Nearly every politician in Colorado has come out in favor of Amendment S, which gives state hiring preferences to veterans. In fact, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and former Colorado Governor Bill Owens teamed up to record a radio ad in support of the measure, but advocates for the public employees unions don’t seem to have gotten the memo. As Denver Post’s Tim Hoover reported, ” critics say the measure would politicize state government by allowing for more top positions to be politically appointed rather than merit-based.”
A loyal reader shared an email, likely from one of these critics, with the Peak that levied several criticisms against Amendment S, among the criticisms of TommyRay Sena:
“if passed, Amendment S would give the governor more power to hire people in his administration by removing up to 330 positions from the protections of the state personnel system. The governor could also dismiss members of the state personnel board…. Hiring preferences for military veterans would be expanded.”
How awful. The email also contained several opinion pieces that either have or will run against the measure; all were signed by Miller Hudson, who is described as such:
“Miller Hudson is a former State Representative from Denver, who served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Intermountain Fixed Guideway Authority’s I-70 monorail study as well as the Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Public Employees from 2003-2009.”
And here is what Mr. Hudson had to say about the ballot initiative:
“The purpose for establishing and protecting a merit-based civil service is to safeguard taxpayers. Elected politicians aren’t happy when they encounter this kind of informed pushback. They want a supine workforce that will do exactly what they are told. Amendment S is designed to achieve just such a silent servility on the part of state workers…. Amendment S is a solution in search of a problem. If approved it will gut the civil service system that has served Coloradans so well for nearly a century.”
First, no offense to government employees, but having the former head of the public employees union come out against a measure for anything citing concerns that it would reduce merit-based appointments is disingenuous at best. Since when are unions concerned about merit-based anything? Then, Hudson cites that elected politicians “want a supine workforce that will do exactly what its told”. Yes, they probably do. That is part of the JOB of state employees – to execute the laws and programs outlined by the legislature.
Finally, Mr. Hudson is really arguing that giving hiring preferences to veterans is a worse option than protecting union jobs? Really? Did the union workers put their lives on the line in defense of our country? Has the Obama campaign, which typically counts union workers among its most loyal foot soldiers, made its union-supported door-knocking programs hazardous tasks now? We know Obama policies have been unpopular, but we’re pretty sure there’s no neighborhood in Denver as dangerous as, say, Fallujah.