Yesterday evening the Colorado Republican legislative staff hosted a blogger round (or square as the case may be) table discussion on some of the looming issues on the eve of the legislative session. Topics of discussion ranged from public employee pensions to medical marijuana to government transparency.
Rather than provide a recap, I’ll point you to the thoughts of liberal blogger David Thielen — whom I finally met in person and sat next to during the discussion. Though he was outnumbered about 15 to 1, Thielen held his own and was treated well. His Colorado Pols essay reviewing the event was honest, fair-minded and lighthearted — which:
- Shows the GOP leadership in attendance (who took a healthy share of time answering his questions) to be serious, fair and open
- Makes him stand out from the Pols crowd
- May get him ostracized by some in the Lefty quarters, in no small part because I now have written something complimentary about him twice within a week’s time
Thielen noted the confab was “a lot less partisan than I expected” (contrary to popular opinion, Republicans don’t even metaphorically “tar and feather” stranded Democrats who wander into our midst, much less literally).
Taken altogether, this means to me that the Colorado GOP — with leadership from the likes of senate minority leader Josh Penry — have clearly brandished their bona fides as a serious governing party. Principles are preserved, with a laser-like focus on restoring efficient, responsive government and erring on the side of responsible liberty and economic sanity. Prolonged minority status has a habit of doing that to a political party.
Though Republicans’ ability to leverage legislative success is limited, such a serious approach figures to improve the case they can take to the state’s voters in the fall. The 2010 Colorado elections may be very interesting, after all.
Anyway, the legislative session gets off and running tomorrow. Usually I say “hold on to your wallets”, but this time with real budget cuts on the table here’s hoping for genuine and lasting taxpayer-friendly reform in state government. Or at least, minimal damage compared to years past. The Democrats under the Golden Dome may prove me wrong, however.