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January 17, 2023 10:50 AM UTC

No House Republicans Join Martin Luther King Commemoration

  • by: Colorado Pols

TUESDAY UPDATE #2: The resolution honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. passed in the State Senate on Tuesday. In the final count, only one Republican signed on to the legislation as a co-sponsor: Senate Minority Leader Paul Lundeen.

There are 31 Republicans in the state legislature in 2023. Only one out of 31 Republicans agreed to co-sponsor the MLK resolution.


TUESDAY UPDATE: It turns out that not sponsoring the MLK resolution was actually an intentional decision by House Republicans because of concerns they had about “Critical Race Theory” language that wasn’t even in the bill. Check this out from Kyle Clark at 9News:




[Original post on Friday, Jan. 13]

Monday is a federal holiday celebrating the birthdate of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

King’s actual birthdate was January 15, 1929, but we officially celebrate the “MLK Day” holiday on the third Monday of January.

Actually, let’s skip the rest of the lede and get right to the numbers:

[Note that the “GOP House Total” above reflects the number of Republicans who were elected members in the House at the time]


We have never seen this before: Not a single Republican member of the Colorado House of Representatives co-sponsored the traditional resolution to honor and commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Not. One. 

To be fair, nobody voted against the resolution, but where are the co-sponsors?  It’s not like Republicans didn’t know this was coming. Several GOP House members, including Rep. Scott Bottoms of Colorado Springs, went to the House floor to speak about Dr. King before the vote took place.

Rose Pugliese trying to command her face to smile

So, does this mean that all 19 House Republicans are racist and/or ambivalent about Dr. King? Of course not (probably). But it is absolutely yet another troubling sign that nobody seems to know what they are doing in the House Republican Caucus.

Now, we are giving House Republicans the benefit of the doubt here; we are assuming that this was a mistake or an oversight. But it’s hard to ever be sure with the recent generation of GOP lawmakers in Colorado — particularly when you remember that the MLK Day holiday has often been a problem for Republicans.

The most infamous moment in recent history came in 2019, when then-Rep. Lori Saine delivered a speech on the House floor with a “history” lesson straight out of her own bizarre imagination. According to Saine, “black people and white people were lynched in nearly equal numbers for being Republican in the post-Reconstruction era.” We probably don’t need to tell you that this is complete nonsense.

Last year, Saine was more reserved but nevertheless used the occasion of MLK Day to complain about Critical Race Theory, suggesting that Dr. King himself would not approve of the imaginary practice of incorporating CRT in public school teachings (to the extent that CRT is taught anywhere, it is done as part of a higher-level discussion meant more for college students — not for primary schools).

House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, more or less

Yet despite some strange and inappropriate speechifying by Republicans in years past, one thing always remained fairly consistent: House Republicans made sure to co-sponsor the annual joint resolution commemorating the life of Dr. King.

Today’s fumble was an unsurprising ending to a difficult first week for House Republicans. The session kicked off on Monday with an unusual (and pointless) break of decorum when a few Republicans tried to nominate someone from their micro-minority to become House Speaker (that ship sailed back in November, when the 46-member majority House Democratic Caucus selected Rep. Julie McCluskie as Speaker). Assistant House Minority Leader Rose Pugliese later embarrassingly admitted that there had been no “plan” to challenge McCluskie…nor, apparently, any other sorts of plans.

In fairness to House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, he doesn’t have a lot of help at the top. Pugliese has been around GOP politics for years, but she’s still a freshman lawmaker who has spent less time inside the State Capitol than many of our readers. Pugliese is learning how to be a state lawmaker at the same time she is supposed to be leading people who are learning how to become state lawmakers. That’s working about as well as you’d think.

We’ll see just how bad this might get if Republicans have to respond to not co-sponsoring the MLK resolution. If someone tries blaming Democrats for not inviting them to be a co-sponsor…


28 thoughts on “No House Republicans Join Martin Luther King Commemoration

  1. What a perfect correlation between the left and right columns. The more racist and fringier you become, the less of you there are. The sky is the limit! 


    1. How do you know those are really kittens, and not a threatening gang of Colorado's dread furries??

       (I can actually imagine cowboy Mike and his GOPer Roper team introducing legislation to finally begin dealing with that scourge this session.)

  2. This makes me feel certain that the "unspoken" strategy for Colorado Republicans is to never show any sign of working with Democrats. Then, at the end of the session, they'll cry about how they were never included on anything and blame it on Democrats.

    The default strategy for Colorado Republicans is do-nothing divisiveness.

  3. I'm old enough to remember when Betty Breeder, the Republican El Paso County Commissioner, was condemned by other Republicans for trashing Martin Luther King. 

  4. Individuals shouldn’t have non-religious holidays named after them because it tends to deify them and can be used to turn their inevitable flaws into virtues that are inappropriately celebrated.

    Get rid of Columbus Day, MLK Day, and possibly president’s day.  Replace it with other stuff that celebrate the concept of what the holiday is or should be related to.

    1. Exactly.

      1. That new year's baby is not to be trusted. All smiley in the beginning, but, then…
      2. And, Abe Lincoln who is associated with Thanksgiving thought black people were inferior to white people.
      3. July 4th. Are you kidding? Have you researched the men who created our Constitution?
      4. Christmas. Celebrating the "son" of your imaginary friend? That is some crazy stupid.

  5. Maybe if blacks honored MLK it would be different. That whole content of character is such a 1960’s farce. BLM and segregation is pop culture now bro.

    1. “ If blacks honored MLK it would be different”. Roger, speaking from inside his tiny white world with his vast knowledge of whar “ the blacks” think, will no doubt miss out on tomorrow’s festivities.

      But tens of thousands of local people of all races will march and honor Dr. King. I’ll miss it this year because I’m still recovering from pneumonia, but will catch it on the intertubes. Dr. King remains one of my heroes and inspirations.

    1. Once again, debating with Pear about what MLK would have thought of the Black Lives Matter movement is ridiculous. Pear is old enough to have been alive during the early Civil Rights movement days: the boycotts and sit-ins, the Voter registration drives, the massive marches. I expect that our Pear most often referred to Dr. King during those days as “ that troublemaking, commie n****r.”

      But we can get a clue as to what MLK would have thought about BLM by viewing his statement about the Black Power movement of those days:

      Although King was hesitant to criticize Black Power openly, he told his staff on 14 November 1966 that Black Power “was born from the wombs of despair and disappointment. Black Power is a cry of pain. It is in fact a reaction to the failure of White Power to deliver the promises and to do it in a hurry … The cry of Black Power is really a cry of hurt” (King, 14 November 1966). 

      This is entirely consistent with the fact that unarmed black people are still twice as likely to be killed in interactions with police as white people. That was the genesis of the “Black Lives Matter” movent. It is a cry of pain and hurt. 

      Find another wedge issue to play your troll games with.

      1. pFruit probably hated the civil rights movement and bitched about the sit-ins and boycotts.   He probably bitched about the music, because it wasn't the Horst-Wessel-Lied. 

        1. All of the comments ya'll are making about Saint Roger the Afflcted are true, but his holy mission is nothing more complicated or pointless than "owning the libs"…specifically, the libs who gather here. The ones who so badly hurt his fee-fees. 😉

    2. Actually Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter (sounds righteous) movement are what Dr. King called “The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community”.  In speaking about when the awakening of this generation would be morally satisfied he said: “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”

      If you don’t want people facing down police with batons and dogs then root out the prejudice and inequity in our public institutions.  Cure the problem rather than blame the victim.  Do you actually think you have any moral superiority defining what is acceptable protest when all you did was cast aspersions on Kaepernick’s silent in public reflections on young black men being murdered by racist police officers?  He was exercising his 1st Amendment right to peacefully gather without fear of retaliation.  You just spouted racist gibberish.  America will remember Colin and the Black Lives Matter movement as people who truly believed that every single life is precious and did everything they could to stop needless suffering and sorrow.  They will be remembered as keepers of the light of liberty who were truly pro-life.


  6. I think that it is an honest action or non-action by these elected officials because it is how they feel in their hearts and it would be dishonest of them to co-sponsor proclamations when they didn't think Dr. King deserved recognition.  Their disrespect towards Dr. King and his achievements is at odds with their self-identification as followers of the Prince of Peace but they aren't being hypocrites at our cultural social level.

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