2024 Leg Session, Gold Dome, Politics, Uncategorized

Gaines: A Colorado for all, as long as you agree with Democrats

Is Colorado, as Governor Polis has said he wants, a Colorado for all, or is it just a Colorado for those that agree with Democrat policy?  That’s not a rhetorical question, but rather one I recently sent to all the Democrats in the House of Representatives, and our esteemed governor, after reading about how they recently voted to limit debate on the House floor.  Again.

You see, as they did last legislative session, and as they did during the special session on property taxes, the House Democrats voted on the Feb. 2 to allow special rules (normally reserved until the last 3 days of the session) to start as early as 10 days prior to the end of the session.  It makes a few other rule changes that, in essence and like the earlier efforts, limit House Republicans’ ability to force the supermajority Democrats to the negotiating table.  This also effectively puts more limits on your voice in this state if you disagree in any way with Democrat hegemony.

House Majority Leader Monica Duran, apparently absent on the days that irony was taught, mentioned in her speech the importance of “respectful and meaningful conversation” while championing the move to close down debate. But are conversations only respectful when some voices are heard and others get the pretense of mattering?  Is it meaningful if those who dissent only get the pretense of being heard?  Is it a Colorado for all when large swaths of people are silenced to ease the reworking of this state in the name of what some along the Front Range would call progress?

And it isn’t just among legislators either. Democrats have, in the last two years especially, moved further and further to silence people in this state that disagree.  This is despite, and in direct contradiction to, their pretty rhetoric about inclusion. It is rare indeed for any quantity of opposing citizen witnesses to convince enough Democrats on a committee to pump the brakes on their policy.  Democrats in the legislature shut down the microphones of those who say things you do not like in committees, along with berating and impugning them openly.  They show little to no respect for local control. They flatly ignore the voices of the citizenry when, by popular vote, citizens express their will in plain terms.

And one more.  Did you like the way that the Democrats passed the enabling legislation for Proposition HH?  I hope so.  Because one other part of this new rule change is that it allows them to tighten up their schedule, limiting the type and amount of notice required to both their Republican colleagues and you the public.  Starting 10 days out instead of 3, according to a CPR article, “Lawmakers will sometimes conduct hearings with little notice and while standing on the House floor, instead of moving to a committee room. Lawmakers no longer get paper copies of all the amendments they vote on. And final votes on bills are streamlined.”

I hope that regardless of where you fall on any given issue, you join me in saying that this is not okay and that this is neither fair nor good governance.  I hope that you do more than just say it out loud in your head.  Join me in saying this on the phone, in an email, and in public to the Democrat members of the Colorado House.  If it’s helpful, here’s a spreadsheet with Colorado legislators’ contact emails.

Start speaking up now before the Colorado Democrats further proscribe your ability to do so.

Cory Gaines lives in Sterling on Colorado’s Eastern Plains and writes at the Colorado Accountability Project substack.

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