June 14: Week in Review

June 14: Week in Review

It was the biggest week of the year for birthdays here. Nearly a full week ago, the youngest member of the clan blew out the "3" candle. And yesterday the lovely Mrs. Virtus celebrated a birthday that begins with the number "3" and ends with another. In between my league softball team not only won a game but actually did so in convincing fashion, while last night brought the rare Friday the 13th plus full moon combination. All that, and today is both Flag Day and the 239th anniversary of the U.S. Army. Soon, the season will officially change to fit what we already start to feel: Summertime is here! From the Ed Is Watching blog Denver Builds on Low-Income Charter Success Stories: Will Jeffco Follow Suit? High Fives All Around: … [Read more...]

May 10: Week in Review

May 10: Week in Review

Last weekend the temperature topped out in the 80s. The warm weather has helped to encourage the irises in our front yard that the time has come to bloom. Yet today we're looking down the barrel of a major snowstorm for a Mother's Day forecast. Welcome to springtime in Colorado! This week I was quoted in a Colorado Observer story about national teachers union leadership aligning with the "ultra-Left Democracy Alliance":“This revelation further validates the Douglas County school board’s insistence that the district and its taxpayers get out of the business of collecting funds for a national political agenda,” DeGrow said. “The AFT has aligned itself with a highly partisan clique that’s out of step with the values of many Dougco teachers … [Read more...]

April 26: Week in Review

April 26: Week in Review

Last weekend the Denver Post published my letter responding to the editorial asserting the version of the Student Success Act (HB 1292) that passed the House would make Colorado "a national leader in transparency." From the Ed is Watching blog: Hooray! Kansas Becomes 14th State to Adopt K-12 Scholarship Tax Credits Is It Time to Rethink the Colorado Department of Education’s Role? Could Stopping a Teachers Union Vote Make a New “Hammer” Celebrity? Finished One Good(read) Book This Week George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger: The subtitle may oversell the story, but it is a quick read that offers some interesting insights into the mechanics of 18th … [Read more...]

February 8: Week in Review

February 8: Week in Review

I offered recorded commentary for an American Family Radio News syndicated report on the Colorado Education Association's legal and legislative challenge of the state's 2010 tenure reform. More from the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Task Force Looks at Policy Answers for Online Learning (Podcast) Will President Obama Set Record Straight on How School Choice Has Helped Kids? (Ed Is Watching) Open Negotiations in Jeffco Schools? That Old Momentum Looks Like It’s Back (Ed Is Watching) Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #2) by Robert A. Caro: If you have a sensitive moral conscience, you also will need a hard stomach. But this second installment in Caro's intensely … [Read more...]

Mistakes and Attacks Real, But Not Fatal Cause for Dan Maes Campaign

You rise out of nowhere and make a name for yourself running for the state's highest office, and some (near) certainties will follow: You will make some mistakes that set back your campaign ... or maybe prove its demise; and Others will go out of their way to try to bring you down, too. I'm writing particularly of GOP candidate Dan Maes, whose longshot run for governor of Colorado has all but crashed on the rocks a month before primary election day. Maes would disagree with me vehemently, and I admire his persistence. But the longer his race with front-runner and fellow conservative Scott McInnis drags on, the more voters expect something beyond the "insider" vs. "outsider" paradigm to make up their minds. And we know Maes is way … [Read more...]

Dan Maes Responds: “I would never attempt to hide taxes and fees…”

I was taken aback yesterday when I read this Grand Junction Sentinel column that sure made it sound like Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes favored a lack of transparency in public utilities rate disclosure. Both a Rocky Mountain Right diarist and fellow RMA/PPC blogger Don Johnson jumped over the comments to assail Maes' views. I called Dan Maes this morning to get some important clarification. Below are my three questions and his brief answers: … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

State-Level Education Tax Credits Merit Place Near Top of Pro-Liberty Agenda

While we're busy waging battle on the defensive fronts against Obama Care and cap-and-trade and card check, pro-liberty forces also would be wise in 2010 to continue looking for opportunities to go on offense. Writing at the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone makes at least one point that deserves the attention of activists, strategists and officials:[Tech entrepreneur Jim] Manzi, citing models in Sweden and the Netherlands, calls for "the creation of a real marketplace among ever more deregulated publicly financed schools -- a market in which funding follows students, and far broader discretion is permitted to those who actually teach and manage in our schools." Democrats are prevented by their teacher union paymasters from pursuing … [Read more...]

Climate Change Fanatics Growing More Open about Anti-Liberty Agenda

Update, 10:15 AM: Good luck getting someone like Mr. Tidwell to confront the fallout from Climategate, including this revelation from one of the lead authors of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who said: "The process is so flawed that the result is tantamount to fraud. As an authority, the IPCC should be consigned to the scrapheap without delay." In the wake of the telling Climategate revelations, it's very interesting to see the mask come off the fanatical climate change crowd. The Denver Post ran a Sunday opinion piece by Mike Tidwell of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network that ought to make your skin crawl. See what I mean -- Tidwell writes:Instead of continuing our faddish and counterproductive emphasis … [Read more...]

Josh Penry Backs Scott McInnis, GOP Unites Behind 20 Governing Principles

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: … [Read more...]