How to Get Fired: Mothers Against Debt Takes On Unemployment Benefits

A preeminent challenge lying ahead for our elected Congress to tackle is the mounting debt and out-of-control spending that grew under Republican leadership and accelerated in the past few years with Democrats in charge. No one is better prepared to help equip you to do your citizen's part in taking on this challenge than my friends at Mothers Against Debt. Their new video on the idiocy of unemployment benefits as economic stimulus is a real hoot. Enjoy: … [Read more...]

Twenty-Eleven Means I’m Back

The New Year has arrived, and my long hiatus from serious blogging is over. For any blogger, a long hiatus can be a dangerous proposition -- threatening the already tenuously small readership and helping people to forget about you. Look, many of you already were going to forget about me anyway over the Christmas / New Year holiday anyway. And having blogged here for nearly seven years (can you believe that?), I felt secure enough to take the time off. But one major reason for the break was to gear up mentally and spiritually for the battles that lie ahead. Contributing to all the apparently positive gains in the 2010 elections, in Congress and elsewhere? That took some effort, to be sure. The real challenge lies ahead, however -- among … [Read more...]

Weld County School Board Challenged for Taking On Local Union Prerogatives

Colorado is an interesting place for education reform, for many reasons. Among them are issues related to teacher professional membership and representation: In Colorado, public school teachers have a right to join or not join (and not pay fees to) a union or other professional membership organization. In Colorado, elected school boards are not obligated to enter a collective bargaining relationship with teachers or other employees. In Colorado, no state laws define collective bargaining for government workers, nor any of the related procedures and guidelines. In Colorado, school districts with active collective bargaining agreements are required to post them online (and have them available in the school office) for transparency and … [Read more...]

Colorado Education Association Members Can Get EMO Political Refunds Until December 15 Deadline

Spend 99.9% of member dues political funds on Democrats over Republicans (at a 50% success rate for the most heavily funded candidates)? Check. Give $250,000 in member funds to the 527 group Accountability for Colorado, with a track record of negative political smears -- a group denounced by candidates in both parties and by Denver Post columnist Vince Carroll for maliciously distorting the truth? Check. Remember: The deadline to request the Every Member Option political refund is December 15. CEA members can go directly here to make an online request of the $39 refund. To find out more information, including on local union refunds, visit the Independent Teachers web site. … [Read more...]

Time to Respond to Denver Post’s Anti-DougCo Voucher Letter Writers

Update, Noon: Here is the one-page summary of official recommendations made to the Douglas County Board of Education by the School Choice Task Force's "Option Certificates" subcommittee. So unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past couple weeks, you may have heard Douglas County -- one of Colorado's largest school districts -- is considering the adoption of a local voucher-style private school choice program. Independence Institute blogger "Eddie" has covered the story well here and here. With all the coverage in the Denver Post, it's not surprising that plenty of readers wanted to weigh in with letters published in Sunday's Perspective section. I was disappointed to see most of the letters rely on misinformed premises … [Read more...]

Colorado GOP, What Do You Want to See in the Next State Party Chair?

The midterm elections are more than a week past in the rearview mirror. Time to stop navel-gazing and focus on the future. In that spirit, I wanted to pass on the link to a survey for serious Colorado Republicans. One of the next is choosing leadership for the state party, as the central committee is scheduled to convene in a few months. Make your opinion known of what qualities and characteristics will be important in the next Colorado Republican Party state chair. I look forward to seeing the results of the survey. … [Read more...]

Colorado GOP Candidates Who Fell Short But Can See Bright Futures

A full week has passed since the Election. We all know the results. For the winners it's transition time. New members headed off to Congress -- at least one pegged with a remarkably bright political future. I'm proud to see a new secretary of state in Colorado, a new state treasurer, not to mention the "Mighty Six" GOP upstarts who took over formerly Democratic seats to reclaim the state house majority. But what about those Colorado Republican candidates who threw their hats into the ring, who entered the arena and did battle, yet came up short? Some of them we won't see on the electoral stage again (in some cases, thankfully). For others, a potentially bright political future remains. Here are a few: … [Read more...]

Non-Union State Employee Closes Up Tongue-in-Cheek ColoradoLoses

Today marks the end of an era. The state employee who started the non-union group ColoradoLoses as an answer to Colorado WINS, the union coalition outgoing Governor Bill Ritter invited into Denver by executive order in 2007. Dave Ohmart posted the announcement on his website earlier today:I am shutting ColoradoLoses down. Thaks so much for the support you showed me over the past two and a half years. WINS will be shutting down too, I believe. They have lost support and are near bankruptcy. I don't have any independent information to confirm or challenge Dave's assessment and prediction. But it's important to note that Colorado WINS (a joint coalition of SEIU, AFSCME and AFT) did gain its semi-exalted bargaining position, after … [Read more...]

Frank McNulty and New GOP House Leadership Team Prepare to Step In

As pointed out on the Denver Post blog, Colorado's new majority Republican state house caucus is proceeding with leadership elections tomorrow. At 10 AM, to be precise. Colorado Democrats have protested, saying not all the decisive races have been resolved to their satisfaction. Sure, I appreciate it's hard to accept being in the minority after the past six years on top. But looking at the situation clearly, it's extremely difficult to see how any of the close races left will shift in either direction. Why? Well, for one, Republican challenger Bob Boswell is more likely to surmount his deficit against Greeley Rep. Jim Riesberg than outgoing Democrats Dianne Primavera or Debbie Benefield are to hold on to their seats. (And the deficits … [Read more...]

Wishful Numbers in Tim Leonard’s State Senate District 16 Race?

Although it's not crucial to winning the majority in the state senate -- the Democrats have held on -- it seems like we have a small dispute over the actual standing of the race in District 16, where conservative Republican Tim Leonard and liberal Democrat Jeanne Nicholson are locked in a close count. Lynn Bartels reported at 10:30 this morning in the Denver Post (H/T Complete Colorado):And in a multi-county seat stretching from the western suburbs to mountain towns, Democrat Jeanne Nicholson was up by six votes over Republican Tim Leonard, according to a tweet from Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora. A Tweet? Could we use some real confirmation, please? Outlets like 9News and The Denver Channel (Bartels' own Denver Post election results page … [Read more...]