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February 24, 2012 12:26 AM UTC

Read Your Own Bill, Chris Holbert

  • by: Colorado Pols

We wanted to be sure a story reported by Lynn Bartels of the Denver paper in the last couple of days got a mention–House Bill 12-1250, sponsored by Republican Rep. Chris Holbert, was killed by the House Finance Committee this morning on Holbert’s request. This bill would have shifted costs for the Public Employees Retirement Association’s supplemental health coverage to retirees, which would have had the effect of forcing many of them onto Medicaid.

A fierce response from retirees made the bill politically untenable even for Republicans, but that’s not the most interesting part of the story. As the tough questions rained down about this bill from constituents and then the press, Rep. Holbert actually stopped taking responsibility for his own legislation. Bartels reports that Holbert began responding to inquiries claiming the legislation was the conservative Independence Institute’s idea, and actually directed questions about the bill to that organization, saying he didn’t know enough about it. Now, it’s no secret that the Independence Institute, like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other such groups frequently assist in drafting–or even draft entirely–bills carried by elected legislators in the Colorado General Assembly.

But if you can’t even answer questions about a bill you’re carrying, maybe it’s gone too far.


18 thoughts on “Read Your Own Bill, Chris Holbert

  1. Wow, when I began reading your comments I was afraid you were going to suggest that Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the environmental coalition and other liberal groups that work with the Democrats were also guilty of drafting.  But you did not indict them so they must be pure.

    At least I still have that illusion to cling to.

    1. In all of those cases, I believe the legislators were able to answer questions about the bill.

      This is the problem with working up canned responses in advance to a blog post you know is coming. Pols didn’t actually write what you’re responding to. They wrote that it’s a common practice for outside orgs to draft and help draft, but not common for legislators to direct questions about the bills to those outside orgs.

      You trolls need to think on your feet better.

      1. I’ve never been to town hall with a Dem rep or Sen who couldn’t answer questions about legislation they are backing. This guy seemed to think if a rightie think tank wanted it, fine.  Why bother to know what’s in it? Pretty much ArapG and ‘Tad in a nutshell. Conversely it doesn’t matter if it’s something an R proposed last week. coming from a Dem, it must be wrong. Saves a lot of reading time.

  2. stuff is patently ridiculous.  

    Excuse me now, I’m going to see if I can still find that diary from a couple of sessions ago criticizing Ferandino for having The Bell explain and field all the House comittee questions about “his” payday lending bill . . .

    1. Now you have to produce a link: either to that post or to evidence Ferrandino did what you say he did. I don’t remember Ferrandino ever being unable to answer questions about that bill. Prove he was.

      1. 1st, FU (x2)

        You might have a better recollection of events if you could review your own comments.  Any reason, that of all the folks posting here, including Colorado Pols, that your comments aren’t visible?

        At least you got your screen name right. I’m no shill, I’ll stand on my credibility and my (mostly) impeccable memory, especially of events I am interested in and attend.

        And, again I say FU, invisible shill.  

        1. Calm down, I’m pretty sure the links don’t work because of the exclamation point in my handle. I’m nobody special and nobody’s shill. There’s no need to resort to GOP troll grade comments.

  3. An eight page bill, drafted at OLLS by Greg Fraser (he gets paid for his work), scheduling for hearing, etc. The legislature is only in session for a short time. A legislator should respect that and either do his/her homework, or stay home.  

  4. oh right, it was Janek Joshi on Tfumbling all over his “own” fetal homicide bill before deferring to the drafters or maybe some of the people who will testify” b/c, “as a doctor, I dont know this language. When your bill involves adding new crimes for which the state can KILL someone, you had better know the damn details.  

  5. Lead to lobbyists writing laws and legislators who don’t know what’s in their bills.

    We should have professional engineers, doctors,  athletes, businessmen and lawyers, but our government officials should be dilettantes.

  6. I’ve seen drafts that look so well researched and written that I swore had to have been written by an outside group; yet legislators had written them, without help from leg services. Amazing works.

    And then there are the pieces from anti-everybodyexceptXymissionaryposition, pharma and RIAA that should never have had a legislator’s name on them because he or she never even read it before tossing it in the hopper.

    When I help legislators draft their legislation I am the helper, not the writer. I have a role to educate and ensure that what is written is correct and can withstand the screwiest of far right and Republican idiocy attacks.  

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