Archive for May 1st, 2009
One of the things that I maintain is this: All politics are local politics. If we truly want to get things done, appealing to national level people doesn’t do anything (since those in the beltway only listen at election time – sorta). We have to work locally. Today, we can see (if we’re looking) what local politics will do to promote national effort.
House Bill 1299 Dies
Well, not reported by the media as much was a little known but very potent bill that was taken up by the General Assembly of Colorado just this week.
House Bill 1299 was a state measure that would have done something that would have grabbed national attention. HB1299 would have effectively pulled Colorado out of the electoral college. Turns out, Colorado is a less populated state. Even with Denver, Colorado gets just nine electoral votes during a presidential race. In the 2000 and 2004 races, Colorado’s votes went to George Bush. In 2008, Colorado went blue and voted for Obama. HB1299 would have changed how Colorado allocated its electors. Instead of the “winner take all” philosophy, Colorado would have allocated based on whomever won the National Popular Election. This bill is an attempt to join the National Popular Vote compact of states that would allocate their votes based on the national tally and circumvent the intent of the Electoral College as outlined in Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the US Constitution, giving the state the power as it should have in a constitutional republic.
Since the brunt of the popular election focuses on the large urban areas, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and California, and these areas typically swing Democrat, Democratic candidates would put all their emphasis on the more populated areas of the country – Colorado would be systematically ignored in the campaign.
The Colorado General Assembly took up the measure in March when the House voted in favor of the bill. Today, the Colorado Senate was supposed to take the bill to the floor for a vote, before sending it to the Governor (which probably would have passed, given that Colorado’s Governor Ritter, is a staunch Democrat)
But something happened…the people in Colorado spoke up…again.
In 2004, Colorado had Amendment 36, which would have, institutionally allocated Colorado’s electors. The voters sent the amendment into defeat, 35% for, 65% against. But every year, it keeps coming up, usually from a handful of Democrats who believe the Founders were wrong about the electoral college. Instead of understanding that the State is sovereign and that the US is a republic of fifty states, and that the president should be elected as such, there is a movement that believe it should be a popularity contest.
Today, HB1299 was killed by the Senate sponsor of the bill. According to the liberal wires, the GOP attempted an underhanded (yet legit) maneuver to procedurally kill the bill. So they say.
But this conservative doesn’t believe Chris Romer killed his own bill because he didn’t have the votes (unless he didn’t feel like outing any of his Democrat colleagues). No, I think this was attributed to an overwhelming pressure from concerned Coloradans who not only didn’t believe that Colorado should be withdrawn from the Electoral College (again, effectively), but that this action was being done by the legislature without any input from the people through referendum. But the people spoke up anyway and HB1299 is headed for the round file, instead of the Governor’s desk.
Perhaps this is a stretch, but Romer clamored about killing his own bill, rather than watching it die in a GOP procedural move as he kicked the trees to drum up the votes to move it forward. I guess it’s just dumb pride that says, “let’s just forget the bill, it won’t pass anyway”. What, suddenly, it’s a dumb idea to bring it to the floor if you know it’s going to die there?
While Colorado has a Democrat Senate, there are a number of moderate Democrats that prevent the Senate from going into thermal runaway, such as what’s happening with the US Senate as of late. For example, another edgy piece of legislation, HB 1274, seeks to repeal the death penalty in Colorado, yet Senator John Morse of Colorado Springs and Governor Ritter both are on the fence about this, since they both have served in one capacity or another putting criminals behind bars. They’ve seen that political ideology doesn’t wash with a warped criminal mind. So, liberals in the General Assembly aren’t getting everything they want, even though Colorado is emphatically a blue state now, thanks in part to Obamania.
Local Politics Work, Locally *and* Nationally
People that I talk to on the streets don’t want to get involved in politics, primarily because they believe their voice doesn’t matter. “Why should I speak up. I work in a convenience store to pay my bills. No one is going to listen to me”.
But if you get enough convenience store clerks, lawncare professionals, IT people, stay-at-home moms, waiters, plumbers, students, and the like together, suddenly, you have a real voice in government. But all of these people have to start talking to each other and getting educated. People can do far more for the country’s politics and direction by talking to their neighbors on the other side of the fence than they ever could by cold-calling or distributing flyers.
America’s heart and soul is in her people. When the people, no matter if they wear a tie or torn-up steel-toed boots to work (or bunny slippers in the case of you SAHM’s out there…luvs ya, ladies!) start standing up for what they believe and unashamably sharing it with others, we can move the country forward.
I close with this quote from President Reagan:
“All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ‘em know and nail ‘em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.” - Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address