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 ruled against the plaintiffs, and CEW lost on appeal as well. Now the case is headed to the state’s highest court.
CEW’s argument is so absurd based on legal precedent that, well, even CEA has filed an amicus brief defending the Republican groups (so has the Colorado Bar Association, but it’s not as intriguing as the teachers union chiming in). CEA attorney Mark Grueskin summarizes the argument before the Colorado Supreme Court as follows: (more…)
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 campaigns.
Why public financing of campaigns? Well, watch this 90-second clip from the forum where Rep. Court provided an eye-opening remark: (more…)
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: (more…)
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 Colorado Taxpayers’ Pledge.
We’ll know for sure tomorrow whether Maes-Williams will be Colorado’s Republican ticket for 2010.
For those who are wondering, my views about Dan Maes’ candidacy pretty much line up with what Rossputin wrote this morning (except I am more inclined at this point to vote for Maes than for the Libertarian candidate).
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: (more…)
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 People’s Press Collective remains the best place for Coloradans to go to get the latest updated information and perspectives on the unfolding fight to restore health care freedom.
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 Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) and Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) are actively urging local school boards to agree to help pay for the lawsuit against the state. That way, you the taxpayer can help fund both the plaintiffs and the defense … Seriously? (more…)
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!
One of the most tireless conservative grassroots organizers I know today received a small but certainly plum reward for his hard work. I’m talking about Matt Arnold from Clear the Bench Colorado, and the plug he received in a Valerie Richardson Washington Times article about another controversial Colorado Supreme Court decision: (more…)
Introducing the top-line results from the 3rd edition of the survey of Colorado’s political temperature. Participation dropped to 281, but results still demonstrated some remarkable consistency. As always, thanks to those of you who took the time to help out!
Coming later in the month will be an analysis of some key crosstabs and correlations. But for now here’s a quick rundown of the survey’s top-line results:
- In the U.S. Senate race, with Ryan Frazier dropping out of the race, momentum has grown behind Ken Buck as the candidate with the most support and behind Jane Norton as the strongest candidate — an interesting dynamic given the credible rumors circulating at Rocky Mountain Right
- Josh Penry was on track for his best showings in both support and perceived strength, before he withdrew from the governor’s race–reducing his lead in one column and erasing it in another
- Ryan Frazier (7th Congressional), Cory Gardner (4th Congressional) and J.J. Ament (State Treasurer) have built strong leads in their respective races
- Demographically speaking, the group of participants in this poll was slightly more Republican, older, male, married, and white than the September sample
- Distaste for the “public option”, Bill Ritter’s management of state fiscal policy and Colorado Supreme Court partisanship grew even stronger
- Confidence remains high that incumbents Ritter, appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, and Congresswoman Betsy Markey all will be defeated in 2010, while incumbent status within the Republican Party and national party interference are viewed with even less respect
For more details, read the release below (click “fullscreen” for easy viewing): (more…)
Despite all the hoopla (much of it well-deserved) about the election results, let’s not lose focus on an easily overlooked issue that should factor into some of our important decisions for 2010 — namely, the Colorado Supreme Court delving into political questions of how our schools are funded in Lobato v State.
You now can listen to my recent 8-minute interview on this very topic with Brad Jones on Face The State Weekend edition.
Whether or not you get to listen, let me explain — no, let me sum up: The case for Clear The Bench Colorado is now overwhelming.
Update, 1:50 PM: I also will be talking about the Lobato case and school funding adequacy on Face The State weekend radio with Brad Jones. In the Denver area, that’s AM 710 KNUS on Saturday at 5:00 AM and Sunday at noon. Check local listings for additional stations and times.
A sense that the Colorado Supreme Court is growing out of control continues to pick up momentum after the October 19 Lobato v State ruling (PDF), in which the 4-3 liberal majority arrogated to itself the power to determine school funding policy.
On Wednesday my friend and former state senate leader Mark Hillman ably dissected the dangers in this decision. Yesterday, Colorado’s leading conservative talk show host Mike Rosen leaped into the fray with a strong condemnation in his Denver Post column.
But writing for the Colorado Daily, yours truly offered the first big broadside against the dangerous Lobato ruling — noting among other things that other state courts have backed away from judicial activism in school finance adequacy cases even as Colorado seems to be embracing the idea.
I’m glad this issue is getting the attention it deserves. And as Rosen concludes his column, I also strongly urge you to educate yourself about the out-of-control liberal majority on the state supreme court and get behind the excellent grassroots movement Clear the Bench Colorado.
From today’s Denver Post:
President Barack Obama has nominated Stephanie Villafuerte to be Colorado’s next U.S. Attorney.
Villafuerte, currently deputy chief of staff to Gov. Bill Ritter, previously served as Denver’s chief deputy district attorney.
She worked on Ritter’s campaign and has focused on community outreach as his deputy chief of staff. [emphasis added]
Remember Stephanie Villafuerte? Still scratching your head? While with Ritter’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign, she worked with the Denver DA’s office as they accessed the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database to go after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Cory Voorhis.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation went after Cory Voorhis for accessing the NCIC database for legitimate reasons (he later was found not guilty of any wrongdoing), but CBI did not investigate those in the DA’s office who apparently did the same thing for politically-motivated reasons.
Precisely what role did Stephanie Villafuerte play in the whole Cory Voorhis affair? And what were her motivations? If she is going to be the next U.S. Attorney for Colorado, citizens of our state deserve to know.
Meanwhile, her ties to Bill Ritter then and now further raise the level of political intrigue involved. There’s already some considerable disarray in a Bill Ritter gubernatorial administration that faces a steep climb to re-election and a very credible challenger in Josh Penry.
Last night I kindly berated national talk show host Hugh Hewitt for his ignorance pertaining to Colorado Republican politics. Apparently, he’s in our state today and has an opportunity to listen, learn, and change his ways.
One guest who is scheduled to appear on his show this afternoon (sometime between 4 and 6 PM on 710 KNUS) is Matt Arnold to promote his important project Clear the Bench Colorado. Go here to find out more about Matt’s radio appearance and the cause you should consider supporting.
Rather than take the time to write a substantial, coherent post on any one topic on this Friday, July 31 — the birthday of the late, great Milton Friedman — I offer you four quick hits to amuse, inspire, frustrate, and activate. Without further ado: (more…)