Sorry, Colorado GOP, But You Do Not Have a Mandate

The Neville Nutters: Sen. Tim Neville (left) and his son, Rep. Pat Neville

The Neville Nutters: Sen. Tim Neville (left) and his son, Rep. Pat Neville, just like to say no to stuff.

Colorado Republicans hold a one-vote majority in the State Senate. Democrats maintain a majority in the State House, as well as the Governor's office.

Readers of Colorado Pols probably know this already, but it's worth repeating because Republican legislators seem to think that voters gave them a mandate to go full-on crazy pants this year (relax, Dr. Chaps, we're not talking about that kind of "man date"). It's not just the anti-abortion "Personhood-ish" bills that might have you scratching your head; take a look at some of the other pieces of legislation that Republicans are introducing in Colorado. We'll forgive you for thinking this was 2001 — when Republicans basically owned the State Capitol — instead of 2015:

SB15-045: Assistant Majority Leader Kevin Lundberg rolls out with a school vouchers bill (er, "Tax Credits for Private Schools").

SB15-032: Majority Caucus Chair Vicki Marble does the bidding the of the RMGO with legislation that would allow Coloradans to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

SB15-044: Lundberg and Senate President Bill Cadman are among the Republicans sponsors of a bill to cut back renewable energy mandates in Colorado.

SB15-018: The Neville Nutters (Sen. Tim Neville and his son, Rep. Pat Neville) want to repeal the Late Vehicle Registration Fee. There's no actual plan here for how to pay for road and bridge construction and maintenance. This is a very simple "No" bill that seeks only to repeal something.

HB15-1009: Remember that restriction on high-capacity ammunition? Yeah, let's repeal that!

HB15-1037: Rep. Kevin Priola and The Neville Nutters sponsor what we'll call "The RIght to Discriminate Act", which allows you to freely exclude people so long as you claim that it is based on your religious beliefs.

All of this is just the beginning — the tip of the ever-melting iceberg — from Republican legislators who apparently believe that Colorado voters told them in 2014 that they had a mandate to "Just Say No" to pretty much everything. We haven't seen a collection of legislation that is this far-right since…well, we can't even remember the last time (and Colorado Pols has been around for 10 years).

Look, we get that we are living in a time in America where partisanship has never been more, uh, partisan, but this is pretty freakin' far from anything even resembling the general interests of Colorado voters. You could argue that Republicans are just "being Republicans" and trying to stick to some sort of manufactured set of ideals that they think got them elected, but this is the kind of thing that you usually see only when one side either has a clear majority or is so far in the minority that it doesn't matter if they draw up their legislation with crayons. This is a very risky strategy when you only control one chamber of the legislature — and even then by only one seat.

Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise, however. This is on the front page of Rep. Pat Neville's campaign website, where he declares that the HD-45 Representative should be a "CONSERVATIVE STALWART" (he put it in all caps, too):


From, the campaign site of Rep. Pat Neville.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. It's been said by some in the new Congress that their goal this year is to show that Republicans can work together to pass legislation, and just what a Republican Presidency in 2016 might look like based on what they pass.

    To that end they started off with KXL, Social Security cuts, and attacks on the President's executive authority over immigration (among other things).

    Looks like the Colorado State Senate majority might be thinking along the same lines… Here's what we have to offer if you make us your majority. Trouble is, that's just the kind of shite that lost them the majority all those years ago now.

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    Oh, let them sow their wild oats!  It won't accomplish anything but it will provide the Dems with lots of sound bites for ads in '16.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Watermelons, Frank!  Wild watermelons!  That way, after they figger out that nobody's buyin' what they're sellin' they can have a shoot out, solving both their over-supply problem while nursing their compensation issues. 

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Neville and minie-me Neville . . . 

        . . . nothing left to say but keeeeeeristycakes!

        It's a fucking societal travesty that bullet possession doesn't require an IQ test.

        • FrankUnderwood says:

          There is nothing in the Second Amendment that requires a gun and ammo owner to have a certain IQ.  (There is some language about membership in a well-regulated militia, but somehow that gets omitted from the bumper stickers.)

  3. gumshoe says:

    I can't believe I am going to say this…. I agree with the Neville's. The late registration fee is nothing but a poor tax. Repeal it. It's bullshit and never should have passed. Shame on any Dem who supports this poor tax. 

    • The other side of this argument is that the law as currently enacted is the only real deterrent to people not registering their vehicles. Yes, it probably affects the poor disproportionately (and believe me, I've been there…); but it also affects those who disrespect the law. Perhaps the compromise (amendment by way of substitution) is to allow the poor to show tax returns and declare hardships for a waiver…

  4. Note that HB15-1037 isn't an full-on "Right to Discriminate" act; its effect is limited to say that no student group can be denied recognition or benefits available to other groups based solely on their sincerely held religious beliefs.

    I'm guessing that means sacrifices are back on for the CU Satanist Club.

  5. Meiner49er says:

    Seriously, does any one honestly think this is anything other than producing quotable text for direct mail fundraising to the base?  There's no illusion of a mandate here, but there is money for 2016 that's hard to pass up.  Lundberg  has proven he is an expert at this sort of move. The bills will never get close to passing, but the checks they produce make it awfully hard to pry guys/gals like him out of his seat (thank goodness he's term-limited!).  Politics 101 in my opinion, and if the Repubs weren't doing this, they really WOULD be crazy.

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