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Colorado's surprise Democratic Representative for the conservative 4th Congressional District, Betsy Markey, is no party-line voter and she won't be swayed, it seems, by obvious political strategy considerations. Her vote for the Clean Energy Act Friday was more evidence that she is being lead by her own lights. Her swing-vote position with the majority makes her a disproportionately powerful first-term member of Congress -- and therefore maybe the best possible choice in 2010 for clear-headed 4th District Republicans.
Denver District Court Judge Catherine Lemon issued an injunction against controversial voter-approved Amendment 54 on Tuesday, agreeing with lawyers for the plaintiffs that the vague and often confusing language of the amendment created laws that were overly broad and clearly violated the right to free speech.
Republican leaders addressing the crowd at Friday night's second-annual Larimer County GOP shrimp-boil fundraiser and straw poll event in Fort Collins steered clear of social issues like abortion and gay marriage that have featured prominently in Larimer County politics of the past. They focused instead on calls to rein in government spending and pass more pro-business legislation. That message, peppered throughout with references to Ronald Reagan and aimed chiefly against the Obama administration, suggested the steep challenge these candidates face in winning office in 2010.
Radio talker Hugh Hewitt -- fresh off his call for American consumers to boycott General Motors -- arrives in Colorado on Friday for a congressional fund raiser in Denver and the chance to mingle with up-and-coming conservatives in Parker.
Conservative Republican and CD 4 hopeful Tom Lucero hosted a campaign breakfast Tuesday in Loveland at a strip-mall cafe and ended up talking to eight likable, earnest people there about the need to affect major cultural change if they were ever going to restore a sense of personal responsibility in the United States and succeed in abolishing income taxes and the Internal Revenue Service. "We have to replicate Obama's Chicago-style politics, Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals,' if we're going to beat the [Democrats]," he told the small group of almost-all retirees. They nodded in agreement but said nothing. Lucero faces a tough slog between now and Election Day 2010, and he knows it.
From the Worst Kept Secret Department: Roll Call.com reports today that Yuma Republican and House Minority Whip Cory Gardner is set to announce his bid to challenge Fourth District U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey in 2010.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey raised a record-breaking ton of cash this quarter for her re-election in 2010. And despite announcing his CD 4 candidacy to oppose her mere months after she was elected, University of Colorado Board of Regents Vice Chair Tom Lucero, a Republican, has been relatively invisible -- at least when he wasn't ducking impropriety charges on the stand in the Ward Churchill
witch-hunt trial. Lucero's fund raising, like his record of experience, will surely be no match for Markey's.
U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey -- the unlikely Democratic newbie from Colorado's 4th Congressional District -- seems still fresh enough in her politics to actually be acting from conviction. This week she made news for unabashed strong stances on two controversial issues: She defied the president and attorney general by publicly opposing the reintroduction of an assault weapons ban. Then she defied the business lobby and co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
Today the state attorney general's office confirmed a report published this morning in The Colorado Independent that Attorney General John Suthers met with proponents of Amendment 54 -- the "clean government" constitutional amendment passed as a ballot initiative last November -- and that he agrees with them that the initiative does not unduly infringe upon expression.
In the months since voters passed Colorado's controversial Amendment 54 in November, and from the moment it passed into law on the last day of December, its expanding implications have slowly come into focus, spurring heated arguments for and against it. As a high-powered lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the amendment wends its way to court, detractors and supporters are pleading their cases in the court of public opinion, underlining the fact that the showdown over 54 is just the latest skirmish in a larger battle over the evolution in lawmaking away from legislatures and toward ballot initiatives.