After reporting on new House Democrat Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino being run through by members of his own caucus over proposed per diem increases for rural lawmakers yesterday, the floodgates have opened and fresh examples of the House Democratic Caucus coming apart have started to surface.
Reports from the state Capitol indicate that Ferrandino's inability to hold his caucus together boiled over in a not-so-private dressing down of Democrat state Rep John Kefalas over Kefalas' vote in the House Finance Committee. Kefalas' vote effectively killed HB 1260, a Dem priority bill aimed at neutering an economic development tool.
Reports The Denver Post:
House Bill 12-1260, sponsored by Rep. Jeanne Labuda, D-Denver, died in the House Finance committee following strong opposition by business interests. Her proposal would have capped at $250,000 annually the amount of enterprise-zone tax credits a company can claim.
Apparently Kefalas didn't get the edict that he was supposed to vote FOR the bill. Instead, he voted AGAINST the bill, and earned a public rebuke from Ferrandino over it. No doubt Ferrandino had planned to blast House Republicans for killing the bill, only to have Kefalas throw a wrench into his poorly thought out political PR plan.
As you can see from the recorded vote on the left, Kefalas' mistake was no small one. With three Republicans excused, yesterday was the Dems' best opportunity to get the bill out of committee, because they had a momentary majority on the committee.
With the Senate Democrats already fighting over "who's in charge next," as Senate President Brandon Shaffer is term-limited, the discord brewing in the House Democrat caucus heralds very real election year questions and consequences for legislative Democrats.
How long will House Democrats put up with a leader that they themselves apparently don't trust to lead them?