Your Mama’s a Pickle Plant President

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette’s stem cell research bill made it through the Senate yesterday, but ended up four votes short of a needed majority to override an expected veto from President Bush today. As the Rocky Mountain News’ M.E. Sprengelmeyer reports, DeGette at least can be the answer to a trivia question as the author of the bill that became the first veto of President Bush’s administration.

“I’d rather not become the answer to a trivia question,” DeGette told the News. “I’d rather have him sign the bill. It’s a bittersweet feeling for me. To come this far and have the president execute his first veto on this legislation is a big disappointment.”

President Bush is expected to veto this bill this afternoon. LINK

The Denver Post editorial board is encouraging President Bush not to veto the stem cell bill, and notes that even Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called on Bush to support the legislation. “I urge you not to make the first veto of your presidency one that turns America backwards on the path of scientific progress and limits the promise of medical miracles for generations to come,” said Schwarzenegger.

The Gravy applauds Schwarzenegger for speaking out in favor of the stem cell bill, but we still can’t think about him without picturing Arnold in “Pumping Iron,” wearing a shirt that says “Arnold is Numero Uno” with a piece of fried chicken in one hand and a joint in the other. Good stuff. LINK

The editorial board of The Grand Junction Sentinel is also calling on Bush to keep the veto pen in its, um, pen case. LINK
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave had a much less successful day on Capitol Hill yesterday, as her recurring attempt to ban gay marriage failed once again. As Mike Soraghan of The Denver Post reports, Musgrave doesn’t agree with critics who think her bill is just political pandering. “People have a right to know whether their elected officials agree with them on the issue of traditional marriage,” she told the Post.

People also have a right to ask their congressional representatives to not keep introducing bills that continually fail only because they are a political ploy (an identical measure was defeated last month that was sponsored by Sen. Wayne Allard), but hey, let’s not split hairs. LINK

Former Georgia Republican Party chairman Ralph Reed lost his race to become the GOP candidate for Lt. Governor in the Peach State, marking the first electoral defeat this year for a candidate who can be directly traced to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. As The Washington Post reports:

The defeat represents an astounding fall for Reed, 45, who presided over the Christian Coalition for most of the 1990s and was regarded as one of the GOP’s rising stars. In 2001, Georgia Republicans elected him state party chairman.

But his first run for elective office was damaged by revelations that Reed had mobilized Christian voters against Indian casinos — for fees totaling more than $4 million — to benefit gambling interests that had employed Abramoff as a lobbyist.

Why should you care about that if you live in Colorado? Because Abramoff is tied to disgraced former Rep. Tom DeLay, and guess which congressman has the some of the closest ties to DeLay of anyone on Capitol Hill? Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican candidate for governor here in Colorado. D’oh! LINK

Former Presidential candidate and retired General Wesley Clark is in Colorado today to stump for Democrat Jay Fawcett, who is running for congress in CD5 (Colorado Springs). Clark will campaign for Fawcett all along the Front Range. LINK

Chris Barge of the Rocky Mountain News reports that Democrat Herb Rubenstein will have a few extra lines of text under his name on the three-way primary ballot in congressional district seven: “Signed declaration to limit service to 3 terms 2 terms.” In other words, Rubenstein is the only candidate in the state to declare a term-limit pledge and have it printed right there on the ballot.

Of course, term-limit pledges are far from binding. Rep. Tom Tancredo pledged to serve only three terms when he was first elected in 1996. If you’re counting at home…well, he’s still there. Sen. Wayne Allard also once promised to serve only two terms in the U.S. Senate. He’ll be up for re-election in 2008 at the end of his second term, and he has given no indication that he’ll actually step aside.

We think that’s wrong, so The Gravy pledges to only do this column once today. LINK

Retiring Rep. Joel Hefley (CD5