Two Reasons Why We Could Use More Shawn Mitchells in the State Legislature

Two days, two stories, two reasons why I believe the Colorado General Assembly needs more legislators like Senator Shawn Mitchell fighting for us. First, Colorado Senate News reports a recent floor debate in which Mitchell assumes his usual role as bold and articulate spokesman for common sense and liberty, leading the vote against a heavy-handed, onerous renewable energy mandate:

“I don’t want a European society where government will decide what life will look like tomorrow,” said Mitchell. “I want a free American traditional society where my choices, your choices–as consumers, as families, as citizens–will determine what society will look like tomorrow.”

Second, a Colorado News Agency story on a committee meeting in which Mitchell pushed the logic behind majority Democrats’ bill to ban health insurance companies from taking gender into account in issuing premiums:

“Should auto insurance companies be allowed to charge more for boys than girls?” asked Mitchell, in reference to the much higher rates that are applied to the policies of teen-age male drivers than to teen-age female drivers.

Mitchell nevertheless was the lone Republican joining the Democrats on the committee in voting for the bill, saying that he will now consider introducing a bill that prohibits gender discrimination for auto insurance and that he anticipates their support. The other two men on the committee, both Republicans, voted against the bill.

Can we get more Shawn Mitchells in the state legislature? There’s a reason why Democrats don’t enjoy debating him. With enough likeminded Colorado legislators, Mitchell and the fiscal conservatives can do more than win debate on technical points. SOmething to think about going into 2010….


  1. says

    While I’ve become a recent admirer of Shawn’s, I disagree strongly with reason #2. I don’t think interfering with a sound actuarial practice suddenly becomes bold conservative position because it is fighting “discrimination against males.” Worse, such a position undercuts conservative/libertarian arguments about why different rates exist for health insurance. In a free market, non-mandate scenario, women of child-bearing age would face higher rates than men of the same age–with good reason. Ditto for someone with pre-existing conditions.

    We fall into liberal traps if we call actuarial science “discrimination.”There is a good reason Shwan was the only R on this vote. PS, I agree with Todd’s post about drycleaning, but don’t think legislation is the remedy.

  2. says

    I didn’t say it was good policy. I was remarking at his bold and effective use of reductio ad absurdum to highlight the folly in the bill. Both pieces of legislation — the one pushed through by Democrats and the hypothetical one declared by Mitchell — are both undesirable.

  3. says

    Sorry Ben, I missed the sarcasm in Shawn’s remarks. I know few people In Colorad with such dry wit. The fact that he voted with the Dems on the health care bill aided and abetted my confusion. I promise to read more carefully in the future!

  4. says

    No problem. Familiar with Shawn’s “style” as I have become, I probably took it too much for granted.

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