This past session at the Colorado State Legislature was one of the worst in recent memory. In fact, to ask anyone who has been around the Capitol for a long time, this is the worst session ever. What made it so bad? One-party rule. Refusal to include stakeholders in the legislative process. Letting radical special interests write job-killing legislation. Refusal to mind the calendar. Need we go on?
Without further ado, here are the winners and losers of the legislative session. This session will go down as one of the greatest overreaches in Colorado history.
- Republican Sen. Bob Gardner: There’s now a term at the legislature called “Bobbing” from Gardner’s ability to speak at length about almost any topic for any amount of time. His filibustering likely saved jobs and prevented some truly horrific legislation from passing. Kudos to Gardner for recognizing the game and playing it well.
- Democrat Sen. Steve Fenberg: He’s a winner because, let’s be honest, he was the real Senate President. Garcia, who dat?
- Freshman Republican State Rep. Colin Larson: He may be a newcomer, but he introduced some common sense legislation and actually managed to get pieces through in this terrible environment.
- Democrat Donors: Well, they got what they paid for. This legislative session was abysmal because Democrats were more interested in repaying donors than they were in listening to their constituents. This will not be forgotten.
- Environmentalists: This bunch of radical loudmouths got just about everything they wanted out of this legislative session. That may be a good thing for them, but it’s a terrible thing for Colorado.
- Anti-Vaxxers: When 500 angry, breastfeeding moms storm the state Capitol with measles in tow, apparently, legislators take note. (Perhaps a tactic for the oil and gas industry next year?) Polis said he wouldn’t sign a mandatory vaccine law, nonetheless, the bill was pushed through until the end, when it failed. They endangered the health of those at the Capitol, but got their way, endangering the health of everyone else in Colorado. A victory for anti-vaxxers isn’t a victory for Colorado.
- People of Colorado: First and foremost, those who pulled the short straw this legislative session without a doubt were the residents of Colorado. From job-killing legislation like SB19-181 (the bill meant to rid Colorado of oil and gas) to eroding parents’ rights, it never mattered that there was wild opposition to a bill if Democrats were hellbent on passing it. Further, these new laws will dramatically and negatively impact our way of life. And, let’s not even go into depth about the National Popular Vote legislation that disenfranchises every Colorado presidential voter, thanks to radical leftist Reps. Emily Sirota and Jeni Arndt.
- Democrat Governor Jared Polis: While he launched an aggro, push-you-into-a-file-cabinet style agenda and got some of the items on his wish list, he expended unnecessary political capital on things, like the nicotine tax – press conference and all, that he could have avoided by simply counting votes. These were sloppy mistakes that caused a lot of drama down at the Capitol.
- Democrat Senate President Leroy Garcia: The leadership offered by Garcia was next to nothing, prompting even the Colorado Independent to ask “Where’s Leroy Garcia?” The problem is that Garcia chose special interests over constituent interests every single time. That’s especially true when you consider that he voted to kill the oil and gas industry, but also voted to save big tobacco. For the record, he should have voted no on both pieces of legislation, but his voting record is schizophrenic at best, which will come back to haunt him should he think he has a shot in hell at unseating U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton. Let’s just say that those pipe dreams are officially burst.
- Democrat State Rep. Rochelle Galindo: Galindo ran on a neutral position on oil and gas, but as soon as she got into the legislature was a leading voice against the industry that provides so many jobs and public services in her district. Her constituents rightly feel hoodwinked, which is why there is so much support for her recall effort in her own district. Even worse, Galindo tried to make amends by introducing some idiotic retraining program, as if a retraining program will help oil and gas workers, whose average salary for hard-to-fill positions nears $200,000. It simply further underscored how out-of-touch Galindo is with the oil and gas industry.
- Democrat State Senator Kerry Donovan: Donovan insisted that the sheriffs in her district supported the now-infamous Red Flag Bill. Unfortunately, she was either lying (most likely) or exaggerating. When she was called on it, it was one of the worst (funniest) moments in #coleg history – the sloshing beer glass made it even better. It also tarnished her halo as a rising star in the Democratic party. Will she still run for U.S. Senate along with every other Democrat in Colorado? Who knows. But she will certainly have a more difficult time convincing her district that she’s not been bought and paid for by the Democrat establishment.
- Oil and Gas Industry: We hate to call an industry that showed such a huge public outpouring of support a loser. We’ve never seen an industry mobilize against damaging legislation the way that the oil and gas industry did. Unfortunately, the Democrats at the state legislature didn’t care – it was more important to pay back their green donors than to save a quarter million jobs that the oil and gas industry supports.