Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley and I at times certainly disagree. But one observation in his Sunday column deserves a hearty “Amen”:
Too bad voters can’t be trusted with such matters as electing their leaders. At some point, party insiders need to shed their irrational fear of primaries and realize they can actually help candidates.
What’s at issue? Well, the sense of unity supposedly fostered by Republican leaders’ new “Contract for Colorado” — er, “Platform for Prosperity”. The fact that it was drafted for the party’s rank-and-file as a way to determine our candidate for us has not sat well. Especially without a grassroots escape clause. (more…)
Update, 12/11:Tomorrow (Saturday) at 1:30 PM local Mountain time I will be discussing the Every Member Option political refund and other union issues on Grand Junction’s “Getting It Right” show with Rick Wagner. You can listen live on AM 1100 KNZZ. On Sunday evening at 7:30 PM local time I will be on Denver’s Backbone Radio with John Andrews to discuss the same topic. Listen live on AM 710 KNUS.
Update, 12/4:I am slated to be on the Jeff Crank Show Saturday at 8:30 AM to explain the Every Member Option refund deadline to a Colorado Springs-area audience. A podcast of the appearance will be available here after the show.
Are you a Colorado public school teacher? Or perhaps a friend or loved one? If so, do you or (s)he belong to the union? Are you interested in getting back your money that the union spends on politics? If you answered Yes to these questions, then the following video about the Every Member Option (EMO) political refunds is for you:
Or go ahead and listen to an EMO overview and some frequently asked questions on a 3-minute podcast by clicking the play button below (if you can’t see the player, or it doesn’t work, click here to listen):
In any case, the information is only valuable if teachers know about it and act on it by December 15. (Teachers in the AFT union have a political refund, too, but no deadline to request it.) Then they’ll have to wait to next school year. So please help spread the word!
With that, I’ll leave a Thanksgiving meditation from Scripture, Psalm 145 (with passages that caught my attention highlighted in bold):
1 I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
9 The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;
12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
14 The LORD sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
20 The LORD keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
No politics today, nothing that juicy or intriguing to break the fast on the eve of Thanksgiving. If you’re bored over the holiday and looking for some amusing reading — especially if you’re looking to stage a new play or produce a new movie — then check out the two-act script I completed earlier this year titled Al Gansee: The Shot Heard ‘Round Cambria.
The synopsis will give you the flavor:
In the early 1960s, a tiny Midwestern farm community has been transformed into a Marxist workers’ paradise upon the return of a charismatic native son and his Russian KGB companion. Now leading a Socialist Union that bears his name, Chief Comrade Al Gansee confronts the desire for territorial expansion and transmission of his ideals. Gansee, his wife Mary Beth, his KGB “left-hand man”, a 10-year-old Amish pyromaniac girl and the rest of the eccentric band of modern-day utopians march off to the Battle of Cambria and an infamous gunshot that promises to transform the lives of its participants and the once sleepy community for years to come.
So without further ado, here is Al Gansee: The Shot Heard ‘Round Cambria in its entirety (as always, for easy reading, click “Fullscreen” to begin): (more…)
Meanwhile, some in the grassroots remain thoroughly unconvinced and stand behind hard-working longshot Dan Maes. The issue is not the rhetoric or the substance of the 20 governing principles that has earned skepticism or even ire. It’s some of the cast of characters involved that many understandably still have a hard time trusting. I’m not all the way there yet myself.
What might help make the Prosperity Platform more palatable is an escape clause — and by that I mean not for McInnis, but for us. So the issue is an agreement to fulfill the 20 principles. What happens if he is elected and then reneges, works actively against one of the 20, or simply delays any serious effort to implement one or more particular actions? What then? Where does that leave the grassroots who are expected to work hard on his behalf? (more…)
The exciting opportunity for a Republican pickup in Senate District 16 with a departing incumbent Democrat Dan Gibbs has taken some interesting turns in the past week. State senate minority leader Josh Penry’s most highly touted replacement was Cheri Gerou. But the HD 25 representative told me today her current seat is “where I plan to stay.” So count out Gerou.
Then there’s Ali Hasan who, while refuting my initial speculations that he might contend, had suggested Jeffco GOP chair Don Ytterberg as a great candidate. However, Ytterberg says he has no desire to take another shot at SD 16 and is dedicated to his current work. “I made the commitment to work for the success of our party and I will do that to the best of my ability,” he said.
But as of today the Republican Party finally has an Evergreen businessman willing to jump in and battle for the open SD 16 seat. No, not that Evergreen businessman, the one who has expressed a firm commitment to the governor’s race and was left out of the crafting of the unity “Prosperity Platform.”(more…)
The antithesis of the conservative reform agenda now being heavily touted by many Colorado Republican leaders is the sort of stale tax-and-spend thinking that emanates from the many taxpayer-funded commissions appointed by Bill Ritter and the Democrat legislature.
Such an example is the Long-Term Fiscal Stability Commission. Three of the minority party members who suffered through hours sitting on the panel — state representative Cheri Gerou, Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway and my Independence Institute colleague Amy Oliver Cooke — ably deconstruct the work of the commission in a column for yesterday’s Denver Post:
The commission squandered a golden opportunity to reform government and provide long term fiscal stability. Instead, it indulged in the same, worn-out argument that government spending must grow. Should big spending proponents succeed, the result will prove to be more than unimaginative: it also will prove to be unsustainable. No wonder taxpayers are disheartened.
And for many taxpayers, disheartened puts the matter mildly. Which also ought to put on alert many of Colorado’s elected officials (most especially those in the majority Democratic Party) as they go back to the people to seek re-election in 2010.
Huffington Post is running video of our appointed junior U.S. Senator Michael Bennet saying he will vote for Obama Care socialized medicine even if it means losing his job. In other words, he’s completely ignoring you.
But sounds like a good idea to me. A few sensible Democrats remaining in the Senate join Republicans to block increased political controls in medicine, but Bennet votes for it anyway and punches his ticket to come home in 2011. Let’s help make it happen.
Word has leaked to the Grand Junction Sentinel that state senate minority leader Josh Penry will formally announce his endorsement of former rival Scott McInnis for Colorado governor. The endorsement was contingent on the McInnis formally agreeing to 20 conservative governing principles.
“These are the principles that swept the GOP to victory in New Jersey in Virginia,” Penry said. “And they can re-unite our Party too, and pave the way for a successful campaign and, more important, a successful governing party when the election’s over and done with.”
Without further ado, here’s the list of unified governing principles that was forwarded to Mount Virtus, a list that contains a fair amount of specificity: (more…)
As Don at Business Word notes, the Ryan Frazier campaign yesterday touted a list of endorsements from “nearly one hundred influential Coloradans” in his bid to be the next Congressman from the 7th District. Yes, the list contains the names of some heavy-hitters — including Phil Anschutz, Pete Coors, Attorney General John Suthers, and former Governor Bill Owens.
But at least as telling to me is that Ryan Frazier has earned the support from both my friends Jessica Corry and Libby Szabo, the last two Republican candidates for state senate District 19. Why so significant? Jessica is a young up-and-comer from the more libertarian wing of the party. Libby is more of a traditional conservative and a longtime activist well known in Jefferson County Republican — especially Arvada (House District 27) — circles.
The fact they both (along with many other Republicans of prominence at different levels) have thrown in with Ryan Frazier is an important sign that he has picked up necessary traction after switching from the U.S. Senate race five weeks ago.
Sealing the deal with the grassroots should be a major focus for Frazier in the few months leading up to the caucuses — especially with primary opponent Brian Campbell (among others) and potential primary opponent Jimmy Lakey lurking out there.
No one in the area is better at leveraging the media spotlight than my boss Jon Caldara. Witness today’s perfect-pitch feature by the Denver Post‘s Jessica Fender:
Asked what has allowed Colorado’s free-market think tank, the Independence Institute, to live long enough for a 25th-anniversary celebration tonight, the organization’s famously bawdy president offers a joke.
“Embezzlement,” says Jon Caldara. “Embezzlement and glossy black-and-white photographs of politicians in compromising positions.”