Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Colorado a School Choice Destination

Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Colorado a School Choice Destination

Anticipation is building among school choice supporters for a Colorado court ruling that could create wide and deep ripples in the fabric of American K-12 education. On Dec. 10, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Taxpayers v. Douglas County Board of Education. The case’s third and decisive round of legal hearings will test whether an unprecedented local school choice program not only will survive, but also could multiply. The ruling could embolden other local Colorado boards of education to offer parents educational options outside the public system, and inspire policymakers hoping to expand choice in other states. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Arena…. … [Read more...]

Judicial Reform Measure Survives Challenge, Still Seeks Signatures

Judicial Reform Measure Survives Challenge, Still Seeks Signatures

Even as one of two key Colorado judicial reform proposals clear an important legal hurdle to reach the ballot, the man behind the initiatives says the process demonstrates why the measures are needed. Last Thursday the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the ballot title for Initiative 94, “Duties of the Independent Ethics Commission,” overruling objections raised by Denver trial attorney Stacy Carpenter. The measure would change the state constitution, declaring that judges could not oversee their own system of professional discipline but giving the Independent Ethics Commission oversight instead. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

Supreme Court Campaign Case Pits Colorado Ethics Watch vs. Colorado Education Association

This little tidbit I uncovered either shatters the grand Colorado Democracy Alliance (CoDA) conspiracy theory or proves it to be even more convoluted and diabolical than previously imagined. But court documents show two of the Alliance's core groups -- sue-happy Colorado Ethics Watch (CEW) and the Colorado Education Association (CEA), the state's largest teachers union -- on opposite ends of a state supreme court case regarding elections law. Back in 2008 CEW filed suit against a couple of Republican 527 groups (Senate Majority Fund LLC and Colorado Leadership Fund LLC) claiming that they had overstepped the bounds of campaign finance law by participating in "express advocacy" of state legislative candidates. The administrative law judge … [Read more...]

Rep. Lois Court to constituents: “…unfortunately it is a First Amendment right for political free speech…”

Public forums for political candidates can provide some elucidating moments. Take yesterday's Windsor Gardens event with House District 6 rivals: incumbent Democrat Rep. Lois Court and Republican challenger Joshua Sharf. Joshua recounts some of the event on his blog:...what struck me most was my opponent’s claim that she votes how her constituents would vote on a given issue. In fact, her priorities seem to be far more arcane and abstruse than the concerns I’ve heard people talking about, and had she held more than three town hall meetings in the last two years, Rep. Court might have known that. When I knock on people’s doors, we talk about the budget, the economy, jobs, and education. Rep. Court’s priorities are public financing of … [Read more...]

Clear The Bench Colorado Poll Results: Classic Case of Good News, Bad News

Clear the Bench Colorado today reports the results of a statewide poll that carries some good and bad news. Because the Magellan Strategies survey tests public opinion on the low-exposure issue of judicial retention, to some extent the results would have to be interesting. We're not talking about the popularity of candidates vying in well-publicized elections, which often feature a significant undecided vote. What do you do when 65 percent of likely voters confess they don't even know three Colorado Supreme Court justices are up for retention? You've got to get the message out. Well, for the 894 voters tested from all around Colorado, learning a little basic information makes a difference: … [Read more...]

Dan Maes Racks Up Key Support; Tambor Williams as Running Mate?

News this afternoon from the Dan Maes for Governor camp brings news of the Party core growing more united around his candidacy, with a couple of giant endorsements reported on Facebook: But all the speculation now is around tomorrow's deadline for Maes to announce who his running mate will be. As Amy Oliver ably speculates, one of the two finalists almost certainly is Tambor Williams of Greeley. While she won't wow anyone with big name recognition, she would balance Maes' weaknesses with her experience as a four-term state legislator, head of the Department of Regulatory Agencies and appointed service on the state's Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, in addition to her private legal practice. In 2002 Williams signed the … [Read more...]

Gallup Survey of Institutions: Congress Rock-Bottom, Presidency Falling Fast

For what it's worth, if you want a glimpse of the public mindset concerning 16 major institutions in American society, you should check out the new Gallup survey (H/T Mike Antonucci). The following are some salient observations on how favorably Americans view the 16 major institutions: … [Read more...]

Catch Video of Colorado GOP Officials Fighting for Health Care Freedom

Yesterday our elected Republican officials in Denver came to life with some mighty statements. First, state legislators joined my boss Jon Caldara to urge support for the Defend Colorado from Obama Care ballot initiative, called on Attorney General John Suthers to join the lawsuit of states' attorneys general against the unconstitutional mandates in Obama Care. Joshua Sharf has posted complete video and analyses of both press conferences. I urge you to check them out -- so we can commend those Republican officials who have shown backbone and continue urging them to stay strong, while also reminding us of the ongoing need to educate members of the old media. In other words, vigilance remains the watchword of the day. As usual, the … [Read more...]

Lobbying Groups Want Taxpayers to Underwrite Their School Funding Lawsuit Against the State of Colorado

About four months ago the Colorado Supreme Court decided that judges have a role in deciding how the state's public schools are funded. In a Colorado Daily column I explained why this decision in the Lobato case was bad policy and a dangerous precedent. You also can listen to Professor Joshua Dunn bring his expertise to bear for an 8-minute iVoices podcast we recorded last October -- click the play button or follow this link: One of the big takeaways from Dunn's conversation is that most states realize the bad policy and bad consequences of adequacy lawsuits and are moving away from them. Colorado is out of sync for its courts to be sanctioning such action. So why am I bringing up the Lobato case today? It seems that the … [Read more...]

John Suthers Takes Bold Stands, Plugs Colorado Political Survey

I don't agree with attorney general John Suthers on everything, but kudos to him for taking some bold stands recently. Of course, there is his active role in participating and speaking out against the Obama Care Nebraska bribe in the U.S. Senate. Then this week came Suthers' three-fourths endorsement of the Clear the Bench Colorado cause, another bold move. Lesser known, but also important today for those procrastinators out there, is the Attorney General's Twitter endorsement of the Survey of Colorado's Political Temperature. While the endorsement came with the original survey in July, the January edition is closing up at 5 PM today, so... Time to Take the Survey! And thank you, Attorney General John Suthers! … [Read more...]