I asked before if Bill Ritter called the bluff of Big Labor with his veto of Senate Bill 180. If we're to judge by last Friday's union-organized rally, then Ritter made a mistake. To see what I mean, take a step over to Face The State's slideshow, and see signs like "Why does Ritter hate fire fighters?" and "Ritter lied to my dad" (or just Senator Lois Tochtrop's angry expression). Of course, Ritter didn't make a mistake from the standpoint of choosing good policy over bad policy. But he has made four mistakes surrounding this issue: Don't make promises you don't intend to keep. Backroom campaign promises can come back to burn you. As observed at ColoradoPols and demonstrated by the little girl's "Ritter lied to my dad" sign, … [Read more...]
Is Bill Ritter’s SB 180 Veto a Dare to Big Labor to Challenge His Office?
Update, 9:30 AM: AFL-CIO press release in response to Ritter's SB 180 veto pasted below the fold. Also, Amy Oliver notes that several legislators from northern Colorado went against the will of the people in voting for SB 180 -- having benefited from thousands in labor campaign contributions. Yesterday I gave Governor Bill Ritter kudos for the veto of SB 180. Today's Denver Post follow-up by Lynn Bartels is headlined with the statement that Rep. Edward Casso and organized labor interests see the decision as a "tipping point". It could be my imagination, but I got the impression from reading the story that Ritter essentially is saying something like this to the unions:So yeah, I have this penchant of making a wide spectrum of different … [Read more...]
Western Slope Pressure Heightens Bill Ritter’s Bad Policy SB 180 Dilemma
As the Grand Junction Sentinel reports today, the day of reckoning draws closer for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to decide on the bad policy that is SB 180 -- a costly favor to Big Labor. The Sentinel today also editorializes strongly against SB 180 -- using many of the same arguments I've brought forward before, and even one I haven't really emphasized:Strikes would be prohibited under the legislation, but there are no sanctions listed in the bill for those who violate the provision. Now it would seem that Bill Ritter has an opportunity to start mending fences with folks on the Western Slope, where his popularity is low and heckling is a common greeting for him, by vetoing SB 180. He could listen to Grand Junction mayor Bruce Hill, … [Read more...]
Senate Bill 180: Another Big Labor Veto Dilemma for Vulnerable Bill Ritter
Two years ago Governor Bill Ritter came right out of the gate and ran smack into a tough veto choice that caused friction with his Big Labor supporters. Ritter made up for the nixing of House Bill 1072 later in 2007 with an executive order giving union organizers a gold-plated invitation into Colorado state government. Now, to some extent, history is replaying itself. As the Denver Post's John Ingold reports, the choice Bill Ritter is confronted with now is whether to sign or veto the bad policy that is Senate Bill 180. The bogus argument used for SB 180 -- which narrowly passed the Democrat-controlled legislature -- is that firefighters need greater union bargaining rights to ensure they get needed safety equipment. … [Read more...]