My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


More On Ritter's Bad Judgment 

When I wrote last night about Ritter's fiat, I had no idea how much support I would have for my position.

From the Rocky Mountain News editorial:

Well, forget about the drama of a freewheeling debate. On Friday, Gov. Bill Ritter granted the unions most of what they wanted with a stroke of the pen, in one of the biggest changes in state government in years.

It's a mistake, in our view, that threatens to raise the cost of government while reducing its ability to react to a changing environment.

. . .the idea that unions are indispensable to the creation of a new workplace ethos is hardly consistent with experience elsewhere in the economy. . . .

In other words, greater union leverage in setting compensation appears to be a solution in search of a problem. . . .

Far from being a bridge to a new economy, Ritter's initiative would then turn out to be an unexpected trek back to the past.

Of course, I kind of expected the Rocky to come out against this plan.

What surprised me was that the Denver Post is also against the Governor's plan--and with far harsher language than the Rocky.

When Coloradans elected Bill Ritter as governor, they thought they were getting a modern-day version of Roy Romer, a pro-business Democrat. Instead, they got Jimmy Hoffa.

Ritter campaigned under the guise of a moderate "new Democrat" but now we know he's simply a toady to labor bosses and the old vestiges of his party — a bag man for unions and special interests. . . .

It's unconscionable for the governor of a state that's limped through lean budget years to knowingly drive up the cost of government. And for what? Political payback to unions? . . .

It's government by fiat. . . .

Experts say collective bargaining can add as much as 30 percent to the cost of doing business. Tell us, how does that make sense for a state that can hardly pay its bills and plans to come to voters as soon as 2009 with its hand out?

Ritter's two Democratic predecessors, Dick Lamm and Romer, were able to govern for 24 years, collectively, without introducing collective bargaining. . . .

Coloradans bought the Colorado Promise, but may end up with a trail of broken promises.

A governor with such early promise has squandered his future in order to keep his backroom promises to a few union bosses.

And Colorado is the loser.

OUCH! That's gotta hurt.

The thing about Romer and Lamm, though, is that they had to operate with a Republican legislature. Ritter assumes he can get away with this because of the "unusual coalition" of a Democrat legislature and a Democrat press.

And, sadly, he's probably right.

Unless Republicans can make this THE issue in the state, starting today, Ritter will probably be able to push this aside and next year's campaign will be what it was always shaping up to be.

But if Republicans surprise all of us and make an effective campaign on this issue, we may see a very different campaign next Fall than any of us expects. Is Dick Wadhams up to it? Stay tuned. . .

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