Last night, the bill to entire change the elections process in Colorado passed out of the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee after nearly seven and a half hours of testimony. Surprisingly, Colorado’s elections chief was told he had just four minutes to testify against this overreaching bill. If Secretary of Scott Gessler had helped craft the legislation, it would be understandable that he would have limited time to testify for or against it.
As it turned out, with questions, Gessler was allowed to speak for a total of about 25 minutes. House Democrats have recently come under fire for their strong-armed approach to this sweeping legislation. Just last week, 9News called the Democrats’ handling of the bill “some pretty heavy handed politics going on”. Gessler told the Pueblo Chieftain, which wrote an editorial against the bill:
“That’s a way of [Democrats] saying, ‘Our way or the highway. We don’t want to include any other opinions, and we’re going to operate in secrecy.”
But, it’s not just Gessler who wasn’t invited to the table for this bill – it was all Republicans who were excluded from the process of crafting this legislation. House Minority Leader Mark Waller conveyed his disappointment in the House Democrats’ lack of bipartisanship:
“One of my greatest disappointments this session is that nobody came to the table to work with Republicans on this elections reform bill.”
While political wrangling can be somewhat inside baseball, one has to wonder why the Democrats are pushing so hard for this legislation. If they thought it was simply the right thing to do, why not build a bipartisan coalition?
The fact is that the legislation is not crafted because it is the right thing to do for Coloradans. Democrats are pushing this legislation through because it’s the right thing to do for Democrats. Even the Chieftain agrees:
“A 122-page bill prepared for sponsorship by Pueblo’s Democratic Sen. Angela Giron would alter the way Coloradans vote, and its provisions are canted toward Democratic candidates.”
Again, Democrats’ actions tip their hands. It’s just unfortunate that Coloradans end up with the short straw when Democrats rule the roost.