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February 10, 2007 01:08 AM UTC

Ritter Vetoes 1072

  • by: Colorado Pols

Well, this was certainly a surprise. Click below for the full letter sent by Gov. Bill Ritter to the legislature explaining his veto of HB-1072…

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am returning to the House of Representatives House Bill 07-1072, “Concerning the Elimination of the Requirements for a Vote Ratifying an All-Union Agreement.” I vetoed this bill as of 2 p.m. today and this letter sets forth my reasons for doing so.

As governor, I take seriously my obligation to represent as best I can all of the people who reside in the great state of Colorado. It is my solemn duty to approach the challenges facing us today with a broad view, to take into account different perspectives, and place the highest priority on what’s best for the people as a whole.

I committed in my first State of the State speech just a few weeks ago, and I promised the people of Colorado over the last two years, that I would work tirelessly to bridge traditional divides, to bring together groups that often find themselves at odds: Republicans and Democrats, business and labor, developers and environmentalists. I vowed to listen to a wide range of views, to unite and to build consensus around a public policy agenda that speaks to the common good.

I am proud of the coalition that honored me with election to this office: rural and urban, mountain and valley, agricultural and industrial, wealthy and poor, Republican, Democrat and unaffiliated.  It was a coalition of small businesses, big businesses and working families.

My sympathies lie with Colorado’s working families. My father was a heavy-equipment operator and a member of Operating Engineers Locals 3 and 9. I worked my way through college and law school as a pipe layer and a member of Laborers Local 720. I understand the struggles of Colorado’s working families. I have lived those struggles myself.

During the campaign, two labor organizations asked me in written questionnaires if I would support an amendment to the Colorado Labor Peace Act that eliminates the second organizing election ratifying an all-union agreement. I indicated that I would, believing that requiring a second super-majority election seems, on its face, undemocratic.  It also injects government into what should be a private negotiating process between employer and employee.

I recognize how deeply disappointed my friends in organized labor will be with this decision.  I know that members of my own party in the legislature stood firm in the face of outrageous, unprecedented and shameful partisan rhetoric done only for political sport.

But I strongly believe that the way we do the people’s business is as important as what we do.  And I am obligated to judge legislation by its consequences, intended and unintended.

Over the last several days, I have listened intently to people I respect who worried deeply about the impact this change would have on our ability to attract new business to Colorado, to create new economic opportunity for all. I am persuaded by their argument that changing long-time Colorado law relating to business and labor negotiations in this manner, in the atmosphere with which it was debated, is not now in the best interests of our state.

From the beginning, this was a bitter, divisive and partisan battle. Opposite sides dug in, refusing to consider reasonable compromises. It demonstrated precisely why so many people have grown so cynical about American politics. The bill’s proponents made no effort to open a dialogue with the opponents. At times, the opponents were neither respectful nor civil. It was over-heated politics at its worst.

How we govern is important to me as governor and to the people of Colorado. The spirit of cooperation and collaboration embodied in the passage of FasTracks, Referendum C and other initiatives offers a perfect example of how we as a state can join forces, forge coalitions and move Colorado forward together.

Creating the New Energy Economy, reforming health care, funding education, and building a 21st century transportation system requires that kind of spirit and commitment.

The rhetoric surrounding House Bill 07-1072 damages that spirit, threatening our goals and sinking us into cynical politics.

For these reasons, I have decided to veto House Bill 07-1072.

As we move ahead, my table will always have seats for labor and for business. I am confident they will join me, work with me, and with each other, to move Colorado forward. This is the heart of the Colorado Promise, of how we govern well, and of how we give cynics reason to hope once again.


Bill Ritter, Jr.



152 thoughts on “Ritter Vetoes 1072

  1. I’ll say, Ritter impresses me!  He stood up to his campaign pledge and placed the marker for future bills coming across his desk.  I will hand it to him; he held up to the pressure and disarmed a potentially politically dicey situation.  Kudos!

      1. For me, viewing the world political through rose colored glasses, I always hope for a break from the cynicism and partisanship. I like the tone of the letter.

      1. Fly me to the moon
        And let me play among the stars
        Let me see what spring is like
        On Jupiter and Mars
        Anotherwords hold my hand
        Anotherwords darling kiss me

        Fill my life with song
        And let me sing forevermore
        You are all I hope for
        All I worship and adore
        Anotherwords please be true
        Anotherwords I love you

    1. Gov. Bill Ritter’s veto message includes a key paragraph that shows why he was a successful district attorney and has the makings of a powerful, respected, two-term governor.

      The message not mentioned by the 101 commentators on this thread that impresses me is this:

      “Over the last several days, I have listened intently to people I respect who worried deeply about the impact this change would have on our ability to attract new business to Colorado, to create new economic opportunity for all. I am persuaded by their argument that changing long-time Colorado law relating to business and labor negotiations in this manner, in the atmosphere with which it was debated, is not now in the best interests of our state.”

      He got it. He listened to reason, did his homework and made a rational, pro-Colorado decision. Of course, he had to explain his veto, and his letter is one of the best sales pitches I’ve seen in a long time.

      The Dems tried to pretend 1072 wasn’t an important bill, which, if enacted, would make economic development in Colorado virtually impossible.

      It was a big bill, a blunder.

      All the independents who supported Ritter, including yours truly, were sitting back thinking, “We thought Bill Owens and the Repubs abused power when they controlled the General Assembly, but it was nothing like this. The socialists are going to ruin this state.”

      With one veto, Ritter may have saved his party from self-destructing. He saw the train wreck coming and got off the track just in time.

      Now there’s some hope that Ritter understands he can’t afford to alienate the independents who helped elect him. Signing 1072 would have driven a lot of those  independents right back into the arms of the GOP.

      Will the unions and Dems in the legislature be outraged? Of course. Understandably.

      Some people will go to the woodshed before they return to the smokeless back rooms. Dems will complain that Ritter didn’t warn them off passing the bill, and his flacks will say legislative leaders didn’t give him time to help them avert this embarrassment.

      It will be interesting to see who comes out of the next few days looking like leaders and who comes out with their reputations in shreds.

      Smart Dems will say, “I’m very disappointed, but the governor did what he believed was right, and I respect that.”

      Smart union leaders will say, “We’re dismayed and angry, but we’re adults and we’ll give the bill another try, if not this year, next.”

      Smart Republicans will say, “We really appreciate that the governor listened to us, and we look forward to working with him and the Democratic Party’s legislative leaders. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

      What a great story for the weekend papers!

        1. Smart move by the Governor this early in the session. I concurred with the Governor that the economic future of Colorado does not hinge on this bill — but we shouldn’t forget that the business community helped us pass Ref. C.  For now I would rather have the business community behind a thoughtful health care bill that would cover all Coloradoans — as opposed to being scorned by a bill that covered a smaller portion of our population.  Don’t get me wrong — I’m not anti-union; if business has the right to create monopolies, workers should have the right to legitimately organize.  I’m from the Teddy Roosevelt wing of our party and I think we need balance — but we do need a spirited, civil debate on how to get there. Here’s a great opportunity for the business community to rally behind health care — if the result of that exercise is an empty hat — then we should revisit all options.

  2. He said he’d govern in the middle and this shows he has the guts to do it.  I’d hate to be Steve Adams right now.  Goes to show Buescher, Borodkin and Jahn were correct with their No votes.  SEIU and their 24,000 lobbyists at the Capitol must be pretty bummed right now.

    1. So, Buescher can take over $20k in labor money during the last cycle, vote against their most important bill, and still count on them to come bail him out if he gets another serious challenger in ’08?  Nice, Bernie.  You’re screwing EVERYONE as far as I can tell! 

        1. He sided with his constituents when he took all of that labor money — just to turn around and screw labor over?  Sounds like a major character flaw to me. 

          1. I can’t think of a rational way to agree with that statement.  You actually believe that using campaign contributions to buy votes in the legislature is valid, and that legislators are ethically obligated to vote in the manner favorable to their biggest campaign donors?  All I have to say is that’s a different country from the one I live in.

            I have no idea whether 1073 was a good idea.  I respect Rep. Beuscher, though, for acting on his conscience, and Ritter for acting on his.

            1. Isn’t this a pet peeve of the dems…the corrupting influence of money in politcs and on politicians?  Isn’t that what part of the ’06 whooping we repubs took was about – corruption?  The supposed buying of votes for dollars? Seems to me, Ol’ Dusty’s cherry picking which campaign contributions he considers are corrupting whom.

  3. …if everyone would have played nice he would have signed the bill?  He agreed in the campaign with the merits of the bill but now sides with the GOP argument?

    1. From the Gov’s veto letter…”I am persuaded by their argument that changing long-time Colorado law relating to business and labor negotiations in this manner, in the atmosphere with which it was debated, is not now in the best interests of our state.”

      He didn’t like the polarized way the issue was brought, handled and advanced through the process.  I’m betting if the issue is brought back and handled differently in a more inclusively process, he will sign it because he didn’t dis the issue itself.  It may have to be next year because it will take the parties a while to get over the shock so they can imagine a different process.

      If he seriously wants to not conduct business as usual, this start goes from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds.  Wow

      My question is did he just drop this on folks or did he lots of work behind the curtain preparing them for the drama of this action and announcement?

    2. So everyone was laughing at me when I echoed that Sen. Penry and Sen. Mitchel deserved the dynamic duo tag. I think that it is proved today. Would the GOV have vetoed this bill without the tremendous pressure placed on him by Penry standing firm with the business community?????

        1. About as irrelevant as the Ritter, Romanoff, Fitzgerald strategy meetings!  Just admit it…the GOP minority in the Senate forced Ritter to veto.  Admit it!

          1. and I’m not surprised.

            My take on the veto, as others have suggested, is that it wasn’t a veto based on the merits of the bill, but on how it got to his desk. Ritter, to his credit, is demanding a legislature that brings to his desk buills worked out and a thoughtful and respctful way. That’s leadership.

            The GOP will remain in the minority….get used to it.

            1. Right.  Because he’s such a thoughtful, Colorado Promiser, right?  Cut the shit.  Bill Ritter is going to demand that bills come to his desk worked out in a “…thoughtful and respctful (sic)” way?  He had the wrath of every business advocacy group standing outside his door on this one. If you own a business in Colorado, you ought to look at the votes in both houses on this bill and REMEMBER who did what in ’08.  I wish I lived in Shawn Mitchell or Josh Penry’s district — they’d get a check from me next go around.  Unfortunately, I’m stuck with a boob in a cowboy hat representing me! 

          2. Ritter is very specific why he vetoed it.  Not because your dynamic duo fought against it so well, but precisely due to their partisanness (and that of the Dems.) You can conjecture all you what about why he “really” did it, but that’s what it is, conjecture.

            I must say this turn of the worm is quite intriguing….a bill was vetoed not on its merits, but how it was passed…dunno.

        2. What else is he going to say…. he has control of all three branches and cant control his own caucus???? You’re right. I am sure none of the press coverage resulting from the Penry/Mitchel filibuster created ANY pressure on the Governor. I bet the Chambers opposing the bill and appplauding the minority leaderships efforts also had ZERO to do with the veto. And you are right, I am sure the calls of thanks to the office of Penry and Mitchel from chambers around the state today means nothing as far as where they see their support in the senate.

          1. If you could put down the mirror long enough to read the letter his reasons are perfectly clear…and they have zero to do with the minority desperately arguing for its own relevance.

        1. Actually, I read that Penry is very modest about the whole thing.  He is not claiming that it was his work alone or primarily.  Good for him.  Humility, what a concept.

  4. A poem from The Doc to express my love and appreciation for a man of decency and prudence (first in what I hope to be a series)…

    My fair Bill,
    You’ve done good,
    you whacked the bill,
    that made me so shrill.

    You saved the state,
    (and your own behind),
    from a pro-union onslaught,
    of which I so hate!!!

    Batten down the hatches,
    tighten the latches,
    because the left-wing lobby,
    is coming with matches.

    But now you’ve got friends,
    in high AND low places,
    after quite a nasty ride,
    you’re now on the mends.

    There’s more work to do,
    the moonbats are out,
      if don’t sign the hoo-ha,
    the goobers will pout.

    No rest at all,
    to keep this state great,
    it will take so much prudence,
    so go drink V-8!

      1. Chad — just because two words rhyme it doesn’t mean you have a poem.  Try this on for size:

        The unions came a knocking wanting to give business a good, payback clocking.

        They spent their bread in 06 — hoping they could throw strong arm tactics in the mix. 

        But they ran in to a senator named Josh — his silver tongue made them say GOSH! And they hoped they could count on the Gov. 

        But it looks like they’ve been hosed — no more photos will be posed — under the dome with the Fitz. 

      1. I was seeing Ritter go down as a tool for strong-armed liberal lobby.  Fortunately Ritter proved me wrong and I’m delighted about it.

        But I will caution that while this is all good and well Ritter still is trying to fund Planned Parenthood and there’s still lots and lots of crazy stuff flying through the legislature (i.e abolishing the death penalty, putting our electoral votes threw the meat-grinder, etc.)

        AND there will be plenty more to come.  What happens if the religious bill of rights, or the expansion of the Make My Day law gets through?  Will he do the right thing then and sign it into law?

        I’m a lover of public policy and ideas.  When I see good public policy I’m very happy about it.  This is a good veto.  Let’s just hope more good policy is up the pike. 

  5. This must have been a really tough call for Ritter, and breaking a campaign promise this early may not be the best idea, but this could be better for labor in the long run.  What would labor rather have, 2 votes or business groups creating a constitutional amendment to make Colorado a right to work state (which they threatened to do), which would be extremely damaging to unions and would have a very real possibility of happening?  Hopefully vetoing this bill calmed that proposition down, better to have a compromise than make colorado completely “right to work”.

  6. (1) I don’t believe his letter explains why he reversed a campaign promise to labor.  He should have – and be able to communicate – substantive reasons for doing this.

    (2) The tone of the letter is good (can’t imagine something like this coming from the pen of our previous Governor).

  7. We can elect Democrats in Colorado but some of them are just barely!
    Ritter shafts the working people of Colorado by supporting the decades old Coors anti-union campaign.

    Salazar shafts Golden by sponsoring a middle of the night bill for the Lake Cedar Group on the HDTV Tower.

    What neither of these quasi-Dems understand is the incredible power of big established business over the public conversation and public policy.  Big business does not need protection, they take very good care of their interests.  It’s the hard workers and the small business people who have no voice.

      Ritter’s veto shows a complete lack of understanding of the fact that small entrepreneurial business is the backbone of economic growth in this state, not the big business crowd that’s running the Chambers of Commerce.

  8. Classic quote:

    “my own party in the legislature stood firm in the face of outrageous, unprecedented and shameful partisan rhetoric done only for political sport.”

    Translation:  Penry and Mitchel win, Ritter loses, Pols last weekend arm chair quarter backing “blew their wad” completely off base.

    Penry and Mitchel will get credit for the veto and Fitzgerald is hung out to dry. 

    Should have killed it two weeks ago if this is the outcome. 

    Welcome to the big leagues Mr. Ritter.

    1. So I guess the Dems should check with Penry and Mitchel next time they attempt to stop on the Chambers and Business community.

      Once a quarterback always a quarterback!!!

      1. Sorry I meant STOMP on the chambers and business not stop. Although if the dems and their union bosses would have had it their way I suppose STOP business would have applied too!

      2. First, the Governor should get the legislative leaderships phone numbers.

        Second, they should meet regarding legislative agendas.

        Third, they should agree on the agenda.

        Fourth, the Governor can say “I might need to veto that bill” in the meetings.

        A bill cannot fly down the track in a one party control situation and have it all result in a veto and irritating your party base in the process.

        Minor league stuff. 

    2. How is that?  The Dems won’t vote against an incumbent Dem in the next election and if he keeps this up, the Repubs will support him as well.

      Ritter wins.  Welcome to a second term Governor Ritter.

      1. It looks to me like the D’s (including Ritter) don’t know how to lead.  What do you think Joe Schmo union member down in Pueblo is thinking right now?  This is betrayal in their book, no?  How will Ritter win in 2010 without soft labor money? 

        1. Ritter hasn’t been in office a month and all the chimps are jumping up and down because someone yealled, “Boo!”  Wait another 3 years, 9 months before predicting what the people of Colorado will think.

            1. You misunderstand.  “Panzee” has been nixed by the NBA (nancy-boys of America) as too pejorative.  You’ll have to do with “chimp.”

        2. Easy, if this is any indication of the rest of his tenure, he’ll have business money, R votes, moderate votes, and D votes. The small percentage of “Joe Schmo union members” who will turn against him over this labor bill won’t hurt him.

      2. …but the Republicans will have trouble fielding a serious candidate. 
          Remember how they were stuck having to run John Andrews and Bruce Benson because Roy Romer was so popular w/ moderate Republicans and independents?

  9. Josh Penry and Shawn Mitchell for slowing this thing down long enough for Ritter to get the screws put to him.  Those guys launched an impressive slow down of the dem steam roller — and business interests should remember it. 

  10. I am one of the 40% that voted for BB.  I am a Republican and never even considered voting for Ritter, and I probably won’t vote for him next time.  But I am deeply impressed with this veto.  I feel a lot more comfortable with him as Governor after seeing his handling of this situation.  I hope he keeps it up. 

    He may not ever earn my vote, but he is well on his way of earning my respect.

    1. I hear what you’re saying on that one, Haners.  I’m with ya.  However, we haven’t even come close to getting through the honeymoon period yet.  Everyone needs to remember that this guys is an attorney.  That’s it.  He’s governor because he’s NOT bob beauprez. 

  11. Politically, for Ritter, this was the right move and the move that I was hoping he would make.  He protects his moderate stance, which got him elected, and stays in favor with the business community, which is more powerful in Colorado than organized labor.  Labor isn’t going anywhere, business could leave (although, again, personally I don’t think they would).

    The most important part of Ritter’s message was this, for me,

    “From the beginning, this was a bitter, divisive and partisan battle. Opposite sides dug in, refusing to consider reasonable compromises. It demonstrated precisely why so many people have grown so cynical about American politics. The bill’s proponents made no effort to open a dialogue with the opponents. At times, the opponents were neither respectful nor civil. It was over-heated politics at its worst.”

    Our Governor is right.

      1. incredible leverage to say, in the future, “one side played fair and the other didn’t”. I think is the gauntlet of a real executive saying “play nice in the sand box or I will put your bill in time out”. He now has the credibility to call out either side for playing the partisan cards.

        1. But this isnt a elementary classroom. Trying to play the middle is extremely dangerous, because too much compromise will leave with nothing but diluted bills and ineffectual government. I am not calling for absolute partisan policies, but sooner or later Ritter will have to take a stand. Just because he can call either side for playing partisan does not mean that will stop anything. In fact, it could become a rallying cry for the minority party, something that could deplete any sort of advantage Ritter has.

          1. reacting to the way the bill was dropped on everyone with no notice and debate only happened because of the Republican filibuster.  The Republicans had been fractured and divided and with one “in your face” bill the Democrats united them at the start of the session.

            The public reaction was not good and Ritter was getting heat from all levels of Colorado business.  If there was any coordination between Ritter’s office and the majority leaders it certainly didn’t show in how this bill was handled.  Ritter won as a “middle of the road” candidate and the middle in Colorado is not heavily pro-union.

            His letter sent with the veto was well thought out, explaning the reasons for the veto but leaving it open for a similar bill to get passed.  I fully expected a rubber-stamp passage at the Governor’s desk for this bill and I am frankly amazed at Governor Ritter’s veto.  He is one Democrat who hasn’t gotten so full of himself as to forget that the Dems are numerically in the minority and it won’t take much overreaching to change the balance in the State House in two years.

      1. Sorry – this was Dick Wadhams all the way. Penry and Mitchell didn’t come up with this on their own; they could have done the same thing last year.

        1. Thanks for chiming in, colorado pols.  The larger point here is that old (should be) retired guys aren’t running the show any more.  Just wait until it’s OFFICIAL that Wadhams is in charge — then watch what he, Josh and Shawn Mitchell can do!  Further, you recognize that Josh wasn’t in the Senate last year to “ the same thing last year..”

    1. And even if it was football, who kicked the extra point? you need to get your box scoring figured out. Since you persist on repeating this same post over and over and over, I must correct you: if anything it was a three-pointer or a take-down. Wrestling and basketball are in season, so please correct your repetitive scoreboard!

  12. I want to see what the Union’s next moves will be. They can really destroy the 08 Cycle and some of them already are looking at ways to get back at Bill for this slap in the face.

    I think he just opened a can of worms… a big one that may bite him in the ass

    1. How in the world can Labor ‘get back’ at Ritter?  They’re running out of corner men. 

      I wonder if the unions can do something very un-union-like and take a step back and make a move that doesn’t involve coercion in some way.  Why some of the Dems would stake their futures on trying to force the Governor to chose between unions and the other 92% of the State is beyond me.

      Ritter’s probably pissed at labor for putting him in this position so early on.

    2. I’m sure Ritter is shivering in fear. Just about the only political influence the unions have in Colorado at the statewide level is a few dollars they make in political contributions. They don’t mobilize a whole lot of votes in most places in Colorado.

      Besides, nobody will remember this legislation four years from now.

        1. but there will be so many other groups making stinks (the antiwar stink, the racism stink, the global warming stink, etc.), labor will hardly be noticed!

          1. the unions would have to ship in a lot of their professional protesters from out of state to not get completely drowned out by the other causes. 

            Do you think that there is a chance of a strike by government workers (transit/teacher/beaurocrat) as a result of this?

              1. employees are covered by the Labor Peace Act in that the act specifically prohibits them (as well as farm workers and domestic servants) from collective bargaining unless the local governmental entity (or the state) proactively grants the right.

                The state could, for instance grant collective bargaining rights to state employees through an order of the Governor, or through legislative action with approval of the governor.

                Local government entities are in the same position whereby the local legislative entity (city council, school board, county commissioners) or the local elected executive (county sheriff or county clerk and recorder, etc.) can proactively override the non-collective bargaining prohibition of the labor peace act for their locality and employees.

                  1. negotiating wages and working conditions through a collective bargaining agreement is primary reason for a union.

                    However, many public employees belong to a union even though they do not have collective bargaining.  In these cases the union provides legal and other services to employees in grievance situations in return for their membership.

                    The interesting thing about the farm worker portion of the labor peace act’s prohibition on unionization/collective bargaining, is that for years in the San Luis valley, the workers at the Rahkra mushroom plant argued that in point of fact they were not farm workers, but were industrial workers because what the did was in reality more like work in a factory than on a farm.  There was some validity to their argument because of the nature of the work they actually do, but they were never able to win the right to organize and collectively bargain.

                    1. I thought of the grievance issue, too.  By itself, it hardly seems worthwhile.  I hope the dues are low!

                      I remember the mushroom worker’s issue.  I guess the people who make high fructose corn syrup in factories are farm workers, right?  NOT!

  13. I think this was the most intelligent decision he coudl have made. He solidified his position as leader of the Democrats, as head of policy in the state house, and as a moderate. I think the best the Dems can do right now is to get another bill through and reach a compromise. Keep the second vote, but make it 50% + 1 instead of the 75% supermajority now required. I think the Denver Post agreed with me earlier this week.

  14. I don’t know nuthin’bout politics, but was Ritter’s veto a total surprise to the Dems in the legislature or the unions?  I had assumed that discussions between Ritter and legislative leaders were ongoing throughout this process.  Thus, I figured that the bill’s sponsors/supporters thought it was worthwhile to pass the bill (perhaps to establish or emphasize their political stripes) regardless of whether Ritter was going to veto it.

    If the veto were a surprise to the Dems in legislature, this seems like a shocking failure to communicate.

    1. Cuervo71, you have raised the real question.  First, evidently Ritter was caught off guard by the introduction and passage of the bill and then labor and the legislature were stunned by the veto.  What is the point of democrats setting up other democrats?  I didn’t even know they were made at each other.

      Nationally, the dems were notorious for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (with apologies) fumbling the ball in the closing seconds and then falling Florida 2000,  Minnesota in 2002, Ohio in 2004….but you fools WON this time…..don’t add Colorado 2007 to the list of lucy loses….

      Ritter, Romanoff,…..better take a meeting….maybe they can hire Romer to show how to play the game….but it is not the decision that is so offbase, as much as the process and confusion all done in public.

      Get back on that train and don’t get off until you have a real team, Ritter…

  15. If Don Mares had any integrity he would resign.
    The issue is really quite simple. Bill Ritter gave his word that he would sign this bill. A man is only as good as his word and now we know that Ritter’s word is of no value. As soon as Ritter gets any heat he caves in and forgot about a little thing like his word of honor.

    1. The Gov’s office didn’t know this bill was going to be pushed through the way it was.  Frankly, legislative leaders put Ritter in a bad spot.  I’m sure they had talks but they were after the fact reactions, not strategic planning.

      If I were Gov the fate of this bill would have been settled when Steve Adams was on tv news saying business and the R’s needed to understand “there is a new sheriff in town” and labor was going to get what it wants.  You can’t be that publicly boastful when you are a lobbyist.  Especially when the new “sheriff” has not had the time to define his style and operating culture.

      There is a long way to go.  If I’m labor, I don’t talk trash, don’t pout and don’t try to take “revenge”.  I work hard, go back to basics on this bill and get it passed and signed the second time around.

      If I’m business I’m respectful not boastful, understand the next one will probably go the other way and start building relationships and talking to people on the other side.

      And, if I’m the Gov I guard against Wadhams cause he don’t care about fair and balanced.

        1. but I think Ritter makes it clear that he disagreed with how it was hammered out. I suppose that could be spin – that, as some critics say, Ritter is chickening out – but it doesn’t strike me that way. His message lacks the phony tone most flip-floppers have when explaining why their actions aren’t matching their rhetoric.

          Time will tell if this was principled or not.

  16. Labor Leader Steve Adams said there was no need to compromise on the Labor Peace Act because there is a new sheriff in town. Poor Steve didn’t know the new sheriff’s name is Josh Penry.
    Of course who would have thought that Bill Ritter would take a little thing like his word of honor so lightly.

    1. on Josh. I think he was the helpless Nell lying on the ranch and the real sheriff saved her with his veto pen. If Ritter is willing to run over the top of Adams for this, I guarantee you Penry would be a much smaller speed bump in his considerations.

  17. You expect a little more. Bill Ritter gave his word of honor. He shrugs off his word of honor in his veto letter and gives an excuse as to why he vetoed a bill he promised to sign.
    Forget if this is a good move or a bad move.
    Bill Ritter is a liar.
    Being a liar may be good in the short term. In the long term the voters will give him the boot. They will accept a conservative, they will accept you for being pro-life or pro-choice they will accept you being a liberal. They will not accept their Governor being a simple common every day run of the mill liar.

    1. This is exactly what he meant in his statement – all or nothing.  People are tired of it.  If he signs it he’s a hero, if he doesn’t he’s a liar and a bad person.  If labor had gone about this with anything other than a desire to puff up their chests and not listen to anyone or any sort of compromise, he would have signed it.

    2. highway funding to partial birth abortion to bear traps. It is ridiculous to assume that after listening to all sides of an issue that a person will NEVER change their mind. I realize that “flip flopping” is a cardinal sin in politics, but unless you have a brain made of concrete, it will happen. 

        1. and not so good after hashed and rehashed in debates and hearings. Ritter proved he’s not a rubber stamp for special interest no matter how much money they gave him.  That can’t be all bad, unless your Union, in this case.  Don’t worry though, independent thinkers always manage to tick off both parties.  Give him time.

  18. Time and time again he was asked will you sign a bill to eliminate the second election requirement. Time and time again he said yes. He said yes in writing and he said yes orally.
    He lied.
    Whether you favor this bill or oppose this bill the fact remains the same.
    Bill Ritter is a liar.
    We can say he changed his mind, we can make up excuses.
    He still lied.
    People will accept just about anything from their elected officials but they will not accept lying. Roy Romer and Dick Lamm were men of their word.
    Bill Ritter is not.

  19. This is probably the only posting I’ve seen on ColPols where there’s agreement that everyone is deeply impressed with the political courage Ritter showed.

    While I’m a Republican, this is the sort of behavior in politicians that ought to be encouraged.

    Send him an e-mail

    He’s earned my respect, and I’m about as cynical as they come.

  20. Bill Ritter needed the help and support of labor. Labor gave him millions of dollars and hundreds of volunteers.
    If Bill Ritter had been honest about his views on the Labor Peace Act he would not have gotten this support.
    All the business people who pushed him to veto the bill were either neutral or with Beauprez. Bill Ritter needed labor and thought that they were influential enough that he was willing to lie to get their support.
    When a man’s word is no good neither is he.

    1. “Bill Ritter needed the help and support of labor.”

      No, Ritter just needed to stay out of the way and let BB’s campaign give him a victory.  Ritter could have left the country for six months during the election cycle and won.

      Labor’s support was automatic, like it always is with the dems.  I think you’re making yourself look silly by being so angry at him.  Face it – labor put him in a position where he had no choice but to withdraw support for 1072. It’s semantics.  All the union gloating backfired, didn’t it?

    2. Ritter says he thinks 1072 is a reasonable measure. It was the BS surrounding its passage that bothered him.

      I was hoping he would veto 1072 just to blunt the right-wing argument that “Ritter is in the pocket of the unions.” I got my wish and I’m proud of my governor.

      Colorado’s economic problems deserve better than the standard big biz vs. union argument. Nuance is what’s needed to improve our state, not cliches.

  21. He said he wanted a different kind of discussion on public policy issues.  That didn’t happen on this bill.  He only had one “first” time when he could enforce that way of doing business.  He had to veto the bill to fulfill a campaign promise.  If the bill is run through the way he wants, he’ll have another chance to sign the bill to fulfill that promise.  It’s only a matter of what you do first.

    It’s all about timing.

  22. You guys give him too much credit.  The Gov said literally a Pox on Both House & Senate.  No one comported himself well in all of this except the Governor who killed the beast when it came to his plate.  Penry didn’t create the business backlash that killed this bill.  He just rode the wave.

  23. Let’s see what altar boy Ritter does with his promise to sign the bill guaranteeing rape victims receive information about emergency contraception…..then we will have a better measure of the man

  24. in the early 90’s IIRC, that was similar to 1072, in that it modified or eliminated the 2nd super majority election.  I am working from memory but am trying to dig into the huge mess of old papers that I keep in boxes from each leg session, to see if I can find it.

    However, what I do remember is that it was sponsred in both chambers by Republicans.  I’m pretty sure it was Rep. Danny Williams in the House and Sen. Harold McCormick in the Senate.  There were a number of Republican co-sponsors as well, including Scott McInnis.

    The bill died before reaching Romer’s desk (again don’t remember exactly what happened)

    When I find my copy, or at least a status sheet from the appropriate year I will post the specifics as best I can determine them.  May simply have to ask Danny when I see him.

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