He Wants to Be Your Superhero

Republican Mark Baisley is upset at fellow Republican Ted Harvey, with whom he is involved in a heated primary in SD-30,?over…frankly, we really don’t understand the press release, but this line is funny:

Instead of talking about the substantive things that separate Ted and me, Harvey makes up an imaginary world of super-villains with himself in the role of superhero.

Click below for the full press release…


Not-So Special Session

The Republican Study Committee of Colorado, a right-wing Republican group (led by Sen. Greg Brophy and Rep. Dave Schultheis), today released a letter sent to Governor Owens about what they want to see addressed in a special session on illegal immigration. Their requests actually hurt?arguments that a special session is?even necessary, because the issues they want to deal with seem rather petty compared to broader illegal immigration reforms. The first issue is to?make English the?official language of Colorado government agencies, while the second requires proof of citizenship to be able to?vote in Colorado.

Now, we’re not saying that these are bad issues necessarily, but when Governor Owens is saying that a special session is absolutely necessary because illegal immigration reform is so important, it looks absolutely ridiculous for Republicans to come back and say that we need to make English the official government language. That’s like calling a special session on education reform and discussing a bill to make sure all pencils are wood and not mechanical. Maybe the argument about the issue is valid, but certainly not in the context of illegal immigration being so important that it requires a special session. Is it really an emergency that we make sure to designate English as the official government language in Colorado? Really?

Republicans are being accused of?using illegal immigration as a political ploy, and it’s really tough to argue against that if you’re going to demand passage of bills in a special session that aren’t an emergency.

Anyway, click below for the full press release…


Salazar Calls for Iraq Troop Withdrawal

From The Denver Post:

Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar is sponsoring a Senate amendment urging the Bush administration to launch a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of this year.

Salazar, who voted against setting a fixed deadline for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq last week, joined three other Senate Democrats as sponsors of the measure, which is being seen as a compromise for senators who want to show their impatience with the situation in Iraq, but won’t support a date certain for the removal of U.S. forces.

The non-binding measure would call on President Bush to begin redeploying troops this year, and to furnish Congress with a plan for further redeployment after 2006. Debate could begin today.

“The time has come for us to make sure that the Iraqi government and the political leadership know that we are not there forever,” said Salazar, D-Colo. “What we are trying to do with our amendment is to make sure that we’re sending a loud-and-clear signal … that we’re getting to the point in time where we need to start this phased redeployment of our troops.”

Salazar joined Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Dianne Feinstein of California as sponsors of the measure, which is expected to be voted on later this week.

Haley on Perlmutter Mail Piece

Dan Haley of The Denver Post takes Ed Perlmutter’s direct mail piece to task in his blog, pointing out some of the same inaccuracies that we discussed earlier (specifically the claim that he sent out the first big piece of direct mail in the campaign, which was completely untrue since Herb Rubenstein dropped mail several weeks earlier). Here’s Haley’s take:

Democrat Ed Perlmutter?s campaign whiffed three times last week on the same piece of campaign literature.

First, in an e-mail advertising his first direct mail piece to 7th Congressional District voters, Perlmutter?s camp declared they were the ?first out of the shoot? with a mailer. Aw, shoot, he wrote in a follow-up e-mail that contained definitions of both ?chute? and ?shoot.? Strike one.

Besides, he wasn?t even first out of the chute ? or even the shoot. One of his opponents, the constantly overlooked Herb Rubenstein, sent out a mailer a few weeks ago on unrippable paper, to show his unbreakable pledge to voters. Strike two.

Then, there?s the actual direct-mail piece, which shows a captivating panorama of Denver?s skyline against a glorious mountain backdrop. Trouble is, Denver is in the 1st Congressional District. But if you squint, there are pockets of his 7th district between the skyline and mountains.

Fern Makes Campaign Changes

Attorney General candidate Fern O’Brien has split with campaign manager Jim Merlino. O’Brien was a longshot at best to beat incumbent Republican John Suthers, so it will be interesting to see who comes on to take over her campaign.

Eidsness Making News

Eric Eidsness, a Reform Party candidate in CD-4, continues to make more news than most third-party candidates. Eidsness has no shot at winning the general election, but if he can take enough votes from incumbent Marilyn Musgrave, he could help swing the election in favor of Democrat Angie Paccione.

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Eric Eidsness, a 61-year-old former Republican from Fort Collins, will represent the Colorado Reform Party in an attempt to pry votes from incumbent U.S. Rep Marilyn Musgrave and her main challenger, state Rep. Angie Paccione, D-Fort Collins. The 4th is the only congressional district in which the Reform Party has a candidate on the state ballot.

Eidsness, in a statement released over the weekend, said that if elected, “I would be pounding my fist on the podium in the House chambers demanding the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff for the massive failure in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina, and for not enforcing our existing immigration laws that allowed 12 million illegal aliens into this country.”

The Reform Party’s platform puts a heavy emphasis on fiscal responsibility in government. Appointed in 1981 by then-President Ronald Reagan as assistant administrator for water in the Environmental Protection Agency, Eidsness has devoted his career to environmental engineering and construction. He spent nine years in local and federal government policy positions and 23 years as a businessman.

The 4th District has been in Republican hands since the defeat of Democratic Party icon Wayne Aspinall in 1972. President Bush carried it by a 16 percent margin over John Kerry in 2004…

…If Eidsness were to win as much as 8 percent or 9 percent of the general election vote, Walter said, that would be “a significant development, in that we have to assume that most of the votes that go to a Reform Party candidate who is a former Republican will come from Republicans.”

The best Reform Party showing in Colorado was 3.12 percent won by Michael Sanchez, a 2002 candidate for state treasurer, according to Logan Goolsby, interim chairman of the Colorado Reform Party.

How Much of a Political Risk is Special Session?

The Denver Post?posed this question over the weekend regarding Republican threats to call a special session to address illegal immigration:

…the Colorado governor’s tack is a stark contrast to the approach taken by GOP officials in Arizona when a similar ballot proposition called “Protect Arizona Now” was passed two years ago. There, the Republican Party officially distanced itself from the measure, remembering the costs the California GOP paid after Prop. 187, which denied illegal immigrants access to schools and health care.

Though it was approved overwhelmingly by voters in 1994, Prop. 187 created a surge of Democratic support among California Latinos, affirming the power of Democrats in that state. But historical lessons may be hard to apply in today’s quickly changing and contentious debate.

There are key indications that Latino voters don’t necessarily see punitive immigration policies as targeting them. Exit polls in Arizona showed that about 45 percent of Latinos supported “Protect Arizona Now.”

“I know how my family thinks about it,” said Lora Villasenor, an immigration analyst with ThinkAZ, an Arizona think tank.

“These are people who have come here, worked hard, paid their dues, and they look at the new people who are coming over and they say they ask for all this stuff, they ask for more than they deserve. You hear a lot of that kind of stuff,” she said.

But a spate of recent national polls provides plenty for the state’s GOP to ponder as it seeks to make immigration a wedge issue in November.

A poll by the nonpartisan Latino Coalition shows that Hispanics approve of the way Democrats are handling the immigration issue by a 3-to-1 margin. Another by the Pew Research Center shows that only 33 percent of Latinos support denying social services to illegal immigrants, compared with 83 percent of conservative Republicans – voters who are likely to support the GOP anyway.

Holtzman Off the Ballot, Heads to Supreme Court

Our old friend Dan Haley has the story at The Denver Post:

…a judge ordered Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman?s name taken off the August primary ballot today, according to the Associated Press. The Beauprez campaign wasted no time getting out a press release thanking Holtzman for his ?spirited campaign.?

?We?re obviously very pleased to see the court uphold the law,? said Beauprez campaign manager John Marshall. ?Marc has run a spirited campaign and we?ve appreciated his contribution to this race. We look forward to working together toward victory in November.?

But earlier today Holtzman?s campaign announced they?d take their case directly to the Supreme Court. Judge Robert Hyatt stayed his order today for 48 hours to give
Holtzman time to appeal.

?It makes more sense for seven judges (on the Supreme Court) to listen to one lawyer than for one judge to listen to seven lawyers,? Bob Gould, Holtzman?s campaign manager, told the AP.

Support Net Neutrality

Normally we don’t issue any calls to action on this Web site, preferring to leave the debate here to politics and not policy. But since this issue affects us, we’re breaking our own rules. This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue – it’s a free-speech issue. If you visit this blog and others, or if you regularly use the Internet, you have a stake in this debate.

What is “Net Neutrality?” Here’s how?The Nation?describes it:


Holtzman Goes to Supreme Court

From the Associated Press:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman plans to ask Colorado Supreme Court justices to put his name on the August primary ballot — instead of pursuing a lawsuit in state district court.

Campaign officials say his attorney told Denver District Court Judge Robert Hyatt today that Holtzman is moving that case to the state’s highest court. Holtzman is challenging a ruling by the secretary of state that he does NOT have enough valid petition signatures to get on the ballot. The announcement comes as a line-by-line review of Holtzman’s petitions is to get under way in Hyatt’s courtroom.

Colorado Pols in the News

From the Associated Press:

Supporters of gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman thought his rival for the Republican nomination, Rep. Bob Beauprez, would catch on after they praised him as a fiscal conservative for only giving 1 percent of his salary to charity.

And they were positive the two-term congressman and former dairy farmer would figure things out when they said “he milked support out of that room like he might milk a cow” at the El Paso County GOP assembly.

Instead, Beauprez linked his official campaign Web site to the “Students for Beauprez” blog and even praised it, noting that “Grassroots are the heart of any campaign, and so we were excited to find the Students for Beauprez blog launched recently by a UCCS student in Colorado Springs.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Holtzman spokesman Jesse Mallory said the blog started out as a joke blog by a college student who supported Holtzman. It grew, drawing intense debate from political blogs across the state, including ColoradoPols.com, which tracks and ranks political candidates for office. [Emphasis added]

Southwest Denver Debates on Thursday

For those of you interested in two primary fights in Denver, the Denver Young Democrats are holding a formal debate next Thursday between candidates in HD-1 and SD-32.

Democrats Alfredo Hernandez and Jeanne Labuda will face off first in their fight for the nomination in HD-1. Hernandez is considered the clear frontrunner here as Democrats gear?up for a fight from Republican Aimee Rathburn.

In SD-32, the Democratic nominee should coast to victory in November. Chris Romer and Jennifer Mello will duke it out for the nomination, with HD-1 Rep. Fran Coleman a distant third.

Click below for the press release on the debate…


Don’t Steal Our Ploy!

Both Republicans and Democrats are trying to out-accuse each other of political ploys. From the Rocky Mountain News:

Republican lawmakers vowed today to back Gov. Bill Owens in his possible call for a special session, denouncing Democrats’ dueling plan as nothing more than a political ploy.

Before the legislature could convene, Democrats, who control both the Colorado House and Senate, would need 15 Republican cross-over votes to achieve a two-thirds vote necessary to call a special session to deal with illegal immigration.
Republican leaders said Friday they’ll never get them.

“They?re not going to get the votes,” said House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker. “The fact is the Democrats had 120 days to deal with illegal immigration. They were so proud because the closed the session in 118 days. Now they?re saying they didn?t finish.

“They?re whole deal is transparent. They?re in a box and they?re trying to figure a way out.”

Democrats acknowledged that getting Republicans to sign off on a special session is an uphill battle. But they also said that if GOP lawmakers snub the Democrats’ unprecedented call for a special session, they run the risk of looking like hypocrites.

Nevermind that Governor Owens’ threat to call a special session to address illegal immigration was also a political ploy. May the best ploy win.

Republicans & Immigration = Campaign Strategy

Republican Bob Beauprez took a swipe at Democrat Bill Ritter’s stance on illegal immigration yesterday (along with several other Republicans) – a clear indication that the GOP thinks?illegal immigration will be a winning issue for them in 2006.?From the Rocky Mountain News:

Republicans on Thursday rushed to use illegal immigration as a hot issue in this year’s campaign, unveiling radio ads and Robo-calls that attack Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter on the issue.

GOP rival Bob Beauprez’s ads – beginning today on talk radio stations in Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction – play up Ritter’s opposition to a ballot measure limiting illegal immigrants from receiving government services.

“Illegal immigration is illegal, isn’t it? It’s time we in Colorado actually enforced our laws,” Beauprez says in the spot.

Ritter fired back, accusing Beauprez and other Republicans of distorting his position. Beauprez notes in his ad that he supports the immigration proposal that the Colorado Supreme Court shot down Monday in a controversial ruling.

But Ritter noted that Beauprez during his four years in Congress has “done nothing” to fix the immigration crisis. “Now it’s suddenly an issue for him because he’s running for governor,” Ritter said in a statement.

“I will not allow the congressman to misrepresent my position. I oppose providing welfare benefits to undocumented immigrants. I oppose issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. I oppose providing any benefit that is prohibited by state or federal law.”

Radio ads are being run against Ritter by the Trailhead Group…ads that the News says are misleading:

In addition on Thursday, the Trailhead Group, a GOP political organization formed to attack Democratic candidates, sent hundreds of thousands of Robocalls to voters statewide ripping Ritter.

The call quotes an article in Thursday’s Rocky Mountain News and leaves the impression that Ritter supports welfare for illegal immigrants. Ritter in that article explicitly said he was opposed to welfare for illegal immigrants.

Trailhead Director Alan Philp defended the script, saying unless voters approve such a ballot measure future legislators can offer welfare and other benefits to illegal immigrants.

Ritter went further?in defending himself by using the?the “Both Ways Bob” routine in a press release, which you can see if you click below…

P.S. The Beauprez campaign doesn’t send us press releases, so if you’re wondering why we don’t post those…now you know.