(Denver Post, Nov. 7) Chastened. ///
The one-word opening paragraph was a Denver trademark for the late, great Gene Amole, columnist for a paper that is no more, classical DJ for a station that is no more. You missed something special if you weren’t around when he was writing for the Rocky and broadcasting for KVOD.
Old Gene would not have gotten too wound up about the raucuous 2010 campaign and the odd election that mercifully terminated it on Tuesday. Neither should we. In electing some honorable people to represent us, while leaving the big political parties chastened, we did a pretty good day’s work for self-government.
The improvement was incremental, but all durable improvements in a free society are. Americans know that in our bones. It’s one of the things that make us a conservative-leaning nation. We instinctively sense the advantages of divided government as a brake on official mischief. Hence the wave of ticket-splitting in Colorado last week.
The same voters who extended Democrats’ lease on the governor’s office and the US Senate seat, elevating John Hickenlooper and retaining Michael Bennet, crossed over to support Republican challengers for two congressional seats and two constitutional posts – favoring Cory Gardner over Betsy Markey, Scott Tipton over John Salazar, Walker Stapleton over Treasurer Cary Kennedy and Scott Gessler over Secretary of State Bernie Buescher.
Citizens wisely refuse to give more than two cheers for either the Republicans or the Democrats as a trustworthy political brand. Each has forfeited trust on too many occasions. The chastening effect upon both parties’ leadership is only an inference so far. But if they’re not doing some introspection after this tough election cycle, the denial is beyond incurable.
Dems had a governor, in Bill Ritter, so vulnerable they had to hustle him offstage. The GOP had two gubernatorial finalists, in Scott McInnis and Dan Maes, so flawed that a force of nature named Tom Tancredo swooshed into the vacuum. Speaker Terrance Carroll’s majority in Denver got a similar pink slip to that of Nancy Pelosi in Washington. Republicans put a weak appointed senator seemingly down for the count, but they couldn’t knock him out.
As the red and blue twin dinosaurs lumbered through their paces again this year, I think something encouraging began to happen in people’s attitude about the whole ritual. Too often, politics is like that king in the Book of Daniel who conditioned his subjects to kneel before the golden idol on a trumpet call. It’s a con game to distract us from self-reliance. A better politics happens when folks get up on their hind legs and take responsibility. And isn’t that what the Tea Party and the 912 groups are all about?
Within a month of Barack Obama’s inaugural address calling for “a new era of responsibility,” many people began to conclude that his transformative collectivist vision for America was actually the height of irresponsibility. Grassroots organizing took off, inspired by the patriots of 1773 and soaked with bipartisan skepticism for government insiders. Colorado’s cranky electorate with its mixed verdict on Nov. 2 is one result.
Personal responsibility is the price of individual liberty. Personal responsibility is the antithesis of paternalistic bureaucracy, paralytic regulation, PC thought control, and profligate fiscal follies. It underlies the “Send me” spirit of the Tea Party. The new political force preaching responsibility and repentance to both parties, envisaged in a series of columns here since mid-2007 (I called it Element R) is now upon us.
Obama’s policy indiscipline and blame habit have long since discredited his faux-responsible pose. Moving into 2011, Americans will insist on the real deal. The Republican-Democrat duopoly, resuming business with a plate-full of state and federal problems, is on notice from the responsibility movement to get serious. That, or face an even stiffer chastisement next time.
(Centennial Fellow) Before turning to the 2010 election results, let’s think back on the predictions made by many pundits and election scholars. According to some, from 2006 through 2009, it was explained that the Republican Party had spiraled to the point of ultimate irrelevance. Several books were published on this theme, including two by former Clinton aides: Sidney Blumenthal’s The Strange Death of Republican America and James Carville’s 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation. Scholarly studies of shifting demographics, which focused largely on the influx of Hispanic immigrants who would seemingly favor Democrat Party policies, were provided as evidence to solidify claims of Republican doom. The May 18, 2009 edition of Time magazine ran a cover story entitled “Endangered Species,” signifying that the Republican Elephant was destined for permanent minority status.
There was indeed some statistical evidence and voting data to support these contentions. When the exit polling and other data are mined from 2006 through early 2009, there is evidence that the country was in the midst of a shift away from the Republican Party.
In the 2006 mid-term elections, Democratic candidates received 52 percent of the popular vote. This contrasts with the Republican vote of 45.6 percent. In the 2008 Presidential Elections, President Obama carried the national popular vote with 52.9 percent versus McCain’s 45.7 percent. Turning to the popular vote in House elections in 2008, the Democrats won 53.2 percent of the vote, while Republican candidates earned 42.5 percent.
Viewing American politics from this small window of 3-4 years, one could conclude that the nation’s politics had indeed shifted from center-right to center-left. When averaged, these elections suggest an electorate favoring the Democrats (52.7%) over the Republicans (44.6%).
When we factor in the 2009 Virginia and New Jersey elections, the January 2010 Massachusetts special Senate election, and now the 2010 mid-term election, combined with the trends in the United States dating back to the 1990’s, a very different story begins to emerge.
William Galston, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and former advisor to President Clinton, provides an excellent analysis of what the 2010 elections mean. When we consider the broader context, dating back to 1992, a clear trend emerges of a population moving increasingly toward conservative ideas. Galston says, “In 1992, moderates were 43 percent of the total; in 2006, 38 percent; today, only 35 percent. For conservatives, the comparable numbers are 36 percent, 37 percent, and 42 percent, respectively.”
We can see from these data that the election of 2010 was a return to the trend that began in the 1980’s and 1990’s, which found America shifting towards the conservative side, and that the shift to the left was a temporary disturbance. Clearly, the popularity of Obama, the anger towards Bush, and the frustration with two wars all explain the surge in support for the Democrats.
Further evidence that this was temporary is the dramatic increase of Republicans in state legislatures, especially in the states where these increases occurred. A study of Tuesday’s state legislature races shows that Republicans picked up 19 legislative chambers in 13 states. Of those 13 states, Obama won the popular vote of 11 of them in 2008. While the 2006 and 2008 elections did show a partisan edge for the Democrats, the success of Republicans nationally and locally in Tuesday’s election shows a return to the long-term trend.
For Galston, the key to understanding the return to conservatism is to study the voting of “independent” voters. In 2006, the partisan breakdown of Independents went 57 percent to Democrats and 39 percent to Republicans. Jump forward four years and these numbers are reversed. Fifty five percent of independents voted with Republicans this year while 39 percent voted for Democrat candidates. This is a significant shift toward conservatism by the independent voters. Both the Pew and Gallup polls support this contention that independents trended right: “According to the Pew Research Center, conservatives as a share of total Independents rose from 29 percent in 2006 to 36 percent in 2010. Gallup finds exactly the same thing: The conservative share rose from 28 percent to 36 percent while moderates declined from 46 percent to 41 percent.”
The ramifications for the 2012 election are significant according to Galston. If these trends continue, and 2006-2008 were indeed an aberration, Republicans should see increased numbers in state legislatures as well as the Congress following the 2012 election.
(CCU Faculty) Waking up the morning after Tuesday’s historic midterm election, a song popped into my mind. Remember the end of the Wizard of Oz? When they began singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”? That’s the song that came to me. It felt like a hymn.
Bottom line—the avalanche in the House was very satisfying. First, Obama’s agenda has been repudiated, dare I say refudiated?, by the American people. I told my young students, “If you are a partisan Republican you should enjoy this day. You won’t see another one in your lifetime.” 65 seats. Goodness gracious. And I thought the 52 won in ’94 was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.
In “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” the liberal Thomas Frank drips condescension on conservative voters for voting against their interests. What kind of book could he write about California? With their economy in free fall the Left Coast continues to elect politicians who have been front and center in directing her economic suicide plan. Jerry Brown? The difference between Governor Moonbeam and Captain Smith of the Titanic was that the latter only rammed an iceberg one time. Jerry takes aim and continually hits it. And Californios elect him anyway. Astonishing.
I love the Tea Party and I think it brought tremendous energy and some very good, new candidates into the Republican fold this year. But it also brought weak candidates. How on earth does a crustacean like Harry Reid win an election? Anywhere? The most galling results for me on Tuesday were the victories of Reid and the master of duplicity—Michael Bennet—in Colorado. Medium strength candidates would have derailed them both. And that brings me to 2012. Please, Republicans, run a candidate who can WIN and vanquish Obama’s army of barbarians decamped on the Potomac.
It is encouraging to think that the majority of the American people still put freedom above becoming lap dogs of an omni-benevolent nanny state. The margin is not a great as I would like but it is still a majority.
Exit polls showed those who consider themselves “born again” voting 77-20 for Republicans. Why do Evangelical Protestants vote so overwhelmingly conservative? Certainly abortion is a big factor but surely there is more. But what is it?
I wish we had won the Senate but I knew it would be hard. Many of the seats were contested in decisively blue states—New York, California, Maryland, etc. But looking at the electoral map for 2012 is very encouraging. Many Democratic Senate candidates will be running in states where economic reality must be taken into consideration. And that will be difficult for them. The great enemy of liberalism is reality and they will be running against it far more in 2012 than this time.
The election results should give President Obama pause. He should reexamine his policies, reconsider his directives, reconstitute his staff. For the good of the nation. Prediction: He won’t. As a doctrinaire Leftist the President believes he is smart and we are dumb. So he will continue to do what is good even if it is against our will. After all, we are children who need a wise and benevolent parent.
One last prediction: 2012 should be very, very interesting.
I will admit that I've been trying not to talk too much about a Republican landslide tomorrow -- the kind that sweeps out the career Democrat pols in Congress and replaces them with those who are not stained by the insidious corruption of the Beltway. Not that Republicans are perfect -- or haven't gotten tainted by the same dirty water. They have. But the class of new Republicans in this election is different, and offers more in the way of principle than pure pork-barrel politics. Lord knows how long they will be able to hang on to their principles once they get exposed to the lobbyists, unions and other bearers of kryptonite that skulk the halls of Congress. But at least we know that we start from a base which overwhelmingly believes in small government, smaller deficits and the power of individual liberty. That's huge in my book.
In any event, I'm not going to make but a few general predictions here. But I will link here to an interesting analysis so you can draw more of your own conclusions:
Jay Cost, writing at The Weekly Standard, predicts a huge landslide. His rationale is similar to the post I did earlier on the bias of polls. He argues that if you look at the Democrat oversampling of polls since the 1994 election and look at the actual result, only Gallup has gotten close to being accurate. And very accurate, indeed -- within a point. Thus, Cost sees Gallup as the true poll for this election. Though Gallup doesn't poll individual races, their general Final Likely Voter Projection provides some clear evidence of the extent of Republican gains tomorrow night. Their generic voter preference for a 45% turnout of national adults is 55% for the Republican candidate and only 40 percent for the Democratic candidate.
According to Cost, this is HUGE:
A victory of 15 points suggests Republican gains well in excess of my previous estimate of 61 seats. The Abramowitz model suggests a pickup of about 76 seats, but I wouldn’t take that at face value. After all, there is a great deal of uncertainty because we are dealing with unprecedented results, which Gallup is quick to acknowledge. A Republican vote margin of 15 points would more than double the party’s 1994 victory and it is about double its 1946 victory. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1928 to find an election where the popular vote margin resembled anything close to what Gallup is predicting.
So, if Gallup is correct you can expect a big Republican tidal wave tomorrow. In excess of 60 seats and possibly as many as 90. Tsunami-like.
We'll see how it goes -- we can only hope that in this wave some of the corrupt barrons -- Barney Frank, for example -- get swept under. But even not, you can take solace that Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, John Conyers and Barney Frank will take their chair gavels and go back to their seats in the minority. And not a moment too soon!
In the Senate I think the Republicans come up short of a majority, but again, if Gallup is correct it could happen. I predict they win at least eight seats currently held by Democrats -- and if they are able to take Washington with Dino Rossi and California (which I have already predicted they will) then 10 seats will be in reach. It will be harder if Demorcat Joe Manchin wins in West Virginia and the "Bearded Marxist" Chris Coons beats O'Donnell in Delaware. But even at a 51-49 Democrat edge in the Senate, the Republicans will have a chance to ensure gridlock over the next two years. And in many cases, they will pick up Independent Joe Lieberman and Democrat Ben Nelson and be able get some legislation passed. If Obama vetoes it, fine: at least it's on the record.
For an interesting voter guide tomorrow you can use to track key races across the country check out David Freddoso at the Washington Times here.
And get out and VOTE! It's critical -- this is THE most important mid-term election in a generation and it is so important to get this socialist train off the tracks!
On Friday evening, CCU political science students, as well as Centennial Institute Director John Andrews and Professor Gregory Schaller, attended an event at the Douglas County Events Center keynoted by radio host Hugh Hewitt and Former George W. Bush senior advisor Karl Rove. Making appearances amongst the peaks of their campaigns were Colorado congressional candidates Stephen Bailey (CD-2), Scott Tipton (CD-3), Cong. Doug Lamborn (CD-5), and Cong. Mike Coffman (CD-6). In an effort to stump for candidates in highly competitive races, Rove tied their Democratic opponents to the “Unholy Trinity” (Pelosi, Reid, Obama), and the imminent danger facing the United States should their failed policies take effect sans repeal.
The evening was energized upon the ‘Republican Wave’ that has now advanced into the most prominent battleground state of the West. With outside ‘527’ organizations spending record breaking amounts of funds on the Colorado senatorial and congressional races of 2010, Rove and Hewitt’s presence to invigorate a hopeful GOP audience could not have been more pertinent. With three House races, a US Senate seat, and the Gubernatorial race hinging on conservative and independent prevalence at the booths on November 2, Rove and Company urged Coloradans to spend the final days (or the 96 hours, as Hewitt called them, citing his visits to the state on each pre-election weekend since 2002) campaigning incessantly until the finish line has been crossed.
With each candidate providing a brief oration as to why they should be elected in their respective race, Hewitt proceeded by interviewing them and discussing with each the pressing issues facing Colorado voters in this election. This forum styled interrogation provided the audience a deeper look into the heart of each candidate’s views and beliefs on reform currently impacting Colorado. Scott Tipton spoke of restoring jobs to farmers and ranchers, while Coffman boldly encouraged Coloradans to cast their vote for Governor with third-party candidate Tom Tancredo. In their final attempt to leave a sustaining impact on voters, each candidate spoke candidly on key legislation and solutions that they aspire to bring to public office come January.
In the brief time allotted to his keynote address, Rove spoke with the intensity and vigor that has attracted millions of Americans across the country toward his movement. From touching on eight years of experiences in the White House to speaking on the future of the 2012 Presidential election, Rove’s rhetoric maintained a comfortable, yet stimulating viewpoint that harbored a great impact upon the audience. His thesis expressed that while many individuals label this midterm election as “the most important election since 1860”, the true battle begins on November 3, when Americans embark on the mission of defeating President Barack Obama in 2012. The audience reaction was nonetheless parallel, erupting with thunderous roars of approval to the charges that he continuously presented.
With a night that will not be forgotten by CCU students and staff, this evening only solidifies the progression that the political science department has undertaken to energize and excite the students of Colorado Christian University. An opportunity to hear from two of the most prominent conservative voices in the nation, we are exceedingly blessed as a University to sustain the privilege of attending a prestigious gathering such as this. I thank the Lord again and again for the leadership of John Andrews and President Bill Armstrong, as their passion for developing politically disposed students is cultivating an intellectual and inspired student body.
(CCU Student) With eight days to go until Election 2010, there are many expert predictions that assert the GOP will pick up anywhere from forty to sixty seats in the House and five to ten seats in the Senate. While this indeed would be a definitive feat, there is an astonishing facet that has been under wraps in this election cycle. Republicans are running competitively in Solid Democrat seats, some of which have been held by Democrats for the past ten to twenty years. In most election cycles, winning in districts such as MA-4, TN-6, and OH-10 would be deemed unfathomable; just the mere thought of a Republican staying within 20% points would be a tall order in itself. But the political mantra of the GOP this midterm election has been ‘to attain the impossible’, and this attitude, shown by countless Republican candidates throughout the country who are looking to make history, has reflected positively in the polls leading up to this 2010 election battle.
So, is it the Democrat’s mishaps or a ‘Republican Wave’ that is bringing these out-of-reach seats into play? Well, I personally believe that it is an incorporation of both facets. When Representative Barney Frank (MA-4) states that: “The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it," Independents, Republicans, and Democrats alike in MA-4 have warrant to become apprehensive about the ideals sustained by their elected representative. Regardless of partisanship, I do not believe that these views reflected by Rep. Frank embody the ideology or values that mainstream Americans hold to. In (OH-10), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D) is in deep trouble against Republican Peter Corrigan through an unlikely series of events. But referring back to this idea of Democratic mishaps, maybe the event of this neck-and-neck polling stems from the reality that Rep. Kucinich has failed to pass a single piece of effective legislation in the past two years and instead has served as a rubber-stamp to President Obama’s extreme agenda entailing $2.5 trillion dollars of increased government spending. In addition, he has frolicked around in Washington, DC, introducing futile legislative proposals such as the establishment of a ‘Department of Peace’. Somehow, I have a hard time believing that these efforts resonate affirmatively in the minds of voters in an era in which we have seen the largest increase in the size of federal government.
The ‘Republican Wave’ has also served a large role in spearheading Republicans into these traditionally blue House and Senate seats. Voter angst has reached its culmination, and the general public is upset with their representatives’ reckless spending in Washington. According to a poll taken by Politico, only 28% of respondents felt that their representative should be re-elected in November 2010. And with Congress’ approval rating south of 20%, there should be a high liability for both party’s incumbents to severely spiral. However, as stated by Lydia Saad of Gallup Polling: “Simply put, the party in power seems to take the brunt of voters' wrath in these situations.” This was displayed in the 2006 midterm election, in which Democrats wiped out Republicans in a landslide effort. Running on the platform of government spending and the war, Democrats lambasted GOP leadership within a climate similar to that benefitting Republicans this time around. But what exactly is the difference between 2006 and 2010? The answers are nearly limitless. From grassroots campaigns to talk radio, this election has been based on opportunity. Whether it is the opportunity to get involved at the local level, or campaign on the national stage, grassroots conservatives have come alive and active in contrast to the barren efforts of the GOP in the 2008 election. In the past year, whether it is at auto-repair, the local barbershop, or a bakery down the street, the radio is tuned in to political talk show hosts discussing pressing issues such as the debt, national security, immigration, and the economy. People in all walks of life are desperate for their voice to be heard in virtually any venue of public broadcast, even if they reside in a heavily Democratic district. When we look back on November 2, we will not thank one politician or one campaign contribution or Democratic gaffe for Republican candidates stealing seemingly unobtainable seats in the House and Senate. Talk radio, online podcasts/webcasts, Tea Party assemblies, and other ground-up grassroots organizations will claim responsibility for Democrats and Independents alike crossing party lines to stand up for what is right for our country; stifling the ‘change’ that has delivered obscene spending, expansive government control, and the hastened downturn of the economy.
Is this to say that Kucinich, Frank, and other “Safe” Democrats will be unemployed on November 3? Unfortunately, the answer will likely be a ‘no’. However, there is an undeniable fascination by the general public with the idea of retiring each and every incumbent in November. So why is it, then, that political analysts are stating that there are nearly 100 house seats in play for Republicans, when only 39 pick-ups are needed for House Majority? The answer comes from college students such as myself, and teachers, and small-business owners, and everyday citizens who are astonished by the overreaching of the federal government in its power, spending, and infringement of individual liberties. Blend in the optimistic spirit of grassroots conservatives and a fired up GOP base, and we will be looking at the greatest swing of Congressional power in the House and Senate since 1994. After two long years, we are excitingly close to giving those who are committed to the concepts of the founding and who are conscious of the will of the people ‘back the keys’ to our country. With all efforts forward, Americans should use these last nine days to take a chance in supporting a GOP hopeful that has their Democratic opponent on their heels, in fear for their political survival. In these final days before the election, Americans should give thoughtful consideration to the GOP candidates within their districts; this is one year in which even the biggest of underdogs have a shot at triumph.
('76 Contributor) What could a Colorado family of four do with an additional $300 a month? Should taxpayers be able to keep more of their hard-earned money? Will that help create jobs and business? Do Colorado citizens deserve to have more money left over after deductions and taxes -- to spend, save, invest or give away? Do you?
[Editor: This post advocating the three tax measures is a counterpoint to Mark Hillman's recent post opposing them. Centennial Institute never takes an official position for or against ballot proposals, candidates for public office, or pending legislation.]
Opponents of Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101 have flooded the media “infosphere” by raising $6,863,021 (how much from out of state?) as reported by the Secretary of State, with $102,418.76 left (as of the October 18, 2010 report). Wow. Not surprisingly, many contributions are taxpayer dollars fighting taxpayers. Check out “Opposition Funding” at www.COtaxreforms.com . See who contributed and how much. Then ponder “WHY?”
Who are these opponents, surprisingly many from out-of-state, who have spent in excess of $6.76 million for sinful excess of TV, radio, newspaper, road and yard signs, badges, bumper stickers, plus public-influencing strategies and expertise being expended?
It is the ephemeral opponent organization, Coloradans for Responsible Reform. Have they ever reformed anything, rather instead, obstructing citizen initiatives that seek to contain government growth, power, spending, debt and taxation? When there’s an issue they’re there; when not, they’re not.
1. The flip side of these issues provides great promise for Colorado’s people and future, in a custom-designed, long-range stimulus strategy for building Colorado’s true prosperity. It will help create more jobs, housing, businesses, product and service output; while ensuring a growing avalanche of revenues for Colorado governments, with concurrent diminishing need for them.
2. The opposition tells how passage of 60, 61, 101 will reduce Colorado governments funding by $4.4 billion, that’s $4,400 million. With five million population, that’s about $880 per capita, or almost $3,600 for a family of four. What can happen when that family has an additional $300 a month to spend, save, invest or give away? And taking into account the vagaries of replacing it, they have to earn some $400 a month to regain that amount after taxes.
3. Revisit some basic economics. Etch these four-words on the inside of your left eyelid, “Only people pay taxes”; the right eyelid, “Businesses pay no taxes.” All revenues, fees, taxes, etc., to finance jobs and functions in the public (government) sector come only from the private sector -- business, commerce, industry. Businesses collect required taxes in their prices of goods and services, and by law pay them to the various governments. A prosperous, burgeoning private sector will pour tons of funds into governments.
4. Speaking of Colorado governments, how many are there? Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs tallies 3,305 (http://dola.colorado.gov/dlg/local_governments/lgtypes.html , 10/23/10). With 2,860 governments in 2006 (Independence Institute Backgrounder IB-2007-F, August 2007, page 1), Colorado governments are growing an average rate of one additional government every four days. And they all demand a piece of the diminishing people tax pie. How much government and how many governments are enough?
5. Do those who believe in Colorado’s economic, business, governmental, constitutional and legal system forget they can get all the tax revenues they need? Protected by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, all they have to do is ask for it. Determine that incoming revenues are insufficient to provide the necessary services, make the case and take it to the voters for approval. Example, state gasoline taxes have not been increased since 1994. Is it possible, even probable such a public vote on a five-, ten- or more cent-increase would pass?
6. Do Coloradans already pay significant taxes? 2009 Economic Report of the President data show that per capita federal taxes for 2008 were $8,275; Colorado, $2,984 (from Colorado 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report), for a total of $11,259 taxes per capita -- federal, state-and-local taxes, direct and mostly indirect.
7. By way of comparison, in merry olde England, serfs (near-slaves?) paid one-third the fruits of their labor to the Manorial Lord for his protection and use of his land. Again, same 2009 ERP data, based on personal income, federal receipts were 20.2%, state, 16.1% for a total of 36.4% (total governments spending were 41.9% of personal income).
8. Government employment growth from 2002 to 2009 in Colorado was 9.1% compared to the private sector’s 7.3%. At the state level, total full time equivalent employees, FTEs, in seven years, grew 11.3% -- 6,561 -- 728 classified, state personnel system; 5,833 non-classified, Judicial, Legislative, Governor, Law, Education and Higher Education Departments. At the 2008 average annual Colorado FTE salary, benefits and perquisites of over $87,000, a million dollars annual State expenditure amounts to about 11.5 state employees.
9. Virtually all this 60,61,101 opposition fundraising, negative publicity and promotion is part of the continuing effort to emasculate, defang and destroy Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. How good has TABOR been? A study of the 10-years before TABOR and 10-years after convincingly makes the point.
10. For the 10-years before TABOR, Colorado all-government employment grew 21.1% (50,000), non-government employment 17.5% (198,000). For the 10-years after TABOR, all-government growth dropped to 20.0% (59,600); non-government growth more than doubled to 37.7% (526,400). (See “A Decade of TABOR,” Issue Paper No. 8-2003, page 7, http://old.i2i.org/articles/tabor2003.PDF ).
11. In 1992 Colorado’s Governor said if TABOR passed he would have to post signs at Colorado’s borders, “Colorado is Closed for Business.” A County Sheriff I debated told the audience if it passed he would have to don his uniform, let most of his deputies go, and let jailed persons back out on the street. TABOR passed by over 53% in 1992.
Did the signs go up? Did their dire predictions come to pass? Do the scare tactics sound familiar?
12. TABOR implementation began in 1993. In 1994 Colorado was judged to be the number one, best state in the nation, in business and economic performance. This was routinely reported in the “Development Report Card for the States,” published annually by the Washington DC-based, non-profit Corporation for Enterprise Development.
13. Colorado continued number one in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 -- six consecutive years. Could it be that as the establishment power structure continued to whittle away, dilute and destroy TABOR, its business and economic good began to go away.
14. Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101 are a magnificent gift to the people and future of Colorado, a great and growing stimulus package that will reset Colorado government and get it back on track.
15. If you do not want continuing high unemployment, higher taxes, more governments, bigger government, that gets more expensive, expansive, wasteful, intrusive, invasive, powerful and controlling of Colorado citizens, voters and taxpayers: Vote FOR 60, 61 and 101
(Denver Post, Oct. 24) "Beware intellectuals. Not merely should they be kept away from the levers of power. They should be objects of suspicion when they offer collective advice. Intellectuals habitually forget that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas." So writes British historian Paul Johnson on the last page of "Intellectuals," his 200-year survey of the damage done by brainy elites in public life.
That was in 1988, and the hit parade hasn’t stopped. A sequel could chronicle Hillary Clinton's debacle as health-care czar, Al Gore's phony climate panic, the failed presidential candidacies of uber-smart guys Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, and Barack Obama learning the hard way that being president requires different skills than being, in Sarah Palin's words, "a professor at a lectern."
Keynesian wonks, led by Larry Summers of Harvard, assured us that throwing a trillion or so at liberal pet projects would keep unemployment under 8 percent. IQ-meisters from all the right medical schools, tricked out in borrowed lab coats for the photo op, endorsed central planning for one-sixth of the economy, the better to keep us all healthy – until we flunk Rahm Emanuel’s brother’s cost-benefit test, at which time say goodbye.
From the massive wave of disillusionment at such policy quackery, reaching into the very core of Obama’s support – exemplified by Velma Hart, a woman, an African American, and a government employee, asking him on national TV, “Is this my new reality?” – comes the thundering electoral rebuke to his leadership that everyone now expects on Nov. 2. The Oz moment is over, and the unheroic little man behind the curtain is concealed no more.
The Tea Party movement is evidence of millions of Americans losing patience with the beneficent rule of enlightened experts that has been progressivism’s holy grail since the days of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, and raucously agreeing with Paul Johnson that “a dozen people picked at random on the street are as likely to offer sensible views on moral and political matters as a cross-section of the intelligentsia.” MORE likely, the Glenn Beck insurgents would roar, and they wouldn’t exempt the Republican intelligentsia either.
But here in Colorado, during an election that broadly pits the people vs. the professors, you’d have to say that Republican CU regent Steve Bosley, an aw-shucks businessman, is better positioned than Harvard grad and Boulder law prof Melissa Hart, his Democratic challenger, in their race for a term of six years in the at-large seat. He needs that edge, because she’s no lightweight, having won a 2008 campaign to block color-blind college admissions. And the right needs him, because the campus left has big plans if the GOP’s 5-4 majority is reversed.
According to a regents’ vote last February, “diversity of political perspectives… to ensure the rich interchange of ideas” is a guiding principle for the University of Colorado. CU’s website features a link to President Bruce Benson saying so. Convulse with laughter if you must – I did – but then consider that having the governing board on record for such an aspiration is at least a start, even though faculty conservatives remain scandalously scarce up there.
And next consider that if Professor Hart becomes Regent Hart, this academic heresy is over, kaput. Nanny McPhee is having none of it. “It is very unfortunate when intellectual diversity gets mixed up with political diversity,” she told a reporter. Translation: we’ll diversify our post-modernism between Foucault and Derrida, but no way we’re cohabiting this campus with limited-government reactionaries and pro-life primitives.
Will the professorial crowd or the populists prevail? Does San Fran Nancy fall to Ohio John Boehner, bookish Hickenlooper to biker Tancredo, urbane Bennet to bluejeans Buck, faculty-club Hart to gun-club Bosley? In ten days we’ll know.
(CCU Faculty) In a political race that’s been too much under the radar, CU Board of Regents member Steve Bosley is running for statewide re-election, challenged by CU law school prof, Melissa Hart. This race will shape the board that governs the University of Colorado, and the main subject of political dispute is, well, politics, and whether it has any place in higher education.
[Editor: This article first appeared in the Denver Post, Oct. 20 online edition.]
Hart seems to want it both ways: She insists that politics be kept out of education, yet she brings to the CU regents a kind of self-serving politics—she’s employed by the public institution she wants to govern—that betrays the public trust.
In a recent radio interview, Hart suggested that Bosley and other regents should focus “not on politics,” while congratulating herself for being “less tied to politics.” But to suggest that politics should or even can be removed from education is silly. The choice “we the people” make to offer public university education for our children is a profoundly political choice. It’s a choice regarding the character of our future citizens, that we want them educated, not ignorant.
Trying to take politics out of education—maybe limiting courses to science and math?—is itself a political decision to leave future citizens ignorant of their country and the principles of political self-government. Politics always informs education. The question is what kind of politics: the politics of freedom required by citizens of a limited, constitutional government? Or some other politics?
The story of two men familiar with politics and higher education might be of benefit to candidate Hart. Thomas Jefferson and his longtime friend James Madison believed that founding the University of Virginia was among the most important things either had done (it’s one of only three accomplishments Jefferson wanted inscribed on the obelisk above his grave). They both agreed that within the University, the most important part offered instruction in law and politics, subjects befitting the best citizens.
While debating which texts would constitute the norma docendi for the UV law faculty, Jefferson wanted to include the Declaration of Independence, which he identified as “the fundamental act of Union,” and The Federalist Papers as the authoritative explanation of the U.S. Constitution and “its genuine meaning.”
Madison agreed, but, he advised his old friend, “the most effectual safeguard against heretical intrusions into the school of politics will be an able and orthodox professor.” The meaning of any text can be perverted. More important are professors who are “able” and “orthodox,” who understand and are excellent teachers of the self-evident truths of the Declaration and the “genuine meaning” of the Constitution.
Fast forward to today. Recently the CU regents adopted new “guiding principles” that call for “political diversity” to be included among the typical college campus diversities of skin colors, sexual orientations, etc. But Hart dissents from the idea of political diversity at CU. Diversity is fine, apparently, so long as it’s monolithically leftist politically. But if political diversity troubles Hart’s liberal heart, what might she think of Madison’s criteria for university faculty appointments? What was orthodoxy for Madison must be heresy for Hart.
While Hart rejects the sound political education advanced by Jefferson and Madison and gently welcomed by Bosley and other CU regents, she’s not apolitical. Rather, hers is a brand of self-serving politics that no politician openly supports, at least not since the days of divine-right kings. She wants to sit in judgment of her own case: Hart wants to serve as a CU regent while employed as a CU law prof!
How might she rule on possible salary reductions or class size increases? How will she handle a conflict with the CU President, who works at the pleasure of the Board of Regents, but who is a boss in part for the faculty? How could she claim even a hint of objectivity regarding such issues?
Clearly Hart is reluctant to disturb the dominant left-wing politics at CU, yet perhaps some credit is due her. Her self-serving politics of Hartism certainly differs from the Marxism, feminism, multiculturalism, deconstructionism, and relativism that typically dominate the politics of higher education. Diversity, indeed.
(CCU Student) In November of 2009, Tom Tancredo was a controversial name in the hat of GOP hopefuls seeking the Governor’s office in 2010. However, all hopes of a Tancredo for Governor campaign were eliminated when Tom declared that he was not seeking a gubernatorial candidacy; and that rather, he would be endorsing Congressman Scott McInnis.
Fast-forward 11 months, and today’s Rasmussen Reports update shows Congressman Tom Tancredo within four percentage points of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. In my few years of political observation, this is potentially the most unprecedented scenario that I have ever seen. The idea of a third-party candidate who declared his candidacy in late July gaining the traction that we have seen is mind-boggling.
I personally do not believe that these circumstances have anything to do with Tom Tancredo being the ‘sexy’ candidate for Governor in 2010. To put this into perspective, I am not aware of any major candidate jumping to a third-party with 98 days remaining to put together a campaign with a party that hasn’t broken the two percent threshold in its existence. It comes down to the fact that he is running against two candidates who are not only incompetent, but have run subpar campaigns filled with gaffes and head scratching notions. Dan Maes has garnered these characteristics on numerous occasions throughout the election, but shouldn’t that leave John Hickenlooper as the obvious victor of the Governor’s race?
Clearly, there has been a strong disconnect between Hickenlooper and the people of Colorado. John Hickenlooper should be leading this race by thirty percentage points. In light of his GOP opponents' missteps, from lying about public FBI service to plagiarizing written documents and speeches, there is nothing that should stop me from confidently stating that John Hickenlooper will be the next Governor of Colorado. Yet, I cannot state definitively at this point state that Hickenlooper will be elected on November 2. The fact is that voters nation wide (especially in Colorado) are absolutely disgusted with tax-and-spend democrats. In the previous gubernatorial poll released by Rasmussen, 25% of Tom Tancredo’s thirty-five percentage points came from Democrats. Moreover, Republicans, Independents, and even Democrats are flocking towards Tom Tancredo in hopes of finding a candidate who is blunt about their economic and social aspirations as Governor of Colorado.
John Hickenlooper has raised taxes and turned Denver into a sanctuary city, plainly put. He ran Frontier Airlines to Wisconsin for excessive taxation. Frontier CEO Bryan Bedford stated simply: “Denver taxes are too high.” Hicklooper continued with his high-tax policies, and when the damage was done, there were nearly 39,000 jobs lost under his mayoral administration. (Regarding immigration) in 2008, Tom Tancredo wrote a letter signed by Rep. Cory Gardner and Sens. Dave Schultheis and Josh Penry that stated that Denver was out of compliance with CRS29-29-101, which obligates cities to report arrested illegal aliens to Immigrations and Customs officials whether or not the accused are imprisoned. He has run his campaign behind closed doors, and the voters of Colorado are seeking change needed in the State of Colorado. The failed policies of Gov. Bill Ritter have resonated Hickenlooper’s economic plan, and voters are attracted to Tancredo so that they can avoid a “Second Ritter Term.”
This has certainly become one of the most interesting races in the 2010 midterm election realm. And as most of the audience reading this article is unhappy with both Dan Maes and John Hickenlooper, I would ask that you consider supporting Congressman Tancredo on November 2. His stance on immigration has certainly been at the forefront of his campaign, but throughout his tenure in office, Tom’s votes have reflected a very conservative tone. He has almost always been parallel with conservative ideology, and I believe that he is the most qualified and competent candidate in the gubernatorial race of Colorado.