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September 14, 2007 09:53 PM UTC

Ritter Talks Partnerships With State Government

  • by: Colorado Pols

From The Denver Post:

Gov. Bill Ritter laid out his vision for a partnership with state workers Thursday, saying they deserve a voice at the table after years of neglect.

The governor, under attack by Republicans accusing him of conspiring with unions behind their backs, said he is searching for a “21st-century way” to engage state workers instead of the “archaic,” duke-it-out method of collective bargaining.

“This is a new day,” Ritter said in an interview. “This issue about employee partnerships has been and is a part of my vision for making government work better.”

The governor said he wants to engage state snowplow drivers, road crews, public-college employees and others “in a discussion about how state government should work.”

Republicans are hammering the governor for attempting to give state workers the power to collectively bargain for wages, but Ritter said traditional “collective bargaining” isn’t in his plans.

The most interesting piece of the Post story is the breakdown of just how much money Ritter received from organized labor during his campaign compared to business interests. It’s hard to say that he is in the pocket of the unions once you see these numbers:

Unions donated $213,040 to Ritter’s campaign, compared with $1.2 million from business groups, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.


45 thoughts on “Ritter Talks Partnerships With State Government

  1. The State House and Senate are filled with Dems that were bought with Union money.  I don’t think Fitzgerald got any money from any other source than from Unions, as an example.  The Guv is obligated to help the Unions if he wants the keep the Statehouse blue.

  2. A “partnership” between the government and state employees would amount to their trying to find the most efficient way to stick their hands in our pockets.

    If you thought government was expensive now, just wait until Ritter and the unions form this “partnership”.

    Might as well call the Gambino crime family a “partnership” since the goal is the same: to get as much of other peoples’ money as possible.

    1. Do you and guesswho only speak in ConMan talking points? But I should expect nothing less from the ConMen in this state who like the scream about the sky falling, offer no solutions to any REAL problems facing the citizens of this state, while creating fear for all.

      And if, the Unions and Dems are organized crime, what would consider the Closet-Gay/Lockheed Martin/Racists GOP?

      You shrills better watch which house you’re throwing rocks.

      1. That our Guv was financially enhanced by the 527’s that were controlled by the Unions in his last election.

        Also, do you actually think that we are going to have a better run government by paying for union bosses.  The employees aren’t going to take a paycut to pay for the unions, we the taxpayers are going to pay for this so called representation.

        Us shills are just protecting our wallets as people like you Blue are yelling out names while being driven around in your limos.

        1. Yes, giving workers of the state of chance to join unions means that their bosses will have the opportunity to negotiate for them for better pay, health care, pensions and all those other “socialist” things we lefties want. And how’s business in Colorado, even after all you chicken’s little stop screaming? http://www.coloradop

          I wish my bike was a limo, but unfortunately I do not live in “la la land” like most of you day dreaming, revisionist ConMen.

          And don’t forget, the entire GOP is bought and paid for by Big Oil, Big Booze, and Big Country Club elitists. You really don’t want to play this game, since just the other day Colorado Oil Gas Association took the entire Senate GOP to lunch…

          Maybe you should think of a new game plan, because telling Coloradoans health care, education and working wages are things the GOP is fighting against, are really bad talking points for a party who’s suffering from identity make-over after all the sex scandals, trillions spent on the worst foreign policy disaster in current history, all on the tailcoats of one man Im sure you campaigned and voted for… GW.

          Thank you, please come again.

        2. needs to look at how well the unions are working for the autoworkers. Those dickheads “negotiated” themselves right out of work.
          “Union” is dying concept. Something the Dems need to realize. But since most of their money comes from union fat cats, that will never happen.

          1. First of all, one could say that the managemet gave in, no?

            Back in the day of a strong Detroit, management presumed that the good times would never stop rolling.  Nor did the unions.  But in 1949 the first VW beetle came to America….

            Have the auto unions been slow to recognize the new realities?  Yes.  Has management been slow to recognize what American consumers want is pretty much NOT what they’ve been dishing up?  Yes. 

            When I was living in CA I went to work for a company headquartered in Bensonville, IL.  Its history was built on supplying the auto industry, which by 1983 certainly was starting to take hits. Although hard for me to remember distinct reasons now, it was like a step back in time in attitudes, both in the midwest culture at large and the company in particular.  I guess you could say that they still thought fake wood grain and chrome was what the public wanted. 

            Americans found better made cars from companies always trying to improve their products, and with better gas mileages.

            “Detroit” fell victim to the much taunted free marketplace.

            BTW, every other major car company has either unions in the UAW style, or some form of employee representation.  So why isn’t HOnda dying due to unions, too?  Probably because many enlightened companies treat the employees with respect instead of as adversaries.  As I’ve said before, unions don’t get a toe hold when companies treat their employees well.  The presence of a union is pretty much a sign of mistreatment.

            1. Unions IMHO force the seperation of management and workers, and force them to be at odds with each other. They are on opposite sides of the fence. Unions will always do that.
              Show me a union, any union, that brings the workers and management together. Not at the bargaining table where they literally fight each other for more money or less money, but where they work together in harmony.
              It won’t happen because unions are there strictly for the workers. Screw the business owners.
              And it appears to me that it is an oxymoron to say that unions are a good thing and then say that the reason the big three automakers are in trouble is soley because of management’s slow responce to change.
              I admit, they were slow to change, but they did. They make all kinds of high MPG vehicles, and their quality is ten fold what it was.
              Their problem now is all the “benefits” that the unions FORCED on the manufacturers all these years.
              If it wasn’t for the unions, the big three might still be solvent because they would not have to pay billions out for their retired workers. But since the other Jap shit car makers don’t have to put up with the same garbage that the unions FORCE on GM, Ford, Chrysler, they can sell their crap much cheaper.
              Then like sheep we buy their junk and send the profits to Hirohito.
              If unions are so great, why don’t Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc beg for them?

              1. Gecko, phrases like “Jap shit” are so stereotyping of who your are I won’t dignify them.  “Jap shit” is what kicked America’s ass in the seventies and eighties, both in cars and motorcycles. Think H-D back then, they couldn’t make it to the 7-Eleven w/o a breakdown while the Japanese bikes ran and ran and ran. And fast.

                “Jap shit” is what Americans bought because their cars, whether built in Japan or Tennessee, were of higher quality than American shit. While Detroit was whining and crying that they couldn’t meet environmental standards, every other nation’s car companies got down to business and made their cars lesser polluting without complaining.

                Did you know that electronic fuel injection, the keystone of lower emmissions, was developed by Chrysler? (With vacuum tubes!) And that they sold the patents to Bosch?  Nothing to do with union labor, just another short sighted management decision.

                Notice that I never said unions smell like roses and have no part in Detroit’s problems.  But your knee jerk reactions and ideology refuse to see that the decline of Detroit is due to many reasons. Toyota is building their newest North American plant in Canada for two reasons.  The first is the cost of healt care under you much touted American system.  The other is the lower educational level of (southern) Americans vs. Canadians.

                Unions never even figured into their plans.

                1. was a 1967 Shovelhead. I bought it in 1980. It never failed to start on the first kick, ever, until I once tried a different carb for the hell of it. I tried a, yes….Japanese Mikuni carb. That didn’t last long as it would take 20 – 30 kicks each time I went to start it. I put the orignal carb back on and rode the piss out of that bike trouble free.
                  My 2nd Harley was a 1980 Shovelhead that I bought in 1984. Again, that bike NEVER let me down. Ever. It leaked a little oil but that was the way of the Shovelheads. I sold that one in 2003.
                  I have owned five other Harley’s and one Titan since then. I now own a 2007 Harley and my wife’s 2005 Harley.

                  My first big bike was a 1970 Honda 750. I was just a kid then so…..
                  What a pile of shit. When the rings went bad and it started to smoke, I just took it to the junk yard. Typical Jap Crap. Like a disposable Bic lighter. Throw them away when they are used up………
                  And today Jap bikes are the same. Buy ’em cheap and throw them away. Their resale values are at the bottom of the barrel…….
                  So much for the theory of Jap being better than Harleys.
                  I can say this from years of riding experience.
                  Can anyone here say I’m lying?

                  1. Putting a non-stock carb on a bike and then making a claim based on its country of origin is not exactly cause and effect.

                    Harley’s are good bikes now.  You know, they adopted Japanese production methods….

                    And all your personal history does not address Detroit or unions.

                    1. an AMF. That is my point. It was still a far better bike than anything the Japs could ever come up with.
                      I owned that bike for almost 20 trouble free years and sold it for more than I paid.
                      Say that about any Jap bike………………

                    2. But what about all the other points I bring up about cars, the marketplace, and copying Japanese methods?

                  2. Nobody here knows if your lying because it is your unique experience. It is anecdotal, and really, it is worthless.

                    My experience with cars is in direct contradiction with your experience with bikes. My first car was a 1989 lincoln continental. After 100k miles, it needed a new engine, transmission, computer, and display. The shocks were some sort of air ride system that leaked so when I started the car it was literally on the front tire. In ohter words, it was a total piece of shit.

                    Conversely, my two consecutive honda accords have been phenomenal. The only work I have  ever needed to do on either of them was get the timing belt replaced. For 150 bucks a pop, not to bad. The first was donated to NPR, still running fine with 250k miles. My current one has 231k miles and runs great. If I had a choice between a japanese and american car I would certainly buy japanese.

                    1. Nothing is stopping you.
                      At the same time on the back windows of my Ford and Chevy pickup trucks is my Calvins pissing on “Toyota” and “Jap Crap” stickers.
                      You call it racist. I call it American pride.

                      You must really be a Japanese at heart huh………

                    2. I see those stickers and have nothing but disdain for a mentality that actually advertises their chauvinism.

                      Yukka yukka yukka, I can pee farther than you.  Childish.

                    3. not like my “two bombs weren’t enough” stickers.

                      At the viewing for my dad, we had a large picture of him taken about a month or so before he wrecked his Harley.
                      He was proudly wearing a tee shirt I gave him that said “I’d rather eat pig shit than ride Jap crap”.

                      Not everybody thinks the Japanese invasion ended in 1945.

                    4. I had one, too, but too briefly to run into mileage problems.  It was fine for the two years I had it.

          2. that’s a funny pejorative coming from a Republican. How about we compare the average salary of a union executive and the average salary of a CEO and see who the real fat cats are?

        1. How can unions bargain when (1) the legislature would have to approve any increases in salaries and benefits, (2) the legislators aren’t at the bargaining table, and (3) both the budget and the state civil service are micro-managed in the Constitution?  There isn’t much on the table for unions to bargain about.

            1. The long bill has a personal services line for each department, which sets FTEs, salaries, and benefits for each department, division, and/or program. The legislature would have to approve collective bargaining agreements to the extent they affected salaries and benefits. With the current constitutional constraints on the budget, the GA would have to cut funding somewhere else to fund CBA raises. It’s not just TABOR, either; Arveschoug-Byrd and the Civil Service Amendment would also reduce the field of play for collective bargaining.

    2. So empowering employees to cellectively bargain is equivalent to organized crime?  Talk about ignornace.  Or better yet, freedom for corporate elite and hand me down liberty for everybody else. Sure, it is ok to be an investor and collectively bargain to empower yourself, but if you are a working person, be thankful for somebody gives you and do as your told.  Your job is “at will” and so is management’s right to trash the law and break unions as they fit. Your type are the reason the need for labor unions will never go away.

  3. Why is Ritter paying attention to this? As it is, they state employees are already above average on pay and approaching what CA and NY pay. Instead, Ritter should be paying attention to what it takes to keep CO’s economy rolling, as well as such issues as Education and Roads. So far, I am unimpressed by him.

    1. Efficient government, you know like CDOT that takes care of the roads, will help make Colorado a national leader.

      I’m sorry you’re unimpressed, most everyone else is.

    2. That’s a huge misconception, due to the horrible press coverage of a couple of GOP parrots at the Rocky Mountain News.

      Ritter can handle more than one issue at a time, which is a nice change of pace from the last decade. He’s not only working to help state employees, but he’s also touring the state talking to Coloradoans about education, healthcare, fixing our transportation infrastructure, and building a renewable energy economy.

      He’s doing quite a bit right now, while the GOP is sitting around writing pointless letters to create controversy from nothing.

      Perhaps Mitchell, Penry, and Gardner should get real jobs like the rest of us, before they start talking about “thugs” and “welfare” queens. I know of couple ConMen roosting in the state Capitol who are acting like thugs while being paid by the state to do… well Im not exactly sure what good they are doing.

    3. Then perhaps the people in the trenches who actually figured out Owens was about to blow $100 million on a payroll computer system that didn’t work would not have been ignored the way they apparently were.

      1. Owens has been the worst gov in my 30 years of living here (another guy that I did not vote for and I was a neighbor (well, down the block a ways and he was scum then; that is why his wife left him (I doubt that he will ever do better than her; great gal; best thing she did was leaving the bastard)). He came in on a promise to cut spending, taxes, and build the roads. Instead, he cut taxes, cut all the wrong spending, got around TABOR and borrowed  to pay for his roads, he tried to get an increase for water without saying what he was going to do (a case of trust him; It think that the results says a lot about a pubs promise), created a computer nightmare by trying to move working unix systems to broken Windows as  a payout to friends. As to building up the economy here, when times were good, he approached established companies and asked them to expand here. What a joke that is. When the economy tanked, so did the expansions.

        But that does not excuse Ritter. He claims to be the alternative energy gov, but all he is doing is trying to steal business away from other states. He is pursuing the 1 established business (wind), while ignoring some of the best routes that we have. In particular, power generation via geo-thermal, power generation via thermal solar (as opposed to solar cells). One good place for him to go would be to push residential heating/cooling via geo-thermal esp in the mountains. If he did that, it would lower the total amount of energy that Coloradoans will use in the future.  Likewise, he would pursue the space and aeronautics that we have, and realize that we have lost a number of companies to New Mexico because Richardson has more leadership. A number of small companies want to design AND build here. Finally, there are a number of interesting projects that can occur here and will get us over the forthcoming economic hump. But the problem is that It has to happen now, not when the recession hits. Funny thing is that these are things that can be done now, but will not be available later due to tabor. Ritter is not all that good. I  did not agree with everything that Lamn did, but he was a great leader and had awesome foresight. If Ritter had a brain, he would call on some of the old-timers for input on ideas. In particular, ppl like Hart, Lamn, and Roemer all showed great leadership, even if their actions left something to be displayed (monkey business; duty to die; side business).

        1. …now there’s a smart move! 

          Overall, I agree with your many excellent points.  However, I”m not so harsh on Ritter.  My gosh, the guy has been in office for 8 months. I agree that Lamm may be been the best governor here since I came, 1972.  Incredible foresight, says what needs to be said regardless of the fallout.

          1. But the problem is that he is being given a limited time before the economy tanks again. Simply put, we are headed for a national recession again and now is the time to set the economy up to withstand it. Roughly, it needs a number of start-ups, preferably diversified. His idea of pushing energy is good, but he is doing what others are doing (wind). Texas, California, and New Mexico have been pushing that for a bit. Likewise, lots of ways to jump start our hi-tech economy, though the capital that is flowing in is helping. It is in better shape than 4 years ago, but still hurting. The hard ones will be agriculture and tourism. Both need some help. IMHO, the use of prisoners for fields was actually pretty good. There are plenty of ways to help these, but he needs to start now.

            1. ….from two smart, well intentioned people?  (You and Ritter.)  Plus he has to factor in budget and time available.

              Yes, the economy will tank again.  I remember during the tech boom times recently some snot nosed wet behind the ears MBA kid on 17th St. proclaiming that Colorado has broken its historical boom/bust cycle.  I’ve seldom laughed so hard.  We just swapped fiber optics for silver mining.

              I hope he shows that newspaper article to potential employers.

              1. Human nature all but ensures boom/bust cycles. When businessmen are trained to just keep trying to get more, more, more, they eventually hit the wall of limited demand and whoopsie, recession time.

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