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November 13, 2006 08:13 PM UTC

What Now for Colorado Dems?

  • 112 Comments
  • by: Druid

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I wanted to get everyones thoughts on what they think the Democrats should do now that they have all three seats of power in our lovely state? What should they focus on first? If you were in the position of making a list of priorities FOR the Dems, what would it look like?

Make two lists. The first what you think the Dems should do to improve their chances for retaining their majorities and the Mansion. The second what you would like them to do, regardless of the political landscape.

Comments

112 thoughts on “What Now for Colorado Dems?

  1. Although wing nut dopes still insist this is a red state (stupid in light of dem majority across the board) they’re correct in describing Colorado electorate’s overall center-right character. So they shouldn’t push hard on the sort of liberal policies that have proven unpopular here – gun control, expanding abortion rights too. While the latter is something I certainly support, it’s smarter to push effective education programs for PREVENTION of unwanted pregnancies. (Abstinence education is a joke, wingnuts.) I think that the current makeup of the legisature makes such missteps unlikely.

    The big lesson for Dems this decade is that moving to the center – and getting votes from the people abandoned by the Reps – means staying there when it comes to governing. They lost those votes in the 70s and 80s by going too far to the left, now the Reps are losing those votes because they’ve gone too far to the right.

    1. They need to move forward with what they compaigned on.  Introducing legislation and signing into law packages for affordable health care, such as the drug purchasing pool bill that BO vetoed is at the top of my list.

      They also need to work on a state level enegy independence plan, to help consumers and produces in Colorado.

      I don’t see the Dems working tiredlessly on a liberal agenda, but rather I’m willing to bet the bulk of the bills that make it on to Governor Ritter’s desk will have bi-partisan support.

    2. “If we try to be fake Republicans, that’s not going to work,” Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, co-chair of the House pro-choice caucus, told Newsweek. “It would be a cynical political move.”

      That may seem random…or it may not…

      I am beginning to question the general consensus that Colorado is still center-right

      The Democratic legislature has participated in some rather liberal affairs (especially regarding gay rights…god bless them) since 2004, and they were not punished at all in 2006 but rather gained seats.

      Energy independence should be a top priority it seemed to resonate very well among voters, along with working on getting tuition costs for public universities back down.  Increasing availability of health insurance should also be a top priority.  Maybe we should just repeal TABOR…. 

      I may be wrong.  I guess the 2008 presidential election might provide additional insight into where on the political spectrum Colorado lies.

      1. But keep in mind she’s in DC representing Denver, not here representing all of Colorado. I don’t think our state is really too far right of center, but there are definitely causes we liberals love that the state, as a whole, does not. I think the posts from everyone here give good, solid ideas for what priorities the Dems should pursue – priorities that aren’t in any way an abandonment of Democratic ideals or otherwise a sellout to the GOP.

        I’m very much in favor of gay rights, abortion rights, and reasonable gun policy. But I’m also a pragmatist and recognize that many in the state aren’t with me on these issues. Nationally and locally, the Dems have long been pegged as “too liberal” by the Reps and they’ve won elections for years by pushing those issues. But they’ve gone too far to the right and between that and the mess o’potamia (God bless the Daily Show) they’ve finally lost. Dems won’t stay in power long if they push the issues they’ve long been beaten on. Better to put that on the back burner and address the concerns that gave them victory. Doing that successfully means victory in 2008.

    3. Although I voted for a GOP House and a divided government and for Tancredo and secure borders, I’m an unaffiliated conservative who also voted for Ritter and against Hillman.

      To keep my vote in 2008, the Democrats will have to legalize gay unions, and I think they will repay Gill and Stryker by doing so.

      They will have to make changes in health care insurance  such as returning the state to community rating from medical risk rating of individual employer groups. All employers should be in the same risk pool and community rated, which will help people over 40 afford health insurance.

      I would like to see the large health care companies, HCA and the tax-exempts, broken up and made more competitive. They have an oligolpoly that is more costly than the inefficiency of a more fragmented industry in the state.

      It also would be wise to look at breaking up the health insurers, because they are able to pass on cost increases with impunity, witness their healthy profit margins and rate of growth in profits.

      I also would consider breaking up single-specialty medical groups, because they are able to price with impunity and they push the hospitals around, increasing costs.

      Dentists and alternative health care providers should be required to publish their rates for all services on the internet using a form specified by the state.

      The biggest mistake Ritter and the legislature can make in forming health care policy is to give the providers and insurers more input than consumers and independent health care economists and policy wonks. Providers, employers and insurers employ skilled lobbyists and policy analysts and use threats to get bill written to favor them at the expense of consumers.

      Create a health insurance industry first in the U.S. for small employers. Take them out of the equation. Ban all small employers from providing health insurance to workers and let workers buy their own policies with pre-tax dollars. Congress should facilitate this by allowing workers to use pre-tax dollars, and it should give Colorado a waiver from ERISA so large employers can be included as well. Employers and their brokers are dishonest players in the health insurance business and should be taken out of the game.

      Tell any insurer who doesn’t want to sell individual policies at competitive rates in the state that they’re welcome to leave.

      I also think state workers should be given health benefits comparable to and competitive with those offered by private employers, assuming private employers will still serve as dishonest brokers in the health insurance business.

      1. I like the community-rated risk pool idea.  Was that actually the way it worked at some point in the past?  It’s especially nice because it addresses small business and individual insurance issues, and because it’s something that can be passed at the state level.  And as you say, you don’t like it, you don’t have to play in this market.

        I think a lot of changes to healthcare would best come across the Federal desk; unified claim forms, monopoly/co-ordination enforcement…  Bush has already stated his opposition to fixing the Medicare Part D debacle, so it seems we’ll be getting some pushback on healthcare reform at the Federal level.  Hopefully Dems can work across the aisle on some commonsense fixes, and come up with a veto-proof majority.

        Stronger oversight at the state level would be a Good Thing; not sure if we have the laws in place right now, but that’s something that John Suthers *could* push from the AGs office.

        1. About four or five years ago, Owens, HIllman, the Colorado Assn. of Commerce and Industry and, most important, health insurers decided to screw the older folks who own small businesses by ending community rating.

          I believe but can’t document that the GOP listened to insurers because they give more to GOP campaigns than small businesses do. And most small business trade associations didn’t have the knowledge nor the political clout to stop the rape of small business owners and their employees.

      2. ppppffffsh…..

        Oh man!  I just spit my Sprite all over the computer screen!

        You, friend, are not an “unaffiliated conservative” when you wants gay unions and favor the Dems’ healthcare policies.  What is it, exactly, that makes you conservative?

        Conservatism, take it or leave it, believes in three core values:

        1.) A strong, robust national defense.

        2.) A low-spending, low-tax government that embraces a free market.

        3.) Traditional moral values.  The values that have comprised the core of America for over 200 years.  Faith, family, and freedom.  Some conservatives don’t emphasize this part but that makes them more Libertarian than conservative.

        You don’t even seem libertarian let alone conservative, pal. 

        Gay unions?  Ha!

          1. Well that’s some tradition then!

            In my book, faith, family, and freedom has nothing to do with slavery and branding.

            Liberals like to look at abolition in America as their great feat.  The truth, as it usually is, quite different.  The battle was launched by the deeply devout President Lincoln and spearheaded (like the Civil Rights movement) by men of faith.  Abolition was a traditional, Judeo-Christian moral cause.  The minute percentage of southern landowners who actually owned slaves were goobers just like the owners of megacorporations in America today.

            The left likes to tie the right to big business but we can’t stand big business as much as you!  They are out for a profit only and if that means handing out gay partner benefits or kicking Christmas in the holiday crotch then so be it.  That’s not moral!

            The left does not stand for traditional morality.  They absolutely do stand for morality, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just not morality in the Judeo-Christian book.  The left believes in deconstructing all commonly held moral or theological beliefs–it’s central to liberal thought.  Traditionalists believe in CONSERVING that which is best for society (like life, marriage, etc.).

            It’s terribly sad that those on the left demonize the very same movement that gives America a soul.  I know, I know–we’re the fundies, RRRs, etc.  That’s great really, but I don’t know what your vitriol accomplishes (I’m speaking more broadly now to the lefties around here).  How many evangelicals have you ever spoken to or even met?  Do you know the central tenets of evangelical faith?  Do you know why we oppose gay marriage and abortion? 

            It doesn’t matter, though, because you really don’t care.  The secular-studded dogma of the left is not match for the Christian dogmatic tendencies.  You, and your lovely Kossack pals (oh yes! And that big thinker Elton John!) all whine on and on about theocracy. 

            Well, theocrat nation is winning, folks.  Whether Jacques Chirac of Muqtadr Al-Sadr is president the culture of this country and the main political thrust is trending in the direction of traditional morality.  You think Bill Ritter will save you from James Dobson?  Ritter is tough and he’s a good man but he’s but a man against a movement. 

            Cheers and have fun—and you had better not forget that cross-shaped burka at work tomorrow–brandings are set for due noon for infidels. 

            1. but I also happen to have been better educated on history, philosophy, and theology; enough to know that concepts of morality do indeed change over time.  And, by the way, New England practiced slavery as well.

            2. not that OneQD and Aristotle actually need the encouragement to persist in their whiny Liberal thinking (and scandelous sinful lifestyles), but an ancient conservative thinker, highly moral so far as I am aware, said he found the current crusade against gays rather silly.  His name was Barry Goldwater (I TOLD you guys you ought to be reading him).

              http://www.cs.cmu.ed

              1. but if you’re not… you and many other Repubs will be sorely disappointed to find out that I am, in many ways, the ideal American according to your viewpoint – straight, employed, married, father, never cheated on my wife or previous girlfriends, never cheated on my taxes, never collected any kind of handout (even from a church) back in my poor days… Mom and Dad paid for college, no government assistance or loans for me (they’re wise investors and not wealthy, so don’t get any ideas…). Nonetheless I’m a liberal. My very religious parents are, too – Dad insists that Republican ideals are incompatible with Christian ones, because the overriding theme of the New Testament is charity to the poor – but he’s actually more lefty than me and I don’t know enough about the Bible to say if that’s true or not.

                Just something for y’all to chew over…

                1. my father was a steel union organizer and I went through college (the first time) on the military’s dime and the G.I. Bill.  He gave me $5 when I headed off to basic so I wouldn’t be completely broke.  Grandpa really was a Russki Communist. I still have a red flag in the basement somewhere.  I still know the words to the www version of the Internationale.

                  My experience in socialist Europe, especially iron curtain Poland, really turned me away from that.  Gotta limit the state, for billions of reasons.  Alexi Tocqueville argued that America, if it failed, would not be an ugly cruel totalitarin state, but a paternalistic one that sapped the vitality and creativity from the individual.  When the government does things for the people, it teaches them not to do it for themselves.  And, yes, it really works that way.

                  The charity thing starts late middle-ages, although there are [some limited] aspects of it during the Roman Empire era.  Teresa of Avila and Francis of Assisi are the primary contributors to what we think of as Christian charity in the conventional sense.  They were not initially mainstream thinkers in the church during their time, but were in a fashion ‘liberal’ theologians, upset with the direction of the church.  The church has ever been a perpetual struggle between corruption and piety.  Odds are about even.

                  But something in one of your post did make me think you were gay. 

                  1. It seems that the “normal American” upbringing is more myth than anything else.  I don’t have any commies in my background but Ed Perlmutter is a family friend (does that count as Commie?).  I still voted for Rick O’Donnell, by the way.

                    Even straight, married, fathers can be wrong about a important things.  Sometimes being raised by communists or whatever can give you a bolt of clarity, I suppose.  There are plenty of suburban, SUV-driving, cheerleader-fathering guys out there who have Ritter and Ref. I yardsigns (Here in Lakewood it’s been more Ritter than “I”).  I’ve come to a big realization that suburban utopia doesn’t always mean good values. 

                    We assume that the average suburban parent goes to church most sundays, want their kids to stain abstinent, doesn’t let their kids use bad language and the rest of it.  But that’s just not the case, for better or worse.

                    1. I never assume that people go to church on Sunday.  My father and I could always come up with an excuse for missing mass, a tradition I passed on to my children (much to their Grandmother’s disgust).  I converted to Prot No Pref status in basic because the Prots had women at their services.  Cats just had the usual bewildered priest.  My very Liberal wife is the one that went to Lutheran college.  They’re crazy.  Three Hail Mary’s and I was back on the street, Lutherans NEVER forgive.

              2. my scandalous, sinful lifestyle…..I only wish…..I just checked my calendar…..I haven’t been on date in over six weeks…..I wouldn’t be surprised if Rev. Ted has gotten some action more recently than me…..
                P.S.  Good point about Barry Goldwater! And I actually did read “Conscience of A Conservative” when I was in college.

            3. The abolitionist movement consumed US politics for 40 or more years before Lincoln.  Yes, it was founded in the Christian faith, just like the slaveholders  justified their views.  The Quakers were the first sectarian group to come to the realization that slavery was morally wrong.  Interestingly, they were not very active in the abolitionist movement, though.

              Both the US and England first stopped importation, and then later, slave ownership.  However, the roads traveled were vastly different.

              Lincoln was NOT deeply religious.  He was of a movement known as “Free Thinkers.”  Like their spiritual forefathers, the Deists (Washington, Jefferson)they acknowledged higher power.  However, they had little to do with conventional religion. 

              American is becoming theocratic in only two arenas:  fundamentalist Christianity and Islam.  The bulk of Americans do not go to church or other institutions anymore.  That doesn’t mean that they aren’t seeking spiritual answers, but they aren’t turning towards the churches with the exception mentioned.

              I would call myself a serious seeker in a Christian community.  I have a masters degree in theology, am very active in my community, and worked for six years as a chaplain to the elderly and their families.  Yet, I would be the first to say “Ditch religion.”  We don’t need it to have a moral foundation and it has caused most of the grief in the world. 

              AS I’m fond of saying, “Many of the best Christians I know are atheists.” 

              And, BTW, if you want a good theocratic nation, there are quite a few to choose from.  Saudi Arabia, for instance.  Christian?  Look to history, when the good burghers of Calvinist Geneva hunted down the Zvengalians (sp?) and killed them because the latter didn’t believe in infant baptism.

              Oh yeah, gimme that old time religion.  NOT!

              1. You’ve got to be smarter than that, Rosie O’Donnell.

                You guys continue bringing up the past foibles of religion.  I can bring the past good deeds of religion.  I can also being up egregious evils done in the name of secularism (Gulag Archipelago, Nazism, etc.).  But so what?  That’s that and we’re in 2006.

                Shall I tell to of the wonderful things “armies of faith” do in America and the world over.  I can’t speak for Islam but I can say that America would be a much worse, much colder place without Christianity.

                As far as Barry Goldwater and gays…

                Barry was an interesting guy, to say the least.  But I’m a young guy and I don’t really know much about him.  From what I do know he was kind of a libertarian Nixon-type kind of guy.  That’s all well and good but I’m a Reagan/Bush II fan, myself.  It’s the social conservatism that gets my blood flowing.  I don’t want to “go after” gays.  I just don’t want gays to go after marriage.

                1. And I am pretty sure that you already made the link between Islam and christianity, in this very thread, with your comment about cross shaped burkas and branding the infidels. Of course, you have at numerous times called this a christian nation, which sounds an awful lot like Iran, Iraq today, Saudi Arabia, etc.

                  And secularism? You are conflating secualrism with communist russia and national socialism. The two are wholly different, and have no place in the current debate. Although, I am sure that you are not familiar with the decorum surrounding a debate, nor logical fallacies, but I cant do anything about that.

                  You can tell us all the great things that christianity does, but that does not mean that it is, or should be, the basis for our society. Nor should it be the foundation for our laws. Lockean Natural law or utilitarianism could be argued as adequate as well, but your close mindedness would prevent you from understanding them from a logical point of view.

                  Define social conservatism. Is that culture of life that says abortion bad/death penalty good? Is that preserve unborn life, but fuck the living? See, you do want to go after gays. If you didnt want to go after gays you wouldnt be bringing it up. You would have either abstained from voting on Ref I and the marriage amendment  or you would have voted for both. And you still have yet to explain what makes a gay marriage so bad?

                  1. Pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-guns, etc.

                    It’s about advancing the common good through faith and the family.  I vote no on “I” and yes on “43” because I wanted to protect marriage.  I know for you it’s about putting gays in the mainstream but for me it’s much more about marriage. 

                    Most people, thank God, agree with me in this state and country.  My job is not to be a Christian apologist.  If you’re silly ideology prevents you from recognizing the good faith-based groups have done for America and the world it’s a sad commentary upon your own beliefs.  You can believe whatever you want?  Sikhs, secularists, humanists, gays–all of them have done some good in different circumstances before and I can readily recognize that.  The truth really does set you free. 

                    Intellectual honesty is a precious commodity around here.

        1. 200 years ago our founding fathers were deists. I seem to recall many of them having trouble with fidelity or not having families at all. Freedom, outside of slaves and wives considered property, as long as you were a land owning white male you were free. Can we talk biblical values next? Like the part were jesus says gays are bad?

          1. This is 2006 and I’m proud to say we don’t do slavery or branding here.  Many were deists and many had affairs but most went to church, advocating for a vigorous voice for faith in the public square, and most would have had a glorious laugh as civil leaders try to take down nativity scenes from courthouses.

            By the way, Augustine, Jesus never said anyone was “bad.”  That’s the beauty of Christianity–EVERYBODY IS “BAD.”  We are all sinners here and we need Christ’s saving grace to get us back on our saddles. 

            Do you know any evangelical or catholic leader who has said that “gays are bad?”  Of course, outside of your Fred Phelps losers there are none.  There is a biblical ethic of sexuality–that much is clear.  Sex is to be exclusively reserved for marriage between a man and woman.  Period.  Affairs and homosexuality (as well as pre-marital sex) fall short of the ideal.  We’re talking about the marital ideal–not casting stones on gays.

            The whole hoo-ha about marriage and unions between gays is much more about marriage and kids than it is about gays.  The gay crowd tries to make it about them.  Ref. I’s rhetoric about “poor us–we can’t even see our loved ones at the hospital–we’re victims routine is just silly.  If you want to be gay–fine, fine.  Be gay all the live long day.  But that’s a private thing and marriage is a public thing and when you bring homosexuality into the public realm it all changes.  Traditional marriage matters for a whole host of reasons.  The traditional family matters for kids for a whole host of reasons.

            The people making this a gay issue are liberals, not conservatives.  I would use the same arguments in favor of the family if I were dealing with NAMBLA, polygamists, or any other group seeking “equal rights.”  It’s not about them it’s about marriage.  And on that topic Jesus had plenty to say.

            1. Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, that Perkins guy from FRC. They all seem to think being gay is bad. In fact, didnt Robertson say that gays, feminists, and abortionists were responsible for 9/11?

              So by your logic people who cant have kids shouldnt be allowed to get married? That is awesome. And how exactly would marriage be harmed by gays getting married? Are you gay? Are you worried about your wife leaving you for another women? Why is ones expression of love for another a bad thing? Why is Elvis marry a couple good,  but gays bad?

              By the way, did you ever answer me about the other biblical values? You know, the ones were sleeping in the same bed as your wife on menstraul cycle makes you unclean? Or wearing two different types of clothing material being bad? Or shellfish? How about slavery being approved by your bible? Or even better, how about how the bible was used as an excuse to outlaw interracial marriage? I could go on, but I doubt you will respond to this.

              1. Pat Robertson is a moron.  The end.

                There’s nothing wrong with a woman showing love to a woman.  This world could use a whole lot more of that.  That’s different than a woman having sex with a woman.  It deviates from the sexual ideal that the Bible sets out from humanity. 

                Of course my marriage (I am straight) would not be harmed by Joe and Jim getting married.  That’s a stupid point.  It’s about the institution, and more broadly, the ethos of sex we have in society.  Marriage is harmed by a series of things: divorce, cohabitation, gay marriage, etc.  All of those things weaken the institution and should be limited.  Gay marriage dilutes the specialness of the instiution by opening it up to a whole new host of people who previously were excluded from the more narrow definition of marriage.  If you allow siblings to marry it has the same effect.

                As far as the shellfish and menstrual blood business–that’s a huge dose of theology which I don’t feel like getting into.  When Christ came he fulfilled the Old Testament “Torah” set of laws laid out in Deuteronomy.  Those laws are still pertinent but not incumbent upon believers.  Orthodox Jews, of course, still hold by those laws.  Christianity is an extension of the faith of Israel in which Christ came to fulfill those dictums since no man could ever possibly live without erring in those commandments.  Whenever I hear secularists make that argument it makes my ears bleed.  Making the shellfish argument belies your theological ignorance, Aristotle.  It’s the kind of argument 7th graders use to try to sound real convincing and real fancy.

                It doesn’t.  Biblical values are, suprise! suprise!, love, faith, hope, charity, chasity, family, among others.  That means vitriol directed at gays is immoral.  It doesn’t mean we should have a free-for-all on marriage and allow any ol’ Tom, Dick, or Harry to marry.

                1. Robertson is a moron, but so is Falwell, Dobson, and Perkins. Where does the bible say that homosexuality is bad? If i am such a biblical neophyte, then elucidate me.

                  Your right it is a stupid point for a person to assume that gay marriage would harm their own, yet that was I heard from the anti-gay marriage crowd in 2004, and sure it was still going on in 2006. But hang on a second! You say it wouldnt harm your marriage, but that it does harm marriage in general. Hmmmm….Moving on. How do you suggest that we limit divorce and cohabitation? Should we harken back to the days that you are so proud to point to when women were subservient and considered property of their husbands?

                  So gay marriage dilutes marriage as an institution, because they were previously not entitled to it? That is amazingly simplistic and stupid. Thats like saying that we shouldnt allow blacks or women to vote because it dilutes the specialness of it, because, hey, only us white men can do it and by allowing them to do it dilutes it as an institution. Think up a better argument next time.

                  So Dueteronomy, and all those laws laid down in the old testament are no longer applicable? So the bible is contradictory?! I dare say! Yeah, son, us secularist are blasphemous using your holy book against you. How dare we! Of course that is your book, so feel free to interpret it however you please, just dont come screaming at us saying that one thing is bad, but another thing no longer applies. You sure spread a lot of vitriol at gays to make you sound pretty immoral. But hey, equal rights for all is not a biblical value so it has no place in a modern society. Cool!

                  Sorry, son, but I guess inherent contradictions arent worth realizing, because you have the high moral ground. Keep it up. I like how this works.

                  1. Now I’m “son?”  You sound like Mr. T trying to lay out a verbal smackdown on someone.  Beautiful.

                    I don’t have handy a easy-bake Bible quotation machine handy at the moment so I can’t give you a direct quote for the opposition to homosexuality.  If you’re looking for a passage like, “God spake to the lispy heathens down below and said: homosexual heathens!  You are hereby cursed to become addicted to quiche and George Michael’s greatest hits for your scandalous behavior.  You will drive Honda Civics and (for you men) VW bugs and you will look goofy.  I smite you for your fruity behavior.  It’s gross and unnatural.  I hereby declare you enemies of the Christian nation and you will be punished by having to watch a Ray Romano fashion show without being able to comment on the fashionability of Romano’s loafer/sweatpant/polo look.  You will be forced to smile and act as though that look is, like, absolutely fabulous.”

                    There are numerous quotes dealing with the ideal sexual situation: man/woman/marriage.  You can extrapolate from there what steamy sex scenes are not kosher.

                    Take dat, son!

                    1. You still are dodging my questions. Yeah, son, your sophmoric attempts to skirt the issue is really unbecoming. But since dillution of marriage is a bad thing, didnt some other cultures same something similar?, I just have to take your word said that gay=bad, and this idea “marriage” which wasnt in the form that we see today until well into the 1500 and 1600s is good? It doesnt work that way.

                    2. People who believe do not need the police power of the state to reinforce their belief.  It is the doubters and the fearful who scream the loudest for state religions.  Christianity died at Dachau.  And it is the Constitution and not the bible which is the law of the land in the United States. Thank god.

            2. All the many editions I own have lots of polygamy, concubines, incest (Noah and daughters), and so many more forms of sexual laissons that are miles removed from monogamy.

              Or the good ole traditional family matter of boinking your sister in law widow if she doesn’t have a son from your brother. 

              Marriage is a relatively recent institution for the masses.  Throughout much of history, people just started living together, or jumped over a broomstick.  We call it common law here in Colorado.  Only the wealthy had church weddings.

        2. If you believe that government should dictate who you marry, what a woman does with her body and whether a family has the right to determine with a physician the end of a loved ones’ life, you’re not a conservative.

          You’re a big government radical.

          And there is no place for you in conservative or libertarian organizations.

          Yes, there may be a place for you in the Repulsive Republican Radical (RRR) wing of the GOP, but that wing is withering under the glare of public scorn.

          If you read my whole post, you’ll see it is a plea for a libertarian, free market (regulated, of course) approach to delivering health care, not a socialistic, government-funded or run “universal” health care insurance scam designed to buy votes for big government Republicans and Democrats.

          Anyone who is hung up on opposing gay marriage and gay unions is not a conservative, but a big government radical.

                1. 53% isnt that much of a majority. And trying to say that 53% of all the people that voted for it are the same as you is ridiculous.

                  When the tide does turn, and it will shortly, what will you be saying then? We have ruined this country we are going to hell in a handbasket?

                  1. but not in your direction.  On homosexuality the tide is swinging left–no doubt.  That’s why the the marriage protection amendment was so vital. 

                    But on other issues–abortion, guns, pre-marital sex, adultery, religious intensity, the tide is swinging dramatically in favor of “the good ol’ days.” My peers are much more tolerant about being gay.  But don’t think about aborting a child, getting some on the side, or doing drugs.  That will blacklist you for a loooong time. 

                    The younger generation still votes liberally but opinion survey after opinion survey shows kids tilting more and more towards the right.  And, this is a biggie, we have kids.  You lefties have a Euro-style birthrate that is dwarfed by the “RRR” birthrate.  Woman are having kids left and right in the Springs and the ‘burbs.  Go to Cheeseman Park and tell me how many kids you see.  It’s like Siberia or something.  You’re about 10 times more likely to hear Celine Dion “Dance avec moi: Dance trax” than seeing a kid.  We’re outbreeding you guys into extinction.  The tide is inherently biased towards traditionalism.

                    1. because what I read is that kids today are more adventurous in their sex lives without having vaginal sex. You are outbreeding us. That is one for the books. Evolution in action people!!!11one

                    2. You’ve stated that you’re married and straight. You’ve also said that pre-marital sex is bad – not in so many words, but that’s the gist of your list of values. (You also misstated that I was using the “shrimp” argument – that was someone else, but let it pass.)

                      So, knowing that this is an anonymous blog, but also knowing that bearing false witness is against the Commandments, will you tell us whether you remained a virgin until the sacrament of marriage was performed for you and your wife?

                      That may seem intrusive but I bet you can figure out why I’m asking it.

                    3. Keep in mind that sex isn’t just vaginal intercourse, so if you were getting felatio that counts. If you’re not sure just let me know and I’ll tell you if it was sex or not.

                      Oh, and in response to this comment:
                      “We’re outbreeding you guys into extinction”
                      Keep in mind that many of the most rabidly liberal and wildly sexual people I knew came from large Christian families. And keep in mind too that studies show that larger families, especially if there are a lot of boys, tend to produce gay children. If I can find the link to the study showing that I’ll post it. So keep breeding – the next generation of gay liberals will come from your families!

  2. First, the Dems need to follow through on the accountability and budgeting proposals they made.  An open, accountable government with a long-term plan is an invitation to businesses who value planning.

    Second, they need to follow through on the pooled medical prescription bill.  Lowering the cost of healthcare in the state budget is not a partisan issue.

    Third, no matter who wins the SOS race, they need to continue with election reform and integrity.  We’re obviously not “there” yet.

    Fourth, they should promote alternative energy, efficiency, and mass transit options that work for the people.  E.g. the I-70 Mountain Corridor was on the verge of becoming a passenger vehicle nightmare under Owens – something the mountain communities really hated about the outgoing administration; Dems need to push for guided-rail bus or other similar option along the corridor.

    Finally, they need to continue to repair and improve our educational infrastructure.  This was a major promise of Ref. C, and we need to remain faithful to the voters on our Ref. C promises.

    As to what I’d like to see them do regardless of the political landscape: I’d like to see better efforts on fire mitigation and beetle management (not likely to happen with the current limited budget), I’d like to see some efforts made to curb unplanned growth (unlikely to happen because of home-rule), and I’d like to see some serious work towards fair compensation for surface rights owners vs. mineral rights use (may happen, has bi-partisan support in the affected communities…).

    What Dems shouldn’t do, though I’d like them to…  Pass a gay rights bill – a sure way to gain retribution after the failure of Ref. I this year. 

    1. I think, or at least hope, that colorado voters are smart enough to see the difference between I and a gay rights bill that would protect them from discrimantion in the workplace. I dont remember all of the bill that was vetoed by Owens, but I remember that that was a large chunk of it.

      What the Dems need not do is be republican-lite. DUDem touches on this a bit, and I dont think this can be overlooked. Are there some conservative dems in the leg? Absolutely, but it is overall dem for a reason. Kowtowing to the right in this state does nothing but give them a platform to run on. They need to stick to their principles. One of those principles is equal rights for all. Passing and getting signed a bill that says a person can not be fired for having a different sexual orientation is a first step.

      1. Despite the BS from RRR’s like FFF, 53-47 is not a significan margin; while many people may not be ready for gay marriage or civil unions, many recognize the common sense of protection from discrimination regarding employment, housing, etc.

      2. Yes, there’s still room to pass an anti-discrimination bill on the job level.  I was talking about passing Ref. I in the Lege after having it fail in a public referendum.  *I’d* like to see Ref. I pass, but having put it up before the people, we shouldn’t now bring it back “in-house” for a “correct” vote; that’s a sure ticket out of the majority and an easy reversal via Initiative in the current political climate here.

        We do need to work more on anti-discrimination law, though.  People are almost with us on civil unions.  Another few years and it will pass.  Maybe even as an Initiative in 2007…

        1. I thought you meant that they shouldnt pass an anti-discrimination bill. Yeah, there is no way the dems will put  Ref. I up for a corrective vote. Realistically, it is going to pass sooner or later. I would prefer the sooner, but these things take time. 2007 would be impressive, and the fact that it would be an off year would be nice not allowing it to impact the general ’08 election.

          1. I almost think putting Ref I on the ballot won the Dems some respect this year.  They could have just passed the legislation and “gotten it over with”, but they put it on the ballot.  (Maybe it needed to go on the ballot due to administrative costs and fees?)

            Dems certainly didn’t suffer for the proposal.

            I understand that Coloradans for Fairness and Equality is already working on a 2007 ballot issue; not sure how that will fly in an off-off election year, but if it passes, it will keep the issue off the ballot in 2008 where it might draw out the RRRs again.

            1. The goals outlined above by Phoenix Rising and Mr. Toodles are well thought out, remarkablly sane and achieveable.  I would add the  Democratic legislature needs to pass the bill mandating that hospital must inform rape victims about emergency contraception and assist any victim to obtain the medication….for god’s sakes.  Just do it and move on.

      1. I meant “don’t pass Ref. I via legislation”, but only because it failed at the ballot box.  Because of the way the state’s I&R process works, it would be easy for opponents to overturn it, and all the Dems would get would be a rebuke from the voters for going ahead with something that lost at the ballot box.

        I’m all for passing the whole kit’n’kaboodle, but the civil union/domestic partnership bit will have to be passed through Initiative at this point, IMHO.  The employment nondiscrimination will be passed this year, unless I’m missing something.

  3. 1. Protecting Colorado from ecological damage by EnCana and other energy producers, and this is part of the reason why.

    2. Stimulating job creation, even if it means going to the voters to OK funds to create a sustain and incubators for entrepreneurs.

    3. Following through on Ref C, and then come up with creative solutions for keeping higher education funded, as well as K-12.

    4. In conjunction with 1 (above) continue the work that Senators Dan Grossman and Ken Gordon were working on.

    5. Health care solutions.

    That should be enough to keep them busy for one session. I also want to see a stop to personally-intrusive legislation, such as Fran Coleman’s “adoptees’ rights.”  The Colorado lege was starting to look as silly as the Texas lege when it comes to school-related nonsense–pledge of allegiance, classroom mandates, etc.

    1. Look at making this state more recession proof. Owens spent his effort bringing in branches from established companies. Problem is, that branches normally are closed first. Colorado needs a large number of small companies headquartered here that can grow.
    2. Diversify the business base. Not just telcom hi-tech. There are lots of other areas to head into.
    3. Straighten out Owen’s nightmare on the Social Service computer system. What a SNAFU that is.
    4. Re-consider a 100+ mph  maglev for the mountains. We need a high-speed way to move around in the mountains going from DIA -> Denver region -> up I-70 to the casinos -> the ski resort. That would alleviate a lot of traffic/pollution in the mountain. But doing a 60 MPH train or adding more lanes is a losing proposition for Colorado and the mountains.
    5. Consider what to do with the water issue. Owens ignored what was going on out on the eastern plain. Coming in at the last second and dropping the hammer was a very bad idea. Farming is important to Colorado (jobs and for our citizens). Long term we will need some innovative ideas. The straw was not a bad idea, but it was designed to pull water one way, rather than 2 ways. Very expensive though.
    6. Need to address the schools issues esp. for the university. They have been falling back.
    7. Hopefully CDOT will cooperate more with RTD. Owens did everything possible to throw in toll lanes and block RTD. In particular, C-470 does not need toll lanes. But a rail running from wadsworth to I-25 would be very useful to lower the traffic.
    1. On (4) – I’m not in agreement on the maglev, and neither are the more space-restricted communities along the I-70 corridor.  The minimum-space alternatives in the plan (guided-rail and dual-mode bus are the main ones) are more likely to get buy-in from the constituencies along the route.  A guided-rail bus would be a success in your terms, as it’s a high-speed solution at least to the Eisenhower tunnel.

      (7) I couldn’t be more in agreement there.  The de-railing (pun intended) of the Western Corridor was almost entirely due to barriers placed by CDOT.  And an FYI, the Western Corridor is slated to go all the way to the Taj Mahal in Jeffco.  I’m eagerly awaiting the day when it arrives; they’d better put up a LARGE Park’n’Ride there.

  4. List 1:  What they should do politically:

    1.  Pass the prescription drug bill that Owens vetoed.
    2.  Come up with a comprehensive and well enforced bill for water rights and usage on the eastern plains.  Bring in Musgrave (I cannot believe I am saying this) and see if she can get some federal monies for water infrastructure to help.
    3.  Find a way to lower tuition costs for state schools.
    4.  Promote alternative energy, water conservation, and water quality.
    5.  Take out TABOR, and Arveschoug-Bird.  Keep the right for taxpayers to vote for increases, but make a new spending limit based on reality under ONE plan.
    6.  Improve paved rural roads!

    List 2:  What I want them to do:

    1.  Ratify the Kyoto treaty for Colorado, or take similiar steps for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    2.  Create a rail system linking Fort Collins to Pueblo.
    3.  Give the State Water Engineers Office more say over County Commissioners regarding new housing development approval and water availability.

    1. I agree with all of your points. Except:
      (1) I think that higher ed needs to be mended by following up on the ref C promises. 
      (2) I would like to see meaningful oversieght and more public imput on the oil and gas industry on the west slope.
      (3) I think that the western slope dems have made a foothold with the solid re-election of Salazar and Buescher.  I think that the state party would do well by investing in the long term development of this grass roots infrastructure.  On that note, I think that the party would do well to do this all over the state.  I assume that they are.

      The west is turning blue baby! Yeaah Baby…YEAAAH! 

      1. “I would like to see meaningful oversieght and more public imput on the oil and gas industry on the west slope.”

        _____________________

        I agree with this 100%.  Especially when it comes to this “Oil Shale” scam.

      1. “If Brock says he was a liar for much of his life, how do we know he’s not lying now? Blinded by the Right is less addicted to anonymous and third-hand sources than the madcap character assassinations that made him famous, and it is infinitely more plausible. But that doesn’t make it necessarily true. (Anita Hill’s lawyer has acidly observed that Brock confessed his Hill-related lies after seven years, when the statute of limitations prevents suing for slander.)”

  5. I would:

    1)  Shift oil and gas state government subsidies to the wind and solar industries.  Provide incentives to renewable energy corporations and consumers.

    2)  Increase mininum auto MPG standards.

    3)  Protect more open space throughout Colorado

    4)  Promote mass transit

  6. To review ALL Police execive violence complaints. The Idea in Denver was a start but needs more than 1 Citizen on the comittee. With Ritters dispicable record in this area it is critical that people belive they can trust those in charge of our safety.

    1. Democratics should take a good look at all those bills BO vetoed last year. Some decent bipartisan efforts were thrown in the trash. I’d like to see an investigation about the gas price gouging in Colorado. I’m not talking about the high prices all America has had to pay. I’m ticked at the insistence of the oil companies that 85 octane gas is regular grade in Colorado. The norm for the rest of the country is 87 octane. Cars no longer use carburetors(the old excuse to dilute the grade)and  every car maker wants 87 octane used as a fuel source. Meanwhile if you pump 87 octane gas into your car it is priced as a medium high grade and costs a lot more then comparative 87 octane prices ANYWHERE in the country. The 85 grade cost a lot less to make and we still get charged the same as other states 87 grade. Coloradoans are taking it in the pooper from oil & gas.

    1. Before he was even elected Ritter said that he plans to go to the voters to ask for additional TABOR relief.
      The initial question here was how to keep DEMS in power. You want a sure way?Keep the promise of Ref C. Manage within the extremely generous levels granted and keep any tax increase requests to a minimum and when ever possible limit them to local district requests. a State wide request to expand Ref C is a sure way to prove Dems cannot manage a budget and are worthy of the Tax and Spend lable.

      1. Family Values, Fiscal Responsibility, and a Strong Defense?  Are you kidding?

        Here are may answers:

        A) Ted Haggard smokes crystal meth with his boyfriend while his family is at home praying. Rep. Mark Foley goes after little boys, and Bill O’Reilly (the talking head of the conservatives) pays off women, just like Rush Limbaugh.

        B) $9 Trillion Debt, Money laundering contracts in Iraq, with a Pay to Play Congress.

        C) The 9/11 Commission recommendations for a safer america were completely ignored because the Bush administration was too busy patting itself on the back for invading a country, and Congress was too busy handing out contracts to it’s buddies to rebuild (?) Iraq.  We have an immigration problem like we’ve never seen, and Republicans have done nothing since Reagan to stop the increasing numbers of illegal immigrants.

        If you believe the rhetoric, why not follow up and make sure they do as they say. Or, watch the Dems accomplish more in the first 100 hours than the R’s did in the last 6 years.

  7. The Dem’s primary goal should be fixing the mess Owens made in education. CSAP tests are a joke and a waste of time and the dems should fight every attempt to create vouchers that the GOP tried.

    On the higher ed front, tuition needs to be reduced drasticlly. We have some great public schools in this state (especially CU, or as I call it, the Nobel Prize factory), but the high tuition cost is a real disincentive for prospective students. The Dems should start by permanently fixing TABOR, but should not count out the idea of a *small* tax increase. Tuition costs have hurt economic development (why would a company move here when they can move to Arizona and their employees could send their kids to college for half the price?), and my gut instinct is any short comings in tuition could be supplemented by revenue created by increased economic development. I don’t have any hard numbers to back this up, but I know it rings true for many in the business community.

    In terms of political expediency, the dems should stay towards the middle. But they can really pull the rug out from under the GOPs feet if they focus on agriculture and especially water shortages on the eastern plains. I know people out there who would vote for Ralph Nader if their irrigation wells stopped drying up.

    1. We have enough taxes already, thanks anyhow.
      Unless one is well off, who would support MORE taxes, especially simply for lower tuition fees? Liberals maybe.

      Most people can barely afford to put fuel in their cars just to get them to their job. Do you think they will want to support a tax increase for well off kids to enjoy the fruits of higher education?
      Gasoline is still well over $2.00 a gallon. Heating costs are out of this world. Food is so expensive that many people have to eat like they are on diets. And you want to raise taxes? Come on.

      And don’t tell me the only reason I am against dumping more money at those black holes is because I have nothing to do with higher education or wouldn’t benefit from it.
      I would directly. My second oldest son goes to UCCS. He pays his own way with just a little help from me.

      So maybe they can come up with a volunteer tax. Anyone that wants to get rid of their extra money can throw it at Boulder.

      More taxes……..
      Ha screw that.

      1. The Owens administration has done some real damage to higher ed, which nessecitates more money. If we don’t get more money to higher ed, we run the risk of letting the state fall behind the rest of the country, especially in high tech jobs. Not an option.

        The reason people think rich kids are the only ones on college campuses is because it’s damn near impossible for a poor kid to pay their way through college (as a junior at CU surviving on loans and the 32 hrs a week I work, I should know). It didn’t used to be this way; both of my parents worked their way through college. But because people like you are unwilling to pay a tax no matter what it goes for, public universities are not nearly as accessable as they used to be.

        1. to fund higher education other than tax increases. Private loans for one?

          Asking me to take food off of my table to fund someone elses kid’s education is wrong.
          I raised three boys without ever asking for a plug nickle from anyone. One of my sons is paying his own way through school. My other two boys said screw school and just went out and got good paying jobs.
          I’m not completely against taxes. I don’t mind paying my fair share. But as I see it I pay way more than what is necessary now.
          I posted a list of just some of the taxes we pay a couple days ago. It is crazy just how much we are forced to pay now. But there is always someone out there wanting more.

          We now throw more money at our public education than we should. And every other year the school board is asking for more.
          But they refuse to look at vouchers to make their teachers accountable for performance. So the money is just blindly given to them. Can you say Teachers Unions?

          I’m sorry if you need more money for school. But you chose to go to college, not me. I went to work before, during, and after school in the cold and heat of the construction industry. But I didn’t complain to anyone saying I needed them to help support me or pay my way.

          Ask for nothing, expect nothing. Stand on your own two feet and quit your crying. Words my dad and his dad taught me.
          We should all live by those rules. We would all be better off if we did.
          Gecko

          1. “I went to work before, during, and after school in the cold and heat of the construction industry. But I didn’t complain to anyone saying I needed them to help support me or pay my way.”

            ____________________________

            AND you walked to school uphill both ways right?!  😉

          2. Higher education is no longer a luxury like it was back in your day. If this country is going to stay competitive in a globablized world, we need to have highly trained workers in high tech fields. This isn’t about me whining about having to work for my degree; I can handle it. This is about troglodites like you standing in the way of national progress because you’re living in the 1960s.

            1. I just turned 50. I’m not a hundred. And there is no difference between then and now except that now everyone wants the government to support them. My folks taught me differently.
              Apparently your folks taught you to try and change the system so it supports you instead, huh?

              Nice try with the trog bit.
              I call it self reliance. You call it troglodite.

              1. The world today is drastically different than it was in the early 70s. Primarily, the U.S. is no longer the unquestioned economic hegemon. We now have to compete with India, China, The E.U., Taiwan, Indonesia, etc. And this isn’t some crazy liberal theory I’m spouting; many conservative thinkers like George Will think this is a problem.

                It’s no longer a choice for people to go to college, it’s necessary if we don’t want to get our doors blown off by the new economies trying to pass us. My parents taught me how to see the big picture, the value of foresight, and planning. Apparently your parents didn’t think it was too important.

                1. My oldest son is a college graduate.  After four years, including an internship abroad, he owed $12,000 in low interest student loans.  He has very low, affordable payments. He worked his way through school and we helped out as well, keeping the loans down to a reasonable amount. Students who have no family support, or low income families, can receive grant monies. So what is the problem?

                  1. I guess being 50 years old is the same as being 100…..
                    Seems like yesterday I was 49.

                    My second oldest son goes to UCCS but pays his own way via small loans and a little help from me, but my oldest son makes about $19.00 an hour, unschooled in a service industry job that he has been in for about four years. He is only 24 years old. Not too bad.
                    My whole point above is that I’m sick of the “raise taxes to pay my way” attitude. Real tired of it.
                    What the hell happened to paying your own way?
                    If someone wants to go to college, fine, go. Take out a loan, get a job, borrow from your relatives, win the gol-darn lottery, whatever, but don’t EXPECT ME to pay your way by raising my already sky high taxes.
                    Am I wrong?

                    1. Worked, got loans, paid them back.  I also think that when you have an investment in your own education, you appreciate it more and do better.

                2. I’m curious, did they also teach you to depend on the government to support you too? Or is that just the liberal in ya?

                  Your philosophy stating that there is no choice anymore other than going to college is bunk. My oldest son, which is probably about your age, is proof.
                  And besides, you are going to college to eventually make more money for whom? Yourself right? Not me or anyone else that you expect to pay your way.  What will we get out of paying your fees?
                  You’ll argue that your higher education benefits the economy in general. I’ll argue that the investment isn’t worth the return.
                  Pay your own way. Be a man. Quit listening to extreme lefties.

                  1. If some of your tax money were to be an investment, literally, wouldn’t you be for it?  If the gummint paid any or all of college education and got several times that back in increased taxes due to increased earnings, wouldn’t that be called “smart?”

                    This is exactly what happened with the GI Bill for WWII and Korean vets.  The money invested came back many times over due to increased incomes.

                    The country’s that are kicking our ass know this.  That’s why they pay for college education.

                    If not college, why bother with grade school?  What is magic about Grade 12?  It used to be Grade 8. 

                    Or why not let a person pay loans back to the government over a working lifetime?  The student loan system we have is a disgrace.  It’s really another pork for our banking system.  Lessee, I can loan money with government guarentees that it will be paid back?  Whattadeal!  You know damned good and well they wouldn’t loan this money if there were no guarentees.

                    Leave your ideology behind, gecko.  Be empiracal.  Do what works, not what fits preconceived notions.

                  2. This is not about me. I will be graduated by the time any legislation comes down the pipe. I was fortunate enough to be healthy enough to work and go to school. I was fortunate enough to be able to get loans because my parents credit rating wasn’t too bad (some of my friends weren’t so lucky). This is about getting MORE kids through college so the U.S. doesn’t end up playing second fiddle to China. Parsingreality hit the nail on the head; there is a direct corrolation between how educated a countries work force is and how good the countries economy is. As the wealthiest nation on earth with the lowest tax rate of any industrialized country, we have the ability to invest in education. But reactionaries like you crap themselves whenever you hear the word tax without stopping to think about the possible returns. Trust me on this one, it’s better in the long run. Much better.

                    1. No one can really question the need for supporting higher education. We cannot afford to become a nation of high-school drop-outs because not all of us can become a Michael Dell or a Bill Gates. China and India are eating our lunch.

                      I think our real weakness lies in the fact that our research universities are too dependent on state politics. There is not a nationally coherent policy on funding of higher education except for Perkins grants or student loans. As a result, in Colorado the colleges are competing with each other, and losing to manipulative politicians.

                      Bill Ritter is beginning to address this, finally, by asking colleges to work together, and hopefully, by ridding the system of incompetent leaders like Nancy McCallin of the community college system.

                      Let us all realize: higher education is no less important to our country than our military power. Knowledge is power.

    2. Bill Owens politcized the Colorado Community College System by appointing Nancy McCallin, his former budget director, as the president of CCCS. With no higher-ed experience, she started with promptly firing the popular academician president of Front Range Community College. Then, as if to prove how powerful she is, she hired her friends in executive positions without even announcing the job openings, as if state government jobs are her property to give away!

      Then she systematically started getting rid of minority employees – her disdain for them is well-known.

      99% of her staff is Caucasian women – no minority employees other than janitorial services.

      She made blunders in information systems procurement as well, sole-sourcing over $25 million purchases from a single vendor. See Channel 7 expose at:

      http://www.thedenver

      Nancy has unleashed a reign of terror and corruption. Rick O’Donnel, the then executive director of CCHE, colluded ith Nancy rather than provide checks and balances.

      Is Bill Ritter paying attention?

  8. Campaign staffs and committees disolve, and the party apparatus hibernates, so now is the time for a very special project for some engaged group, who want to make a huge difference in the next election cycle.

    As soon as possible the State Party should secure a list of registered Democratic voters who did note vote on Nov. 7.

    This is really a microtarged group ripe for working.  They are self-identified Democrats, so little time has to be spent on “voter Influencing.”  The problem is to get them out to vote.

    (These voters are internally referred to as lazy voters, and some well may be.  But such designation, discourages serious efforts to turn out this vote.)

    A much better approach, is problem voters.  It assumes that these voters have some problem which prevented them from voting. 

    A program started now, to contact these voters and identify what the problem is, an a plan to solve the problem for the next election.  There are hundreds or reasons that prevent people from actually voting.  (Ninety percent of these could be solved by requesting an absentee ballot, and having someone pick it up.)

    A 10-20% increase in Democratic turnout would win most local and many statewide races.

    Anybody interested?

    Jerry Fear

  9. Under no circustances should Dems try to undo Referendum H.In the courts or in spirit. This was a serious vote on how Colorado voters feel about companies hiring illegal imigrants and how they want the government to respond to the issue. Even though there is going to be huge pressure from Colorado Ag businesses and from Ritter to find a way around it I guarentee this would bite Dems on the ass HARD and Republicans would be on it like a Wolf on red meat and in my opinion they would deserve it.

  10. The Dems should do what they can to salvage the State Education Fund.  Also, they should exercise some self control.  They don’t have as much money as they think to embark on many initiatives. 

  11. Becoming unemployed and losing my health insurance, five years to medicare, sent me looking for options other than $25o-400/mo plus copays, etc. 

    There is a huge new industry out there of health care plans – not insurance – which capitalize on the fact that if one is a member of a group, they get serious discounts on healtch care and pharmaceuticals. The retail price for a hospital visit is huge, while the same services rendered to a Blue Shield patient cost far less.  California passed a law a few years ago that mandate hospitals to tell cash customers that they give discounts.  They don’t have to negotiate, and there are no promises, just to pass on this dirty little secret.

    These health care plans typically just hook up with an already existing PPO network, ditto the pills.  “Members” pay $15-100/mo, mostly in the under $30.  Many of these have a “Call-A-Doc” phone services for about $30.  Much cheaper than an office visit. 

    So, my thinking is that the state of Colorado create such a program, people like myself can buy into it.  The only cost would be some simple administration and contract creation.  I’ll bet it wouldn’t be over $5-10/mo.  The tax payers shouldn’t mind, it won’t cost them a dime if they don’t use it.

    Why not?

    1. It may help with preventive care and routine care, but it won’t help much with catastrophically expensive care. You still need insurance, and it’s better to pay $1,000 a year in co-pays to get catastrophic coverage. If you don’t have it at your age, you’re taking huge risks.

      And there is no way the state can afford to cover your catastrophic losses until you’ve gone broke and can’t pay your bills. Then you might get away with not paying your bills.

      What you’re proposing is government funded health insurance, which would be expensive and run by politicians, the same kind of people who run the Denver Election Commission.

      1. Insurance is paying into a common pool so that when  one of the “pool-ers” needs money, it is there. It is based on common, spread risk.

        These plans and my suggestions are being part of a member group that contracts to get discounts. It is buying into a group.  That’s why all these programs stated emphatically IT IS NOT INSURANCE.

        Vastly different!

        As to you “need” insurance,you only do  when your luck runs out.  Because of lot of self-employment in my life, or working for small insurance-less companies, I’ve only had medical coverage for maybe 16 out of 37 post-college years. At present I can ill afford paying $400/mo plus additional  fees, being under/un-employed.  That’s say $5500 dollars a year when I’m struggling by on perhaps double that.  Please use your advice for someone who can pay.

        I would sure rather have a discount plan in my pocket if hospitalized than nothing at all.  And is not wellness care an important part of staying out of the hospital?

        And if it costs the state of CO nothing, as I asked, why not?

        1. You’ve been gaming the system, gambling that you won’t need insurance to cover a catastrophic medical bill or two. You’ve been lucky that you haven’t needed the insurance.

          I don’t know why a smart guy who can write like you do isn’t making a decent living and I know nothing about you, so I can’t and won’t judge your situation.  But I know that I’m paying your health insurance one way or another, and I don’t like it because a lot of people are stretching to pay their premiums, which include the cost of your cost shifting and refusal or inability to pay your way like the rest of us.

          I continue to favor requiring all workers to buy catastrophic health insurance, or at least as much as they can afford.

  12. K-12 is an awful failure. Yes it’s ok up here in Boulder in the parts that are well off. But look at the drop-out rate in where the parents are poor.

    And it’s not just the drop-out rate. If a student gets through school with a 2.0 they have no chance in college and nowadays that means no well paying job.

    We’re failing over half our children. And the idea of an equal chance for all is a sick joke when they don’t have a decent education.

  13. Politically Popular
    I. Constitutional Reform- It is simply too easy to amend the state constitution by direct referendum, and I think most Coloradoans would agree, whatever political stripe they happen to be.  What we have now is a mess, but it is only going to get worse if the door is left open so I think for popular reasons and practical ones they should propose an amendment raising the requirements for passage of a constitutional amendment to 60% or 66%, depending.  Given Amendment 38’s failure at 31% to 69% I think this would be a winner for them.

    Also potentially popular would be some sort of measure that would restrict or eliminate the use of paid signature gatherers for petitions to keep most astroturf referendums off the ballot.  Or, perhaps, a system that allows the legislature to respond to initiatives with legislation or an alternate.  That seemed to help bring down Ref. 39.

    II. Water- Tax breaks for farmers who install water conservation systems?  The budget is more than thin enough without adding new things to it, but it would probably be more cost effective to give every farmer drip irrigation/more efficient sprinklers and lining irrigation ditches to reduce losses than to build more pipelines to move water around.  Probably popular with farmers (who doesn’t like a tax break?) and with city environmentalists. 

    What I Would Like
    I. Go to a more open system of election.  For example an open ‘primary’ where the top two vote recipients face each other in November regardless of party.  Alternatively go to an instant run off/preferential ballot for some statewide races and federal offices. 

    II. After fixing the election system call a constitutional convention to fix our effed up constitution with all the ridiculous ballot initiatives that have been stuffed in it.

    Neither of those are going to happen though.

    1. Quite a few years ago the California Imperial Valley irrigation district contracted with I think it was the LA Dept of Water and Power. 

      The latter paid to line the irrigation ditches with concrete, which cut down on seepage, which was huge.  I don’t know the details of how they split the saved water, but both were very happy with the deal.  And the water LA (or whomever it was) was a hell of a lot cheaper than building another dam or whatever.

      Just think of the hundreds or thousands of miles of unlined ditches we have in CO.

      BTW, I spent a number of years on the business and technical side of irrigation, and most of the crops grown in eastern CO are not amenable to drip irrigation. I emphasize to my knowledge, it’s been some years since I was in the biz. I have noticed as I drove throught the Texas panhandle recently, that those big circular or walking rigs now use much more efficient technology.  They used to just blow the water through high pressure sprinklers up high.  Now they hand down very low, close to the crops, less subject to wind.  And they are low pressure, which saves both pumping cost and keeps the drops big so that they aren’t windblown.  Probably as good as it is going to get.  Regardless, it’s a dying agriculture as the Ogallala aquafer depletes.  Can you say “wheat?”

      1. example is that the excess water is still in litigation. The farmers are claimning the water and they are fighting the efforts of IID to sell the water. So what is happening to it – currently it flows unused in mexico and is used by Mexicalli. The problems with water are that a person cannot conserve water and then get it – if they conserve it it goes to the next use right in line. I took water law at DU 20 years ago and we were talking about how uneconomic the water laws were then – it’s just gotten worse. “Win-win” resolutions are economic – water law frequently says the case is “Lose-lose and a third party who didn’t spend a dime is the winner”. Dumb, ain’t it?

        1. Apparently when I left CA  a dozen years ago, things musta gone south – and I’m not referring to water to Mexico!

          So, if I understand this, the IID sells part of the conserved water to LA, but the farmers who own shares in the IID, who couldn’t use what was seeping into the ground anyway, is fighting for water they could never access? 

          As you imply, only in water law. 

  14. Gov Bill Owens politcized Higher Education and the Colorado Community College System by appointing Nancy McCallin, his former budget director, as the president of CCCS. With no higher-ed experience, she started with promptly firing the popular academician president of Front Range Community College. Then, as if to prove how powerful she is, she hired her friends in executive positions without even announcing the job openings, as if state government jobs are her property to give away!
    Then she systematically started getting rid of minority employees – her disdain for them is well-known.

    99% of her staff is Caucasian women – no minority employees other than janitorial services.

    She made blunders in information systems procurement as well, sole-sourcing over $25 million purchases from a single vendor. See Channel 7 expose at:

    http://www.thedenver

    Nancy has unleashed a reign of terror and corruption. Rick O’Donnel, the then executive director of CCHE, colluded ith Nancy rather than provide checks and balances.

    Is Gov-elect Bill Ritter paying attention?

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