Oh, this again. Over the weekend, Denver Post reporter John Frank tried to do his best imitation of left-wing loon Paula Noonan with an article on how the Colorado State Senate Republicans do not vote uniformly. To that we say, “Bravo.” It’s a good thing that Republicans in the State Senate think before they vote, perhaps Frank should try thinking before writing.
See, this isn’t the first time we’ve written this post. We wrote this article six months ago, too. The first time we wrote this article was because former Democratic legislator Paula Noonan sent around an email critiquing the Senate Republican caucus for it’s thoughtful voting. Here is what she said:
“Cadman’s ‘cat herding cats’ environment contrasted sharply with House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst’s corgi nipping Democratic heels. Hullinghorst had the Governor in her back pocket to press interests. The voting range for House Dems looks like this: 363 Yes’s to 3 No’s (Majority leader Crisanta Duran) to 346 Yes’s to 11 No’s (Rep. Dan Pabon).
The spread between Cadman and Marble is 85 NO votes; the spread between Hullinghorst and Pabon is 7 No votes. The Republicans have become the disorganized party.
Three Republican Senators joined Marble in a cohort of frequent No voters: Tim Neville -81 No’s; Jerry Sonnenberg – 74 No’s; and MAJORITY WHIP Randy Baumgardner – 73 No’s.
Even so, Cadman helped pass 359 of the 366 bills that got through both chambers.”
Gosh, those sound like the same exact stats that Frank used in his piece. Let’s examine Frank’s piece. First, he highlights the same stats that Noonan did, but used percentages instead of raw numbers. While Noonan started her email by highlighting how obedient House Democrats are in contrast to Senate Republicans, Frank saved this juicy morsel for the end. In fact, this is how Frank described the House vs. Senate, which is not “a stark or sharp contrast” with how Noonan described it:
“The party discipline in the House, despite its own factions, provides a stark contrast to the Senate.”
We have thesauruses, too, John Frank.
It’s pretty clear that Noonan’s email inspired Frank’s piece. But, is Noonan right? Here’s what we said when this email came out six months ago:
“Colorado Capitol Watch claims to be nonpartisan, but is, in fact, run by partisan former Democratic legislator Paula Noonan. The truth is this email reveals just as much about its author as it does about Republican State Senators. One of the fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans place value on the individual where Democrats place value on the collective. So, it’s not surprising that Republican state Senators would vote independently. And, really, isn’t that a good thing? Don’t we elect representatives to vote their districts, not be a rubber stamp for their party or the governor?”
It still applies. To the Republican Senators, thank you for voting your conscience and your districts. To Coloradans represented by the rubber stamp Democrats in the House, we’re sorry. You have an opportunity to fix that come November.