Partisan, Schmartizan

Is Jake Plummer retired yet?

Democrats celebrated a raucous Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner on Saturday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in town. Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News recaps the festivities after the jump:

The first woman speaker of the U.S. House got thunderous applause when she spoke to Democrats in Denver, but the Colorado speaker of the House got the biggest laughs.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco, and Speaker Andrew Romanoff, of Denver, addressed a crowd of more than 1,900 during the Democrats’ 74th Annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner on Saturday.

“We have made history, but we must make progress,” Pelosi said. “Democrats are back and we are getting things done,” she said. “That’s not always something we could say about the Congress.”

Pelosi made her comments against the backdrop of her party’s stunning successes in Colorado in 2004 and 2006, including the election last year of Democrat Bill Ritter as governor. Democrats in Colorado also are revving up for the national spotlight in August 2008 when Denver hosts the Democratic National Convention.

Romanoff capped the evening with an auction that began with a spoof on a Republican-style Academy Awards.

My favorite comment from the press on Pelosi’s visit came from crack 9News reporter Thanh Truong, who said that Pelosi spoke “in a very partisan tone”. Really? She was at a DEMOCRATIC DINNER!!! Of course it’s partisan, you ninny.

You know who else spoke in a partisan tone this weekend? Karl Rove, when he spoke on Friday at a REPUBLICAN DINNER.


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It’s over, man.

Seriously. That’s it. You’re done.

Colorado Republicans who were suing to overturn a judge-ordered redistricting map in Colorado were finally given the big stop sign from the U.S. Supreme Court today. As The Associated Press reports:

The Supreme Court today ruled against Colorado Republicans challenging a congressional redistricting plan favorable to Democrats.

In an unanimous decision, the justices said that the four Republicans were not entitled to sue in an effort to replace a redistricting plan ordered by a court with one passed by a Republican-controlled state legislature.

A Democratic state judge drew up the first redistricting plan in 2002, while the Republican Legislature drew one up in 2003.

The court plan had been put in place when a divided Colorado General Assembly was unable to agree on one in time for the 2002 election.
In their lawsuit, the Republican voters say the court-imposed map violates a right of citizens under the U.S. Constitution to vote for congressional candidates in districts created by state legislatures.

Cheer up, Republicans. The next round of redistricting is only three years away, so you’ll be back on your feet suing away in no time.


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A group organized to find health care solutions for Colorado children met this morning to talk about potential legislation. According to a press release:

On Monday, March 5th, representatives from “2010: All Colorado Kids Covered” will meet with Senator Bob Hagedorn (D-Aurora) and Representative Anne McGihon (D-Denver) to discuss access to children’s health.

“2010: All Colorado Kids Covered” is a group convened to write legislation and create a roadmap to coverage for all Colorado children by the year 2010. The group is comprised of a variety of stakeholders with an interest in health policy for uninsured and underinsured children. The mission is to provide appropriate and affordable coverage through private or public coverage for all Colorado children in the next three years.

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File this one away in the “no shit” department. As Michael Riley of The Denver Post reports, it might not be such a good idea to build a giant fence along the entire border of Mexico:

A 10-foot-high wall snakes along the U.S.-Mexico border south of here, and behind it another fence, steel mesh and even higher. Cameras sit atop 50-foot poles, and stadium lights can turn night here to day. It’s a daunting sight that looks utterly secure.

Until you notice the dozens of divots.

“Everywhere you see a divot, that’s where someone has gone over with a ladder,” said Damon Foreman, a young Border Patrol agent, pointing to the nicks across the top of the secondary fence.
Sold for $5 on the Mexican side, the ladders are made of rebar and can be carried with one hand at a quick run. “Ten guys are over that fence in a minute,” Foreman said.

For Department of Homeland Security officials trying to secure the country’s land borders, it’s a hard lesson: A $5 ladder trumps a $30 million fence.

In the multibillion-dollar effort to build a Fortress America, nothing has gained as much attention as the effort to wall off America’s borders through a combination of one of the oldest technologies in the world – the fence – and some of the newest – advanced radar, infrared cameras, minidrones.

The solution to this conundrum is simply, really: Just build the fence 50 feet higher. There’s no way immigrants will be able to find a 70-foot ladder.

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Eric Eidsness may be changing his stripes. The man who ran for congress in CD-4 last year as a candidate of the Reform Party may soon become a Democrat. As The Greeley Tribune reports:

Eric Eidsness thought he was a lifelong Republican.

Then he ran for Congress as an Reform Party candidate.

Now he’s considering doing something he never thought he would do — becoming a Democrat.
That could help him win the 4th Congressional seat in 2008 if he decides to run, he said this week.

It’s nice to see a politician changing parties for the right reasons.

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Look, up in the sky! It’s…more blathering about Amendment 41!!!

The editorial board at The Denver Post weighs in on the issue.

Again.

Obviously, the reckless pre-election attacks on Amendment 41 didn’t stop voters from approving the super-strict ethics law. But the irresponsible attacks have left a lot of students and other citizens worried today. Thus, House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, Rep. Rosemary Marshall and Sen. Steve Ward have joined to write House Bill 1304, clarifying such obvious points as that the amendment does not restrict scholarships to government employees’ children or cash awards to college professors.

The bill has passed the House State Affairs Committee and is now in Appropriations. We urge its passage by the full legislature. But before putting the final touches on HB 1304, the lawmakers should first pass a companion measure, House Joint Resolution 1019, that formally asks the Colorado Supreme Court to rule whether the legislature has the power to clarify the amendment’s meaning.

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New Life Church, the mega-gigantic religious institution rocked by the Ted Haggard scandal, is laying off staff because of a decline in donations. Apparently hypocrisy isn’t good for church business. As Eric Gorski of The Denver Post reports:

Beset by scandal and a subsequent decline in giving, New Life Church in Colorado Springs has laid off 44 people – or about 12 percent of its workforce – a church official said Sunday.
The nondenominational megachurch had experienced attendance and financial growth in each of its 22 previous years, said Rob Brendle, an associate pastor.

That ended in early November when its charismatic founding pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard, was fired amid allegations he used methamphetamine and paid a male prostitute for sex.

Brendle estimated church income has been down 10 percent since then, forcing the layoffs. The layoffs range from pastoral staff to support staff and part-time nursery workers. Brendle said the cuts took place last week and were announced at Sunday services.

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Jason Bane

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