As Election Day draws closer, appointed Democrat Secretary of State Bernie Buescher can’t be feeling too good. He has been nagged by his office’s failure to ensure that overseas military personnel have timely ballot access, perhaps affected by his long hours away from the office.
The Denver Post‘s Michael Booth is to be commended for his efforts: He’s working really hard to bolster the flagging campaign of appointed junior U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. Maybe it’s some sort of “Michael B” bond. Who knows? Though artificially inflating Bennet’s hopes in the end isn’t a terribly kind thing to do.
We already knew that my Congressman, liberal Democrat Ed Perlmutter, can twist himself into knots defending the Death Tax. But today Perlmutter went further, providing the decisive vote on the House floor (210-209) to adjourn Congress to keep from voting on extending the Bush tax cuts that would provide relief to my family and millions of others.
Thirty-nine Democrats voted against adjournment to give a chance to debate tax relief. But not Ed Perlmutter. The official response from the campaign of Republican challenger Ryan Frazier:
“Ed decided to skip town early rather than vote to get our nation’s economy back on track,” Tyler Q. Houlton, Ryan Frazier’s Campaign spokesman, said. “Ed would rather put his reelection chances above the interests of our constituents here in the 7th Congressional District.”
As my fellow Colorado blogger Rossputin notes about the narrow margin on the adjournment vote: “The Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda is now officially on life support…” Perlmutter has helped to ensure the IV drip continues a little while longer.
Time to come home for good, Ed. Time to come home.
Update, 10:30 PM:In an email this evening, Republican candidate Tim Leonard responded to the charge from his Democratic opponent as follows:
After one debate together, she clearly knows that her statement of my position is erroneous. I have used clear language to state that my position is to reduce our state government spending to equal our tax revenues — currently estimated to be a $1.1B budget decrease. And I have been equally clear that I support an “across the board” reduction in all the funded areas of our state government.
So to represent to the public that I would support absorbing 100% of our budget shortfall within public education is a purposeful misrepresentation for the benefit of fooling voters. This is the very definition of “negative campaigning”. I would hope she retracts her statement, apologizes for misleading voters, and better adheres to her pledge of running a positive campaign.
Jeanne Nicholson is a Democrat running for one of the Colorado state legislature’s most competitive races this year: Senate District 16. In an email sent out yesterday morning, she regurgitated an alleged statistic that lies somewhere between misleading and utterly meaningless:
…In these uncertain times public schools are under attack. My opponent in this race is calling for a billion dollar cut to the state’s education budget. I don’t need to tell you that a budget cut on this scale would devastate our public schools already ranked 49th in the nation in funding per student.
First of all, it should be noted there is no evidence I can find that Nicholson’s Republican opponent Tim Leonard has made any sort of a call. But that just looks like the usual election season hyperbole. What I am more concerned about is the absurd claim that Colorado ranks 49th in per-pupil K-12 funding. I’ve debunked ittime and againbefore. But here we go again for the record so other candidates, officials and groups this year avoid repeating the spurious claim: (more…)
Ed News Colorado posted an interesting piece by Todd Engdahl this morning on the political support of the five in-state education interest groups that endorse and contribute to candidates:
Colorado Education Association (CEA)
American Federation of Teachers Colorado (AFT)
Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE)
Democrats for Education Reform (DFER)
Stand for Children Colorado (Stand)
Unsurprisingly Engdahl reports:
Of the more than 130 contributions or endorsements by the five groups, 90 percent went to Democratics [sic]. Only CASE (seven of 32 total) and Stand for Children (five of 18) endorsed Republicans. (Stand also endorsed the legislature’s only independent, former Democratic Rep. Kathleen Curry of Gunnison.)
The five groups cover a majority of the legislative races on the ballot – 47 of 65 House contests and 16 of 19 Senate races. (Because senators serve four-year terms, an additional 16 Senate seats aren’t up for election this year this year.)
But, individual group contributions and endorsements don’t necessarily follow simple patterns. Teachers unions like CEA and AFT-Colorado don’t give money just based on how candidates stand on specific bills or issues; they also have a longstanding pattern of of seeking to elect Democratic majorities.
The focus of the article is somewhat narrow. So I decided to add some context and clarification to get a sense of the relative scope of support: (more…)
An interesting political poll is out today, commissioned by the group Public Notice and conducted jointly by The Tarrance Group and Hart Research. What’s interesting for this time on the calendar is that it asks no questions about candidates or ballot issues. But the results from 500 likely Colorado voters (asked between Sept 12 and 15) offer some valuable, if not terribly surprising, insights about the upcoming election:
68% of likely voters say government spending is too high; only 10% say it is too low….
Nearly two thirds (61%) named government spending among the most important issues to their vote….
Nearly two thirds (65%) say government spending is a factor in their own financial situation….
The perceived impact of government spending reaches across all income levels, from those making less than $30,000 per year (61%) to voters making $100,000 and over (56%)….
Voters are cynical about the nation’s fiscal future: less than half (39%) believe they will see another federal budget surplus in their lifetime.
And now a little blast from the past… Funny how some stories more easily disappear when it’s the heart of election season and the story casts a liberal Democrat incumbent in a bad light. The last Saturday in September is the perfect time to dive back into the Mount Virtus archives to remind readers why it’s time to bring home my Democratic Congressman.
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.
Winning back one house of Congress will be nice, but lovers of liberty and limited government will have to wait longer to undo some of the damage done by executive order. One of the latest cases in point: Obama’s Department of Education asserting federal government power into the private higher education accreditation process, providing a threat to academic freedom.
Cal Thomas, one of my favorite syndicated columnists, brought attention to the story in his Wednesday piece — with a special focus on Colorado:
Former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, now president of Colorado Christian University, wrote a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan on July 30. In it, he warned of an “all-out politicization of American higher education, endangering academic freedom, due process and First Amendment rights.”
If there’s one easy clear issue to support on the November ballot, it’s Amendment 63 — Colorado’s right to health care choice. Among other things, the amendment protects Coloradans from the unprecedented and counterproductive federal mandate to purchase health insurance. You know, the one that came with the Obama Care “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” package deal?
As a political junkie, among the funniest things I find are the terribly misleading names given to those 527 groups. The Lefty Democrat big donors and unions have operated a slew of them. Remember the misleading Coloradans for Life from election cycle past?
Well, in 2010 we have the Lefty 527 group Accountability for Colorado… And what could truly be less accountable? Spewing poison and slander about conservative state legislative candidates, and no one there to answer a reporter’s phone call. A couple examples have been documented by local newspapers:
The Pueblo Chieftain reports the group has attacked Republican state house candidate and local businessman Keith Swerdfeger: “The music sounds eerie and the announcer’s voice is full of warning, telling Pueblo radio listeners that someone as greedy as con artist Bernard Madoff and as awful as the British Petroleum oil spill is in their midst and running for office this year.” The Chieftain‘s editors were impelled to call out Accountability for Colorado’s ads as “despicable”
The Colorado Government Accountability Government Project (CGAP) reports that appointed Democrat Secretary of State Bernie Buescher “has spent one-fifth of his time as Secretary out of the office on personal matters.” As the indispensable news aggregator Complete Colorado tags the story: “Weekend at Bernie’s… Literally”
According to a Grand Junction Sentinel story, Buescher questions the methodology of CGAP’s report, saying it didn’t factor in work he did after regular office hours. One point made in the story by CGAP’s Stephanie Cegielski is crucial, though:
“I understand that as an elected official, you are an elected official 24 hours a day,” she said. “My biggest concern was 8 to 5 because that’s when the staff is in the office and when the work gets done. There were dinners in the evenings … but I don’t know if they were personal dinners or work-related.” [emphasis added]
During the day… when staff work gets done… when the Secretary of State’s office could have figured out how to ensure military personnel get their ballots on time, rather than wait more than nine months to request a (rejected, eventually) waiver from the Department of Defense. How did Bernie Buescher’s extended office absences affect the duty to get Colorado military voters’ ballot access? Another nagging question for the incumbent.
What would be interesting to see is a comparison with the work-day schedules of previous officeholders Mike Coffman or Gigi Dennis, or in the future with our likely next Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Colorado state representative Sara Gagliardi — a fiscal liberal and union ally — is right at the top of the list of Democratic incumbents whose seats are in jeopardy this fall. Having confirmed to appear at the September 13 Metro North Chamber and MetroNorth Newspaper candidate forum (screenshot of video below), Gagliardi was nevertheless absent. A vulnerable seat and an inability to show up to nonpartisan community candidate debates: Which is the cause and which is the effect?
Yesterday it was the final update of the state senate rankings. Now on to the state house. First, the overview: The Colorado House of Representatives has 65 members eligible to serve a maximum of four two-year terms. Every seat is up for election. Currently, the Democrats have a 37-27 majority with former Democrat Kathleen Curry serving as an unaffiliated representative.
The GOP needs a net gain of six seats to claim the majority. Eight of the 37 Democrat seats are open, with 29 incumbents running for re-election. All but one Democratic incumbent has a formal challenger. Six of the 27 Republican seats are open, with 21 incumbents running for re-election. Democrats have offered no formal challenge to 10 of the GOP seats (seven held by incumbents, three open). Because of the timing of her party disaffiliation, Curry faces the challenge of running a write-in campaign to keep her seat in a three-way race.
Of the 54 challenged seats (36 Democrat, 17 Republican, 1 Unaffiliated), 19 seats are fundamentally non-competitive (6 Democrat, 13 Republican). Given the favorability of political winds and the composition of the legislature, these numbers present very good odds for the GOP. But just how likely are Colorado Republicans to take over the lower chamber of the state legislature? Using the same basic formula as for the state senate races, the following is my ranking of state house races based on the likelihood of switching party control: (more…)