What a Difference a Governor Makes

So, the Anna Nicole Smith story is over now, right?


Howard Dean is in the house.
The Chairman of the Democratic National Committee will be in Denver today to discuss conventional and labor union issues.

As part of Dean’s visit, there will be a free “convention celebration,” whatever that means, at 11:00 a.m. at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.


Anne C. Mulkern of The Denver Post reports on the Senate’s vote to overturn restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research:

The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation tearing down restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research, likely setting up President Bush’s second veto. Passage came on a 63-34 vote, one short of the two-thirds majority of voting senators needed to override a veto. The House lacks by a sizable number the votes to override a veto.

“This will encourage taxpayer money to be spent on the destruction or endangerment of living human embryos – raising serious moral concerns for millions of Americans,” Bush said after the vote.

But his anticipated veto doesn’t mean the issue is dead. Backers of the bill already are talking about sticking the legislation back in front of Bush before the end of the year, attaching it to another bill he’ll have a harder time vetoing. Patient groups and other advocates are lobbying lawmakers but also looking to 2008. Activists say they’ll campaign against a presidential nominee who does not support the research.

“Sometimes these things take a long time and you have to keep pushing it time after time after time,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., who authored the House version of the legislation…

…The bill would remove restrictions Bush placed in 2001 on federal funding of the controversial research. Bush by executive order limited taxpayer-funded research to lines created on or before Aug. 9, 2001.

Scientists want to pursue embryonic research because they believe that it may hold the key to treatments for deadly and life-altering diseases. The cells are unique because they can become any other cell in the body. The bill just approved is nearly identical to one passed 63-37 by the Senate last year that Bush vetoed.

Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Ben Nelson of Nebraska were the only Democrats who opposed the bill Wednesday. Seventeen GOP senators favored it.

You can probably guess how Colorado’s senators voted on the bill. Democrat Ken Salazar voted ‘yes,’ while Republican Wayne Allard voted ‘no.’


Governor Bill Ritter has “un-vetoed” several measures that once wouldn’t have made it past the pen of former Gov. Bill Owens. As Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News explains:

If at first you don’t succeed, just wait for a new governor.

Some lawmakers whose legislation was vetoed by former Republican Gov. Bill Owens are having better luck under Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter. Their bills range from allowing communities to tax themselves to provide all-day kindergarten to giving information about emergency contraception to rape victims. Some bills are identical to measures Owens vetoed, while others have been weakened or altered.

“What a difference an election makes,” said Carrie Doyle, executive director of Colorado Conservation Voters. “Bill Ritter said he would be a ‘stubborn steward’ for the environment, and he is keeping his campaign promises.”

For three years, Rep. Al White, R-Winter Park, pushed for a bill that allows communities to increase their taxing capability to buy and maintain open space. It was vetoed twice but was signed into law this year. “There are just different perspectives between the governors,” White said.

“That’s why people elect a governor in a different party. They expect change,” said Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, D-Coal Creek Canyon.


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