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January 07, 2010 06:13 AM UTC

Questions, Answers (And Theories) From Ritter Announcement

  • by: Colorado Pols

(Bumped into Thursday for self-evident reasons – promoted by Colorado Pols)

After a wild 24 hours that saw more than 500 comments from Polsters in two separate posts, its time to take a look at the questions and answers from one of the more surprising political announcements in recent Colorado history.

Here’s what we know, what we’ve heard, and all of the questions both answered and unanswered surrounding Gov. Bill Ritter’s announcement today that he will not run for re-election in 2010.


Whenever a business executive, a sports figure or a politician says that they are stepping away from their job “in order to spend more time with their family,” people always question the real reason behind the decision. And in many cases, there is another reason aside from the standard rationale.

But in Ritter’s case, everything we’ve heard makes it sound like he really is retiring in order to devote more time to his family; there really may not be anything more to it. Remember, Ritter is not a lifelong politician — his 2006 campaign for Governor was his first real race for any office (we’re not counting his one re-election bid for Denver DA against Craig Silverman). Neither he nor his family were accustomed to the type of life they have led in the past three years, and it seems to have taken a toll on his family.


Republicans are strategically correct in trying to push the story that Ritter retired because he felt he would lose to Republican Scott McInnis, but it’s simply not true. While Ritter’s polling numbers may not have been great, it’s way too early for any politician to take polling results that seriously. Ritter’s fundraising was going well and he was working hard on the campaign trail.

To suggest that Ritter was afraid of McInnis — a flawed candidate in his own right — is silly. In fact, no Democrats are overly worried about McInnis in 2010; the three strongest Dems in Colorado are ready to run for Governor right now (more on that in a moment). If McInnis was such a concern, most Democrats would be hemming and hawing about a run like they were in 2005 — when then-Rep. Bob Beauprez was thought to be a very tough opponent. Democrats are not afraid of McInnis in the least, and neither was Ritter.


Republicans are sticking to their message that Ritter is retiring because he couldn’t win in 2010, and again, that’s the right public spin to put on this. But privately, Republican strategists are very concerned.

McInnis’ entire campaign strategy was based on telling voters that Ritter had screwed up the state and thus Colorado needed a new leader; that strategy is now worthless. Polling nationwide has shown that voters are displeased with incumbents in either Party, which was the biggest advantage McInnis had; that advantage is now gone. And compared with other potential Democratic candidates, Ritter was definitely the preferred opponent for Republicans. Not only was Ritter weakened by being an incumbent faced with implementing unpopular budget and service cuts, but he’s never been the most charismatic of Dems nor a top fundraiser, and the Democratic base had been less than pleased with him lately.

All in all, this was not a good day for Republicans in Colorado, and it’s about to get worse because…


Here’s how the potential field for Governor breaks down:

1. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

2. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper

3. CD-7 Rep. Ed Perlmutter

From everything we’ve heard, there will only be one Democrat, and it will be decided in this order. If Salazar says yes, and by all indications he will, then he’s the guy. If not, then Hickenlooper has the next right of first refusal. If for some reason both Salazar and Hick decide against a run — a highly unlikely scenario — then Perlmutter will almost certainly run for Governor.

Any of these three candidates are stronger than McInnis. All three are proven fundraisers with good name ID in the Denver Metro area — where most of Colorado’s voters reside. And none of them have any connections to Colorado’s budget crisis, which makes them nearly impossible to attack over what they did or didn’t do to harm the state financially.

But the Democratic nominee will most likely be Salazar, who presents a whole set of problems for McInnis and the GOP in Colorado in general. Not only does Salazar have fantastic name ID and fundraising contacts, but he’s one of just a few Democrats in Colorado who could really turn out Hispanic voters in large numbers. If Democratic voter turnout is depressed in 2010, which many pundits have predicted, a large turnout by Hispanic voters to vote for the state’s first Hispanic Governor could more than make up the difference. And that increased turnout will trickle down to help Democrats across the state, which is not something that Ritter could have provided.

When all is said and done, Ritter’s surprise retirement will likely turn out to be a significant benefit for Democrats in Colorado. Democrats don’t have to run an incumbent at the top of the ticket in a year where voters are mad at incumbents, and his replacement could turn out huge numbers of voters by himself. Republicans actually had a better chance of taking back the Governor’s mansion on Monday than they do today.



98 thoughts on “Questions, Answers (And Theories) From Ritter Announcement

    1. where in the world are you guys getting the idea that Salazar would stay at Interior for 8 whole years?  Outside of Harold Ickes and Stewart Udall, no one hangs around that long at the DoI, let alone any other cabinet post.

      Don’t get me wrong, I agree we need a Secy that will clean things up, but it seems way more likely than not that KS would have been gone long before 2016…

      1. Secretaries get shuffled all the time and there are plenty of good choices for Interior. Candidates with Salazar’s advantages here in Colorado don’t grow on trees. Salazar for Governor couldn’t be a more perfect answer to any difficulties Colorado Dems might be facing on that front.

    1. since a Colorado Lt. Gov went on to become Gov. The idea that picking Romanoff for that post would be a great thing for him might be a little over-rated.  

      1. He did in May. He told me that he thought it could help Ritter. undoubtedly it could have.

        I see no way that the Speaker can raise 10-to 15 million for a general if ACTBLue figures are accurate.

        If he costs the Dems the Senate seat then his career is over.

        It makes the most sense to me.

        It would be up to Sec.Salazar to offer.

        I don’t know their relationship.

        I know Sec.Salazar to be one of the finest men that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knwoing. He has enough clout to win without the Speaker, but a ticket with them both on would energize the base and win. Sen. Bennet could then focus on the Republicans.

        1. It would be a good way of energizing the disgruntled, diehard pro-Romanoff segment of the base.  But I wonder how much value it has to Romanoff.  Could he be an exception and really launch a bid for governor from the Lt. position?  It does seem to be even more of a bucket of warm piss job than the vice presidency.  

          As far as Romanoff never being forgiven if he costs Dems a senate seat, do you mean by winning the nomination and losing the general?  because I don’t think there’s much chance he’ll beat Bennet for the nomination.  I’ll just feel much better when I hear Salazar officially say yes.  I believe he can win with any Lt.  

          1. Hick is close to Sen.Bennet.

            I think that we are in for a Senate primary.

            I suppose that’s ok.

            I’m really irritated with some of his supporters. Some of them work for his campaign.

            Sen. Bennet wants his backers to be postive so I have to grin and bear it.

            I put this up as a possible way out for the Speaker. He could announce for Governor. I think that he should have done so immediately if he intended to do so.

            The 4th quarter fundraising will come out soon. Perhaps his meet Andrew Romanoff meetings have blown the house down.

            I wonder if he ran for Governor if he would swear off PAC money, too?

  1. I love that. Although it always surprises me when humans do anything, you know, …, in these times, I like seeing openings created for new voices….wherever they might appear. Dorgan, Dodd, Ritter……we have to see them as opportunities….and work hard to fill these empty seats with bold, skilled human beings who understand the constraints and opportunities of our times.

    1. Dorgan is the one retirement I think the Democratic Party leadership is secretly unhappy about.

      Dodd’s retirement is a godsend to the Democrats in that race.  Ritter’s retirement is at worst a wash, and depending on who steps up to run, it could turn in to a significant turn in the race from potential turnover to nearly locked for the Dems.

      Dorgan was facing a tough race in a tough state.  The state party has no obvious replacement for Dorgan; rumor has it they’re looking to Ed Schultz as a possibility, which wouldn’t make me unhappy but also doesn’t seem to improve the race over having Dorgan run for re-election.

      1. I say: “Thank you and good luck to you, sir.”

        Pomeroy ran statewide and is widely liked and respected.  I don’t pretend to know ND politics, but if Pomeroy could win a statewide seat , he can do it again.  The former gov  is a strong candidate, but not perfect and far from a slam dunk.

        1. he wasn’t running almost before Dogan announce he wasn’t.  Neither of them wants to run squarely into the buzz saw that Hoeven is going to be.

          Hoeven is the closest thing to a slam dunk running for senate in any state next year.

  2. And looking at the job he’s done at Interior, I think Salazar will make a great governor.

    Ray’s guess of Romanoff for Lt.Gov is brilliant. It gives Romanoff an out for a disaster of a campaign where he does not lose face. And in 8 years he can be gov.

        1. She’s a smart enough lady to never rule out anything but she was definite that the only way she would even consider it is IF

          1-Hickenlooper said no

          2-Salazar said no

          3-Romanoff said no.

            (in no particular order, by the way.)

          And she felt the chance of all three passing it up were infintestimal.   Right now, she’s gearing up for re-election and trying to cope with the worst fiscal situation since the Great Depression.  I plan to do what I can to help her this year.

            She;s plenty young, but I will admit the notion of Salazar subbing it and, if elected, seeking re-elected, upsets the notion of running Cary in 2014.   But she’s still very young and, if you needed another office in the interim, don’t forget she’s an attorney and Suthers will be term limited in 2014.  

            All that notwithstanding, I share your sentiments.  Male politicians have screw up this state for 130 years.  I think it’s time to let the women screw it up.   Even if they don’t do any better — and I think they would do a better job — at least we’d have some variety 😉

            1. But I agree there is an excellent chance he’ll only serve one term.  He left the AG office in midterm, turning the seat over to a Republican in the process, to run for Senate.  Then, he left the Senate after four years to go to interior.  Now, he may leave Interior after a year or so to run for gov.  So, even if elected, a Salazar re-election bid in 2014 is far from certain.

      1. Since I am Triguardian (and you are triguardian and we are all triguardian);-)

          JO is no problem since he’ll be happy when Andrew goes off to the u.S. Senate.

      1. And that’s the end of the legal responsibilities.  Everything else depends on his relationship with the guv.  At best, the Lt Gov is a minister without portfolio and Owens made good use of Jane Norton that way.

         At worst, the lt. Gov. is an embarrassment, like Owens, Romer and others suffered with some of their less compatible mates.  

    1. says that same thing.

      “These days (2003) I am a teetotal, mean-spirited, right-wing, narrow-minded, conservative Christian bigot, but not a racist.”  -Jane Russell

    2. McInnis is IMHO the only member of that bench that could possibly win a general election.  No-one else remains in the state GOP who has the moderate credentials and “star power” needed to win a general election.  I don’t think Suthers could survive the step up from AG to Governor, and the only other two I’d even consider if I was in the GOP would be Penry (who would’ve lost to Ritter, nevermind the rest of the Dem bench) and Mike Coffman.

      1. Dave Schultheis, Josh Penry, Scott Renfroe, Janet Rowland and Greg Brophy

        D’s have so much talent it’s hard to find a spot for all of it.

        “I’m up on the tightrope , one sides hate and one is hope

        It’s a circus game with you and me”  -Leon Russell

    1. one northern “rising star” that went from small town mayor to Gov to VP candidate to ex-Gov to author.  Except our guy is the real deal.

  3. Romanoff gets it.

    If one guy announces, he would be on the ticket as lt. for sure…somehow. This will boost his chances in the Senate race I think though

  4. did Taegan Goddard really break this story?  I have no idea who broke it, but that was the first name listed on yesterday’s post.  I’m curious because if he did, what does it say about who leaked the news, why, when and all that?  Perhaps a bit irrelevant now, but wouldn’t it be strange if the news was leaked to a DC newsie instead of a Colorado newsie?

    1. Did Washington know first and control the message?

      “There’s nothing like sitting back and talking to your cows.”  -Russell Crowe

  5. Which is the better job?  Conventional thought might say the higher paying, non-term limited,lower stress job in DC.  A couple of years ago two members of the senate managed to run for president while “full time members.”  I am not questioning his motives, but am curious why Salazar would voluntarily resign from the job many politicians consider the holy grail, and now run for the job that the current office holder is quitting because, in effect, it is wearing him out?  

    1. and there’s no ironclad advantage for one or the other. Senators have to live in Washington, travel all the time, serve as one of 100 (and let Ben Nelson or Joe Liebermann make all the key decisions), and spend all their time raising obscene amounts of money. There are definitely people who would find the job of governor preferable.

      The thing is, if Salazar had wanted to be running statewide in 2010, couldn’t he have been firm about that a year ago, kept his seat, and saved everyone a whole lot of trouble?

      1. why all these governors and Senators went to work in Obama’s Cabinet. Salazar, Napolitano, Sebelius, Vilsack… Those were all people we kind of needed to stay where they were (and/or run for Senate against a Republican incumbent). Why didn’t Obama just appoint technocrats to those positions? It never made any sense to me.

        1. And cabinet officer has always been sought after by Senators. As others here pointed out, running part of the federal government is a lot more fun than spending half your time raising money and the other half being 1 of 100 votes.

              1. I think it also depends on the personality of the individual as to which position is more coveted.  Washington D.C. is Disney Land for elected officials, but state govt. and fed. govt. are two very different beasts.  Some really like the fed. side and some really like the fast pace and political maneuverings of state govt.  Allard for example would NEVER want to be a governor, but Salazar on the other hand has a love for state politics.  There is also much more “lime light” to be had as a Governor!  He likes the lime light.

                1. Some politicians just don’t like the Federal government, and some have no interest in State government. Many people look at Senator and Governor very differently, and both have their pluses and minuses.

        2. or former govs and sens that had no intention of running for anything in the near future like Gary Locke at Commerce.

          Vilsack could have been a credible challenger to Chuck Grassley, and Napolitano to McCain.  But hey, being 18th in line to the presidency is pretty sweet…

      2. there is no reason Salazar couldn’t do it all.

        Move from Senate to DOI, then DOI to Guv, then back to the cabinet if after 8 years of gov there is a friendly administration in DC.

        The timing doesn’t work for everyone else in the current cycle.  

  6. Dream candidate. I know, I know, he’s #3 on the list and he’d be a little nuts to give up a seat he could easily hold for 100 years in order to battle it out for a statewide office that’s in no way a sure thing, but I’m sick of Perlmutter being stuck in Congress. The house requires too much time spent running for re-election and too little actually doing the job.

    He should be sitting in Bennet’s seat, but Perlmutter for Governor would be the perfect fuck-you to Ritter and an excellent opportunity for Ed.  

    1. You’d think, for all the time they needed to spend raising money vs. actually legislating, that the House would be falling all over itself to reform campaign finance once and for all, and for the better.

      But that would imply that money wasn’t fun.

      1. Try too hard to reform campaign finance laws to avoid spending 90% of your time fundraising for re-election and you probably will soon have the luxury of spending 0% of your time fundraising for re-election. But not because your bill was such a rousing success.

        (Really though, I think the Hon. Perlmutter is the last guy I’d accuse of having too much fun with the current campaign finance system. Good man all around.)

  7. I’ve known Governor Ritter for almost thirty years, long before he was ever in politics, and his family is the most important part of his life. He is leaving for the reasons he stated.

    Second, the Republicans are running scared this evening. The worst was already over for Governor Ritter against Mr. McInnis and both Messrs. McInnis and Wadhams know it. I can categorically state the Governor’s most recent poll numbers have him over a 50% approval rating. Compare that to what it was in July (below 40%). In the head to head question (who would you vote for Bill Ritter or Scott McInnis), the Governor beat Mr. McInnis by five points. Mr. McInnis’ entire strategy is based on his assumption and hope neither the economy or the confidence of the American public will return before election day this year. A shameful strategy based on the hope that Colorado voters continue to suffer unemployment and the corresponding  spiritual damage caused by the anxiety that hard times bring upon people.

    Without Gov. Ritter as his target, Mr. McInnis now has to define himself and contrast himself with the eventual Democratic nominee (probably Ken Salazar). Thus far, his only policy pronouncement involved turning loose 40% of our prison inmates. Not a very good start.

    When it is all said and done this is what we can say about our governor:

                              BILL RITTER

                            A Good Governor

                             A Better Man

    1. What’s interesting is I came to respect him more and more as I got to know him better. He’s not out there selling himself (very rare in a politician) but instead focusing on doing the job as well as possible.

      I think he may be the most under-appreciated politico we have in this state. I look forward to seeing how he uses his last year, free of campaign constraints.

    2. Gov. Ritter is a good and decent man who has done quite a few wonderful things while in office, not least ramping up our alternative energy sector. This state is lucky to have had an honest guy who gives it his all in that job.

      That said, I don’t think Ritter is very inspirational and I see him as more of a technocrat than a visionary. That is both good and bad, but in this year of nervousness I think he needed to work on the latter.

      I hope his public service career isn’t over. In fact, if Ken Salazar does run, I hope President Obama considers Bill Ritter as the new Secretary of Interior.

    3. I believe what Gov Ritter said yesterday.  I have no inside inf. and saw the same guy we all saw on tv. He looked relaxed, happy and … confident for the first time in a long time.  He had no look of a guy for whom there is more to the story.

      But McIinnis and Wadhams were both pivoting to run against “the Democrat platform” of higher taxes and more gov’t and Obama.  I always thought that would be the campaign anyway and all the whining and MUS about Ritter would fade in volume as the long, cold nights of the Winter Olympics gave way to the Rockies and watering restrictions.  It will always be a part of the campaign, partly because it’s all they know and partly because it resonates well with a few.

      And McInnis is apparently going to get a pass and be able to be all things to everyone and both ways on anything. Eg – yesterady mid-day he’s an inelegant ass in print and then on Caplis & Caplis-light, and then is decent and respectful on tv. He gets it both ways.

      1. There’s a diary up right now about it.

        But I will add that I don’t give a fuck if he does “get it both ways”. We’ve got bigger fish to fry here if we want to keep the Governor’s seat. McInnis’s reaction to Ritter’s leaving the campaign is good for about 24 hours. Who is going to remember or care about Scott’s response? Absolutely no one, other than political bloggers. This one isn’t even registering with the average Joe.

        1. and the point is that McInnis was always and will still run against Obama and Pelosi and Reid and Hillary. And whatever other Democrat symbol they can think of, real or imagined.

  8. I am sure what Wadhams is thinking about tonight, is the fact that Ken Salazar was able to win in 04 with nearly the same vote count as Bush in CO. Salazar out performed John Kerry in 63 of CO’s 64 counties. If Salazar jumps in Democrats are in better shape than we were on Monday.  

  9. I was watching the Chan 7 5am news.  They now show the 4 guys as possibles; Romanoff added to the other three.

    The White House front runner should stay with the White House as secretary of the Interior.  His actions as a senator were beyond disappointing but may have contributed to the severe depression/recession. He was a strong vote on giving the banks the credit card companies the ability to prevent bankruptcy and essentially forcing people to lifelong payments to the banks and credit card companies.

    His support of Lieberman is dispicable and should not be rewarded.  Salazar used the same cover to vote Republican as DINO’s always use that Colorado is Republican so he/she has to vote that way. Well, it is not OK to vote Republican when you are a Democratic Party Member.

    I like that Romanoff is being considered now. Hickenlooper is OK. But I think adding in Kennedy and Carroll to the mix is important.  They may not be ready according to CW, but some of use do not give much weight to CW.

    Right now would be a good time for Salazar to withdraw from the mix.

    1. Most Colorado Dems have kind of gotten used to winning. We like it.  Salazar is a proven winner and still voted with progressives far more often than Coors would have and Coors is what we would have gotten by running Mike Miles.  I believe it was somwthing like 85% as opposed to the 0% we could have had if we had stayed up on our high horses for Miles.

      Salazar has been a first rate Secretary and will be a first rate executive with a heavily Dem legislature to work with, a far different situation than what he came into as a new Senator. Why would any Dem with a lick of sense not want Salazar to say yes?  Pretty please!

      Remember how ticked off the Hispanic community was when it appeared Ritter wasn’t even giving serious consideration to a single Colorado Hispanic to fill Salazar’s senate seat? Imagine having that so completely, dramatically, historically and joyously turned around and in a traditionally low turn out midterm election.  

      Are you nuts? I just wish I’d found a petition to draft Salazar in my mail box this morning.

  10. Harmon, predictably, uncritically repeats the McInnis campaign spin, but adds a Tea Party twist:

    Although Ritter’s decision appears to bolster the campaign of Republican Scott McInnis, a six-term U.S. representative from Grand Junction, people attracted to politics through the tea party movement have something new to study, said Rose Pugliese, a Palisade conservative loosely tied to the tea party movement.

    Without Ritter, “I’m curious to see who else is interested,” Pugliese said. “I know there is Andrew Romanoff, and I’ve heard a lot of Republicans really like him. I’ll be curious to see if he jumps in and how he does.

    “I definitely think this changes things a bit.”

    ‘Loosely tied’ Tea Partisans for Romanoff.  OK.  Grand Junction’s next senator struck a diplomatic tone with a seafaring analogy:

    Ritter “is a person I respect. I wish him well,” said State Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction.

    But, he added, “We have a lot of work to do to face the challenges his administration has created. This improves our ability to move forward on changes we need to make to right the ship, hopefully without a lot of push back from the administration.”

    While Rep. Bradford channeled her inner Michelle Bachman.

    Ritter’s announcement came as two Democrats in the U.S. Senate, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, announced they wouldn’t seek re-election. State Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, said the timing leads her to wonder if they were coordinated.…  

    1. I about spat out my coffee.

      She’s vice chair of the Western Slope Conservative Alliance, I believe.

      And the Senile conveniently avoided any discussion of her teabagger ties when she was running for School Board.

    2. is also good news for Dems. Have heard Blumenthal, most likely to replace him in the race, is polling really well.  In all the hysteria it seems lost that Dodd’s problem is Dodd, not Obama, and that only Dorgan’s choice is genuinely bad news.

      The story on Politico about N. Dakota Dems trying to draft Ed Schultz sounds crazy at first but hey, it’s a neighbor of Minnesota where they elected a wrestling star as Gov and a comedian as senator so who can say?

      In any case, the whole sky is falling thing is being much over-hyped by the breathless 24 hour media. Not that it isn’t fun to occasionally tune in to see Chris Matthews turn purple while talking over his guests’ futile attempts to answer his questions.  For a minute or two.  

        1. I had heard a 30 point advantage mentioned but didn’t want to cite something that sounded so too good to be true on the basis of catching it while channel surfing and having no specific source to cite. Apparently it was accurate. So how does that get spun into Obama is killing Dem candidates? Understand the polling for our Colorado guys is now under way. Expect more good news.

      1. and he’s been in public service for a long, long time.

        I’ts not like he’s Bob Bird old, but when he says it’s just time, I believe him.

        The problem with comparing Ed Schultz to Gov Ventura or Senator Franken is a) ND is not MN b) GOv Ventura was popular with govt’ is stoopid crowd and that’s a small demographic in ND  and c) Franken is really smart.

        Ed should stay out of it unless he’s certain he can win – and he can’t be.

  11. His kids, to all appearances, are healthy and  wealthy, compared to other kids.  I think change is hard and his agenda was ambitious and one I supported.  He should have stayed and supported it.  I did not hear him talk about the future in Colorado and how he would be working for his own ideas and ideals.  I expected more.

    My suggestion to whoever is running the current PR campaign, drop the crap about how his 16 and 19 year olds miss their old neighborhood…almost two miles away.  The kids don’t have cancer; their parents are not getting a divorce; are not in jail; are not deployed to a war zone; are not unemployed or dying.  Quit your bitching, kids and buck up.

    1. Ouch. I don’t think you’ll get many “amens” on your harsh assessment. Maybe they just all want to be happy and Ritter doesn’t believe that, on his death bed, he’ll be wishing he had contributed more to stressing out his loved ones.  

      1. I am just saying that his kids should be able to handle “daddy” being gone a lot of nights better than other kids.  He should have acknowledged how lucky his kids are and how lucky he is to have choices which other parents do not have.  I wish for the Ritter kids that the worst problem they ever have to face is “missing their old SE neighborhood.”

        And, IMHO, the agenda he was advancing would  help some families survive better, ie. new energy industries; better health coverage, etc.  I am disappointed that he evidently doesn’t have the stomach for the fight for those things.

        I really expected more.

    2. There’s a specific reason why. I know someone who knows, but try as I might, I couldn’t get it out of her.

      Bill Ritter is a principled man. I thank him for his service, I wish him well, and I urge him to work his lame-duck status for all it’s worth and do some more good for our poor broke state.

    3. Only you can be a parent to your children.  In a world where people mouth putting their families first, its nice to see somebody doing it.

      1. And do you keep working as governor until your wife has her bags pack and your kids are on drugs – or do you return to family when there are issues, but things are still good – so you keep them that way.

        Wife and kids should come first – always. And if they need more of his time and attention – major kudos to Ritter for having his head screwed on straight.

    4. Rule #1 for this kind of thing is you have to want it.

      He does not want it anymore. And acknowledging that and getting out is the respectable thing to do.

      He has my gratitude and well wishes.

  12. Leaving the race provides Governor Ritter the opportunity to balance the budget the right way rather than the politically expedient way.

    To wit, he needs to attack the special interest tax exemptions that total over $2 billion per the Denver Business Journal.  He needs to make some of these exemptions income limited (e.g., there is no need to give a tuition contribution deduction to someone making over, say $250,000).  The special interests will squeal like stuck pigs, but they should be ignored.  I know of no business that will leave, or not come to, this state but for a small tax exemption.  Instead, I believe they want, and need, a top notch education system (K- college) that hasn’t been decimated by budget cuts.

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