It’s that time again, PeakNation™. The legislature is finally out of session. Welcome to the fifth annual Colorado Peak Politics legislative awards where we honor the winners and shame the losers. The session was relatively boring compared to past years. Sure there were squabbles, some legislators developed severe cases of foot in mouth disease. Democrats pandered to the middle class, yet, as usual, their actions proved otherwise.
This year wasn’t as rancorous as last year – Democrats were on their best behavior since it’s an election year. As usual, Democrats, who control the Colorado House, the Colorado Senate and the Governor’s Mansion, promised Coloradans the world and delivered very little.
Without further ado, we bring you, first, the Losers of the 2015 Legislative Session. There were many.
Connect for Health Colorado – The embattled health exchange fought against an audit (and lost) and had a terrible time finding a new CEO. And, these public embarrassments are just the cherry on top of the disaster sundae that the exchange’s everyday operations have been.
Jenise May – First, May lost her allegedly safe House seat in the November election and, then, it was discovered that she was working as an aide in the Capitol at the same time she had a campaign committee open, which is a big ethics no-no. This former legislator just can’t stop losing, it would seem.
Kerrie Dallman – The head of the Colorado Education Association multiple foibles this legislative session revealed just how much the union’s influence has waned. She’s publicly been caught in lie after lie and has turned a blind eye to racist and sexist tweets (see MeanGirlz.com) disseminated by her flock. Her recent comment that all teachers do the same thing and, thus, should be paid the same caused rancor within her membership and called into question whether she’s representing teachers or the union power structure. It’s been a tough year for Dallman.
Boulder Homeless – Despite frequent proclamations of kumbaya, when push came to shove, the Boulder elites revealed that they really cared more about maintaining their privilege than letting homeless run amok in their town‘s public spaces.
Homebuyers – Colorado has a housing shortage partially caused by a law that makes it ridiculously easy for trial lawyers to cash in on construction defects, most of which could be solved simply between builders and buyers. Republicans (and even some Democrats) tried to cut off the trial lawyers’ cash cow, but Democratic leadership often blocked any inroads.
Colorado Voters– More and more Colorado is in the spotlight as a must-win state for presidential hopefuls. Unfortunately, our primary system undercuts our relevance in the political sphere. Republicans and Democrats tried to push a bill through the legislature that would have made the primary a voting primary, instead of a caucus system. It would have allowed more people to participate in the primary. Unfortunately, it was killed in a last minute bout of confusion. Maybe next year?
Pay Equity Commission – This commission was set up to help women get equal pay in the workforce. Instead this commission became a mechanism for bullying women who did not view unionization and lawsuits as a way to gain equality in the workplace. The State Senate rightfully allowed this debacle to sunset.
Rep. Joe Salazar – From a power point presentation chock full of racist epithets to his support of a bill to ban Native American mascots without tribal permission to his ridiculously thin skin for a legislator, Salazar brought unneeded immaturity and incompetence to the State House.
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet – As the head of Denver Public Schools, Bennet convinced his board to enter into a risky deal that went south when the market crashed in 2008, costing DPS millions. Bennet tried to clean up the mess via the legislature this year via the Bennet Bailout Bill. It failed, and he’s still on the hook for the debacle.
Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt – Just everything.
Fractivists – This tribe of irrational harpies has given a bad name to environmental stewardship and generally embarrassed their cause. It’s going to be tough for Coloradans to take them seriously moving forward, which makes any ballot initiative that they push forward an uphill climb.
Sen. Morgan Carroll – We get it – change is hard. She used to be the Senate President. She lost the majority. But, then she really cemented her spot on this list with her constant meltdowns and embarrassing actions on the floor and on social media. This behavior is not becoming of a leader.
John Frank – This Denver Post reporter is on here because sometimes he failed to grasp the story behind the story. Like here in the gun debate.