Since we're playing the common game today, what do Dan Maes and Rollie Heath have in common? They're both Gubernatorial losers who love to let Governor Hickenlooper look good by standing on the opposite side of ridiculous issues.
For the Amaesing One it was the UN bike conspiracy, and, um, well, his entire campaign. For state Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) it's attempting to hike taxes in a recession, letting fellow Democrat Hickenlooper look increasingly moderate by comparison.
Not only does Rollie lack Hick's political imprimatur, but he doesn't even seem to think he needs it. Rollie dismissed Hick's political advice on the nuttiness of his efforts to Colorado News Agency's Peter Blake:
Heath has allies, but most are lying low. The man he needs most in his corner, Gov. John Hickenlooper, has said many times that Colorado “has no appetite” for a tax hike this year.
Can he win without Hickenlooper’s support? “Yes of course we can,” he said dismissively.
Why trust Hick's judgment? It's not like he knows how to win a statewide election or anything.
Undoubtedly, this ballot measure will fail without Hickenlooper's support. Hick has one of the best political radars for mainstream sentiment in Colorado and if he won't get within 10 miles of Heath's initiative you can be assured its chances of passage are already swimming with the fishes (& bin Laden's corpse), politically-speaking.
If that wasn't enough to assure its electoral euthanasia, the independent study showing the tax hike could kill up to 119,700 jobs would most assuredly shut the coffin lid over its passage.
The disheartening piece of news out of Blake's article is that Heath's initiative looks suddenly more likely to actually make the ballot. While Heath admits that the signature drive has been driven by paid mercenaries, it's the bargain basement prices he's getting for his 16th Street Mall clipboard army that's notable.
Veteran ballot initiative hack-for-hire Rick Reiter tells Peter Blake that due to the lack of other initiatives trying to make the ballot Heath is able to pay as little as $0.75 per signature. As we know of campaigns that have paid upwards of $7 or $8 a signature, that amount is a striking number. It's not just cheap, it's Bangladesh garment worker wage cheap.
As we reported last week, the issue committee driving this campaign, known as Bright Colorado, received a $100,000 check from the oil company Gary-Williams Energy Corp. At 75 cents a pop, that check alone could buy them enough John Hancocks to make the ballot.
Heath's oil company patrons may just help him buy his way onto the ballot, after all.
Fear not conservatives, that means nothing when it comes to passage. After all, the Colorado ballot over the years has been so full of initiative nonsense that it's been called Ballot Chaos, Ballot Madness, and the Constitutional Flea Market. Just last cycle an initiative made the ballot in Denver that called for a UFO Affairs Council.
Some GOP operatives have actually started to talk about hoping it does make the ballot. Why you ask?
Because it would make life for Congressional wannabes Brandon Shaffer and Sal Pace much harder. Both the Brandon-Mander and The Fist have studiously avoided taking any position on the Heath tax hike. But since both Shaffer and Pace plan on keeping their leadership roles in the Legislature next year, you can be sure legislative Republicans will attempt to get them on the record at every last turn.
Not only that, but considering the disastrous roll out so far of the initiative, including kidnapping classes of 4th grade children and getting school principals investigated for using school resources for political propaganda, this initiative has the ability to continue creating massive headaches for the legislative Democrats the rest of the year.
Heath may dismiss Hickenlooper's lack of support, but you can bet Brandon Shaffer and Sal Pace are wishing Heath had taken his advice in the first place.