Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hick gets my vote, along with all the other Dems

Behind the monitor of my computer, hanging on the wall of my study beneath a window looking out to the blue sky, hangs a copy of the ColoradoBiz cover for the September 2003 issue.

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's picture claims the cover art, and behind him is the faint image of the Colorado state flag. Inside that magazine, I interviewed Hick and asked him if he wanted to be governor. Of course, he told me then that all he wanted to be was a good mayor.

On Saturday, I shouted aye! when 4,000-plus Colorado Democratic delegates to the state assembly, me included, were asked to award the party's nomination for governor to Hickenlooper by acclamation. It was my first ever Democratic state assembly after 42 years of voting, most of them as a news reporter.

Now I'm a blogger, though, and no longer constrained by the feigned objectivity of the newspaper reporter. I can serve as a delegate in the party I support and write about it to my heart's content.

So at the risk of driving Hickenlooper from the race, I'm going to endorse him as I made an early endorsement of Gov. Bill Ritter, who thereupon quit running for the office.

I'm also endorsing Andrew Romanoff, who I was a delegate for from Arapahoe County. If rhetoric helped Barack Obama gain the White House, Romanoff sounded more like a presidential candidate Saturday than a former school superintendent, and that's probably why he polled 60.4 percent of the delegates' votes compared with Michael Bennet's 39.6 percent, just 9.6 points more than the required 30 percent needed to take a place on the August primary ballot.

Obviously, I hope the former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives beats the appointed incumbent senator as soundly after a summer of campaigning as he has in earlier precinct caucuses, county assemblies, and now the state assembly.

And then, as far as I'm concerned, you can vote Democratic down the whole ballot. Everything I heard on Saturday fit my political preferences just fine, including a minority plank added to the Colorado Democratic Party platform. It vented opposition to the new Arizona anti-immigrant law, which I have opposed since the day it was signed. (See an earlier post below.)

I can say I enjoyed the assembly a lot more than any of the earlier procedures you have to endure to become a delgate to the statewide confab. It was run efficiently, and demonstrated the energy of Colorado Democrats' commitment to improving the lives of all Coloradans no matter their political convictions.

Monday, May 3, 2010

SchwabBlog: Watch out for a bailout

The Colorado General Assembly, according to the Denver Post, faces a boat load of decisions on issues ranging from public-school teacher tenure to college funding, from medical marijuana to river rafting, during the last week of their legislature.

Watch out for a bailout.

Legislators in the last few years have prided themselves on early wrapups, conducting their business with money-saving dispatch. This year, however, too many unresolved issues will probably push the gang of politicians to the more traditional push back of the clock at midnight May 12, in order to give themselves time on that Wednesday night to do the last of their dirty deeds.

Unless they decide a bailout is the better part of political valor.

Not acting to resolve conflicts is a favorite device of politicians not willing to face the political backlash that results from taking action.

Why do you think it took almost 100 years and seven presidents to gain nearly universal health insurance coverage for Americans? Congress during all that time was afraid to act and face the repercussions of their votes. So thousands of Americans died for lack of care.

Expect the Colorado legislature to make the same choice on at least a few of the issues lawmakers still face. I'd bet river access will be the most likely.

Cry me a river; who wants sacred landowners howling for your skin because you voted to give all Coloradans access to their rivers.

Delay is not what we pay these guys and gals for, so anyone who has any influence over the mob should press them to take all issues to a vote. The time for right policy is always now, not later. At least that's how Schwab reads the news.