Colorado’s 7th Congressional district, where I live, covers some of the swingin’-est swing state political geography in the nation. But only recently has incumbent Democrat Ed Perlmutter‘s vulnerability become truly apparent. Just this week the national experts at the Rothenberg Political Reportupgraded the chances of Perlmutter’s opponent and neighbor, likeable Republican businessman Joe Coors.
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 the rest of this entry »
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 countywide phenomenon. Not a good sign for the Obama administration from a major swing county in a major swing state.
How that translates to the local county and state legislative races remains to be seen. But the fact that so many showed up to participate in the process on a beautiful Colorado weekend when virtually every race to be determined was uncontested (though getting to hear of County Commissioner John Odom‘s rock-solid fiscally conservative principles and his lighthearted “The Bald Truth” campaign theme idea were a highlight) — well, it speaks volumes.
The only exception of a contested race was House District 22 in south Jeffco, where my conservative friend Justin Everett bested Loren Bauman 58 to 42 percent. The rules of the game state that a candidate must earn at least 30 percent to win a spot on the June 26 primary ballot, or else try to collect signatures to petition on. As a result of the assembly outcome, Everett’s name will appear on the ballot’s top line. From the campaign press release: Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a great quick video to watch, drawing the connection between America’s declining economic freedom and a host of problems, including the rising tide of debt which daily comes closer to drowning us all:
Who will wake up and turn this ship around? Just in case you didn’t understand why the 2012 national elections were so important…
I’m back. This time I mean it. With Colorado’s legislative session in gear and both chambers of the General Assembly up for grabs in this fall’s election, there is no time to dive into the fray like the present. While Mount Virtus may never be as prolific a place as it’s ever been. You can follow some of my other writings as follows:
Nevertheless, this year you can count on this space for more coverage of events at the legislature and analysis of the upcoming state legislative elections — much like these 2010 posts on the state house and senate.
That sort of in-depth analysis will wait ’till later. For now, to whet the appetite, a quick look at House District 27 — 2010′s correctly called #1 pickup for Republicans. Democrats want it back, naturally. But given the recent reapportionment that added to the district’s GOP registration advantage, it’s an uphill climb. A month ago the liberal blog Jeffco Pols reported that Big Labor’s Tim Allport was stepping up to challenge Republican freshman Rep. Libby Szabo: Read the rest of this entry »
While CD 1′s hard-working Dr. Mike Fallon (#2 on the list) looks to be keeping true to his word to be a one-time candidate, the conservatives occupying the next two spots both could be back in the fray for 2012. It was more than 13 months ago I observed about CD 7 primary runner-up Lang Sias (#4): Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I filmed a 14-minute segment with my boss at the Independence Institute, Jon Caldara, on his show Devil’s Advocate. The topic for discussion was the timely news that members of the Colorado Education Association (CEA) have until tomorrow (December 15)to get back money automatically collected with their dues to support (almost completely one-sided) state and local political campaigns.
As I often say, if you like how the union spends your money on politics, you have no reason to complain and absolutely nothing to do. But for those teachers who would rather support their own political causes, or use the money to pay for Christmas shopping or just save for a rainy day, then members need to be informed of their opportunity. One way to find out how to get the Colorado teachers union political refund is to watch the video:
In the episode Jon describes the notifications about teacher options as my personal charity work — the kind of charity work where one gets called nasty names. So be it. In the last-minute rush before the holidays, and tomorrow’s all-important December 15 deadline, here’s hoping this post makes the difference for someone out there.
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.
Complaints that public education spending in Colorado has been slashed in recent years conveniently ignore the big picture. Ben DeGrow at the Independence Institute reports that total annual expenditures on K-12, adjusted for inflation, from 1999 to 2010 have increased by $3.2 billion or 46 percent. Per pupil spending is up 24 percent. There’s little to show for it in the way of results.
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 explanation I can think of why this video didn’t finish even higher.
But anyway, kudos to my Independence Institute colleagues for their creative, production and/or supporting dramatic roles: Tracy Kimball-Smith, Amy Oliver, Todd Shepherd and Jon Caldara. For their sakes and for mine, take the two and a half minutes to watch it all, especially the outtakes at the end. You’ll be entertained and educated!
In my official capacity at the Independence Institute, I helped to create this newly-released video (narration by Mary MacFarlane, editing and production by Justin Longo, consulting and oversight by Jon Caldara and Pam Benigno):
As my juvenile alter ego at Ed Is Watching pointed out:
…it’s a story like 13-year-old Nate Oakley’s that brings to life the need for Douglas County vouchers, and the real threat created by lawsuits filed by the ACLU and other groups.
Leading 19th century American politician James Blaine had a Catholic mother; therefore
The Blaine Amendment he crafted into the state constitutions of Colorado and numerous others were bastions of modern “secular” thought promoting the separation of church and state, as understood by the ACLU and its compatriots; therefore
Republicans in the 1800s were much more secular and enlightened than their contemporary counterparts; and
Forget the fact that parents are given a choice, the Douglas County school board is funneling money to religious schools in violation of a benign state constitutional provision.
Really? Bad history may make for clever political potshots, but beyond that it has little practical use. The leading flaw in Quillen’s column is a fundamental (and willful?) misunderstanding of 19th century American public education — which was “nondenominational” Protestant but clearly not secular as the columnist imagines. Read the rest of this entry »
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 standing to join other states in passing a uniform law opening these kinds of negotiations to the light of public scrutiny.
As I reported in my 2010 Independence Institute issue backgrounder “Colorado Education and Open Negotiations,” six states currently have laws on the books guaranteeing this brand of taxpayer-friendly government transparency. In Colorado you have to go back to 2005 for Senate Bill 175 and to 2004 for House Bill 1242, the legislature’s last serious (and in the case of 1242, nearly successful) attempts to shine light on negotiations between governments and unions. With momentum growing locally around this issue, might Colorado lawmakers try this approach again? Read the rest of this entry »