You will definitely, probably, maybe get a job if you read this…
Former Gov. Bill Owens may have made job promises that he couldn’t really make. As Mark Couch of The Denver Post reports:
Cash bonuses to top bureaucrats weren’t the only perk bestowed by former Gov. Bill Owens’ administration: Some top officials got job protection too.
In their final annual employment contracts, at least 23 appointed senior managers in the Owens administration got a promise that they could return to other state management positions at the highest-possible salaries for those jobs.
The manager-protection program appears to violate state personnel rules by guaranteeing jobs to senior political appointees.
The contracts, valued at nearly $2.8 million this year, would tie Gov. Bill Ritter’s hands in forming his own team by limiting the number of job openings his department heads could fill and by ensuring that Republican political appointees survive in a Democratic administration.
Evan Dreyer, spokesman for Ritter, said the governor’s office on Tuesday delivered letters to state departments notifying managers that the Ritter administration will not honor the job-guarantee provision.
“The letters state that we do not believe this provision is consistent with the state law and therefore we will not honor it,” Dreyer said.
It’s hard to understand why these top bureaucrats would have believed Owens. Oh, I’m sure the new Democratic governor will let a bunch of Republicans keep their jobs. Why wouldn’t he?
Colorado Confidential hosted a live Q&A this morning with GOP political consultant Katy Atkinson on the merits, or un-merits, of making adjustments to Amendment 41. Here’s some of the highlights:
The plain language of Amendment 41 lost the forest. In other words, it goes far beyond its stated purpose.
I guess the bottom line is that you should be very, very careful when you amend the constitution and the authors of 41 were very careless and now we’re left with a mess where the legislature is being asked to vote for a bill whose basic premise is that Amendment 41 doesn’t mean what it says…
…I’m working with The First Amendment Council. It’s a nonprofit corporation that has retained former CO Supreme Court Justice Jean Dubofsky and Doug Friednash to represent seven plaintiffs in a constitutional challenge to 41.
The attorneys filed a complaint in Denver Dist. Court asserting that 41 violates certain fundamental rights including, the right to free speech, freedom of association, freedom to petition government and unlawfully interferes with private contracts. In addition, the complaint contends that 41 is unconstitutionally vague and violates Colorado’s single subject rule.
You can read the entire Q&A here.
Or you could also click here.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will visit Colorado today as one of the first major stops on his bid for President. Richardson will hold a press conference at Centennial Airport at 6:00 p.m. before making his way to Nevada.
Why is he going to Nevada? Well, keep reading, dear reader…
Many of the candidates for President will arrive in Nevada today for the first big “debate” of the 2008 season. Karen Crummy of The Denver Post has more:
The majority of Democratic presidential hopefuls land today in Nevada, ready to court Western voters who, thanks to a change in the party’s nomination schedule, should have a significant voice in the race for the White House.
But the candidates, whose playbooks address strategies for the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, may be missing chapters on how and where to court Western voters or the best way to nimbly answer a three-part question on water storage…
…Nevada’s presidential caucus on Jan. 19 is sandwiched between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. It is considered by political observers as representative of the entire “interior West” region – Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and Idaho – which has generally seen in increase in population growth and a rise in the number of Latino voters.
The region has steadily gained more political clout in recent years as Democrats made major inroads by picking up gubernatorial seats and increasing their numbers in state legislatures. Additionally, narrow victories in the past two presidential elections have shown that even states with few electoral votes can make a big difference.
That explains why at least eight of the Democratic presidential contenders are expected to be in Carson City today, and why many have already been campaigning in the state.
Square State is holding a Presidential straw poll (sorry, Democratic candidates only).
Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn is holding a grand opening of his new Colorado Springs congressional office on Thursday. Here’s the details from a press release:
Congressman Doug Lamborn would like to invite constituents from the fifth district to an open house Thursday, February 22, 2007 to celebrate the grand opening of his Fifth Congressional District office in Colorado Springs, located at 3730 Sinton Road, Suite 150.
Following the ribbon cutting, scheduled from 4pm to 4:30pm, there will be an open house, from 4:30 to 6pm, where the Congressman will make a few remarks and be on hand to greet constituents.
Closing arguments were heard yesterday from prosecutors in the trial of former Dick Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby. As The Washington Post reports:
Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff lied to investigators about his role in leaking a CIA officer’s identity in order to keep his job and protect the White House from political embarrassment, prosecutors told jurors yesterday in the closing arguments of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s perjury trial.
Pointing to a courtroom screen showing eight witnesses who contradicted Libby, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald said it was no coincidence that Bush administration colleagues and reporters recalled Libby as intensely focused on undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame early in the summer of 2003, as her husband was publicly challenging the White House’s rationale for going to war in Iraq.
“This is something important, something he was focused on, something he was angry about,” Fitzgerald said. “He had a motive to lie, and . . . he stole the truth from the justice system.”
Libby “told a dumb lie and got caught” when leak investigators refused to go away, Fitzgerald said. He added that Libby’s lies had “left a cloud over the vice president” because Cheney’s role in the leak remained unclear.
But two defense attorneys argued that Libby was a harried and hardworking public servant who was guilty only of forgetfulness about a relatively insignificant matter given his pressure-cooker job.
If you’ve ever wondered what the view looks like from under a bus, ask Scooter.
A bill to protect the state’s wildlife advanced yesterday at the State Capitol. As Alan Gathright of the Rocky Mountain News reports:
Hunters donned Day-Glo Orange gear today to plug a landmark bill to protect Colorado’s wild creatures and their habitat from a record oil and gas exploration boom.
House Bill 1298 was unanimously advanced by the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee.
Sponsored by Rep. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne, and Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, the bill directs the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to work with the Division of Wildlife in crafting rules that require energy companies to use cutting-edge technology to avoid or reduce harm to elk, mule deer, grouse and native trout and the places they call home.
“The goal of this legislation is a reasonable one: To minimize damage to wildlife resources in the face of record oil and gas development,” Gibbs said.
Members of the broad alliance of hunting, fishing, recreation and environmental groups that worked nearly three years drafting the proposal said that it aims to strike a balance that helps energy exploration and wildlife coexist.
“We recognize that at the present time we need oil and gas resources to heat our homes and provide energy for our daily lives, but it need not come at the expense of wildlife habit and hunting and angling opportunities that have been part of Colorado’s heritage for generations, said Clare Bastable of the 8,000-member Colorado Mountain Club.
This is a proposal that might work well. As opposed, that is, to the proposal floated by former gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez that would “teach” elk to migrate around drilling sites.