Around here, we celebrate the second day of spring…
Despite rumors earlier today, Democratic Presidential contender John Edwards is not suspending his campaign because his wife, Elizabeth, has suffered a recurrence of breast cancer.
Check back with Colorado Confidential throughout the day for more on the local angle of this development.
Former Rep. Scott McInnis confirmed the rumors yesterday by formally dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate. As M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News reports:
McInnis, whose nearly $1 million campaign war chest made him an early front-runner for the GOP nomination, said family concerns weighed on his decision to end an exploratory campaign to replace retiring Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.
“I will remain actively involved, just not on the ballot,” McInnis said in a release.
Within minutes of McInnis’ announcement, some fellow Republicans began speculating that former Congressman Bob Schaffer could emerge as a “consensus” pick who could help the party avoid a divisive primary.
Democrats were already sharpening verbal barbs against him, anticipating a possible matchup against Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
But Schaffer said he hasn’t decided whether to enter the race. “There’s an optimal time to arrive at a decision for me, and when I get there, I’ll decide,” Schaffer said in an interview.
Others potentially considering the GOP race include Attorney General John Suthers, retired Air Force Gen. Bentley Rayburn and radio talk show host Dan -Caplis.
“All eyes are on Bob Schaffer, probably, at this point,” said state GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams.
Lawmakers at the State Capitol may have finally reached a truce on Amendment 41. As Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News reports:
Legislative leaders in the two parties Wednesday said they have reached a compromise on implementing the ethics measure that voters approved last fall.
The deal calls for supporting Senate Bill 210, which puts into place an ethics commission created under Amendment 41.
The agreement also calls for asking the Colorado Supreme Court to offer direction to the commission.
And the compromise includes working with the backers of Amendment 41 to put the issue on the 2008 ballot to clear up confusion over the measure.
“The voters said we want higher ethics in government. We agree, and we’re ready to move forward,” said House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver.
Lawmakers have been at odds over who Amendment 41 affects and how to fix it. Even the chief backer, millionaire Jared Polis, conceded it was poorly written.
With any luck, we can finally stop talking about this.
Governor Bill Ritter’s plan to freeze property taxes to fund school improvements has stalled out. As the Rocky Mountain News reports:
The governor’s plan to bring in $84 million more a year in tax dollars for schools appears to be running into trouble at the state Capitol.
Sen. Abel Tapia, chairman of the Joint Budget Committee, said Wednesday that support for the politically charged plan is “sporadic” even among majority Democrats.
Ritter has proposed blocking a projected drop in property tax rates in all but three of the state’s 178 school districts to fund full-day kindergarten and preschool and shore up the state education fund.
Ritter, in a television appearance Wednesday with host Aaron Harber, pointed out that the same proposal had been supported by the Republican-controlled Senate in 2004. He said the reason Republicans don’t support it now is because he proposed it.
The state Democratic Party has a draft of a plan for how you can become a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention when it comes to Denver. As The Denver Post explains:
For those hoping to be a part of the action when the Democratic National Convention comes to town, the state Democratic Party has a plan – a draft plan at least.
For the next 30 days the party will take public comment on how to select delegates for the convention. Anyone can review the 34-page selection plan at the party office and submit comments on the draft.
As it stands, the state will send 71 delegates and nine alternates. The delegates and alternates will be selected through a caucus.
A copy of the plan is available at Democratic Party headquarters.
I have a plan