Pick Me, Pick Me!

The NBA Draft is tonight. Here’s hoping that there will be a run of slow white guys at the end of the first round. I am draft-eligible, you know.

Immigration reform is dead. As The Associated Press reports:

The Senate drove a stake today through President Bush’s plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.

The bill’s supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.

Senators in both parties said the issue is so volatile that Congress is highly unlikely to revisit it this fall or next year, when the presidential election will increasingly dominate American politics.

A similar effort collapsed in the Congress last year, and the House has not bothered with an immigration bill this year, awaiting Senate action.

The vote was a stinging setback for Bush, who advocated the bill as an imperfect but necessary fix of current immigration practices in which many illegal immigrants use forged documents or lapsed visas to live and work in the United States.

My, how the mighty have fallen. At this point, President Bush would have a hard time passing gas.


A Republican city councilman from Aurora is trying to get a “Right to Work” measure on the 2008 ballot, but new polling data suggests that it could be a lost cause. According to Colorado Pols:

RBI Strategy & Research recently polled on the “Right to Work” issue, and while the slogan itself does well with voters, a ballot measure does not. Only 36% of respondents would support a “Right to Work” measure, while 56% oppose it:

Without including the words “Right to Work” in the ballot title or language, there is little support among Colorado voters for this potential initiative. Predictably, the opposition to the initiative is strong among Democrats (65% are against). However, even a majority of unaffiliated voters oppose the measure.

While it is very early to be talking about a ballot initiative with likely voters, these results indicate that the language proponents use in describing the measure is popular, but voters show little support for the actual policy behind the language.

That lack of support for the content of the initiative indicates that it faces an uphill battle. Most ballot proposals need a 55%-60% level of support in initial ballot language tests to be considered viable. Proponents of this initiative have a long way to go to convince Colorado voters to change the way labor unions and their members negotiate in this state.


An effort to delay drilling on the Roan Plateau failed yesterday. As the Rocky Mountain News reports:

An effort by U.S. Reps. John Salazar and Mark Udall of Colorado to delay drilling on the Roan Plateau failed Wednesday after what the duo called “strong-arm” tactics of the Bush administration.

Salazar and Udall tried to attach an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have prevented the Interior Department from using any funds to lease lands on the Roan not already open to drilling.

In a statement, the pair said a “curiously timed and highly speculative” cost estimate was added to the amendment late Tuesday that doomed its passage. Both promised to pursue other strategies to delay drilling on the Roan.

“We are disappointed that the Bush administration has stepped in at the last minute and apparently strong-armed the Congressional Budget Office . . .” the lawmakers’ statement said. Industry and its supporters say drilling restrictions imposed by the Bureau of Land Management will ensure that much of the region is protected.


A Senate committee has subpoenaed the White House. As The Washington Post reports:

A Senate committee investigating the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program issued subpoenas yesterday ordering the White House to turn over documents related to the eavesdropping effort, escalating a legal showdown between Congress and the Bush administration.

The Judiciary Committee’s subpoenas were delivered to the offices of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the national security adviser and to the Justice Department. They demanded copies of internal documents about the program’s legality and agreements with telecommunications companies that participated in the program.

Lawmakers said their aim is to understand and reconstruct the administration’s internal debate about the program’s legality, an aim White House officials have resisted.

“This committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorization of and legal justification for this program,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote in letters delivered with the subpoenas. “All requests have been rebuffed.”

The White House offered no word on whether it will turn over the documents by the July 18 deadline. “We’re aware of the committee’s action, and will respond appropriately,” spokesman Tony Fratto said. “It’s unfortunate that congressional Democrats continue to choose the route of confrontation.”

“It’s unfortunate that congressional Democrats continue to choose the route of confrontation.”

Seriously? Surely you jest.

Pot, meet kettle.


A Montrose County Commissioner thought he was being clever in signing a petition, but the ploy apparently backfired. As The Grand Junction Sentinel reports:

andy See, chairman of the Montrose Democratic Party, signed a petition Tuesday to recall Montrose County Commissioner Bill Patterson, also a Democrat, but it was only a ploy, See said.

See’s plan may have backfired though, because the firm conducting the petition drive jumped on the opportunity and sent out a news release Wednesday morning saying See had signed the petition. The news release, sent by the Denver law firm of Ireland, Stapleton, Pryor and Pascoe, said, in part: “Exercise your right to vote whether or not to recall Bill Patterson in the November election by signing the petition today as the chairman of the Montrose Democratic Party, Randolph B. See, did this afternoon.”

See said Wednesday morning he planned to go to the county clerk’s office to have his name removed from the petition and to complain that illegal tactics were being used by petition gatherers. See said he signed the petition so he could protest that the person asking for petition signatures and the name certified on the back of the petition were not the same, which he said is illegal. The petition had been signed on the back by someone named Jamie Fadness, See said, while the man who handed him the petition to sign told him his name was Brent.

See, this wasn’t a very good plan.


The shenanigans in Jefferson County politics are still being sorted out, as Ann Schrader of The Denver Post reports:

Attempts to recoup about $64 million in taxpayer money invested by former Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Paschall shortly before he left office have come up with nothing.

“I still don’t have any money,” current Treasurer Faye Griffin said Wednesday

Griffin hasn’t heard from Capital Securities of America, an Ohio-based firm that brokered what state officials say are improper investments. Griffin has sent two letters to the firm – one in January and one early this month – demanding it repurchase the securities.

Colorado Treasurer Cary Kennedy also notified Capital Securities in a June 6 letter that state law requires the repurchase of the improper securities within one business day of the demand letter from the county.

Other than a receipt signed by the company that it received Kennedy’s notification, Griffin said there has been no communication from Capital Securities.

“The plan is to go ahead and file a lawsuit,” Griffin said, with the Jefferson County attorney’s office preparing the paperwork.


I’ll be live-blogging tonight on the Democratic Presidential debate over at the Rocky Mountain News blog “Back Roads to the White House”. Stop by and say hello.