We discussed some of the ins and outs of the Referenda C&D debate on Saturday, and some of you who oppose the measure took issue with our analysis that calling it a "tax increase" was inaccurate. We said on Saturday that calling C&D a tax increase is a good political move, but that doesn't make it truthful. On Sunday, The Denver Post took a look at that very question:
There was an interesting exchange a couple of weeks ago between Gov. Bill Owens and former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey over what constitutes a tax increase. Armey...argued that it's a tax increase if the government spends more taxpayer money than it did before.
"Anytime myself and my neighbors have less money, and the government has more money, it's a tax increase," Armey said.
Does that mean, Owens asked, that annual increases in the federal budget are tax increases? Yes, said Armey: "Whatever level of spending ... eventually the taxpayers are going to pay for that."
And you never voted for a budget increase? Owens asked, several times. Nary a one, Armey insisted.
"As one of 435 congressmen, you have that ability," Owens said, "but as a governor, I've got to actually make sure that we have a budget in the state of Colorado, and that is a distinction between us."
This brings up a point we made on Saturday. If opponents of C&D get to call it a "tax increase" on the idea that eventually higher taxes might be paid, then why can't supporters of the measure call it a "tax break" because fixing the budget now will save more money in the long run? The answer: neither makes any real sense outside of making a semantic argument.
Take a look at what else The Post had to say for more explanation...
The Des Moines Register reports on Congressman Tom Tancredo's foray into Iowa as he moves forward in his Presidential bid. Tancredo isn't toning down his immigration message, which he delivered to the Christian Coalition in Iowa (hat tip to Coyote Gulch for the link).
Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo said in Iowa this week that he will run for president in 2008 if no top-tier Republicans pick up his call for stricter immigration law enforcement.
Tancredo, a congressman from suburban Denver, is calling for border control by the U.S. military. He also supports sending all undocumented immigrants back to their homelands, a measure intended to reserve jobs for those in the country legally.
Tancredo definitely doesn't seem interested in acting like an actual candidate for President, and he's said before that he doesn't think he could really be the Republican nominee. But if he expects to influence the debate on immigration among Presidential candidates, his ultra-hard-line, 'kick 'em all out,' stance might not be the way to do it. You may agree with Tancredo that the U.S. should remove all illegal immigrants, but as a policy it is so completely impractical that it's not even worth discussing. But even Tancredo's attempts at actual legislation are too impractical to consider:
Coloradopols.com is getting lots of traffic -- and we're moving to new servers tomorrow.
Don't panic, the archives will remain accessible in their current locations. There may be a short disruption in our service tomorrow afternoon, but we've made every effort to minimize the possibility. It should go smoothly.
We look forward to you joining us in our new digs, and we'll advise tomorrow in greater detail.
Rumors are abuzz concerning Scott Tipton and his fundraising capabilities in this last quarter.
More specifically, Tipton has been seen OUTSIDE of CD-3 and is apparently doing very well building a network of support both within the Metro Area and Washington DC.
If all this is true – Tipton may very well be the one Republican to go head to head with John Salazar in ’06.And with Smith out and Walcher a losing horse from the get-go, the CD-3 Republicans are already lining up with Scott; from Moffat to Pueblo – the activists are with him. With the money there too, well, that might just be a race after all.
The Rocky Mountain News has an editorial out today that criticizes The Independence Institute for the way in which it is going about trying to defeat Referendum C&D.
Yes, there is waste in state government. And yes, the Independence Institute's "Piglet Report" identifies several examples. But as an argument against two ballot measures that would increase state revenues, the report is almost laughable. And yet this is what the report purports to be.
Independence Institute officials were not entirely happy with the document, either, since they ended up pulling it from their Web site. And no wonder: Anyone reduced to citing the expenditures of $10,400 on a "Big Blue Bear film" and a few thousand dollars on fireworks at a state university as arguments against Referendums C and D is flirting with foolishness.
We couldn't find anything for another edition of "At Least They're Not Your Legislators," so we bring you this story from The Associated Press. At least they're not your sheep.
First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.
In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported.
"There's nothing we can do. They're all wasted," Nevzat Bayhan, a member of one of 26 families whose sheep were grazing together in the herd, was quoted as saying by Aksam.
It's Friday, so here's another look at the Colorado Pols Power Line (click here for last week's Power Line).
What's the Power Line? It's simple: each week we look at who people are searching for online (on Google, Yahoo, etc.) that leads them to Colorado Pols. The top ten most searched-for people make the Power Line. In essence, these are the people who were drubbing up the most interest this week.
Without further ado, here's this week's Colorado Pols Power Line. Keep in mind that with the holiday weekend this was a slower than normal week.
*The first number after the name indicates the number of searches performed on that name this week. The number in parenthesis indicates the number of searches from the previous week (n/a indicates that they were not in the top 10 in the previous week).
1. Marc Holtzman 23 (154) 2. Michael Bennet 19 (100) 3. Bill Ritter 18 (23) 4. Cory Gardner 10 (19) 5. Rutt Bridges 7 (73) 6. Bob Beauprez 6 (58) 7. Ed Perlmutter 5 (53) 8. Rick O'Donnel 5 (n/a) 9. Herb Rubenstein 5 (44) 10. John Hickenlooper 4 (n/a)
Some Republicans are talking that term-limited State SenatorDave Owen (SD-13, Greeley) may turn around in 2006 and run for Democrat Jim Riesberg's State House seat.
Owen is a popular legislator in that area who polls well, and if he runs against the freshman Riesberg he would essentially eliminate any incumbent advantage. Owen served in the State House before being elected to the Senate in 1998, and while it's not unheard of to run for the House again after being elected to the Senate, if he wants to stay in the legislature Owen doesn't really have a choice. If Owen does decide to run, Democrats are certainly in danger of losing that seat.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper was in Steamboat Springs last weekend for a little R&R, though he curiously took time for a "meet-and-greet" with local residents. From The Steamboat Pilot on July 1 (yeah, we're a little behind on this one):
Denver Mayor John Hicken-looper (sic) will be spending the holiday weekend in Steamboat Springs. Although the visit will be a chance for him and his family to relax, it also is an opportunity for him to talk about health care issues. "The real truth is, we love Steamboat. It is a beautiful place to spend the weekend. If we can do good and have some stimulating conversation, so much the better," Hickenlooper said.
Hickenlooper is scheduled to hold a meet-and-greet with the public from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall.
We're not going to get carried away and say that this indicates Hick may be taking a closer look at running for governor, but you have to make some effort to set up a meet-and-greet in advance and then get local press for doing it. It's always a good idea for any politician to get out to other areas to improve name ID, and Hickenlooper has always been active in that regard. But to take time out of a holiday weekend for a meet-and-greet is interesting indeed.
Gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter joined us for a Q&A on June 23rd, as you know.
He had quite a bit to say on the subject of abortion, if you remember, and that has earned him the ire of a large section of what the other Dem prospects like to call "their base."
Several emails on this have been forwarded around party insiders in the last two weeks, all featuring this quote from our Q&A:
I am pro-life as a matter of personal faith. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, and the decision of whether or not to legalize abortions reverts to the states, and if the Colorado Legislature passes a bill banning abortion, I will sign the bill...
It's tough to imagine the folks over at NARAL or Planned Parenthood not being beside themselves at that. To be fair, though, whoever originally sent this is pulling the quote somewhat out of its context:
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, and the decision of whether or not to legalize abortions reverts to the states, and if the Colorado Legislature passes a bill banning abortion, I will sign the bill only if it provides protections for women who are victims of rape or incest, or to protect the life of the mother. However, should the Colorado Legislature pass a complete ban without these protections, I would veto that bill. That said, Roe V. Wade is the law of the land and abortions are legal. As Governor I will act in the same way I did as DA. I will respect the law as it stands...
A principled statement from a man of principle? Or an unacceptable position from any Democratic candidate?We report, you decide.
The case of Valerie Plame took another turn today, potentially toward more trouble for the White House. From CNN.com:
A federal judge ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller jailed for contempt of court Wednesday for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's name. She was taken into custody immediately.
Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, who also faced jail time, was spared confinement after agreeing to testify. Outside the courthouse, he defended his decision, saying the source had released him from confidentiality that day. "That source gave me a personal, unambiguous, uncoerced waiver to speak to the grand jury," Cooper told reporters. He would not disclose the source.
Could the source be “Bush’s Brain,” Karl Rove? We speculated on how this story might play in Colorado over the weekend, but as more information comes out things may only get worse for the White House...and for some Republican congressional candidates here in Colorado.