Bill Cadman Leads Republicans Over the Cliff on Personhood

Senate President Bill Cadman leads Republicans off a cliff once again.

Senate President Bill Cadman should have hit the brakes earlier.

“Justice.” Senate President Bill Cadman said it again…and again…and again in discussing SB-268, the fetal homicide/Personhood legislation he crammed through the State Senate despite objections and proposed amendments from Democrats. Cadman has repeatedly said that his legislation, which was introduced in the aftermath of a brutal crime against a pregnant woman in Longmont in March, is about “justice” in allowing prosecutors to seek murder charges in the death of an unborn child.

But SB-268 is really a bill about “Personhood,” which would change the definition of a “person” to include “an unborn person at every age of gestation.” We’ve said it before in this space, and Cadman and his fellow Republicans proved Monday that SB-268 was always about Personhood, first and foremost. As John Frank of the Denver Post explains:

In the Senate debate, Democrats unsuccessfully sought to amend the bill to take out the language defining a person as an “unborn child at every stage of gestation from conception until live birth.” Another amendment that failed would have gutted the measure to only increase the penalties in attacks on pregnant women under Colorado’s current law.

The critics cited concerns that Senate Bill 268 included verbatim sections from model legislation proposed by Americans United for Life, an anti- organization, and cited similar laws in other states where district attorneys prosecuted pregnant mothers for endangering the child.

As any political observer with half a brain could have forseen, Senate Democrats offered up amendments Monday that would have removed the “Personhood” language from SB-268. Cadman had Republicans entrenched by now, however, so the GOP refused to accept the amendments…and things got worse in the process.


Former Denver Post editor Chuck Murphy was among those (via Twitter) who noticed the GOP’s problem with SB-268.

Republican Sen. Ellen Roberts actually conceded that the real point of SB-268 was to declare a fetus a person, and Assistant Majority Leader Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) began droning on about the importance of extending constitutional rights to the unborn. In voting down the proposed amendments, Senate Republicans are now on record in support of Personhood, which Colorado voters have flatly rejected every time it has appeared as a ballot measure. These votes will be used often in 2016 against Republicans seeking re-election, and it’s gonna sting. The advertisements write themselves: “When Republicans gained control of the State Senate, they pushed a Personhood bill that contained similar language to ballot measures that Colorado voters have opposed on three separate occasions.”

There was never any real chance that SB-268 would make it out of the State House, and Monday’s actions only ensured as much. But Cadman’s “leadership” here may very well give Democrats everything they need to re-take control of the State Senate in 2016. This bill was going to be stuck with the “Personhood” tag no matter how many times Cadman said the word “justice.”

Colorado already has the “Crimes Against Pregnant Women Act” on the books — and has since 2013 — so there was no real practical need for Cadman to rage around the State Capitol for the last month. If Cadman truly didn’t realize that he was walking his caucus into a Personhood debate, then he is in no way capable of leading Senate Republicans in 2016.

If Cadman did realize this problem ahead of time, but pushed forward anyway…well, he is in no way capable of leading Senate Republicans in 2016.


13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. notaskinnycook says:

    That’s it in a nutshell. Is Bill Cadman an idiot, or does he think we are? Let me answer that for you, Senator; it’s you.

  2. Bokonon says:

    It won’t mean a thing if the media doesn’t report it (and the Democrats don’t make it stick).

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but Cory Gardner’s example has really emboldened the state GOP. They now feel okay with legislating aggressively on issues that poll badly with the general public – with the primary purpose of pleasing the own base and keeping them loyal. And then the GOP will count on resetting voter perceptions come election time (no matter what their governing record has really been). With the help of enough dark money and weak reporting by the media … they can win.

    Frankly, it is the only real play available to the GOP, but they are going all in.

    • It’s going to be harder, IMHO, for these State Senators to backtrack from their votes on this bill than it was for Gardner to tap-dance around the issue. They can’t claim ignorance – it was explained multiple times during the debate just what they were voting on…

      • BlueCat says:

        And how many of their constituents are paying attention? These are very low profile positions and races. All most voters will know about them is what they’ll see on some mailings, maybe an ad or two and the letter that comes with their name at election time. If anything, the Etch-a-Sketch works better the farther down ballot you go.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          Not so fast with the doom and gloom Tabby. The simple narrative should be that that Climate Science denying Republicans are a thousand times more interested in your daughters vagina than they are in helping the poor or protecting the planet. The only young people they appeal to are the ones who have been indoctrinated at home. This isn’t a “win” for Republicans. It just shows how out of touch with the rest of society they really are. Coloradans hate “Personhood” scams.

          • Duke Cox says:

            “Not so fast with the doom and gloom Tabby.”

            I’m sure it’s a temporary thing, GG. It’s called, “having a “dwyer” moment”. 🙂

            she’ll be fine….

          • BlueCat says:

            It’s just that I’ve done so much canvassing and phone banking for candidates. Do you have any idea how many people you have to talk to, people with active voting records, before you run across one who has any idea who their state Rep or Sen. is or knows anything about what goes on in the state legislature? I do. And in presidential years you have much higher participation from the lowest of the low info voters.

            I saw my own State Rep., who was widely recognized as one of our most successful legislators from day one of his freshman term, known for being one of the primary go to guys for getting across the aisle cooperation on good legislation, the first D elected in my HD in 35 years and the first ever reelected here, defeated by a million and a half $ R ad and mailing effort and replaced with an ignorant R twit (dumb as a post Conti) who honestly didn’t believe me when I told her that taxes had been raised several times on Reagan’s watch. Her entire campaign was about lowering ballooning taxes when, in fact, taxes were lower than ever, much lower than at any time under Reagan. Another thing she flat out couldn’t believe. And it worked well enough for her to win by a small margin over decorated vet and universally well regarded Joe Rice. Since then, she’s been reelected easily in an HD that naturally defaults to R.

            My faith in voters knowledge of anything to do with the state legislature is experience, not gloom and doom, based. Not saying we can’t take back enough seats. Just don’t count on it as a natural result of any degree of R idiocy. That’s common as dirt every term so it will take a lot more than that, including big, big, bucks. Just saying hold off on the happy dancing just because so many of our R legislators are clowns. What else is new?

            • FrankUnderwood says:

              I’ve done a good deal of canvassing too, and it is really scary when you see what is out there as far as people’s knowledge of issues and candidates and perceptions and how they make decisions.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      And what media is that? The only print media which publishes daily and has mass circulation is the Post and that’s a POS.

      Besides, Cadman’s bill run counter to the Post’s narrative that the GOP doesn’t always stand for personhood. Nothing to report here.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      The problem with the Gardner example is that he has proven to be to total dick in office. The next time people have a choice between sane and insincere, they will be reminded that Gardner was also insincere in proclaiming that he was a moderate.

      • BlueCat says:

        More than 5 long years away and I wouldn’t count on it, never mind how impossible it is to predict now what the political map and atmosphere will look like then.

        • Bokonon says:

          And Gardner will surely have a large, well-stuffed campaign chest in five years. Which Gardner can use to run endless television ads of him standing up front of trees and windmills in the sunshine, smiling that brilliant smile and proclaiming how America needs “bipartisan solutions.” The right-wingers will guffaw and know Gardner as one of their own. And the squishy low-information voters … ? They will be a toss-up again. Oohh … nice ad! Nice smile! Pretty colors!

          Record? What legislative record? That’s old news! Nobody cares about that stuff.

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