« A Leadership Showdown for Treasurer | Main | Thursday Open Thread »


Ter Ducken

Mr. Carroll, thank you for taking the time today. You mention that Republicans had a message to call Dems anti business and stuck with it. Why don't the Democrats ever have a message that they stick with to attack Republicans? It seems to me that the overall media and communications strategy for Democrats is always poor. What would you suggest for 2006? Thanks.

bush camp

Mr Carroll:

What were the constitutional barriers to seizing the car of a person breaking the law by driving with a suspended license? Can't the state take a criminal's car if it's a rolling meth lab?

Why not seize the cars of drunk drivers in the first place? They are using the vehicle in the commission of serious crimes that put the public in great danger.

bush camp

The family leave act was one of the most anti-business proposals ever. Did someone urge you to introduce that legislation, or was it your own idea?


"The proposal also takes flexibility away from local school districts to make funding decisions in the best interests of their school districts"

Shouldn't we be more concerned about the best interests of their STUDENTS?

Did you mean to say that?

Rep. Carroll, was it not the Republicans and Gov. Owens who passed SB 186 that pushed accountability and improvements for our schools. And was it not Governor Owens and Republicans that increased dollars in real terms for education even before Amendment 23? Your comments in answer #9 sound like your are most concerned with the Teacher's Union Bosses than the teachers and students.

How can requiring that .65 cents of every tax dollar go into the classroom be a bad thing? Why not pay teachers in the classroom more, have smaller class sizes, and new textbooks, rather than inflated salaries for administrators and union hacks who never see the inside of a classroom yet are funded with our tax dollars.

This commen sense proposal would mean nearly $400 million dollars following into the classroom without raising taxes.

I never thought I would see the day when Democrats would be arguing against putting dollars in the classroom.

Lastly, I'm not a D or R but I do care about the education of our children.

Terrance Carroll

Ter Ducken,

There is a perception that Democrats are not very good at messaging. This is probably an earned reputation, at least here in Colorado. I do think we have been more successful in the past few years with message. This is most clearly evident with our electoral victories in 2004. Our message needs to continue to focus portraying our proposals in the language of values that all Coloradoans share and just on narrow and divisive social issues.

Terrance Carroll

Bush Camp,

I will address both of your issues in one post.

The constitutional issue with the drunk driving bill was, in reality, a phantom issue. There were some members of the committee who believed an equal protection problem was created when the value of the cars seized were unequal. I did not find this persuasive, but many members of the committee did. For me, the most problematic portion of the bill had to do with my natural distaste with asset forfeiture. I understand the Judiciary committee's concern with this bill because we should be more alert whenever the government attempts to seize the assets of its citizens.

Bush Camp I regret we disagree on the parental leave act. The anti-business tag attached to the bill, at the legislature, was an attack without very much susbstance especially in light of the amended bill. The parental leave bill is an idea Peter Groff and I have been discussing for several years.

Terrance Carroll

Galo & Did you mean to say that?,

The 65% proposal has a certain intuitive appeal, but ignores the reality of the complexiety of financing and operating a local school district. I agree we should make our kids the priority when we debate education. If you have followed my legislative career, then you know that I have not been unafraid to take on traditional democratic constituencies on education issue. For instance, there are many services which benefit students and their academic success but are not included as academic services in this proposal.

Did you mean to say that? your comments while well taken display a misunderstanding of Colorado's school finance act and its interaction with Amendment 23. Amendment 23 did require increases in education funding but the school finance act has been and can be manipulated in a fashion to limited Amendment 23 increases. As for the accountability and testing measures, I support those in that they help us identify where the problems are. Alone they have done nothing to improve the quality of education for Colorado's children. This year we are starting to see stagnation and decline in CSAP scores in certain categories.

Susan B

I want to repeat a question from the Morgan Carroll Q&A. If the budget and TABOR changes don't pass in November, what will happen in the next legislative session? Would you try to find a solution again and take it to the voters again? What is your best guess in that scenario?

thank you


Regarding your parental leave bill and messaging - your bill was probably the MOST PRO-FAMILY bill this session. Everyone is pro-family, especially Republicans. Yet no one seemed to think of this and the only label out there was "anti-business." Isn't there a PR firm or something that could help the Democrats with messaging? Sorry, but they suck.

Terrance Carroll


I am hesitant to venture a guess as to what will happen if the TABOR proposal fails. I is fairly certain that some tough budget decision will have to be made. There is a structural deficit which will eventually force drastic cuts if the TABOR proposal fails. If this one fails, the earliest a new TABOR proposal could come before the voters would be 2007.


your support of charter schools would seem out of place for a denver democrat. can you explain your position on charter schools?

Terrance Carroll


I frequently said the parental leave bill was pro-family. However, the anti-business drum beat seemed to capture everyone's attention. The most interesting aspect of the parental leave debate were the number of folks from the "pro-family" Republican wing who opposed this bill. Apparently, the term "pro-family" is limited for use only when used as a ruse to cloak anti-gay rhetoric. The real issues affecting Colorado's families are not whether gays and lesbians enjoy legal rights, but affordable housing, quality schools, affordable healthcare, and jobs with livable wages.

Terrance Carroll


My support for charter schools is perfectly reasonable for a Denver democrat. The opposition some democrats have to charter schools is misplaced and based on false perceptions. In Colorado, charter schools are subject to annual reviews and tougher accountability standards than traditional public schools. Charter schools are by no means a sliver bullet that will automatcially drastically improve public education. Charter schools are really about empowerment and innovation especially for parents and students who feel as if they have been marginalized by the mainstream educational establishment. The results are mixed on the educational achievement of charter schools as compared to traditional public schools. This is not unexpected considering in most instances charter schools are educating the most high-risk students in local school districts. The Colorado experience has been somewhat different because when charters were first established Denver did not participate. Since then, Denver charter schools enroll a high proportion of at-risk students. Additionally, parents of charter students report a higher degree of satisfaction with the quality of their child's educational experience. In sum, I support charter schools because they represent an emancipatotry promise for families and students previously locked in a system from which they saw no escape.

Phoenix Rising

Thank you for participating here, Rep. Carroll.

You mention your support of charter schools, but you also say that some of the current Republican-inspired law isn't helpful to improving schools. Do you see the forced transfer of traditional schools into charter status (for educational "non-performance") as a positive step, or is a less rigid remedy sometimes a better solution?


Hi Rep. Carrol,

What is your position on legal recognition of same sex relationships and families?

Terrance Carroll

Phoenix Rising,

I am not a fan of the current law requiring charter school conversion for low-performing schools. The law is unfair to local school districts and charter schools. For local districts, it takes away the flexibility needed to correct the educational failings of low-performing schools. For charters, it places them in a position the charter movement was never meant to be placed in. That is charter schools are not about being better than traditional public schools. Charters are about providing parents and students with educational choice and empowerment within the public school setting. To force a conversion is antithetical to this notion.


Who are you going to support to be the Democratic candidate for Governor --
Name one Black and one White current office holder you most admire and why?
Hey, I gave you some tough questions -- but you have a lot more talent and drive than many in Denver -- hope you utilize that talent and become a true leader not a mere rhetorician

Phoenix Rising

Excellent response! Thanks.

Tougher question, now: this State has a short history of third-party politics, and no real success stories at the State or National levels to-date. This year you passed a decent election integrity bill; is there a time in the near future where we could see an elections process reform that would encourage third parties and independent candidates such as Condorcet or Instant Runoff Voting? Do you see third parties as adding to the vitality of our government?

Terrance Carroll

I am going to give a commencement speech right now. I will answer the remaining questions around 6:30 PM when I return.



How much money have you raised for Fellow Democrats? -- Do you actually do your part and raise money or just talk a lot? -- word from many legislators is that you like to hear yourself talk but the hard work of raising money to make sure that you keep your chairmanship is something that you will not do.
Are you encouraging Elbra Wedgeworth to run for Auditor? Will you support her over fellow Dem Dennis Gallagher?


Your caucus has a lot of new faces this year. How do you think the freshman fared during their session? What advice would you give to a young legislator who wants to move up or chair a committee?

Terrance Carroll


I support civil unions for same-sex couples. As far as marriage, I do not believe the state should be in the business of defining marriage if marriage truly is a covenant relationship done under the eyes of God. If you accept that assumption, the state should stay out of defining which committed relationships are valid or invalid in the eyes of God. That is a decision best left for each particular faith community. The state's only role should be to protect the civil and legal rights of persons who have contracted to be in a committed relationship.

Terrance Carroll


I will answer your questions with a single post. The African-American politician I admire most is Barack Obama because our personal stories intersect in so many ways. Both of us have had to overcome numerous obstacles to achieve a modicum of success. Additionally, Obama and I have share a similar political philosophy. I also admire the late Sen. Paul Wellstone because of his unwavering commitment to the least of these despite the political consequences.

I have not decided which democratic candidate I will support for governor. I will speak to all the potential candidates before making any decision. As far as I know, Councilperson Wedgeworth has not made any plans to run for auditor.


Representative Carroll -

What did you find most frustrating this session as the Democrats tried to learn the ropes of being the majority party?

The comments to this entry are closed.