Colorado Lags Neighbors in Ability to Meet Financial Obligations

Colorado Lags Neighbors in Ability to Meet Financial Obligations

Colorado trails most of its neighbors in the state’s ability to pay current and future bills. So says a new analysis from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. “State Fiscal Condition: Ranking the 50 States” by economist Sarah Arnett compares the states’ respective abilities to cover short-term and long-term financial obligations. ...Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado.... … [Read more...]

Heath: “Grand Bargain” K-12 Tax Hike “Beginning to Take a Bite” from Elephant

Imagine sitting down to write a term paper or thesis, then releasing the first draft of the paper not only to your professor but to a worldwide audience. Now imagine your paper contains instructions for allocating billions of tax dollars to a bunch of different groups. You can start to understand what Colorado state senator Michael Johnston (D-Denver) feels like after releasing a draft of legislation to rewrite the state's 19-year-old School Finance Act. In the funny game of democratic politics, is it better to make a bold push in one direction, or to try to bring diverse interests together around a "Grand Bargain"? When it comes to Johnston's monumental effort, the question is being played out before our eyes. The idea is to tie "bold" … [Read more...]

How Bad Was the Fiscal Cliff Deal? Michael Bennet May Have Teed One Up for the Teetering GOP

Conservatives have plenty of reason to mope in the fiscal gloom these days, maybe even enough to indulge in a bit of dark humor. That brings us to the Colorado political junkie joke of the week, the first of 2013: "How bad was the fiscal cliff deal Congress approved?" "I don't know. How bad was it?" "The fiscal cliff deal was so bad that Michael Bennet couldn't even vote for it." The serious question, though, that follows Congress' pathetic kicking-the-can-down-the-road exercise -- which strangely divided Colorado's Democratic tag-team duo in the U.S. Senate -- is whether Colorado Senator Michael Bennet's dissent may have set the stage for Republicans to start taking a necessary hard line on the next tough issue around the bend. … [Read more...]

HD 22 Candidate Loren Bauman: TABOR Has Done “Some Things That Have Hurt the Republican Party”

Yes, it's been several months since I've posted here. Life is busy, and the political season has been slow in these parts. Last time I checked in it was to report that conservative state house candidate Justin Everett had taken top line on the ballot at the Jefferson County GOP Assembly. His race against Loren Bauman turns out to be the county's only primary race on the June 26 mail-in ballot. If you needed more reason to see the clear difference between the two Republican candidates in HD 22, this 13-second clip (MP3) from a May 29 debate of Bauman summarizing his assessment of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) should raise some eyebrows: … [Read more...]

Jeffco GOP Assembly Recap: Conservative Justin Everett Takes Top Line in House District 22

This past Saturday many Colorado county political parties held their biennial assemblies for the purpose of approving resolutions and nominating candidates for the primary ballot. For the fifth consecutive time, I attended the Jefferson County Republican Assembly as a voting delegate. The new and spacious Lakewood church venue was needed, with more than 1,200 certified delegates in attendance. The strong turnout was most impressive in terms of first-time delegates, which an impromptu show of hands revealed made up somewhere around two-thirds of those attending north Jeffco's Senate District 19 assembly. Similar anecdotes and reports from other districts suggest the large-scale infusion of fresh grassroots political blood was a … [Read more...]

Colorado K-12 Election Roundup: Fiscal Restraint Beats Prop 103, Most Local Taxes; Reformers Win Key Races

Update, 11/2: One quick correction, as Englewood voters appear to have approved the construction bond / BEST grant, but turned down the mill levy override. Also, a great roundup of school board election results in El Paso County from the Gazette. From school board races to mill levy and bond measures, there are a number of issues pertaining to education in Colorado being decided this evening. Well known is the fate of the Proposition 103 "For the Children" tax hike -- which not only crashed and burned but also disintegrated in a ball of blue-hot flame (64% No vote at last count). Two out of three Denver Public Schools board seats went to the reform ticket, with a third between challenger Jennifer Draper-Carson and incumbent Arturo … [Read more...]

Colorado Prop 103: Weak Case for Tax Hike’s Job-Killing “Domino” Effect

Update, 11/2: Welcome, Michelle Malkin readers... Thanks for the link! Colorado has one issue on the statewide ballot this year: Proposition 103, a large tax hike sold as a way to increase revenues for K-12 and higher education. Unfortunately, there are two major problems with this proposal that render it unworthy of support. First, it's a job-killer that very well could prolong and deepen our state's current recession. An Independence Institute issue paper by Dr. Barry Poulson finds that more than 11,000 jobs will be killed, a devastating analysis of the Prop 103 "domino" effect most creatively expressed in this amazing 3-minute video: Second, the case for more K-12 education funding rests on a very weak foundation that lacks … [Read more...]

Colorado Child Stars Win Power Line 7th Place for Portraying Fiscal Abuse

As the ominous debt ceiling deadline approaches, the release of the winners of the Power Line Prize contest ("$100,000 will be awarded to whoever can most effectively and creatively dramatize the significance of the federal debt crisis") could not have been better timed. While prominent bloggers are helping the Power Line crew count down the top entries, I have a very special and personal attachment to the 7th place winner, released today: I'm heavily biased (take time to read the brief credits), so I'm really curious to see what six entries could have finished ahead of this "Fiscal Child Abuse" video masterpiece. Maybe the girls are so cute that they somehow downplay the gravity of the message? I don't buy it, but that's the only … [Read more...]

Louisiana Seeks to Beat Colorado to Open Teacher Union Negotiations

A lot has happened in the month since I last posted here about the open negotiations controversy in Jeffco Public Schools. I was glad to see Mike Rosen bring attention to the issue on his show and in his May 12 Denver Post column, in which he concluded:A number of other states have laws mandating that negotiations between government-employee unions and government agencies be open to the public. In Colorado, that decision is currently left to local government. Colorado law is generally friendly to public openness and disclosure regarding government meetings and documents. Since a majority of funding for public-school districts in Colorado comes not from local property taxes but from the state's coffers, the state legislature clearly has … [Read more...]