Get More Smarter on Thursday (May 7)

MoreSmarter-RainAt this point, just let us know if it’s not going to rain. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).



► It’s over — it’s really over. The 2015 Colorado legislative session is in the books, and the Associated Press takes a look at what went down on the final day under the Gold Dome. For more on the last day’s events, everybody who is still at the Denver Post combined for a story.

 ► State Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll is taking a look at running for Congress in CD-6. 

 ► Problems with construction at the VA Hospital in Aurora were obvious well before construction even began, according to the Denver Post (originally noted by ProgressNow). May we remind you, dear readers, that Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is the CHAIRMAN OF THE NONOVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE under the House Veterans’ Affairs committee.

Get even more smarter after the jump…



► State Senator Cheri Jahn (D-Wheat Ridge) and State Rep. Jovan Melton (D-Denver) really love them some Predatory Lenders. Fox 31 has more on the last-minute legislation to hose consumers who borrow money that they’ll never be able to repay:

Only the Governor can save consumers now.

House Bill 1390 raises interest rates on personal consumer loans by up to 71 percent. It would allow lenders to raise finance rates from 21 percent to 36 percent on loans up to $3,000.

It also increases rates from 15 to 21 percent on loans more than $3,000 to $5,000.

These loans target people with some credit problems who can’t get loans from traditional banks and credit unions to buy consumer products like cars, boats and to consolidate debt…

…“It is high risk. It has a higher interest rate of 36 percent, but it’s much better than 125 percent we see with pay day lending facilities,” said State Rep. Jovan Melton, a Democrat from Aurora.

He also said these lenders need a hand to stay in business in our state. [Pols emphasis]

Yeah, that’s what the legislature needs to do — figure out a way to make sure that the predatory lending industry can thrive in Colorado. Maybe we should also bring back asbestos factories just for the jobs.

We thought we were done with this bull**** back in 2011, but there’s nothing like another last-minute predatory lending bill to stir up old memories!

Here’s to a veto from Gov. John Hickenlooper — the sooner the better.

► The Office of Consumer Counsel will live to, um, counsel another day. But they won’t be regulating telecom anymore.

► Colorado legislators approved a bill that would increase salaries for elected officials for the first time since 1999; the increases won’t kick in until 2019, so many current legislators will never see this extra money. We’ve said it again and again in this space — you can’t expect to attract better candidates for office until you start paying realistic salaries. 

► The Thompson Valley School District failed to ratify a new teacher’s union contract, which has many educators worried about the next steps in Jefferson County.

► California’s drought problem is a political conundrum, as Politico reports.



► Former Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley sold his soul.

► It wouldn’t be an official legislative session unless somebody got a new specialty license plate.

► Denver Democrats are still trying to figure out what happened with the campaign of Chris Nevitt, the perceived frontrunner for Denver City Auditor who was upset on Tuesday by Tim O’Brien. Current City Auditor Dennis Gallagher, who had endorsed Nevitt, isn’t pulling punches in his criticism.



► New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s Presidential aspirations are on life-support now that a New Jersey court seems likely to rule against his signature “achievement” as Governor.

► At least you’re not the Christian Laettner of Kentucky politics.


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10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    "California’s drought problem is a political conundrum, as Politico reports."

    There's that pesky "politics" thing again. Oh whatever could be done to resolve such a problem: choose sides? propose a common sense solution and stick to it? convince voters and citizens of the best policy?

    Another way CO can get more smarter:

    Hawaii is on its way to having the greenest grid in the nation.

    The state legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk this week that moves the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) up to 100 percent by 2045 — which means that all electricity provided by the electric companies will have to come from renewable sources like solar and wind. Nationwide, electricity generation makes up about a third of all carbon emissions.

    “We’ll now be the most populated set of islands in the world with an independent grid to establish a 100 percent renewable electricity goal,” State Senator Mike Gabbard (D) told ThinkProgress in an email. “Through this process of transformation we can be the model that other states and even nations follow. And we’ll achieve the biggest energy turnaround in the country, going from 90 percent dependence on fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy.”

    Instead of doing what Hawaii is doing, CO will keep the energy extraction gravy train going for local and energy companies, utilities, their execs and shareholders, and will probably be late to the game of reducing our use of carbon as the technology gets better and better and more entities commit to doing the right thing.

    Is that a policy or political conundrum? Maybe pols will enlighten us….


  2. Colorado Pols says:

    Dude, get off it. We've never wavered since we started Colorado Pols in 2004 — this blog is primarily about politics, not policy. Not because we're not interested in both, but because we decided to focus on politics.

    • Progressicat says:

      Zapp should totally start a blog where folks could come and talk about policy. It could attract all kinds of folks from the left and become an incredibly important soapbox for progressives!  Such a site would be for the ages and would not ever become a furniture showroom or anything like that.

    • Zappatero says:

      oh, didn't know I'd strike a nerve. You really didn't have to respond, it was rhetorical, Dude. But I still don't get how you can isolate the 2 things from each other.

    • Canines says:

      Wait a minute…shouldn’t you have clicked on “Reply”?

  3. Progressicat says:

    One of the commenters in the Reporter Herald article on the Thompson School District (not TVSD, Pols, although there is a TVHS) noted that the board president remarked that, "there are other organizations that can come in and represent the districts' personnel."

    Be afraid, Jeffco, this is Caldara's plan in action.

    • mamajama55 says:

      If Caldara, the Jeffco majority BOE, etc, manage to illegally break Jeffco schools' contract with Jeffco Education Association, the price they will pay is a long drawn out teacher strike.  So Jeffco kids would have weeks of classes staffed by substitutes (since JCEA, in its infinite wisdom, does not include substitutes in its negotiated groups), administrators, paraprofessionals, and custodians. 

      Perhaps Mr. Caldara would like to do a shift with bored 7th grade students to show those uppity teachers how to run a class. After all, he only needs a bullhorn, right?

      And then, they'll have to negotiate with JCEA anyway. 

      So I am afraid – afraid that Caldara and CO are setting the stage for a confrontation in which students will miss weeks of school, young families will miss work, and more. 

  4. mamajama55 says:

    Pols, here's one for the Friday get smarter thread:

    Springs businessman Josh Hosler to run for Klingenschmitt's HD15 seat. 

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Hosler said he's not one to burn bridges and made some vague statement about diversity. I'd say he's just marginalized himself in a republican primary. Where is Doug Bruce when his party needs him? (Answer:  trying to avoid going to DOC)

      • mamajama55 says:

        If El Paso County won't elect a Democrat, (which they won't), at least a moderate Republican who makes noises about diversity and recycles is a better choice. As has been said on here many times, all a candidate really needs to win in EPCO is the R after their name. 

        I imagine that the voters there are so sick of Klingenschmitt's embarrassing hijinks that they will gladly vote for someone bland and safe. 

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