It is sad watching the news and seeing how the world seems to be falling apart and our commander in chief, President Obama, appears to be totally clueless. For some reason the left-wingers can’t come to grips with reality, instead choosing to live in their utopian dreams. This is not new. If you look at history, the left thought the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin were wonderful examples of a progressive society. The rest of the world could see the brutality of Stalin’s regime, but the left called those that exposed it reactionaries and scaremongers. It wasn’t until Nikita Khrushchev exposed the brutality of Stalin that the left started to admit that maybe it wasn’t utopia, but it wasn’t communism’s fault, it was just bad leadership. Then, when the Soviet Union collapsed the left was really confused, and had to put its faith elsewhere, and chose to believe that Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and the Castro brothers in Cuba were the answer. Currently Venezuela is going broke, and Cuba is in serious financial difficulty because of the lack of funds from Venezuela.
This week at the Capitol has been a little shorter – we had a day off in observance of Presidents’ Day. Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day all in the same weekend. Which day got the most attention? (I will take a wild guess and say Valentine’s Day.) I am not downplaying the importance of recognizing special people in your life, I am merely pointing out the fact that we tend to take Presidents’ Day for granted.
This past week was a week of “Bigs” at the Capitol – Big bills, Big issues and Big crowds. Large numbers of people turned out to testify for and against bills dealing with the repeal of Gun laws, Felony DUI and Death with Dignity. The gun bills turned out as we predicted in last week’s column – all the House bills died in committee and the Senate bills move on to the Senate floor. No surprises there.
The Super Bowl may be over for the NFL, but the “Big Game” continues under the Golden Dome. For example, this week there were no less than seven gun bills scheduled to be heard in the House and Senate. Because the Senate is 18-17 Republican, SB15-086 (Repealing the Ban on Private Gun Sales) and SB15-032 (Constitutional Carry) are expected to pass in committee. On the House side (34-31 Democrat), House Bills 15-1049 (“Make My Day Better”), HB15-1009 (Standard Capacity Magazine Ban repeal), HB15-1086 (Timely Processing of NFA Applications), HB15-1127 (No Liability for Permitting Concealed Carry) and HB15-1050 (Repealing the Ban on Private Gun Sales) are all expected to die in committee.
All the pomp, circumstance, speeches and hoopla are behind us and the task of legislating on behalf of the people is about to begin in earnest for the 70th General Assembly. However, drama and subplots continue to weave their way through the fabric of the chambers. Our Republican caucus learned last week that our Assistant Minority Leader (Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada) was stepping down to accept a position as a JeffCo County Commissioner. Her departure sets up a struggle for her vacated position between Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton (currently the Minority Whip) and Rep. Clarice Navarro, R-Pueblo (and maybe others – who knows…). Now the plot thickens – with Rep. Lawrence running for Assistant Minority Leader, the Whip position becomes open. To date, Rep. Tim Dore (R-Elizabeth) and Rep. Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) have thrown their hats into the ring. Just when we thought the campaigning was over…