Vote ‘No’ Or You Won’t Get a Ballot

Oh, sweet irony.

The City of Denver is holding a special election on Jan. 30 to disband the Denver Election Commission, and the rocket scientists at the commission just made a compelling case for why to vote ‘YES’ on getting rid of them. Bianca Pietro of the Rocky Mountain News explains:

At least 3,500 ballots for Denver’s upcoming special election were mailed to the wrong addresses.

Officials identified the problem late last week and were able to fix it quickly, said Alton Dillard, communications director for the Denver Election Commission.

New ballots are scheduled to be delivered today to the correct addresses. Any undelivered ballots will be returned to the commission.

Of course, maybe this was all part of the plan. It’s hard to lose an election if people don’t actually get to vote.


Republicans in the state legislature are hoping to use the issue of illegal immigration against Democrats in the 2008 election. They just aren’t smart enough to shut up about it. As Jennifer Brown of The Denver Post reports:

Republicans are unwilling to let the illegal immigration issue die this legislative session, even as they admit their proposals are probably headed nowhere.

But keeping the debate alive in the Democratic-controlled statehouse, in part, is strategy for the next election – illegal immigration typically rises near the top of issues in voter polls.

“Believe me, we are keeping count and we will roll that out at the end of the session,” warned Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument.

The freshman lawmaker charged that her bill, which would prevent illegal immigrants arrested in criminal cases from getting released on bail, was purposefully sent to a committee that would kill it.

House Speaker Andrew Romanoff called that a “ridiculous, unfounded, poisonous suggestion.”

“This is not a game,” he said. “You can spend your time playing politics, or you can solve problems.”

Well played, Rep. Stephens. Well played.


Senator Ken Salazar gave a speech on Friday that angered Rep. Tom Tancredo, which really shouldn’t be news. As M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Press one for English. Press two for Spanish. But make a speech in Spanish inside the U.S. Capitol and you’re sure to press Rep. Tom Tancredo’s buttons.

That’s what Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., did Friday, when he delivered a Spanish-language version of Democrats’ annual State of the Union preview speech.

“I must admit to you, the first thing that comes to mind is this is the kind of thing that would happen in a bilingual country – for instance, Canada,” Tancredo, R-Colo., said when told of Salazar’s plans. “I’ve been saying for a long time, we’re fast approaching that status: a bilingual country. I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think it’s something that brings us apart, not together.”

Each year, top Democratic leaders deliver a speech prior to President Bush’s State of the Union address to offer their own perspective on issues facing the country. Because it involves criticism in advance, it’s sometimes called the “pre-buttal” speech.

This year, new Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., split the duties with a joint appearance Friday at the National Press Club. For the first time, they decided Democrats should give a version of the speech in Spanish, so they tapped Salazar, Colorado’s bilingual junior senator.

Tancredo is well known for making inflammatory remarks at every opportunity just so he can get his name in the news, but now that he’s a Presidential candidate he’s really upping the rhetoric. You know you’re craving headlines when you resort to bashing Canada.


There may soon be another candidate for U.S. Senate in Colorado. As Colorado Pols reports, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson may be taking a look at returning to Colorado to run for the Republican nomination.

Former Rep. Scott McInnis has already said he will run for the seat, and here at Political Gravy we’re hopeful that Nicholson does decide to jump in the race for one reason: Both McInnis and Nicholson have moustaches, and you never get to see two candidates with moustaches square off against each other.


Last weekend was the designated time to announce that you are running for President, apparently. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson formally announced their candidacies, as did Republican Sam Brownback. The latter had the unfortunate timing of announcing his bid on the same day as Clinton, which designated the story to “Oh, by the way” status. On the CBS “Early Show” this morning, Brownback was the last of the three candidates mentioned and may have gotten three seconds of air time from the news anchor.

As The New York Times notes, the rush of early entries in the race for President has created an intense atmosphere.


Senator Wayne Allard and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave have decided not to again pursue their efforts to create a federal gay marriage ban, according to The Pueblo Chieftain:

The two Republicans said last week they have no plans to re-introduce their legislation in the new Congress – another sign that Democrats are now in the majority.

“At this time, I haven’t discussed it with anyone,” Allard said on Thursday. “If we thought there was a decent chance to bring it to the floor for debate, I would, but with the new Congress, I’m not sure we will ever have that opportunity.”

Aaron Johnson, Musgrave’s spokesman, said the congresswoman would not introduce the legislation this year.

The federal amendment – endorsed by President Bush – was approved on several occasions by House Republicans in recent years but consistently stalled in the Senate. With Democrats now chairing all House and Senate committees, a marriage amendment will not come forward unless a Democrat sponsors the bill and the leadership agrees to bring it out of committee, which is highly unlikely.

Given that Allard and Musgrave couldn’t get the bill out of a Republican congress, you have to give them a little credit for at least not trying to bang their heads against a wall now that Democrats are control.


President Bush will give his State of the Union speech tomorrow night with the lowest approval ratings of any President since Richard Nixon. As ABC News reports:

President Bush faces the nation this week more unpopular than any president on the eve of a State of the Union address since Richard Nixon in 1974.

Nixon was beleaguered by the Watergate scandal; for Bush, three decades later, it’s the war in Iraq. With his unpopular troop surge on the table, his job rating matches the worst of his presidency: Thirty-three percent of Americans approve of his work in office while 65 percent disapprove, 2-1 negative, matching his career low last May.

Only three postwar presidents have gone lower – Jimmy Carter, Nixon and Harry Truman. And only one has had a higher disapproval rating, Nixon…

…The intensity of sentiment, moreover, has only grown: Fifty-one percent of Americans now “strongly” disapprove of Bush’s job performance overall, a majority for the first time. Just 17 percent strongly approve – a 3-1 negative ratio.

Through a partisan lens, three-quarters of Republicans continue to approve of Bush – but with much diminished vigor. There are only about half as many Republicans who “strongly” approve (42 percent) as there are Democrats who strongly disapprove (76 percent). And among two of his core support groups, conservatives and evangelical white Protestants, he’s at career lows in overall approval.