UPDATE #2: And the extortion continues with Polis now agreeing to pull his measures only if McNulty and Sonnenberg pull theirs. “Compromise” may be a bad word for Republicans, but at least they know what it means. Can someone get John Hickenlooper and Jared Polis a dictionary, please?
UPDATE: Apparently, President Barack Obama called U.S. Rep. Jared Polis last night to ask him to pull initiatives 88 and 89. Let’s pause to consider this for one second. Polis is so far left on this issue that the President, no friend of traditional energy development, is actually more moderate on this issue.
Let’s call a spade a spade. The deal allegedly reached by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and Governor John Hickenlooper to pull anti-fracking ballot initiatives 88 and 89 is a deal made by two Democrats up for re-election to benefit two Democrats up for re-election. How do we know? Was the industry involved in this? No. That’s how.
Here are the details of the deal. Polis will pull 88 and 89. Hickenlooper will convene a “blue ribbon panel” to ” recommend bills for next year’s legislative session, made up of representatives from local communities, the oil and gas industry, and local government officials.” Despite early reports that 88 and 89 would be pulled in exchange for 121 and 137 to be pulled, that is inaccurate. Rumor has it that Hick tried to pressure Reps. Sonnenberg and McNulty to pull their initiatives and they said no.
Here’s how this benefits Hickenlooper and Polis. Polis was prepared to submit 200,000 signatures for both initiatives. That might sound like a lot; however, that’s only approximately 100,000 per initiative, not nearly enough to account for signatures that might be invalidated. The bare minimum for signatures to be on the ballot would be 86,000. Experts say that they would need at least 125,000 to be safe. Polis and all his money fell 50,000 short of the safety number. Coming to a deal now just gives Polis’ massive failure cover.
And, then, we turn to Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper desperately needed a win for his re-election campaign. This deal allows him to declare victory without ever having to take a stand. As usual. It’s TBD 24/7 in Hickenlooper’s reality.
Of course, now that these two anti-fracking initiatives are off the ballot, Democrats don’t have to worry about the initiatives helping to turn out every single Republican in the state. This would have been a huge problem for Sen. Mark Udall, whose re-election bid is in serious trouble.
Of course, everyone wants to know if Polis will re-direct the funds he planned to use to push these two ill-advised initiatives to Hickenlooper’s campaign as he allegedly promised.