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February 02, 2007 09:14 PM UTC

Senate Filibuster at State Capitol

  • 149 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Republican Senators are joining together in an attempt to filibuster HB-1072 (the Labor Peace Act) on the Senate floor. This is certainly a rare occurence on the state level, but it’s even weirder that normally infighting Republicans were able to join together in an attempt to accomplish something in the legislature.

UPDATE #1:Colorado Confidential is following the proceedings with live updates.

UPDATE #2: Sen. Tom Wiens compares himself to “Davie Crockett.” Click below for the full press release.

Denver – This morning on the State Senate Floor, Senate Republicans have launched an unprecedented attempt to stop the passage of HB1072. The Bill would strip the major portions of the Labor Peace Act that currently protects workers from being forced into an all-union shop without a vote of the employees. The Labor Peace Act has been on the books in Colorado since1943.

Using the limited resources of Senate rules and delaying procedures, the Republicans hope that they can buy time for the voice of the people to be heard on this issue. Senator Tom Wiens said “I know now how Davie Crockett felt at the Alamo, but this “last stand” has dramatic consequences for the future of Colorado. Our businesses and workers will be stripped of their current competitive advantage in the global marketplace. The economic impact will be devastating.”

Earlier this week, leaders from the business community came to the capitol to testify against the Bill. Many feel this Bill is being rushed through the process at the bidding of the big labor unions in the state which were instrumental in the elections of many of the Democrats in the legislature and of the Governor.

The Republicans are putting on a full court press to delay the passage in the Senate which in the last step before the Bill will be put before the Governor for signature. They feel the passage of HB 1072 will be detrimental to the future of Colorado’s economy. Colorado is nearly surrounded by “Right to Work” states and will loose its competitive edge in attracting business to our state if “all-union” shops become the norm in our labor community.

Senator Wiens states, “This is about the economic future of Colorado. It’s about the ability of our children to find jobs and pursue careers and about our small businesses continuing to feel the freedom they have enjoyed in Colorado for over 60 years.”

Comments

149 thoughts on “Senate Filibuster at State Capitol

  1. when you’ve found potential wedge issue for the 08 elections.  What better way to get those fiscal Repubs and independants who voted for D’s in 06 back in fold in 08.  The bigger the issue created, the easier it will be to bring conservatives back home.

    The issue itself will have little actual impact but its all about the spin.

    1. http://www.leg.state

      Click on “Current Year”, then “Calendars”, you need to know if the bill is house or senate, I don’t recall.  The calendar in pdf format will permit you to see what room the hearing is in. 

      Go back to the home page and click on “Audio Broadcasts.”  It should open in your preferred audio plug-in.

      1. I’m listening online.  Ted Harvey and Josh Penry seem to be leading this fight… good for them, they are both very well spoken and have very bright futures in the party.

        1. Penry is a super-star and Harvey is my choice for CD-6.  The GOP is flush in talent and I think that despite last year’s shellacking there’s a lot of good things to come for Colorado conservatives–as long as our leaders stay mindful of core conservative philosophy and don’t back down when it’s tough or unpopular.

            1. Dave Schulteiss (sp?) is a great leader, too.  The GOP is just solid, here.  It seems that we’ve purged a lot of the riff-raff and now we’re building a consensus conservative caucus in Colorado.

              1. Schulteis is a great leader?  Great whackjob.  He is one of the most vicious, ill informed, back against the Right Wall he is so far right, legislative assholes of all time. 

                I’ve seen him at work in committee and it is not a pleasant sight. 

                I wished his 9mm stuffed into his belt swaggering around the Minute Men had gone off.  It would have been poetic justice. 

                Remember Mark Paschall?  Dave is next.  It might be a few years, but he is next.

                1. When I was in Oregon I would go down to Trader Joe’s often to pick some up.  I prefer the Celestial Seasonings bagged-chai, now, myself.

                  I can’t stand the Minute Men, believe me, but Schulteiss is good on traditional Colorado values.

                  1. On a more common topic, Oregon Chai has a “Slightly Sweet” version, which is why I buy it.  The other stuff is so loaded with sugars, yuck.  Just picked up more at Sunflower market an hour ago.

                    1. could a hot political debate and exchange of Chai tea options take place in the same posts.

  2. …and will be forgotten in two months after Ritter has signed economic development legislation that actually has an impact on Colorado’s economic well-being.

    Symbols are important for spin, but the public has a good nose for sniffing out the issues that are to far removed from their daily lives to really matter.

    It doesn’t seem that the GOP is following a plan here, it’s just reactionary hysteria.  I say, keep digging, knock yourselves out, via con dios, and the like.

        1. Tyler,

          I think we need to be careful on this one, not because this is bad policy, but because of the message it could send if we lose the PR debate, but win the legislative battle.

          The media appears to be reporting this as “Democrats now in charge, forcing pro-Labor bill down the throats of Republicans”.  This frame might not be fair or balanced, but that’s the conventional frame because this kind of conflict is what gets people to read their papers and watch the news.  Supporters of unions can’t afford to dismiss that as unfair reporting; we need to offer an alternative frame.

          The fact is, this bill fits perfectly with the “Colorado Promise” of regular people being able to find a job that pays enough to raise a family.  The Dow just hit a new record high, whereas real median incomes in Colorado have declined over the past 6 years (http://www.census.go…), at least, according to the Census.

          Business profits are doing better than ever, regular people are not.  Democrats want to restore some balance.

        2. Labor is down to 8% of the workforce in Colorado – not much farther to go.  Did you not pay attention to how little you matter during the DNC negotiations?  Most folks in Colorado see how self interested labor is, and you are demonstrating that today.

          XO

            1. Yes, I see.  Labor is getting desperate. 

              Why does organized labor deserve an even footing with private business?  Isn’t it supposed to be an employees choice to decide if they want to join a union?

              1. Not legally except in Right To Work For Less States. 

                You righties always are harping about personal responsibility and market economics.  Well, be personally responsible and join the union if you want to enjoy the fruits of what the do for you.  At least don’t bitch about the agency fees, that’ pretty fair.

                Or, just go work somewhere else if you don’t like a union shop.  You have market choices, use them.

      1.   There are a number of other substantive issues which would have been easier to deliver to organized labor and would have had an impact on more workers than this one, just as there were about 20 or 25 other specific promises Bill Clinton made to the gay/lesbian community which would have been easier to deliver and would have impacted more people. 
          For some reason, these guys fail to put their promises in order of importance and feasibility, with the easier stuff being done first, and the more contentious stuff being deferred to a second term.

  3. The real sources of division and poor leadership in the Senate have been eliminated (Anderson, Hall and Jones all lost their seats in the last year). Despite being in the minority, the ones left are a fairly unifed crowd on the core Republican principles, so a organized filibuster should come as no surprise.

      1. …in ’07 and ’08 and hopefully beyond.  In Colorado, with our demographics, registration numbers, and political leanings, a united Republican Party is a much, much more powerful party.  The Democrats’ best shot is at a divided, weakened GOP.  My feeling–nay, my hope–is that Macchiato Mark is laying a steamer right about now.

      2. With the possible exception of Nancy Spence, there are no more moderates or even traditional conservatives left in the caucus.  Only extreme right-wing social issue conservatives.  Until that changes, the Republicans will be in the permanenet minority.  Why, because the rest of the Republicans like me left the party and won’t vote for these nuts.  Just look at Jeffco’s delegation.  When I was chair of the party there wasn’t a single Democrat in the legislature from Jeffco.  Now, one Senator and three representatives vs. the Democrats four Senators and 5 state representative.  Anyone wants to know what happened to the Republican party in this state, look no further than Jeffco, it tells the whole story.  We just won’t vote for these radicals.  Take that Dr. Dobson.

        1. But a Republican Party that stands itself upon a platform of “Democrat Lite” will lose every time.  If you are so disenchanted with the GOP by all means vote for the Democrats.  Vote for the same folks trying to cut and run from Iraq, trying to suffocate Colorado businesses, trying to strangle the free market with giant, destructive minimum wage hikes, etc, etc., etc….

          The gains in Jeffco–my home country–reflect the changing demographics of metro Denver.  The inner-suburbs are becoming a lot like the margins of Denver while the traditional suburban families are moving farther afield.  Still, Jeffco voted for President Bush in 2000 and 2004 and it voted against Ref. I.  While it is more competitive it is not quiet Boulder.

          The GOP is a conservative party.  When we run as conservative we seem–strange enough–to ALWAYS win.  When we wimp out and cave on the most important issues of the day we lose.  I’ll continue working for an unapologetically conservative Republican Party.  That doesn’t mean extremism, in fact, I’d argue that is quite in line with most voters in this great state.  And the fact that you are praising an increasingly left-wing Democrat Party while reviling a conservative Republican Party shows just how intellectually dishonest you are.

          1. All we Dems heard since 1994 from both ‘Pubs and Dems alike is that we need to be Republican Lite.

            When some of our folks finally located their testicles and became Dems again, we won. 

            1. You couldn’t win with the Dottie Lamms and Stricklands.  Once you found a pro-life governor and pro-gun Salazars you start winning.

              Doesn’t surprise me a bit.

              1. Dems that have won here have moved more right.

                If the Republicans move further left will they start winning?

                This was a good move for the Republicans, but the Dems I think will walk away ahead.  It is early in the session, there are still many bills that will create media interest, this “mini-filibuster” will be forgotten by most (but not by the party faithful, which, as I said, it helped).

                Always good to have a voice and the Colorado Republicans found theirs again today.  Let’s hope they don’t get carried away.

              2. Republican Office of Propaganda.

                Anyone taking a few moments to look at the positions of winning Dems shows that concept absolutely false.  The winners were economic populists, by and large. 

        2.   15 years ago, Arapahoe County sent 2 Dems to the state House versus 6 Republicans, and 1 Dem to the state Senate versus 3 Republicans. 
            Now there are 4 Democratic reps versus 4 Republican, and 2 Democratic Senators versus 2 Republicans (one of whom is that sole surviving RINO, Nancy Spence).
            That’s progress……

  4. Alas, the once inept Repubican Party is on the rise.  After finding it’s spine it went on the search for conservative values.  The GOP Senators in DC are fighting defeatist resolutions and now the local Republicans are fighting anti-business measures from a Democrat Party that is swinging left faster than a steroid-enhanced Barry Bonds home-run swing.

    Bravo, good conservative ladies and gentleman, bravo!

  5. Major kudos are due to the Senate Minority, they are putting up a hell of a fight against the Dems Union Pay-Back Bill (aka: HB1072)…

    Brophy, Mitchell, Harvey, Penry and Co. are doing a hell of a job.  From what I can tell they’ve been fighting this thing for at least two hours.  You’d have thought everyone would have wanted to go home on this frigid Friday… 

    1. Judging from all the new posters/imposters there are a boatload  of unemployed Republican political operatives who have nothing better to do than clap like monkeys on Colorado pols.

      1. ..the standard boatload of unemployed Dem operatives that post on every thread, every day?

        Sorry, but you walked into that.  I didn’t know it was trolling to talk about politics on an unbiased (snicker) political website…

    1. Ah, so reminiscent of amendment 41! When I read about the bill I couldn’t help but recall hearing about how Ritter encouraged the unionization of the prisons around Canon City, even though the workers there are satisfied and are making fair wages. I wonder, but don’t want to find out, what happens when a prison staff union decides to strike?

  6. The “sky is falling” “business leaders” are all for ‘free markets’ as long as it benefits themselves… but as soon as the workers want the same rights, their tune changes.

    Here’s some historical perspective on the replaceable, unnecessary drags on the economy known as the “business leaders”. 

    1. This isn’t about “big business” this is about the freedom and liberty of individuals and small businessmen.  The Senate Republicans are right to stand up in defense of the freedoms and liberties that make this State great…

      1. Like what and compared with what other state?  Like our low rates of vacination, educaitonal funding, and the like?  Or our high foreclosure rate?

        Colorado has never been a strong union state and this bill won’t change much in reality.  We will only be like the 37 (?) states that did not have this weird provision in their laws.

        Platitudes are pointless.

        And, why is it so important to tell us you (presumably) have a .45 handgun.  Pretty sick.

    2. This bill is misnamed. It needs to be called the “Dictatorship of the Minority Bill”.
      That’s right Colorado Workers, step right up for some new labor reform! Tired of union rabble-rousers that move into your shop, talking about going union, but never seem to accomplish anything? Don’t worry about it, we’re going to take the democracy out of the process! Thanks to new legislation, you don’t need a majority vote to go union anymore! Just one VOTE! That’s right, the same kind of laws that gave us Adolf Hitler’s Germany are now open to labor here in Colorado.
      Don’t hesitate, get on the ground floor now so you came be the first to form a union in your shop. Act now and you’re be a Local Union President, spending all those union dues on a new car for your wife and a new house for your girlfriend.

      1. The hundreds of bills that get passed after corporations – many of them not even American – get the Republicans and Dems to vote for their favored legislation?  I call it corruption.

        At least the benefits of a pro-union bill fall to the average guy….and guy-ette, not a bloated CEO who is only too anxious to move the jobs off shore. 

        1. You know, the kind of environment were we sit around talking about how “business is war” as opposed to fighting actual wars with our neighbors like in the good old days of the European Middle Ages, just to make a buck.
          Besides, listen to where the arguement is going. The Republicans are arguing to exemt businesses of less than 25 from this bill… How is that bad?

  7. I seem to recall a rule prohibiting any given speaker (except the sponsor) from speaking more than twice on a bill.  Is that right?  Can this really be dragged out indefinitely, or is this more of a “long debate” than “filibuster”?

      1. The House does have more strict debate rules.

        Both the Senate and the House have been operating under Temporary Rules since the Democrats took over two years ago.

        However, earlier this week the R’s in the Senate were able to lure the D’s into adopting the Permanent Rules which set the stage for today’s lengthy debate.  This will go on for awhile.

        I love it when a plan comes together.

      1. Since I am hearing real debate on the bill, I’m inclined to agree.  I think the word “filibuster” is being misused here.  As soon as someone starts reading the dictionary, I’ll change my mind.

        1. Okay, but listing hospitals is enough.  I now think they are wasting time, and they know it; it definitely qualifies as filibuster in my book.  But whatever this last motion was, it looks like it has the potential to be interesting.  Does this stop the filibuster?

  8. As is typical with the Republicans today, they are fighting a battle that is decades old and no one cares about anyway.  My wife is already in a closed shop at Kaiser.  Has been for years.  Hated it when the struck.  But you know what, as a family who is already affected by what they are proposing here, it won’t change a vote.  We have much more important things to worry about, and that’s the problem with Republicans today.  They’re much more interested in ramming morality and their world view down our throats than helping the citizens of Colorado.  That’s why they have lost and will continue to lose.  Go back to California Dr. Dobson and take your fruit cakes with you.  That’s were you belong.

    1. Let’s see exactly whose cramming whose morality down whose throats…

      Who tried to legislate gay civil unions on a state that clearly was not receptive to that?  Answer: Democrats–all in the name of tolerance and equality.

      Who legislated a ridiculously anti-business minimum wage bill that would gut small businesses and hurt working families?  Answer: Democrats–all in the name of equality.

      Who wants to introduce single-payer healthcare that would wreck our economy hack to pieces what is the best health care system in the world? Answers: Democrats–all in the name of redistributionist equality.

      You see, BOTH parties try legislating morality.  Republican morality has to do with faith and family while Democrat morality has to do with equality and tolerance.

      Craig, you’re just not credible.  I fully admit that Republicans like to legislate morality–that’s intellectual honesty–but nobody buys your fraud that Democrat legsilation is a-moral–it’s not!  The question is not if morality belongs in politics and the public square, it is WHICH morality belongs in politics?  That’s where the debate lies and serious people know it.

      1. Molly Ivins would eat you for lunch, you fool.

        My definition of faith and family means living your morality, not lecturing people about it – which is more than I can say for the Bill Bennetts of the world. Paul Wellstone, that emblem of the liberal left, was married to the same woman for almost thirty years and had three children and six grandchildren, all of whom adored him.  Meanwhile Newt Gingrich served his third wife divorce papers while she was in the hospital being treated for cancer.

        A gay couple raising a child in loving, supportive environment is far more moral than any of those family values idiots on the right.

        And no, we don’t have the best health care system in the world.  We have the most expensive and the least efficient. We have a lower lifespan than most of western Europe and a child mortality rate approaching a third world country.

        If low wages were the lone determiner of an economic engine, Alabama would be the envy of the nation. Keeping working people in poverty is bad for the economy.

        The difference is, Democrats make policy based on facts, not just beliefs – and we know the difference between the two.

  9. How strange that the COGOP is unifying around continued governmental interference in employers’ and employees’ liberty of contract. Guess in home school momma didn’t teach them the value of intellectual consistency.

  10. Colorado is alone out of the 50 states in having the current procedure in place.  This bill simply allows union representatives to ASK for an all-union shop during contract negotiations without first getting approval via an additional vote of the entire union membership.  The union members are still free to reject the contract when it comes up for a vote.  Employers are still free to accept or reject the contract in negotiations.  It doesn’t change the procedure for organizing a union.

    Reading some of the comments here, one would think that Karl Marx himself has risen from the grave and is leading an assault on the state capitol.  This bill simply puts Colorado on the same footing as 27 other states (i.e. all states that are not “right-to-work”).  And what about those right to work states?  Just overflowing with textile manufacturing jobs and such, aren’t they?

    1. To Asia….

      And if not there the Southern United States.  They are fleeing the Rust Belt in droves and leaving for the pro-growth south.  The fastest growing economies are almost entirely in Dixie and for good reason.  Why would you stay in a state that gets tooled around by unions and Marxists?  I don’t own a business but if I did I’d sure as hell get out of Michigan and Ohio and go to where I’d surely make a profit–the South. 

      If you want to become an economically stagnant craphole, by all means, sell your soul to the unions in Colorado.  We are a growing, successuful, prosperous state precisely because we are notoriously pro-business. 

      1. “We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and every where in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is every where a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and one may say, the natural state of things which nobody ever hears of. “

        That quote is from the well known radical Adam Smith in “The Wealth of Nations”, book I ch. 8.  It’s good to see the COGOP carrying on this fine tradition!

          1. “The liberal reward of labour, as it encourages the propagation, so it increases the industry of the common people. The wages of labour are the encouragement of industry, which, like every other human quality, improves in proportion to the encouragement it receives. A plentiful subsistence increases the bodily strength of the labourer, and the comfortable hope of bettering his condition, and of ending his days perhaps in ease and plenty, animates him to exert that strength to the utmost. Where wages are high, accordingly, we shall always find the workmen more active, diligent, and expeditious, than where they are low;”

            1. Another old line economist whose name is trying to fall off of my tongue noted that wages will naturally only supply a subsisdence standard of living if the employer can get away with it. 

          2. But hey, public sector has the strongest union membership….no time clock; no schedule, free wireless internet access….and something called academic freedom…..got this because you are just special, did you dr. god???? Or do you have such an protected  position because a lot of effort from a lot of people….people you scorn…

        1. “The masters [employers] being fewer in number, can combine much more easily: and the law, besides, authorizes or at least does not prohibit , their combinations, while it prohibits hose of the workmen. We have no acts of Parliament against combining to lower the price of work, but many against combining to raise it.” If our so-called business actually read and understood  _The Wealth of Nations_, they’d realize how silly all their bellyaching really is. Collective bargaining is part and parcel of the free market, but our Chamber of Commerce drones prefer continuing governmental interference with liberty of contract on the shop floor. Why do colorado “business leaders” hate freedom?

    2. that if the employees vote to join the union, the owners of the business can refuse thereby keeping the shop open (non-union)? Trying to understand. Thanks.

  11. But the Democrats, for obvious reasons, don’t want that.  Rather, they’d like to stuff this garbage down Colorado business owners’ throats.  They did the same thing in Massachusetts over gay marriage.  Voters in Massachusetts gathered much more than enough signatures to put an intiative to protect marriage on the ballot but the state assembly wouldn’t approve it until the courts told ’em too. 

    We talk about forcing morality on the citizens.  The Mass. state assembly wanted to force their equality ethos though the people of Massachusetts clearly want to protect marriage.  Same with Colorado Dems.  Everybody talks about GOP totalitarianism but the truth is quite different.  The Democrats, once they gain power, seek to pay their dues and thereby crap on voters and businesses and families–without giving the people a voice.

  12. He is 100% correct!
    This kind of legislation was on no one’s platform this past election. It is a major shift in public policy and the people of Colorado have has no say about it. It needs to go to a vote of the people.

  13. So Colorado needs MORE ballot questions?  This is a “major” public policy shift?  This argument is pure posturing on the part of the GOP.  Even if it were put to a vote of the people, they passed the minimum wage increase back in November.

    I thought the job of the legislature was to make decisions, not to pass the buck.

    1. I’m tired of the legislature on both sides of the isle abdicating their responsibility for fear of being held to account. I am all for the initiative process, but too frequently the leg. has used it to avoid an up or down floor vote that could be used against them in elections. I say, if the dems won, they are entitled to pursue their agenda…if the voters, like myself, dislike their policies, we will vote them out…give ’em time and rope and they’ll take it!

  14. What are the top-10 states for business in the country?

    http://www.forbes.co

    The Top Ten
    Virginia
    Texas
    North Carolina
    Utah
    Colorado
    Idaho
    Nebraska
    Delaware
    Florida
    Georgia
    Vote

    Only one on that list (Delaware) has a closed shop.  Colorado is the fifth best place to do business.  Making Colorado a pro-union state would drop it out of the top ten.

    1. US Chamber of Commerce?

      The must maligned California just can’t stop growing and growing with more international corporations than you can count.

      Population grew from 22 mil to 33 in a little over twenty years.  Guess they are all unemployed, eh?

      Yes, some companies leave – I worked for one!  But overall, corporations find things like the high level of creativity, education, and geography make up for the negatives.

  15. that the Republicans have finally started fighting for conservative values instead of rolling over because they are in the minority.  The Democrats did not run on a pro-union platform in the last election because they knew it was a losing issue, we are a pretty independent bunch in this state.

    Now that they have full legislative control, one of their first pieces of business is that they are going to try to force the workers of this state to pay into union coffers, freedom of choice be damned.

        1. that’s a great way to keep republicans in the minority — piss off every business owner in your state — that’ll keep the GOP down.  Right. 

  16. When business leaders say something is “bad for business”, how much faith should we place in them?  Consider:

    The auto industry said they would lay off thousands of auto workers if they ever had to install a driver air bag.  Did they know what they were talking about?

    When Clinton raised taxes, business organizations argued it would lead to a recession, some officials said we would rivel the Great Depression.  they know what they were talking about?

    When Colorado voted for an increase in the minimum wage, we heard “It’s bad for business”.  600 economists, including 4 Nobel laureates said a raise in minimum wages would not hurt the economy and be good for those receiving it.  Did business every explain why 4 Nobel laureates erred in their work?

    We here “Bad for business” so often, it reminds me of chicken little yelling “The sky is falling”. 

  17. How much $ an hour is this ill contrived filibuster costing the taxpayers of Colorado? Stop the amendments, its not going to get you anywhere. Stay strong Democrats, if the Republicans want a fight, show them you have it in you.

    1. has ruled, perhaps illegaly, that the amendments were now straight up and down votes with no debate allowed.  I’m not familier enough with the Senate floor rules to say if this was a proper motion on his part.  The Republicans certainly seemed surprised and asked for a 5 minute recess.  Can anyone here illuminate us?

      1. Has the Sentate Leadership finally read the rules or found a way to short circuit the process?

        I bet they just kicked the story several more days by violating the rules. 

  18. Many folks at the capitol have been calling Penry and Mitchell the dynamic duo.They have proved today that this is a fitting title.

    The P.M. (Penry, Mitchell) Dynamic Duo is certainly a force not to be taken lightly!

    It seems the Democratic Leadership in the Senate is flirting on the edge of breaking senate rules to end debate instead of allowing healthy debate on the Senate floor. Isn’t debating amendments the whole point!

  19. I hate to say it, but I think you’re right Chad.  Penry Mitchell and Harvey have been pounding HARD today.  Good for them for not letting Madam Fitz run the place like a brothel.  Why did everything just stop?  Who can explain why they’re taking a “senatorial 5?” 

  20. Do Ritter, Romanoff Fitz-Gerald and Hick all really think that winning the convention is worth giving away their dignity?  Come on!  They are trying to fast track a piece of legislation to satisfy national union demands — while pissing off every major business organization (and newspaper) in the state!  What else are Penry and Mitchell supposed to do?  Someone has to put up a fight — no one did over in the House! 

    1. Denver was an absolute last resort.  The Dems wanted New Orleans but it won’t be ready.  Then they wanted Minneapolis but the GOP took first dibs.  It was between Tampa, Denver, and New York and Tampa couldn’t afford it, NY didn’t want it, and alas it was left to heap upon the fine residents of this red state.

      A joke–all of it!  It’s going to be a flop and it sure as hell won’t win the Democrats any Colorado votes.

      1. I just think that it is COMPLETELY apparent that what’s going on with 1072 is one of the “must do” things that Howard Dean told people in Denver they had to do if they wanted to convo.  It’s so transparent — just like Jim Isgar’s comb-over.

      2. If we had more traditional valued, conservative, elected officials, we wouldn’t have this issue where employees deceive and lie to their co-workers/bosses and posts entries to a specific blog ALL day long.  Are my tax dollars being spent on your posts?

          1. I assumed that you are employed at CU (publicly funded organization), you are employed during the day, you preach honesty as a core value, and I assume your job is not to post on a blog all day long.

            Maybe I made a few incorrect assumptions.  If yes, I apologize for my snarky comments.

            1. But I’m on salaray as a political science adjunct.  Fortunately for me, on Friday’s I don’t have to teach.  When I do teach, you can rest assured that I’m not blogging.

              1. The thought of you teaching is the LAST thing that would make me “rest assured.”  I’d much rather have you wasting your time on blogs, shrieking about how unions and anything else that helps working people is actually a communist plot designed to steal money from the Wal-Mart heirs who worked so hard for their billions, i.e., outliving their father so they could live on his inheritance. 
                  Have I left out anything from your most recent right-wing idiocies? 

                    1. I’m as passionate about the issues as the next guy.  But in the end it’s character, not politics, that makes the man (or, Lauren, woman 🙂

  21. Dynamic Duo my foot! If I hear people call them that again I am going to scream! What is dynamic about either of them?? Penry is bright, and I wish he was on our team, but this stuipid attempt to Brand them will go away within a week

  22. Ray

    If you don’t think the PM dynamic duo is dynamic then you haven’t been listening.

    The first Senate filibuster in recent memory…..there is a reason the Dynamic Duo tag has stuck despite morons like Ray

      1.   The one quip that Moonraker posted last fall that I found amusing was his reference to “Zsa Zsa Schwartz” slumming it up with the common people in the San Luis Valley!

  23. Yea, it would sure be nice if we could go back to having union halls full of people singing about Gus Hall and all that.  But those days are just as dead as Gus.  The real trouble with this Union boasting legislation is that it shows how far out of touch Ritter and company are with reality.  Business worries about this bill because it paints Colorado as backward.  Read Richard Florida’s “Rise of the Creative Class” to learn where we need to go. Denver does not make the top 10 “Creative Class” cities.  Unless our leaders wake up fast, the red state paint cans are going to be opening up again.

    1. Richard Florida is a blue-state architect par excellence.  Though Denver is not the fancy-pants city Florida envisions he does list Boulder.  Joel Kotkin, not Florida, is the real civil visionary.  He realizes that business and shared values make a city great.  Florida thinks that gays and artists make any ol’ cowtown the sexiest town around.  I don’t want sexy, I want successful.

      1. I like Kotkin too.  Remember him from TV days in LA.  And I agree we want successful.  Florida writes a lot about how businesses organize and how they treat people.  That’s what is key.

        1. Absolutely phenomenal!  He explains how cities like Denver have it exactly right.  The suburbs are, far from being giant anti-quality golems, are actually quite important for the vibrancy and growth of a city.  He talks about the growth of the business sector in the suburbs and exurbs he notes that this is good for families, ergo good for citizens.  But he cautions that you have to formulate some sort of a shared value system.  He would certainly not be a multiculturalist.  He notes the importance of churches and open space in cities, especially the traditionally outdoorsy and family-centered Colorado.

          Great read and it makes you really think, even if you don’t wholly agree.

  24. Colorado miners were the victims of the 1943 clamp down of unions.  Because Colorado produced valuable minerals and metals for the war effort our unions were under the thumb not to strike during the war.  This was the after effects of the AFL having several small shop strikes during the early days of WWII. 
      And then:

    The Mine Workers, by contrast, who did not belong to either the AFL or the CIO for much of the war, engaged in a successful twelve-day strike in 1943. (quote from Wikipedia)

    And that is why Colorado ended up with such an onerous addition to the labor statutes.
      Removing it now should be considered a cleanup action, delayed by 60+ years. It is not the end of Colorado, or business or the end of the universe or life as we know it.  It is just a simple cleanup returning Colorado to the rest of the U. S.

    1. While it is true that the Colorado Labor Peace Act was passed in 1943, the clause in question, no union shop without first winning approval to ask in a second election with 50 percent plus one of the bargaining unit or 75 percent of those voting, whichever is higher, was added in 1977.  Section 14 b of the Taft Hartley Act of 1947 outlawed the closed shop and allowed states, at their option, to ban union shops (as 22 so-called right to work states have done.)  27 states allow free bargaining , i.e., a union can ask for a union or agency shop, though the employer doesn’t have to grant it.  Only Colorado has the second election by 75 percent clause and that dates back to 1977, not 1943.

    2. While it is true that the Colorado Labor Peace Act was passed in 1943, the clause in question, no union shop without first winning approval to ask in a second election with 50 percent plus one of the bargaining unit or 75 percent of those voting, whichever is higher, was added in 1977.  Section 14 b of the Taft Hartley Act of 1947 outlawed the closed shop and allowed states, at their option, to ban union shops (as 22 so-called right to work states have done.)  27 states allow free bargaining , i.e., a union can ask for a union or agency shop, though the employer doesn’t have to grant it.  Only Colorado has the second election by 75 percent clause and that dates back to 1977, not 1943.

  25.   “This is an issue of freedom of liberty,” so said Ted Harvey during debate on the Labor Peace Act bill. Really? How profound! 
      Do these characters ever actually listen to what comes out of their own mouths?  “Freedom” and “liberty” are synonymous.  They obviously don’t think about what they are going to say before they spit out the words.
      It’ll be a tough call between “Freedom of Liberty” Harvey versus “Davey Crockett” Wiens.  Despite his lack of communications skills, I’d still put Ted Harvey down as a marginal improvement as U.S. Rep in C.D. 6 over what currently occupies that seat.
     

      1. When the R’s were in power, they were so gracious, weren’t they?

        “Would you like to say some more about this bill we are going to ram down your throats?”

        “Amendment?  What’s an amendment?”

        “Oh, look!  Here’s a bill to redistrict our state, just happened to be printed at Kinkos and introduced along with the night!”

        The Dems were a model of civility compared to the typical behavior of the R’s when they ruled.  The R’s, both in the state and in Congress set the tone for debate and procedure with the Gingrich-led methods. (“How ya doing honey?  Oh, BTW, I’m asking for a divorce.”)

        Payback is a bitch.

  26. Thanks to the incompetence of Colorado Republican political strategists, the Republican party is firmly in control of the MINORITY.  For the Republicans who don’t understand what this means, it means they cannot pass anything, can’t block anything, and can’t get anyone appointed without permission from the Democrats.  We’re in the “polite” period now when the two parties will continue to debate as if Republican legislators’ opinions mattered in the legislative agenda.

    In months to come, the Democratic response will devolve to “Bite me, watch what we pass.”  Given internal squabbles in the Republican party, platforms that do not focus on what resonates with Colorado voters and incompetent leadership who left the party in a mess, reversing that minority position will require something close to divine intervention IMHO.

    However …

    Some days ago, there was a big thread on the kickbacks solicited by Mark Paschall.  Basically, he was indicted for taking actions within his official capacity in exchange for money.

    Isn’t pushing the union bill through the same thing?  According to the Denver Post (Harsanyi’s column on Thursday)unions were the top financers of the campaigns of Joan Fitz-Gerald, Jim Rieseberg, Randy Fischer, Mike Merrifield, Judy Solano, and Betty Boyd.  Unions were 18 of Ritter’s top 20 contributors.

    Unions were top three contributors to the campaigns of of the sponsors of the bill — Garcia, Cebo and Veiga ($3,150 for Garcia, $8,650 for Cebo, and $2,350 for Veiga).

    Only 8.5% of employees are unionized in Colorado, and half of those are public unions to whom HB 1072 does not apply.  Given that the bill does not affect a significant proportion of the workforce (4%?), why did Democrats work so hard to pass it over Republican objections?

    Sure looks like “payback” to a major campaign contributor to me.

    My question (a repeat from the Paschall blog): Why is introducing and pushing a special interest bill through the Assembly not the sort of illegal kickback that earned Mark Paschall an orange jumpsuit?  How does one prosecute a kickback or graft cases these days?

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