Normally the Speaker Pro Tem pick in the state House of Representatives is fairly uneventful and has typically been used by Democratic Speakers to fill some geographic, demographic or philosophical void in their leadership structure.
Previous Democratic Pro Tems like Cheri Jahn (philosophically middle of the road) and Kathleen Curry (moderate and from the Western Slope) fit that bill. Ferrandino’s appointment of liberal Boulder Democrat Claire Levy offers no similar benefit to help moderate what is already a VERY liberal and metro Denver-centric Democratic leadership in the House.
Every member of the senior House Democratic leadership…Speaker, Leader, Assistant Leader, Whip, Caucus Chair and three of the four members of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), is from Denver or Boulder. Levy serves on the JBC, so she’s already at the table. Ferrandino has only three leadership appointments, so it makes little sense for him to expend two of his three appointments on liberal Levy.
Cue what is quickly becoming the all-too-familiar tale of Feeble Ferrandino. Sources inside the Capitol report nothing less than a temper tantrum by Levy threatening something akin to holding her breath until she was picked for the post. Sources also report that Ferrandino wanted to appoint one of his young up-and-comers to the spot until he hit Levy’s resistance and caved. Another pick would have made sense given the extreme centralized power in Denver and Boulder.
Either way, Ferrandino’s inability to exercise leadership over his caucus on his OWN appointment is troubling and should be even more troubling for Guv Hick who is widely reported to be relying on Ferrandino to be his blockade against the onslaught of radically liberal bills.
Maybe Hick should order a couple more cases of antacid…