Call on Governor Hickenlooper to Keep Frank McNulty At Work Until His Job Is Done

UPDATE 1:20 PM: Hickenlooper WILL call a special session including civil unions, according to reliable sources including Eli Stokols and Lynn Bartels. Details from the Governlooper’s office at 1:45 PM MST.

I don’t get to go home until I’ve completed my work each day. I certainly don’t get a months-long holiday to work on improving my job security and future career prospects when my job isn’t done. Do you?

I’d wager that most Coloradans would get a pink slip, not a vacation, if they came to work and kept the entire staff waiting for them until nearly midnight, then simply walked off the job, leaving critical work undone. But if Governor Hickenlooper doesn’t act now, Speaker McNulty will get to go home to campaign and fundraise, having killed more than 30 bills just to prevent the Colorado House from granting something resembling equal rights to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples who prefer civil unions over marriage.

McNulty is leaving his job undone, when 62% of Coloradans and a bipartisan coalition of legislators supported SB2. McNulty proposes to walk off the job and spend the next few months focusing on his reelection, without allowing the House to vote on a bill that passed the Colorado Senate and was supported by no less than three House committees. We can give him the pink slip in November, but first, we have a chance to send him back to his desk right now.

What you can do to keep McNulty at work until his job is done, after the jump:

1. Write to Governor Hickenlooper here. Tell him you’re a Colorado voter calling on the Governor to keep the Colorado House at work until SB 12-0002 has passed or failed by an up-or-down vote of the full House.

2. Call him at (303)-866-2471 and tell him the same thing.

3. Write a letter to the largest Denver paper calling on Governor Hickenlooper to call a special legislative session to prevent Speaker McNulty from singlehandedly circumventing the democratic process, leaving his job undone, and returning home to campaign and fundraise.

4. Write and call your state legislator (find them here and tell them, “I’m a constituent, and I don’t want to see my state representatives at home campaigning and fundraising until they’ve voted on civil unions. Please ask Governor Hickenlooper to let you do your job in a special legislative session.” (In your own words, of course.)

We have a chance to make history. Frank McNulty has already secured his place there, right next to Howard Smith, who in 1963 delayed the Civil Rights Act by refusing to grant it a rule. Even though he was obviously fighting a losing battle, Smith let minorities suffer for an extra year to serve his own ego. McNulty wants to do the same–let’s not let him. Colorado’s place in history is with all those over the centuries who have stood up and said, “Enough!” to politicians whose hubris endangered the institution of democracy.

Let’s do this thing.

About ProgressiveCowgirl

Colorado native, young professional, progressive cowgirl. 4-term FPE (aka masochist).

70 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    But somehow it was still about jobs.

    • is why a special session might not help Democrats. Calling a special session for civil unions goes some way toward neutralizing this argument.

      OTOH, it goes some way toward correcting a disparity in civil rights, and passing this bill would be the right thing to do.

      The question is, would House Republican leadership resort to stacking the committees to block passage if a special session were called?  McNulty could have scheduled this last night, and didn’t – my guess is he won’t let it pass in special session either.

      • BlueCat says:

        It’s the right thing to do for those who fought so hard to get this far with no downside I can see.

        If McNulty does the right thing and bows to the reality that more than enough Rs support this to pass it then the right thing gets accomplished.  If he continues to obstruct, Dems and backers are not only no worse off than they are now, but in an even stronger position to attract mega-funding since everyone now knows that all it will take is to flip a one seat R majority in the State House and keep the State Senate to get this done next session.

        Still lose/lose for R dinosaurs. Eventual passage is inevitable.  We should do everything we can to show we mean to make it sooner rather than later.

        Yes, the religious right can use it to get people to the polls as well as Dems can but their base is shrinking while the demo supporting both civil unions and full marriage rights is growing and is really pissed off. Rage is a great motivator and fund raiser.  

    • caroman says:

      Normally I’d agree with your political analysis, but not when it involves the civil rights of actual human beings.

      The GOP stifled democracy by not bringing the bill to a vote.  Hickenlooper and the Dems can easily make the point that the Special Session is simply about allowing a vote to occur.  

    • caroman says:

      Normally I’d agree with your point about the politics, but not when it involves the civil rights of actual human beings.

      Republicans stifled democracy by not bringing the bill to a vote.  Hickenlooper and the Democrats can easily call a Special Session that is simply about allowing a vote to occur.

    • DanleySteel says:

      Here’s the one link y’all need to hit to be doing your part:

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    The political message of doing that is gigantic – that the Republicans left without completing a lot of business because of their hate towards gay Coloradans. The leaving 25 bills undone is a very good reason for a special session and it gets two strong messages across.

    • Car 31 says:

      Of the 25 bills only a handful should pass. Special sessions aren’t called for general purposes. Let McNulty feel the heat for avoiding his responsibilities. He will have to answer questions about why he stalled important watershed projects (SB 165) and costing Colorado jobs by not passing that bill.

      He doesn’t get a pass for this.

      There won’t be a special session. Hickenlooper and the Dems have time on their side and it is better to let McNulty and the R’s squirm than give them an escape.  

      • Dan Willis says:

        because McNutty felt he had to stop civil unions, he also killed, for no reason other than lack of a vote, a handful of bills that really needed to get passed.

        I think Hick should call a special election for the purpose of allowing a vote on ALL legislation that was left on the calendar at the end of the regular session.

        If the bills fail by being voted down, so be it, but at least they got to be voted on.

        • Can the governlooper call a special session for the purpose of hearing all the bills that were left on the floor, or does it have to be a more specific reason?

          • Dan Willis says:

            It prevents the introduction of new legislation.

            The Gov. could even specifically limit to completing the HOUSE calendar to underscore the fact that the special session was necssary because of House leadership’s end-of-session  tactics.

        • Car 31 says:

          Sb 155, for example, good bill and a lot of hard work went into it, but now any Tom, Dick or Harry can find out how you voted because McNulty didn’t let it pass (I’m exaggerating, but not by much). SB 165, millions and millions of dollars dedicated to infrastructure and water projects for the CWCB. As long as I remember this bill passed with bipartisan support. The R’s played games with it this year and that’s why it was not passed earlier and a victim of McNulty’s flaccid leadership.

          Two examples, but there’s NO reason for Coloradans to pay for a special session to debate the likes of 116, 81, 101, 1356, 83…

          Bills die on the calendar. More and more seem to be dying there as the years move on, but it happens.

          Call a special session for civil unions or not, the rest need to wait until next year, thanks to McNulty.  

          • Fidel's dirt nap says:

            I am wondering though, if you are going to go to the trouble and expense of calling a special session, wouldn’t be more cost effective to handle all 25 bills that weren’t considered, with civil unions at the top of the list ?

        • Arvadonian says:

          This is the problem I have with Democrats…everything is “more important” than equal rights in our society for “_________” (fill in the blank).

          • Dan Willis says:

            Civil unions ARE important, but if they have to wait a year, it doesn’t change anything.

            Other bills that were killed were things that will create actual harm if they are not passed, like the Revisor’s bill which is necessary to accurately apply many of the other laws that have been passed. Or the water bill that is creating jobs. Or an elections bill that will prevent numerous expensive lawsuits.

            I am gay and have been fighting for equality all of my adult life, but I realize it is not the end-all issue for everyone.

            I view civil unions as a stop-gap measure. Full equality is not imminently in reach, but civil unions will extend some rights until we get there.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        I agree some of the bills were bad. But the way Colorado has always worked until yesterday is all bills got their vote and we lived with the result. Having the Guv say that this is Colorado and we are going to give each bill its vote is a very powerful message.

        Especially if he couples it with a statement that he will be lobbying for the defeat of some of those bills, but he is insisting that even those bills get their chance. Leaving 25 bills undone is a very powerful message that the Republicans are not governing.

        • RedGreen says:

          No they didn’t, not even close.

          You really have no idea what you’re talking about.

          The “way Colorado has always worked” until the passage of the GAVEL amendment was that minority-sponsored bills routinely died without getting scheduled for committee hearings, and then routinely died in the House for other reasons that had nothing to do with running out of time.

          And even after GAVEL, the “way Colorado has always worked” was hat one chamber or another usually let a lot of bills die at the end of the session without coming to a vote — look at what happened in the Senate last year.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      I’m with Car 31 on this one.

      Instead of trying to circumvent state law with a special session, the focus should be on retaking the House.  If you get control of the legislature, McNulty is left standing out in the cold.

      Republicans showed once again they can’t govern.  Hold them accountable instead of trying to engage in further political shenanigans to win one battle.  Concentrate on winning the war.

    • caroman says:

      The unscientific, social engineering “War on Pot” ™ bill that set an arbitrary standard on what constitutes impaired driving after smoking pot died.  Good riddance.  

      Maybe in the interim they can find actual credible studies that determine the effects of driving after smoking pot.  I’d guess that they’d find that driving while on a cell phone is more dangerous.  What are they going to do about that?

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    If a special session is called, step one is the Republicans need to replace McNulty. Blowing up the legislature to stop a bill is not how politics have been practiced in this state. If the Republicans don’t replace McNulty, then they are taking on that action as a party.

    • Car 31 says:

      Speaker elections don’t occur during special sessions. Majority and minority leadership positions are in place until after the election in November.  

  4. davebarnes says:

    Uh, no we cannot.

    The only limit to Frank’s time in office is term limits.

    His district is safe Repub.

  5. nancycronk says:

    Republicans were sent to the Capitol to accomplish exactly three things (or so it seems) in 2012. Hate on lgbt people, hate on people with disabilities, and hate on immigrants. They think their work is done.

    We need to make them stay and at least do this one right.

  6. DavidThi808 says:

    There were 3 Republicans who got SB-2 to this point. And there are I am guessing a number of Republicans in the legislature who are upset that McNulty blew up the legislature last night.

    On the flip side, as speaker McNulty is acting for all Republicans in the House. If they retain him as speaker then they do as a whole own this action – blowing up the system to stop a single bill.

    • And they didn’t.  I appreciate that those three Republicans probably didn’t further a career in conservative lobbying, but in the end it was still party unity that “won” the day.

    • dukeco1 says:

      not happy about his bullshit bill (SB12-117, I think) going in the tank. One of a list of many…  

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      was that it was the women in the Republican Party who broke ranks and voted to assist their marginalized constituents.

      It could be that the Republican “War on Women” is creating some unintended consequences.  Republican efforts to dominate and control women appears to be backfiring big time.

    • Aaron says:

      barely deserves any credit.

      Her Appropriations vote was important, but so was her vote adding two poison-pill amendments to the bill whilst on the committee.

      Not to mention her repeated votes on the floor to effectively sustain the filibuster.

      Beezley and especially Nikkel deserve the credit.

      • Craig says:

        Neither of them had anything to lose.  Both are retiring.  Gerou, up for election this time, has one more term after that and Chair of the Joint Budget Committee.  All very big things to lose.  It’s easy to vote your conscience when you have nothing to lose, hard when you have something to lose.

  7. dwyer says:

    Here is the link:

    It is a thoughtful article, well worth reading.

  8. allyncooper says:

    After civil unions failed last year, I remarked to a certain state Senator (who happened to be sponsor of the bill) that a ballot proposal might be in order.

    He told me that would take a lot of money, and he knew people who would write the checks, but that money would be better spent changing the political composition of the House. And he’s absolutely right.

    We lost the battle yesterday. Let’s win the war in November.

    • Dan Willis says:

      And if Civil Unions was the only casualty of McNulty’s cowardice, then I would say, “kick their asses in Nov. and pass it next year.

      But it was not the only casulaty. There were important bills that went down too. I am particularly interested in getting a decent bill that regulates access to voted ballots in such a way to protect the identity of voters. That will not happen now.

      There was a water projects bill that would have created jobs. That will not happen now.

      There were bills that could have been amended into something useful. They will not happen now.

      So, I do support a special session, but it has to include all of the bills that died because of cowardice. Let them be voted up or down.

  9. Craig says:

    Why did they do it in a way that was absolutely the worst for them.  Why didn’t McNulty send it to the kill committee to begin with?  Why didn’t he replace members on committees?  Why give yourself a complete black eye with the public?  Why hang some of your supportive legislators out to dry when you knew the votes were coming before they came?  Why leave everyone thinking this is going to pass?  The only answer I can think of is that McNulty is as stupid as you guys have been saying for a long time.

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      I know you probably are not very beholden to the Daily Camera, but just look at the photo of him they have up today.

      Not a man that looks very bright, or in charge for that matter.  Way over his head.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      I grew up respectfully disagreeing with most of Colorado’s Republican leadership, but generally feeling impressed and in awe of the power and professionalism that their top people exuded. The word “kingmaker” made sense, then.

      There was a time when the ability to lead was the most important qualification to leadership. Now the “most conservative member electable” faction appears to have taken over, even internally. Being far-right and incapable of deviating from the party line is valued more than being able to do the job and do it well. Acumen and cleverness are seen as negative traits that detract from the ability to adhere to a conservative agenda.

      Choose your Speaker for being stubbornly, blindly married to a dying ideology, and you will get a Speaker who is stubbornly, blindly married to a dying ideology at the expense of any ability or intellect to speak of.

  10. Ron-Westminster says:

    I’ve spent most of the morning using every social networking tool available to me to request they contact Hickenlooper to call for a ‘Special Session’ for the Civil Unions bill and for the other key pieces of business left unfinished especially the funding for 14 sorely needed water projects. Considering that a majority of Coloradans now support Civil Unions and the other unfinished business this could/should be a politically safe and savvy move for the Gov to make.

  11. ProgressiveCowgirl says:


    Obama comes out for gay marriage and Hickenlooper calls a special session — could we be witnessing the tipping point as we speak? Are equal rights FINALLY HAPPENING? Am I going to get an invitation to the world’s most adorable wedding? (Steadman/Misner, of course) I AM SO EXCITED YOU GUYS

  12. raymond1 says:

    Not a rhetorical Q; I just don’t really get this.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      But he can apparently keep them in until they vote.

    • Car 31 says:

      For SB 2 it will go through the Senate and McNulty will assign it to a committee, take your pick since its been to most of them, and then he’ll assign/ replace House members in that committee that are solid no votes on the bill.

      To do otherwise would make him look even more like a fool than he already does. If he does not want sb 2 heard, it must die in committee  He chose the worst way to not hear the bill during the general session, he will not make the mistake again of letting it out of committee.

      Of course, he has consistently made the worst decisions available to him during the session, so why stop now.  

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