Search Results for: "Mike Merrifield

Many Races Up for Grabs, GOP Control of Colorado House Within Reach

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 … [Read more...]

Colorado 2010 State House Showdown: A Dozen Democrat Seats In Sight?

As promised, last week the state senate; this week the state house. Currently, the Democrats own the chamber by a 38-27 advantage. It's a fairly safe bet that the Republicans will have more representatives than 27 come 2011. But winning back the majority will be a tough challenge, so just how many can they win? All 65 seats are up every two-year cycle, and a lot of jockeying can still be expected to take place. Of current Republican-held seats, the only truly vulnerable one belongs to one-term incumbent Kevin Priola (HD 30, Adams County). On the other hand, based on voter registrations and incumbent strength, here are what I see as the dozen Democrat seats that are potential pick-ups -- as you'll see, some likelier than others: … [Read more...]

House Education Committee Democrats Killed Spending Transparency… Fast

One of my favorite aphorisms about Colorado politics is that the House Education Committee is where good education reform goes to die. Case in point is Senate Bill 57, the school spending transparency legislation that committee Democrats shot down after hearing more than 30 citizens and activists who volunteered to come down and testify for the bill. Thanks to a Face The State mini-investigation, we learn today it was even worse than that:Also known as Senate Bill 57, the bill was postponed indefinitely after four hours of committee debate that lasted late into the evening. [Democrat] Speaker Terrance Carroll and [Republican] House Minority Leader Mike May arrived to work the next morning ready to revive it. But they were too … [Read more...]

Merrifield Returns to Chair, Dems Still Reel in Union Cash

Over at the new Face the State is a story about the ascension of State Rep. Mike Merrifield back to the chair of the House Education Committee, after last year's controversy and resignation:Rep. Mike Merrifield, D-Manitou Springs, quietly resumed his post at the helm of the House Education Committee on Monday more than nine months after his resignation over a well-publicized email that condemned school choice supporters to a “special place in hell.” Of course, if you've been reading Denise at Colorado Charters or Mr. Bob at The Daily Blogster, you would already be aware of this un-parent-friendly political event in our fair state. More from Face the State:Political consultant Katy Atkinson, a consultant to moderate and … [Read more...]

Cesar Chavez Success Revisits Merrifield’s Infernal Email

Congrats to Pueblo's Cesar Chavez Academy (and thanks to Colorado Charters for pointing out the accolades) - one of two charter schools nationwide to be featured as models of excellent education in a U.S. Department of Education documentary video. This must only make more painful the recent episode of an email sent by state Rep. Mike Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) to Sen. Sue Windels (D-Arvada), indicating that there is "a special place in hell" for "charterizers" and the like. If one remembers, the specific context of the message was in response to efforts to replicate the highly successful Cesar Chavez Academy model in Colorado Springs. Democrat education committee chairman Merrifield summarily assigned people who wanted to try a … [Read more...]

Merrifield: Math & Science Mandates Are So Last Millennium

Yesterday the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) raised admission standards for the state's public colleges and universities, effective in 2010. The final set of standards is less rigorous than originally planned, with no increase in the one-year foreign language requirement and the allowance of a watered-down math course to fulfill the requirement. Still, some weren't satisfied - among them one who believes charter school supporters have a "special" reservation in the torrid nether regions. From 9News: Other opponents worry that creating more emphasis on taking math and science will stifle student creativity. State Representative Mike Merrifield, who is also the chairman of the House Education Committee, told the … [Read more...]

WorldNetDaily Notices Merrifield’s Infernal Remarks

More than a month after Colorado's Face the State launched onto the Internet map with its exposure of a hateful, anti-charter school email by Rep. Mike Merrifield, D-Manitou Springs, the well-trafficked pioneer site WorldNetDaily recounts the story to its vast conservative audience. To the chagrin of the education status quo defenders at the Colorado State Capitol, this story continues to have good traction. Kudos, Face the State! … [Read more...]

Assessing the Fallout from the “Special Place” Email

I penned a column for the Edspresso website to give a little extra analysis to the now infamous email exchange between Representative Mike Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) and Senator Sue Windels (D-Arvada), telling supporters of charter schools that a "special place" awaits them in the hotter realms of the afterlife. If you're so inclined, please check it out. … [Read more...]

Patronizing Parents Who Want a Better Education

Are you a student at a charter school or the parent of one? Or maybe just stuck on one of the long waiting lists to get in? In the past week we've learned that the now-ex-chairman of Colorado's House Education Committee Mike Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) thinks you're worthy of eternal damnation - Mike Littwin thinks it's a big joke: This wasn't a Deanna Hanna or a Joe Stengel scandal. This was Mike Merrifield writing that backers of vouchers and charter schools deserved a "special place in hell." That's it. It was written on private e-mail, but, apparently, not private enough. Windels' e-mails went the way of a public records request from a new conservative Web site - facethestate.com - and, when it went public, Merrifield had to … [Read more...]

Merrifield-Windels Email: Pro-Charter School Backlash?

Overlooked in a lot of the brouhaha over now-former House Education Committee chair Mike Merrifield's incendiary comments was the outright duplicity he and Senator Sue Windels (D-Arvada), fellow sponsor of Senate Bill 61, publicly shared to hide their true anti-charter school motives for the legislation. Michael at Best Destiny was one who caught the important point, which is also explained more fully in a new story from Colorado Senate News. The highlight of the CSN story is that pro-school choice legislators are redoubling their efforts to ensure that SB 61 gets amended into a pro-charter school bill: Now, [Republican Senator Nancy] Spence said she and [Democrat Senator Peter] Groff will push for that key provision – which lets the … [Read more...]