Political Gravy is “completely political.” Well, 99 percent, at least.
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The discussion over Amendment 41 is more endless than Steven Seagal’s “career.” Lynn Bartels and Alan Gathright of the Rocky Mountain News have more:
The filing of a lawsuit Monday to clarify Amendment 41 is the latest effort to get answers about an ethics measure that has confounded lawyers and legislators alike. Lawmakers are facing increasing pressure to fix the unintended consequences of Amendment 41 – such as blocking scholarships or Nobel Prize winnings – but they’re not sure how much leeway they have.
House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, announced Sunday that he wanted the state’s highest court to determine whether the legislature can even “fix” a constitutional amendment. He said the filing of the lawsuit by the Boettcher Foundation, which he has not read, likely won’t change his desire to move forward with a high court ruling. That’s because it’s not clear when a state court would rule on the lawsuit, brought over the issue of scholarships.
“If we are going to pursue this path, our lawyers have recommended that we proceed swiftly,” Romanoff said. The Boettcher Foundation filed the lawsuit against the state, asking the court to clarify Amendment 41. At issue are Boettcher scholarships awarded to the children of government employees.
Columnist Mike Littwin of the Rocky Mountain News finds the battle over Amendment 41 more than a little amusing:
It’s a strange place we’ve come to. It was [Jared] Polis, as much as anyone, who helped the Democrats win both the House and Senate in 2004, and now, well, he can’t eat lunch in parts of this town. And it gets stranger. What does the man who wants to clean up Colorado politics do to rectify the situation? He opens his wallet and hires a Colorado dream team of high-paid lawyers and lobbyists. It’s safe to say he has a major case of buyer’s remorse. However much he spent to get Amendment 41 passed, he must be spending more to get it fixed.
And here’s some irony for our irony-depleted readers: Of all the hired guns now on Team Polis, I couldn’t find one – not one – who actually voted for Amendment 41. Funny, huh?
It’s almost as funny as those Republicans filibustering the modest pro-union bill in the Senate, claiming it will bring the state to ruin. And there’s an easy fix: Just put on a rider that says if Colorado’s economy dips in the next year, the law will go away. Any bets?
Republican Senators blocked debate about President Bush’s new strategy in Iraq yesterday. As The New York Times reports:
Republicans on Monday blocked Senate debate on a bipartisan resolution opposing President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq, leaving in doubt whether the Senate would render a judgment on what lawmakers of both parties described as the paramount issue of the day.
The decision short-circuited what had been building as the first major Congressional challenge to President Bush over his handling of the war since Democrats took control of Congress last month, and left each party blaming the other for frustrating debate on a topic that is likely to influence the 2008 presidential and Congressional races.
At issue is a compromise resolution drawn up chiefly by Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, that says the Senate disagrees with President Bush’s plan to build up troops and calls for American forces to be kept out of sectarian violence in Iraq.
The deadlock came after Democrats refused a proposal by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, that would have cleared the way for a floor fight on the Warner resolution in return for votes on two competing Republican alternatives that were more supportive of the president.
There’s really no need to debate what’s happening in Iraq. It will just take care of itself, right?
Secretary of State Mike Coffman, Rep. Joe Rice, Sen. Steve Ward and veterans from many of the military and veteran organizations in the state will discuss House Bill 1149, the Military and Overseas Absentee Voting Bill, at the State Capitol today. According to a press release:
HB 1149 will create a narrow exception for military personnel who are serving overseas in a combat zone, and who receive hostile fire or imminent danger pay and may not have access to a fax machine or computer. The bill would allow them to apply for an absentee ballot without personally signing the application. HB 1149 will grant the commissioned officer the authority to submit the unsigned application on behalf of the individual serving in the combat zone.
Today’s hearing, or press conference, or whatever it is (I’m not really sure, given that the press release called it a “discussion”) is at Noon at the State Capitol, Room 326.
Also on tap today at the State Capitol…
The House Transportation and Energy Committee will hear testimony on House Bill 1222, the self-titled “Colorado Consumer Cable Act,” at 1:30 p.m. The committee will consider five other proposals, including House Bill 1087, creating a “Wind for Schools” grant program; House Bill 1037, promoting energy efficiency among natural-gas utilities; and House Bill 1117, which would require minors to wear helmets when operating or riding motorcycles or motorized bicycles. The latter will be discussed in the Old Supreme Court Chamber on the second floor of the Capitol.
The Republican Study Committee of Colorado, a group of ultra-conservative Republican legislators, issued a press release yesterday calling for…well, I don’t have any idea what they are talking about, so read for yourself:
The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC), in a letter today, to the State Auditor, called for an audit of the University of Colorado Diversity Administration.
The letter to the State Auditor, which reinforces Representative’s Bill Cadman and Cory Gardner’s call for an investigation into the funding and account management of the Diversity Administration, was signed by members of the RSCC.
“Accountability of public funding is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for higher education,” stated Senator Mike Kopp (R – Littleton).
As reported in the Campus Accountability Project of the Independence Institute, CU’s Diversity Administration is unable to provide accurate or comprehensive accounting of how much money it is spending or how that money is being used within the program. The Diversity Administration has reported that it spent more than $21.8 million in 2006; however administrators claim that number is substantially less than the actual amount spent by the program.
It sure sounds important, whatever it is.