Some brief Monday morning thoughts:
Colorado Democrats are under a lot of pressure and influence from the aging dinosaur of organized labor, which despite its “pro-worker” rhetoric, champions some legislation bound to have an adverse effect on working families. Working families who shop at – or even work at – say, Wal Mart. Did they take a poll of the giant retailer’s employees before deciding to support a measure that would mandate a certain percentage of payroll on health care benefits? This is horrible legislation that would primarily benefit the union bosses and their organizing buddies, and could hurt the many student and second-income employees who already are covered by someone else’s health insurance and choose to work at Wal Mart for the extra take-home earnings.
But none of the organized labor lobby is strong as Colorado’s public employee unions, from whom other union bosses might get the idea to enforce the automatic collection of union dues from employee paychecks by legislation. Or with a Democrat governor in the statehouse they likely will seek to undo Bill Owens’ 2001 executive order outlawing political deductions from state employee paychecks.
Speaking of Democrats who want to be governor, it looks like Mayor John Hickenlooper finally will decide to cast his hat in the ring. To which I reply: Good. One can only take so much anticipatory drooling from the other side of the aisle. They have deluded themselves into believing that Hick is the unbeatable statewide candidate they’ve been longing for to lead the “Blue State” charge. Let the real campaigning begin.
Update: Well, surprise, surprise… Hick is not running, and this time we can safely assume that “No” really does mean “No.” Hick or Ritter or Alice Madden, it doesn’t matter: the GOP should be odds-on favorites to hold on to the Statehouse. And having staked so much on a rumor, the Dems sure look rudderless now. The Dead Guvs’ best efforts to breathe life into the state Dems’ fall campaign have fallen short. One of many questions arising now: where is the Big Four’s money going to go?
Update II: A media release from the Marc Holtzman campaign indicates that John Hickenlooper made the classy gesture of giving Marc a personal phone call notifying him of the decision prior to his official announcement. Still awaiting word from the Beauprez camp, but there is every reason to believe Hick extended the gesture to all the other announced candidates in the race. Best wishes to Hick in his continued mayoral tenure.