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...]

Lewis-Palmer School Board’s Debt Financing Draws Scrutiny

Lewis-Palmer School Board’s Debt Financing Draws Scrutiny

Local watchdogs say revelations made at the Lewis-Palmer District 38 school board’s January 16 meeting not only confirm some of the past warnings they shared but also should heighten concerns about fiscal mismanagement. Board members seem unable to come to terms with their 2010 decision to borrow money that’s costing taxpayers extra dollars for financing with no return for classrooms or students. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

January 18: Week in Review

January 18: Week in Review

I wrote an op-ed for the Greeley Tribune titled "Education Spending Transparency Doesn't Require Massive Tax Hike":Giving Coloradans open government should be more than an applause line. Whatever reassurance skeptical voters may need, it’s not because officials have withheld financial information from online disclosure. The question is whether they have done enough. More from the Independence Institute I’ll Stick My Toe into the Fordham-Cato School Choice Argument… for Five Minutes (Ed Is Watching) Denver State’s New Largest School District; Falcon 49 Open Enrollment Soars (Ed Is Watching) School Funding at Forefront of K-12 Legislative Business (Podcast) Twitter Verse of the Week Joel 2:13 Return to the Lord your God, for he … [Read more...]

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...]