POLITICS BEFORE KIDS: Dems Advance Jessica’s Law-In-Name-Only

Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a paroled sex offender in Florida.

Yesterday, the Democrat-controlled Colorado State House State Affairs Committee passed a bill that they have equated to Jessica’s Law.  But, does it really do the same thing?  The answer is no.  The bill, H.B. 1260, was sponsored by Boulder liberal Rep. Mike Foote and was the Democrat-approved version.  Republican state Rep. Libby Szabo also introduced her version of Jessica’s Law, H.B. 1264, which was killed in committee on a party line vote.

The key features of Jessica’s Law are the tough minimum sentencing requirements and lifetime probation for sexual predators.  Foote’s bill offers a tiered system of sentencing, which drops mandatory sentencing down to as little as 10 years.  From the bill: at least 10-16 years and up to a maximum of natural life for a class 4 felony; at least 18-32 years and up to a maximum of natural life for a class 3 felony; and at least 24-48 years and up to a maximum of natural life for a class 2 felony.

H.B. 1260 also lacks sex offender registration and reporting requirements, compared to H.B. 1264, which requires that if paroled, offenders must remain on parole for the remainder of their natural life. continue…

 

TALKS TO SELF: Speaker Ferrandino Believes Voices in Head Enough for Compromise

Is Speaker Mark Ferrandino hearing voices?  That’s the only explanation we here at the Peak have for his comments earlier this week in The Denver Post.

Continuing their belief that, if they don’t talk about their progressive agenda in 2013, Colorado will forget it ever happened (Platform: Amnesia 2014™). Democrats claim there’s no need to revisit last year since they offered everyone a chance to compromise last year.   Here Ferrandino talks about the compromise they offered last year during the renewable energy mandate debate:

“We were willing to make compromises last year, but the other side walked away from the table after a week-and-a-half of negotiations.” [the Peak emphasis]

The problem with this statement?  No one’s quite sure who “the other side” Ferrandino is referring to.  House Minority Leader Mark Waller thinks Ferrandino might be referring to the co-ops:

Former House Minority Leader Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, said Ferrandino must be referring to the co-ops because his caucus was shut out of the process entirely.

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AMNESIA PLATFORM: Dems Hope Coloradans Forget the 2013 Disaster

Following yesterday’s performance by the Democrats at the opening of the 2014 session, we’ve decided to help them package their agenda, so Colorado really understands what the 2014 legislative session is all about.  We’re calling it the Amnesia Platform.

After seeing quite clearly it’s toxic to run on what the liberal agenda they passed in 2013, Democrats are trying to make 2013 go away as quickly as possible, but, without, you know, changing any of it.

In speeches by both Senate President Morgan Carroll, and Speaker Mark Ferrandino, the heavy-handed pleas for bipartisanship illustrated what Democrats know: their only hope for a successful 2014 campaign season is for Coloradans everywhere to forget 2013 ever happened.

We appreciate the sentiment, and in one part classical conservative thought we agree: bad laws (especially those with the best of intentions) are prevented by having a very spirited debate between both sides.  That being said, Dems passed a whole host of bad laws last session that were not even close to being bipartisan in nature (that is, unless you count the opposition against them).

So in that other part of classical conservative thought, the need for self-responsibility, we will demand you stand by your 2013 record and come November let the good folk of Colorado decide.

We look forward to coming back together in a bipartisan manner in 2015, but until then: Remember 2013!

 

REVISIONIST HISTORY: Speaker Ferrandino Tries to Rewrite Last Session’s Testimony Time Restrictions

Another year begins and still no punctuation mark for sarcasm has gone mainstream and we assume Speaker Ferrandino is lamenting the same.  How else could he keep a straight face while trying to pass off such bald-face lies he told The Colorado Statesman?

In a preview of this year’s upcoming legislative session, Ferrandino had this to say about the many times the Democrats ignored Coloradans last session:

“House Speaker Mark Ferrandino of Denver scoffed at the idea that Democrats pushed an agenda that ignored constituents in any part of the state.

‘That is hysterical because I don’t remember any time we shut down debate,’ the Denver Democrat said. ‘Everyone was allowed to speak, we never closed debate. Unlike what happened the year before, we limited testimony, but that’s been something that’s happened in this legislature for a very long time and will continue to happen. But everyone had a say.’

‘There’s a difference between having your voices heard and getting your way,’ Ferrandino added. ‘Just because you don’t get your way, doesn’t mean your voice isn’t heard.’” [the Peak emphasis]

As a simple rebuttal here’s a tweet from at-the-time Denver Post reporter Tim Hoover: continue…

 

FUZZY MATH: Colorado Loses Jobs, Unemployment Rate Still Goes Down

Don’t tell us PeakNation™ over the Christmas holiday you missed this recent report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; no worries, that’s why you have us.

While people all around the country have been touting the ever-lowering unemployment rates in their states—and who wouldn’t?  People able to provide for their families is a great thing!—the Mercatus Center took a look behind those numbers; unfortunately, all is not as well as it seems. From the report:

“The most widely cited sign of progress toward a healthy economy has been the declining unemployment rate; however, the fall in the unemployment rate has largely been due to a shrinking labor-force participation rate rather than strong job growth.

…In the two most recent jobs reports, the labor-force participation rate has been at its lowest levels in nearly 35 years. Further, the entire drop in the unemployment rate in 2013 so far—from 7.8 percent in December 2012 to 7.0 percent last month—has been from the decline in the labor force rather than from job growth.” [the Peak emphasis]

That’s at the national level, but things don’t look much better if we focus just on Colorado.  In fact, compared to May of 2013 (the peak of jobs in Colorado last year), we have lost almost 20,000 jobs since then.  Yet, at the same time Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.9% to 6.5%.  No wonder China is beating us at math.

As the Mercatus Center pointed out, our drop can be almost completely accounted for by workers leaving the workforce.  It doesn’t matter to the unemployment rate when you lose 20,000 jobs if over 30,000 people drop out of the labor participation force.  The end result is the same.

Then again, when you pass fake “job bills”, perhaps you just end up with fake jobs.  Thanks Speaker Ferrandino!

 

RIP: Former State Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon Dies

According to his family, former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon’s death at 63 last night was a complete surprise.  His son, Ben, told The Denver Post that his father had a massive heart attack.

“I thought he was going to outlive us all,” Ben Gordon said. “He was the most fit person I knew. He was so strong.”

Born in 1950 in Detroit, he earned an academic resume — undergrad in economics and political science at the highly-respected University of Michigan, a law degree from Boston University—that would have allowed him to pursue almost anything he wanted.  Gordon, instead, became a public defender.  Even after starting his own practice, he felt a need to continue helping the less fortunate, taking on many cases pro bono.  This led Westword to name him its “Pro Bono Attorney of the Year” in 1988.  In 1992, he was first elected to the Colorado State Legislature, where he served as Assistant House Majority Leader, and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders.  He was highly respected for his statesmanship, as demonstrated by the many Facebook tributes to him from both sides of the aisle: continue…

 

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE: Government Here To Help With Minimum Wage Hike

Despite actual consensus among economists to the contrary (p. 86, Q 27), The Denver Post‘s Howard Pankratz is reporting today what a boon it will be to the Colorado economy when the minimum wage goes up on New Year’s Day.  Even Colorado Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino is crowing about how amazing it is.

Citing “analysis” by the liberal “nonpartisan” Economic Policy Institute, The Denver Post states this increase in the minimum wage will result in $18.7 million in economic growth.

[Sound cue: nails on a chalkboard]

Howard, shame on you. A simple Google search would have shown you that EPI is decidedly liberal.  Let us help you.

Howard Pankratz, meet Google. Google, meet a Denver Post reporter who has snubbed you.

In fact, EPI is about as nonpartisan as the Colorado Democratic Party.  So, let’s make sure we attach said descriptive to all nonpartisan groups that we write about.  Among them: the Heritage Foundation, the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and Center for American Progress. continue…

 

FUNDRAISER: Help Former Rep. Ken Summers Recover

As many of you may have heard, former Republican Rep. Ken Summers contracted West Nile virus, which caused encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, and meningitis.  While his prognosis is good, he will likely need significant physical rehabilitation.  You can follow his journey here.  To help defray the medical costs, a fundraiser will take place on Wednesday, August 7th at noon.  The invitation is below.  Please consider attending.  If you cannot attend, please consider contributing to help with Ken Summers’ recovery.

 

GREEN MACHINE LEADERS: Blame Them for High Energy Prices

Feeling the electric bill blues or pain at the pump?  Conservation Colorado has done Coloradans the favor of helping us quickly identify who to blame for high energy prices in its 2013 Colorado Legislative Conservation Scorecard.

First, the report praised Democratic Senate leadership from Senate President John Morse and Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll.  Here’s what was written about Morse:  “Senator Morse was the driving force behind SB252, the bill that increased the rural renewable energy standard.”

Thus far in the process, Sen. Morse is facing a tough recall election in his district.  Perhaps the higher bills alone justify his recall.  In fact, Morse tried to convince Colorado, in this Denver Business Journal article, that forcing middle class families to pay more for energy is in their best interest.

“Colorado has become a national leader in renewable energy, but the economic and health benefits of investments in technologies, such as wind and solar, are not shared by all Coloradans.  Increasing the market for clean energy for our state’s largest cooperative utilities will ensure our rural utilities are working hard for rural families and businesses. It will be good for our air, individual pocketbooks, and the bottom-line for businesses.”

That reasoning sounds so snazzy, except that there is nothing factual about it.  Last year, we highlighted the truth about the high cost to taxpayers and end users of wind and solar energy as compared to oil and natural gas.  Other legislators that Conservation Colorado praised for passing SB252 included Democrats Senator Angela “Recall-Target” Giron, Representative Crisanta Duran, and Senator Jesse Ulibarri.

Other members of leadership the publication commended included Democratic Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino and Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst.

The next category of “winners” were the “Conservation Champions” and included Democrats Sen. Gail Schwartz, Sen. Angela Giron, and Reps. Max “I Love My Truck” Tyler, Randy Fischer, and Crisanta Duran.  Finally, the report highlighted the conservation racketeering industry’s “Rising Stars”.  These included Democratic Sens. Jessie Ulibarri and Matt Jones as well as Representatives Mike Foote, Diane Mitsch-Bush, and Leroy Garcia.

While Conservation Colorado has identified these Democrats as victors of the 2013 session, we stand by our analysis of the 2011 Conservation Colorado Scorecard:

“Standing against some of the ridiculous legislation pushed by the enviros makes you a conservative champion in our book. We love the environment too. We hike, ski, hunt and pretty much have the same enjoyment of the beautiful Colorado outdoors as anyone else, but the Green Machine’s legislative priorities place enviro nonsense ahead of jobs and common sense.”

 

COLLAPSING: New Colorado Quinnipiac Poll Shows Dunlap Decision Deadly For Hickenlooper, Dem-Led Legislature Loathed

The first poll out since Governor Hickenlooper’s cowardly reprieve on the death penalty for convicted killer Nathan Dunlap shows Hick’s support collapsing and some seriously promising signs for potential Republican challengers.

From the highly-respected and non-partisan Quinnipiac poll:

Colorado voters say 69 – 24 percent that the death penalty should stay on the books and not be replaced by life in prison with no chance of parole, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. At the same time, Gov. John Hickenlooper finds himself running neck and neck with possible challengers in the 2014 governor’s race. 

Voters disapprove 67 – 27 percent of Gov. Hickenlooper’s decision to grant convicted murderer Nathan Dunlap a reprieve, and 74 percent say the death penalty will be “very important” or “somewhat important” in their vote for governor next year, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Check out the full poll here.

The support for the death penalty perfectly mirrors a poll in December by Republican firm The Tarrance Group, which found 68% support. The poll was reported on by The Colorado Observer, but mainstream press more or less ignored it.

What should really concern Hickenlooper’s political circle, however, is not the death penalty numbers but his own. The poll finds Hick virtually tied with both Tom Tancredo (42-41) and Scott Gessler (42-40). Senator Greg Brophy fared less well due to a very low name ID — 86% of respondents didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

The poll didn’t test a number of other names that have been floated, such as District Attorney George Brauchler or former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp.

Not only does the Quinnipiac poll spell trouble for Hickenlooper, but the “most liberal ever” legislature is widely panned by voters, with 49% disapproving to only 36% approving.

If we had to guess, we’d say the underwater figures for the legislature will only increase calls for Morse to resign rather than face recall and have to test the voters displeasure with the Capitol crowd.

It’s abundantly clear in this poll that Colorado Democrats misjudged the electorate, assuming Coloradans were far more supportive of its run to the left than they were in reality.

The political pendulum, it’s swinging back.

UPDATE: Tom Tancredo is the first gubernatorial challenger out with a react in a press release:

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