Navy football coach Eddie Erdelatz once described a scoreless tie as being equivalent to “kissing your sister.” The folks in this category are the legislative equivalent — neither winning nor losing, often to a frustrating degree.
We’re not sure whether sister-kissing will be included in the comprehensive sex education for kindergarteners passed by Democrats this year, but here are our nominees for the scoreless ties of the 2013 legislative session.
(Check out our picks for 2013 legislative session Winners here)
1. Enviros – Despite spending massive sums of money and political capital to get Democrats elected to super majorities in both chambers, they were unable to accomplish much in their legislative agenda. It must make their donors wonder what use their dollars are.
The enviros’ one major legislative accomplishment — the mandating of more expensive renewable energy to be used by rural electric co-ops (SB252) — may yet be vetoed by Governor Hickenlooper, who told the press on Friday he hasn’t made his mind up on the bill. Were that to happen we might have to reclassify the enviro coalition as full on losers.
2. Minority Leader Mark Waller — With 28 Republicans to 37 Democrats in the House, Waller had the deck stacked against him. He did his valiant best to push back against an overreaching Democratic agenda, but with such a lopsided power differential, Waller was left with little legislative influence. The Minority Leader drew some moans for acquiescing to Hickenlooper and The Denver Post on a budget deal that was so-so at very best.
That’s not to say he found no success — his ability to keep the Republican caucus unified and pick off a number of Democrats on key bills was important to killing the death penalty in committee, and kept the gun votes closer in the House than Speaker Ferrandino would have liked. Waller also managed to whoop The New York Times‘ Dan Frosch in their Twitter follower battle. The victory of Republican over reporter will always be celebrated by right wingers like us.
3. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners: Dudley Brown’s coffers are no doubt filled to the brim with grassroots donations from gun owners furious with the legislature’s gun grab, but RMGO was unable to block the gun grab in the first place. Despite Dudley’s claim that Democrats would go weak-kneed over the gun control proposals, it turns out Bloomberg’s cash was enough to steel their spines.
If RMGO is serious about protecting gun rights it might need to rethink its strategy of focusing almost exclusively on Republican primaries. Dudley has promised to go after Democrats this coming cycle — and conservatives everywhere cheer that promise — but we’ll believe it when we see it.
4. Tax Hikers: They may have succeeded in putting a prettier face forward this year in Senator Mike Johnston, and getting every elected Democrat to vote for the education finance bill accompanying their billion dollar tax hike, but their efforts are almost guaranteed to go down in flames in November. A recent poll, that oversampled Democrats compared to previous off-year electorates, found that 55% of voters were already opposed to raising taxes in 2013.
We’ll admit they’re being smarter about their strategy than they were during 2011’s failed Prop 103, but the tax hike dog just won’t hunt. Coloradans think the government has enough of their money already.