Wednesday, January 07, 2015

State of the State

 That'd of course be My, the State. So how are things in The Centennial State you ask? In the words of Hoyt from John Boy and Billy's The Big Show, not too good.

If you're in Colorado, fear for your wallet and your liberty, and possibly your virtue as well:

The Colorado Legislature is back in session.





The democrats have a 3 seat advantage in the state house, whilst the republicans have a 1 seat advantage in the state senate. The governor's office is still controlled by that nasty little fascist from New York. (I'm not saying anyone's been bought or sold or nuthin', but the rumor is if you get close enough to Hickenlooper you can still smell Bloomberg on his breath).

You'd think this means it's likely that gridlock will prevail. I'm worried that may not be the case. This article has some disturbing quotes:

"We're spending a lot of time reaching across the aisle to find out, where are the places we can find common ground?' said incoming Senate President Bill Cadman, a Colorado Springs Republican." [internal links removed]

"Despite pre-session vows to compromise from Cadman and other legislative leaders..."

A commenter to a post of mine on the old site once said that "the stupid party" is not a name the Colorado republican party were given - it's a name they earned.  I can't say as I disagree. Compromise is not what they were elected for but it seems what they're bent on doing.

The democrats? Not so much:

"Asked about their plans for the term, Democrats from both chambers repeatedly say they'll fight GOP efforts to strike contentious laws from the past.
 
'We will not roll back the tremendous amount of progress we made the last two years,' Hullinghorst said."

Rep Dickie Lee Hullinghorst is a democrat from Boulder county and the new Speaker of the House here in Colorado. If the word "democrat" didn't clue you in, the name "Boulder" should have given you an idea of where she stands on firearms. I can foresee any repeal bills of gunowner control laws, or any bills that may benefit gunowners heading straight to a kill-committee, unless a lot of political pressure is put upon the speaker and the democrat party. 

Bloomberg Hickenlooper narrowly won his re-election (by 68,000 votes, or a little over 3%) precisely because the Colorado republican party did not make too much of a stand on anything. Oh sure, they talked about repealing gun laws, but not with much fervor or conviction. A lot of speeches I heard that mentioned repeal of gunowner control laws did so almost in passing. Instead they and their candidate (Bob Beauprez) focused on talking up their ability to excel in leadership. Hence, they lost. It's a lesson they've been given over and over again, but their doggedness either reflects an inability to learn, or that they revere holding on to their own power more than they wish to advance any particular cause. The democrats here have flaws of their own and are subject to the same power lust, but they take a much different tact to realize their desires.

From an article that claims compromise is essential to the 2015 Colorado legislature:

"One big question for next session is how hard Republicans will try to undo some of the Democrats’ recent policy gains. Those include laws benefiting undocumented immigrants and an election that moved Colorado to all mail ballots. But their main target is likely to be the gun control bills Democrats passed two years ago. Senate President Bill Cadman is hinting his party will make them an issue.

'[I] think it was John F. Kennedy who said ‘an error’s not a mistake until you refuse to correct it’? Maybe we give them a couple opportunities,' Cadman says."

That is a big question. From what I've seen it won't be given much more than a cursory effort. I could very well be wrong, and I would hope so. But unless they're waiting to spring something at the opportune moment they don't seem to be too invested in a serious attempt. They may want to, but I fear they're too occupied with "getting things done" or that they don't want to waste political capital on an effort they're not sure will succeed. 

"That’s not an opportunity House Democrats seem too interested in. Rep. Dickie Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, will take over as speaker next session, a step up from her current role as majority leader
.
'Quite frankly I’m very proud of the work that we did in the past two years,' Hullinghorst says. 'Maybe there are others that disagree with some of that. And if they do and if they introduce bills that are worthy of discussion, we’ll talk about it. And we’ll see what happens next.'

You can expect some political fireworks if Senate Republicans do make a serious attempt to roll back the Democratic gun control laws. But it will take some major politicking for any such attempts to be successful."

In other words, if the republicans do muster up some spine the democrats will double down on unconstitutional. 

What the republicans should do is simple. It would be effective. It wouldn't even be that difficult. Therefore I'm certain they won't make an attempt, but I'll outline it anyway:

The republicans senators and representatives of Colorado should hold a press conference. The purpose of which is to inform that no legislative business, not even the budget required by the state constitution, will be conducted until the governor signs into law a repeal of all the prior restraint based gunowner control laws that have ever been passed by the legislature. The republicans should explain that by passing such laws that are forbidden by two applicable constitutions the legislature has usurped power and de-legitimized the entire government of Colorado. It is a constitutional crisis that must be resolved before any other business is conducted. The senate will vote on and pass such a law and send it to the house and then walk out until such a time as the governor signs said bill, after it passes the house, into law. A republican will be available at the capital each day at noon to reiterate this message and provide any updates should the house and governor elect to abide by their oaths to the Constitution and the people of Colorado. Until such time, the state government of Colorado is acting in an unconstitutional manner and no laws of the state, especially any laws requiring a person give the state money, should be heeded by any person.  

The chances of them taking such a bold stand is effectively the same as them doing much of anything based upon principle - nill. Such a move, in whole or in part would gain them much more public support than any of their campaigns touting their leadership abilities ever would. But it would reduce their legislative power by admitting some things are off limits, and the old guard of the Colorado GoP just wouldn't stand for that. 

The courts you may ask? A lawsuit was filed in Federal court challenging some of the new laws, mainly the "universal" background check law and the magazine capacity limits. Federal u.S. district chief judge Marcia Krieger decided that adhering to the Constitution was not part of her job description and upheld those laws.  

"Krieger's ruling says 'the Supreme Court does not equate the Second Amendment 'right to keep and bear arms' to guarantee an individual the 'right to use any firearm one chooses for self-defense."

Here's a .pdf of the ironically named judge Krieger's decision. It, along with the way the case was presented, deserve a fisking of their own, which hopefully I'll get around to one day. 

As for the Colorado courts, the supreme court here comprises a chief justice and six associate justices. Four of the seven were appointed by democrats, two by Bloomberg Hickenlooper. Two of the seven were appointed by Owens and despite the "R" that erroneously keeps appearing as a prefix to his name I'm reluctant to say they were republican appointees. One of Bloomberg's Hickenlooper's appointees is Brain Boatright. He's the asshat who presided over The Myspace Kid trial and even though the youngster fell into an exception in the law that made him innocent of the charges, Boatright decided there was an exception to the exception and found him guilty anyway (more on The Myspace Kid decision can be found here and here).

Suffice it to say, I don't think the courts will do us any good, and still no word from Judge Narragansett.

The sheriff's have almost all stated that they will not enforce the gunowner control laws passed in 2013, so that's a plus. City cops I wouldn't count on to do the right thing though.

So that's how things stand. A divided legislature where the commitment to really fight the new gunowner laws is questionable, a governors office being run by a petty tyrant bilionaire from New York friggin' City, and a judiciary that can be counted on to engage in thoughtful social justice rather than uphold any individual Rights or limit government power.

It is possible to garner up the 3 democrat votes in the house to pass a repeal of the gunowner control laws passed in 2013, and it should be almost certain to have such measures pass in the senate, but Bloomberg Hickenlooper still holds veto power. Even then it's possible to force something through, but not without a lot of public pressure and having the Colorado republican party make a bold stand (which itself would require a lot of public pressure, and perhaps a few spinal implants).

All is not lost as there are still a lot of folks in Colorado who will and do ignore these unconstitutional laws, and I hear the selection of normal capacity magazines in Cheyenne's many gun stores is just splendid. As long as we resist these laws, instead of bowing down to the state, then we have a fighting chance. 








One big question for next session is how hard Republicans will try to undo some of the Democrats’ recent policy gains. - See more at: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/compromise-key-2015-colorado-legislative-session#sthash.G5neUbY1.dpuf
One big question for next session is how hard Republicans will try to undo some of the Democrats’ recent policy gains. Those include laws benefiting undocumented immigrants and an election that moved Colorado to all mail ballots. But their main target is likely to be the gun control bills Democrats passed two years ago. Senate President Bill Cadman is hinting his party will make them an issue.
'"[I] think it was John F. Kennedy who said ‘an error’s not a mistake until you refuse to correct it’? Maybe we give them a couple opportunities,” Cadman says.
That’s not an opportunity House Democrats seem too interested in. Rep. Dickie Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, will take over as speaker next session, a step up from her current role as majority leader.
"Quite frankly I’m very proud of the work that we did in the past two years," Hullinghorst says. "Maybe there are others that disagree with some of that. And if they do and if they introduce bills that are worthy of discussion, we’ll talk about it. And we’ll see what happens next."
You can expect some political fireworks if Senate Republicans do make a serious attempt to roll back the Democratic gun control laws. But it will take some major politicking for any such attempts to be successful. 
- See more at: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/compromise-key-2015-colorado-legislative-session#sthash.G5neUbY1.dpuf
One big question for next session is how hard Republicans will try to undo some of the Democrats’ recent policy gains. Those include laws benefiting undocumented immigrants and an election that moved Colorado to all mail ballots. But their main target is likely to be the gun control bills Democrats passed two years ago. Senate President Bill Cadman is hinting his party will make them an issue.
'"[I] think it was John F. Kennedy who said ‘an error’s not a mistake until you refuse to correct it’? Maybe we give them a couple opportunities,” Cadman says.
That’s not an opportunity House Democrats seem too interested in. Rep. Dickie Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, will take over as speaker next session, a step up from her current role as majority leader.
"Quite frankly I’m very proud of the work that we did in the past two years," Hullinghorst says. "Maybe there are others that disagree with some of that. And if they do and if they introduce bills that are worthy of discussion, we’ll talk about it. And we’ll see what happens next."
You can expect some political fireworks if Senate Republicans do make a serious attempt to roll back the Democratic gun control laws. But it will take some major politicking for any such attempts to be successful. 
- See more at: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/compromise-key-2015-colorado-legislative-session#sthash.G5neUbY1.dpuf
One big question for next session is how hard Republicans will try to undo some of the Democrats’ recent policy gains. Those include laws benefiting undocumented immigrants and an election that moved Colorado to all mail ballots. But their main target is likely to be the gun control bills Democrats passed two years ago. Senate President Bill Cadman is hinting his party will make them an issue. - See more at: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/compromise-key-2015-colorado-legislative-session#sthash.G5neUbY1.dpuf
One big question for next session is how hard Republicans will try to undo some of the Democrats’ recent policy gains. Those include laws benefiting undocumented immigrants and an election that moved Colorado to all mail ballots. But their main target is likely to be the gun control bills Democrats passed two years ago. Senate President Bill Cadman is hinting his party will make them an issue. - See more at: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/compromise-key-2015-colorado-legislative-session#sthash.G5neUbY1.dpuf

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