getting the attention it deserves. And as Rosen concludes his column, I also strongly urge you to educate yourself about the out-of-control liberal majority on the state supreme court and get behind the excellent grassroots movement Clear the Bench Colorado.
Yesterday state senate minority leader and gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry took the opportunity to respond to Governor Bill Ritter’s “kick the can down the road” budget-cutting proposals with a provocative series of questions aimed at serious reform of state government:
Is it time to abolish the Department of Local Affairs? Is it time to consolidate the bureaucracy over Higher Education? Is it time to eliminate duplicative boards and commissions? Is it time to abolish silos of patronage like the governor’s energy office? Is it time to consolidate administrative functions among the state’s 178 school districts? Is it time for the 357 state employees making more than $125,000 a year to take a permanent pay cut? Is it time to cut other bureaucracies and give those responsibilities to the lieutenant governor, whose office otherwise lacks any real responsibilities? Is it time to sell off state buildings or other assets to get old liabilities off our books and out of the General Fund? Is it time to repeal some of the battery of new or expanded programs that this governor has created? And yes, is it time to permanently reduce the state’s payroll demands by eliminating certain non-essential state jobs?
These are not easy questions with easy answers, but these are the kinds of fundamental reforms that government must make in order to pay for essential services like schools, roads and public safety.
Senator Penry is upping the ante on these important debates, demonstrating a long-term vision and not backing down from serious challenges. This isn’t the approach of someone trying to coast into office and simply make a name for himself. He has given serious thought to how to provide leadership on these broad reforms, and has pointed to the example of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels — who, as the Penry campaign highlighted from a recent Wall Street Journal interview, has cut spending growth and reformed Hoosier State government. (more…)
From the creative talents of my friend El Presidente, posted first at People’s Press Collective, one of the best Obama videos produced yet: (more…)
Last night I attended the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee meeting, along with nearly 200 other local precinct and district leaders. Considering the central order of business was to ratify new by-laws and the snows of the big storm were just beginning to fall, turnout was not at all bad.
The main bill might also have helped bring some folks in. All three Republican gubernatorial candidates got their six-minute turn on the stump. And Alex’s observations notwithstanding, all three comported themselves well and were equally well received by the audience. The biggest loser at last night’s event was obviously Bill Ritter — whose unpopularity seemed unrivaled. (more…)
A new story from the files of government authority run amok…
Following shortly on the heels of the Michigan woman harassed by social services for watching some neighbor kids before they catch the school bus, comes a doozy from Nevada. Vin Suprynowicz recounts the story of Delinda Epstein’s costly brush with the County Transportation Authority when she tried to make private arrangements to drive someone to the airport.
Read this story and ask yourself: Is it anything but common sense to insist on limiting the size and scope of government?
A lot of people are looking at the Virginia governor’s race — or even the New York 23 race — as a belwether of conservative, limited government political sentiment and activism going into the 2010 midterm elections.
Me? I’m looking at a ballot initiative in Maine that would institute tax and spending limits similar to those in Colorado. As Question 4 trails in the polls, citizen activists have uncovered opponents using legislative resources to promote pay-to-play scheme. Enough to turn the tide? Perhaps, but not likely given conventional political wisdom.
But what might be interesting to see is if the 2009 version generates any late momentum or outperforms the 2006 Maine Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, that lost 54-46. It might offer us a hint of how much staying power there is to the Tea Party movement. In the meantime, you can watch former Colorado Commissioner of Education William Moloney quickly debunking the myth that TABOR has destroyed the schools in our state: (more…)
I’ve spent the past several days trying to reach a coherent synthesis from these two poll results taken by Rasmussen:
So what should Republican politicians and candidates learn from these results? I mean, besides the fact that it’s hard to make too much sense out of what a wide sample of voters are thinking. Rather than come up with a cogent analysis, I decided to throw out some quick hits: (more…)
The Denver Post this morning published a pair of follow-up stories analyzing the campaign finance reports in the race for Colorado governor:
2010 can’t get here soon enough: a year from now Colorado will have begun electing a new governor.
Have any doubts that Ritter’s union executive order has made Big Labor feel all cozy at home in state government? The intrepid Colorado Loses team reports on their union counterparts soliciting for members at an official meeting, on taxpayers’ time:
This past week, WINS organized and held a budget information meeting at the unemployment office. There was some budget guy from the state, there, along with a couple of union thugs. After the budget guy showed us the state of the state economy, a union guy got up and started soliciting for members. “We need to organize in our communities and in our offices.”
WINS used a formal budget information format to seek membership. THIS IS INAPPROPRIATE USE OF GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS! (more…)
President Obama’s nomination of Stephanie Villafuerte to be Colorado’s next U.S. Attorney has put Governor Bill Ritter in an unwanted situation. Serious questions remain unanswered about Villafuerte’s role in the political smear of federal ICE agent Cory Voorhis during the 2006 election that led to his near conviction. But Ritter thinks it’s too much trouble for us to bother with the questions now:
She also declined to answer questions this week about whether she provided the FBI with a complete accounting of any contacts she had with the DA’s office about [illegal immigrant Carlos] Estrada-Medina. A message and detailed e-mail left by The Post for Villafuerte were returned instead by Evan Dreyer, spokesman for Ritter. He said Villa fuerte, now Ritter’s deputy chief of staff, would not comment until possibly after she is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Colorado’s top federal law enforcement official.
“When it’s over, she may be more able to talk,” Dreyer said.
Villafuerte may be more able to talk when it’s over? As if the confirmation process is a mere formality, and the issues raised aren’t of a serious nature? (more…)
Red State’s Dan McLaughlin reports interesting news from my second favorite 2010 Senate race: A new Rasmussen poll shows limited government conservative Marco Rubio faring slightly better (46-31) in the general election matchup against leading Democrat Kendrick Meeks than sitting governor Charlie Crist fares (46-34).
Incidentally, Crist’s projected lead is dwindling while Rubio’s projected lead is growing. It’s exciting to see so much momentum behind the Marco Rubio campaign. And as McLaughlin points out, the case for Crist’s nomination pretty much is evaporating right before our eyes:
The Crist campaign is all about a balancing act between two disparate narratives: an air of inevitability in the primary and sufficient desperation about electability in the general to get Republicans to turn away from voting for the better man. Neither of those arguments looks good right now. Sorry, Charlie.
(H/T Complete Colorado) The Colorado Independent reports on another connection between Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton and our last presidential nominee John McCain — thanks for the links.
In the race for a little more than five weeks now, the former lieutenant governor has been hitting the campaign trail on the Western Slope recently. As the Grand Junction Sentinel notes, Norton certainly is hitting the right talking points early on.
This blogger still has some skepticism, some questions to be answered. An interview may be in the near future: Stay tuned….
Update, 12:30 PM: Rossputin also offers up some cogent thoughts on this outrageous story.
From a Washington Times story yesterday (H/T Red State), in which the Obama Justice Department overruled a North Carolina city’s popularly-approved decision to have nonpartisan local elections:
The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats….
As noted by American Thinker essayist Ed Lasky, the good intentions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that enabled this federal power grab have been turned on their head:
Racism – and partisan politics and a prejudiced view of the South – seem alive and well in Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
A local twist? The notion “that white voters…will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats” might come as startling news to someone like Ryan Frazier, Republican candidate in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District. Interestingly, Frazier grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, less than 100 miles from Kinston.
I’m guessing that Attorney General Eric Holder and his solons of racial politics might respond that Colorado is a separate case based on different history and demographics. But take note, there is no reason to believe that Kinston is an isolated case.
Where are the boundaries to the belief of Obama’s Justice Department that local voters (both black and white) are not intelligent enough to make their own decisions on local affairs? An important question I fear we will see answered more and more as time passes.