UPDATE: Friday, 11:30 p.m. Rep. Bruce has been booted off the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, effective immediately. House Minority Leader Mike May’s statement appears below.
After getting himself appointed to the legislature late last year, Douglas Bruce’s soon-to-be colleagues and high-profile supporters gushingly predicted he would, among other things, “revive the constitution and save the Republic.”A month into his term, Bruce, the Republican from Colorado Springs, has:
1. Kicked a photographer.
2. Been censured for it.
3. Says he will no longer talk to reporters.
4. Refused to co-sponsor a resolution honoring veterans and men and women in the military – prompting his own party leader, Mike May, R-Parker, to opine to the Rocky Mountain News, “That’s a man with no honor. He has no shame.”
5. Proceeded to shout at his colleagues, “Are you all happy?” after they required him to vote on another resolution to urge health care coverage for children in Colorado by 2018 (Bruce voted no).
Let’s take a look, now, at some of the predictions and promises of what Bruce would bring to the Capitol from three current Colorado lawmakers and the former Colorado Senate President who formally endorsed Bruce when he announced in October his intent to replace Rep. Bill Cadman.
From Rep. Kent Lambert’s letter of praise (Lambert is a Colorado Springs Republican and Air Force veteran who endorsed Bruce on Oct. 19; bold emphasis added):
“(Douglas Bruce’s) willingness to lead on tough issues sometimes invites controversy, but in an environment where the political majority is blatantly violating the constitution, citizens’ rights, and increasing taxes without permission of the voters, his voice needs to be heard in the Colorado House.“
From State Sen. Dave Schultheis, a Colorado Springs Republican who endorsed Bruce in October (bold emphasis added):
“No one can debate the fact that (Douglas Bruce) has stood as a bulwark in upholding the constitution and saying `no’ to the constant intrusion of an ever-growing government into the lives of Colorado’s hard-working citizens. One can only relish the future opportunity to see Douglas Bruce debate Colorado’s radically-left Democrat [sic] legislators. It will truly educate the citizens of Colorado as to the proper function of government.“
From Rep. Stella Garza Hicks, a Colorado Springs Republican who endorsed Bruce on Oct. 20 (bold emphasis added):
“I endorse Douglas Bruce for House District 15 and I see him as our best candidate to represent HD15 in the legislature in Denver.“
From former Senate President John Andrews, who endorsed Bruce on Oct. 23 and later gushed about Bruce’s appointment in his blog on Dec. 6:
“… The times call for the telling of hard truths and the drawing of bright lines — even when some of the resulting discomfort, mainly felt by Democrats, may also spill onto my fellow Republicans. And Mr. Bruce, while he’s no cuddly Sudanese teddy bear, is one of the few who can and will take on that thankless role.
“Douglas Bruce in the Colorado House of Representatives is going to be quite a spectacle, no doubt about it. Stay tuned for the fireworks when he takes his seat and the session opens next month. Barefoot opponents won’t be the half of it.
“You can expect Rep. Bruce to proclaim at every opportunity that the left-liberal emperor has no clothes at all — bare naked yet shameless about it. If we want to revive the constitution and save the Republic, somebody has to say that. I believe Doug is just the man.”
UPDATE: Friday, 11:30 p.m. Rep. Bruce has been booted off the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, effective immediately. From House Minority Leader Mike May:
“I no longer believe it is in the best interest of the House nor for the active-duty or retired military personnel of Colorado to have Representative Bruce continue to serve on the committee of reference for veterans and military affairs.”
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at The Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org