COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., September 22, 2013—State Senator Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) reportedly said at the end of the 2013 Colorado legislative session that the Democrat caucus got together before the session and decided that they would rather be criticized for attempting too much rather than for doing too little.
She got her wish.
Sen. Carroll was the Senate Majority Leader, a position that puts her in line for Senate President in the 2014 session, when the Democrats will have a one-vote majority. She is also one of the Democrats who ducked out of town hall meetings in February rather than answer questions about gun control legislation.
Yet the gun control legislation pushed by Michael Bloomberg wasn’t the only thing the legislature did this spring. According to the Huffington Post, this year’s session was “an incredibly historic legislative session in Colorado and signed into law several landmark measures in the state, including: same-sex civil unions, recreational marijuana legalization and a strict gun control package.”
The Huffpo failed to add was sex education for kindergartners, new energy mandates guaranteed to raise energy costs for all of rural Colorado, and an election “reform” bill that opens Colorado elections to widespread fraud. They also sponsored a $1 billion tax hike which will go on the November 2013 ballot.
Colorado politics these days is national politics in a petri dish. It was the “Colorado Model” that resulted in the state going from red to blue beginning in 2006—despite the fact that registered Republicans still outnumber Democrats. In brief, the Colorado Model unites the grassroots power of special interest groups with the money of leftist billionaires to win elections. The money is funneled to these activist groups through a series of 501(c)4 and 527 entities and political action committees. Winning control of the state government has allowed them to enact their leftist agenda.
That radicalism has come at a cost.
Governor Hickenlooper lamented in early August that government transparency is making it difficult for lawmakers to be effective at their jobs. He told Time magazine that it is unfortunate that legislators are under a microscope for the decisions they make. In other words Hickenlooper, like many politicians of both parties, would rather citizens elect them and then let them do whatever they want.
Politicians think this way because that’s the way the American people have acted in the past. We have treated our politicians like unguided missiles, launching them at problems and then trusting them to do the right thing as we see it. More recently, however, we have added control systems to those missiles, guiding them when they get off target.
In the idiom of the West: horses have reins; politicians need them, too.
That’s the key lesson from the Colorado recalls earlier this month. The politicians work on behalf of the people. Many seem to have forgotten that. In Colorado we’ve been electing more and more people to the legislature who understand that. Nationwide, the Tea Party wave of 2010 was the biggest change in representation ever. Not everyone got reelected in 2012.
You have to continually thin the herd and improve the quality of the stock.
The recall of the senators was only one step in setting Colorado back on a path of citizen-led government. Not only has the legislature been criticized for going too far, the citizens are acting to take back our state. It has been pointed out what while Morse is gone, his gun control laws remain.
Colorado sheriffs have joined with the Independence Institute and other groups to overturn the magazine ban. Petitions are being gathered for a citizen-led initiative to repeal that law as well. Another citizen initiative in the works seeks to repeal all the new guns control laws and prevent the legislature from infringing our right to self-defense ever again.
And that’s just with respect to gun control. Citizens are thinking and acting outside the boxes drawn for them by politicians.
Fed up with the legislature’s Denver-centric focus, eleven of Colorado’s 64 counties are referring the “51st state initiative” to the November ballot. An additional five counties are considering it and two dozen more are showing interest. That’s two-thirds of the state by number of counties, much more by area. Only Denver and Boulder Counties are excluded so far.
On her LinkedIn page, Sen. Carroll lists herself as author of a 2011 guide called Take Back Your Government: A Citizen’s Guide to Grassroots Change. She says it is “a practical guide for ordinary citizens with behind the scenes look at how anyone can make or change laws in their state.”
Either the citizens of Colorado have read her book or they’re busy adding new chapters to it.
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