I trust that Colorado citizens will be disgusted with Governor Hickenlooper for squandering over $23,000 a day for a special session over a divisive social issue. Will this create a new outcome for civil unions? The answer is, no, and the taxpayers will be out another $75,000.
This is an issue we certainly won’t solve in a three day special session. It’s an issue that likely won’t really be solved until the US Supreme Court settles the question of whether one’s Constitutionally protected religious liberty trumps another’s legislatively protected civil rights or vice versa.
Governor Hickenlooper could wait until tempers cool over the legislative interim and nearly 30 new legislators are seated in January before pushing to make this social policy change, so why won’t he?
I’ll give the answer the Governor won’t give for the real reason behind the special session: he believes there are a couple political advantages to be gained for Obama and the Democrats.
Fundraising efforts are lagging on all fronts. Everyone knows that the issue of gay rights, either advancing or protecting, is the key to big checks from the likes of Tim Gill and Pat Stryker. The House blunder, and it was a blunder, angered the check writers and sent signals of the need for protection. The call for a special session will send a different signal: Hickenlooper will spend political capital to advance their agenda. Checks please!
Further, the Democrats believe that one of the reasons they beat Ken Buck is that they were able to portray him as hostile and mean-spirited on the gay agenda. Hick and Company are betting that they can do it again with McNulty and the House Republicans, thereby distracting voters from the economic failures of the Obama Administration.
Who knows, it may work. And with Obama’s numbers dropping as fast as our economic uncertainties are rising, what other choice do they have?
I’ve been very critical of Governor Hickenlooper’s leadership failures in the past on the illegal camping in Denver by the Occupy movement and our state’s seemingly perpetual budget disaster. However, in this case he is showing bold and calculating leadership.
Too bad his talent is reserved for leading on divisive social issues rather than leading us to a future of sustainable spending on core functions of government like education, transportation and public safety.
State Senator Greg Brophy represents Senate District 1, which includes Cheyenne, Elbert, Logan, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma Counties.