News Nuggets, 26 Wednesday 2009: Doug Lamborn and Josh Penry feel your pain

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TV NEWS MULLIGAN: Fifth District U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn held a town hall this week that was covered by Colorado Springs’ KRDO TV. Lamborn is circulating the tape. Watch it and you may find yourself thinking something like: Do these TV news guys, Eric Singer and Josh Simeone, know anything at all about Doug Lamborn? I wondered if they were even on his email list or if anyone in the KRDO newsroom received one of the reported 70,000 anti-health reform flyers he sent out this week.

Singer, the anchor, sets up the piece by saying Lamborn was holding the town hall to “listen to what voters have to say.” Then Simeone, from on the ground at the town hall, ends the report with a question he says so many of us would like to ask: “What does [Doug Lamborn] plan to do [on health care] once he travels back to Washington D.C.?” But this was the town hall where the very same Doug Lamborn opened up with a speech outlining the ten reasons he was against health-care reform. We all know what Lamborn is going to do when he goes back to D.C. The question is: What is he doing here in Colorado? That is, what is the point of holding these town halls, exactly? In fact, he’s holding another one Thursday. KRDO gets a Mulligan. Do it all again gentleman, only better this time!

HAVING IT BOTH WAYS: Pretty much every Republican in the state hates the new state FASTER registration fees levied on Colorado vehicles, and they will all run hard against them in every corner of the state and in as many venues as possible for the next few years at least. Members of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association also hate the new fees and testified to that effect before the Transportation Legislation Review Committee today at the Capitol. Republican lawmakers loved it.

This past weekend, though, saw Senate Minority Leader and gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry holding forth at a Grand Junction nursing home, flashing some compassionate conservativism. Penry lamented the budget cutting that led to the closing of the facility– budget cutting Gov. Ritter made due to record-setting dropping state revenues.

The pain being felt across Colorado as a result of cuts has been eased only by the money generated by non-tax state fees like the FASTER registration fees and by the millions in federal stimulus funds that have poured into the state. Penry opposes both. He said he would return the stimulus money and he led a partly anti-FASTER filibuster in the Senate last session intended to quash a budget reform bill. If Penry and his GOP colleagues had succeeded in that filibustering, the funds for nursing homes like the one in Grand Junction would have almost surely evaporated entirely for years to come.

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