Guest Commentary: Welcome to Cali-rado

April 26, 2013

KERNS: The legislative agenda in Colorado has been punctuated by “the three G’s:” Guns, Green, and Ganja

The other morning I found myself humming the tune, “California, here I come… right back where I started from…” and I had to stop for a moment to chuckle at the irony.

While the song was written for a 1920s Broadway musical – nearly 100 years ago – it has never been so timely for this California-turned-Colorado girl.

You see, I came to Colorado over the New Year to scout out the political landscape and to seek a bit of refuge from my once-Golden State which became so hostile to business, it no longer made sense for me to conduct all of my business there. Plus, as someone who witnessed the downfall of the largest state in the nation due to liberal policies, I have a passion for helping newly-turned blue states from becoming any bluer.

Upon my arrival, one Coloradan after another began to share with me how Colorado is slowly turning into California.  It stands to reason, as Colorado went to Barack Obama in 2012, making it “the first time the state backed a Democrat presidential candidate for a second term in 76 years” according to The Denver Post.  And Democrats recently gained a majority in the legislature.

What did surprise me, however, are the multitude of ways that Colorado appears to be not just meeting but exceeding the liberalism of California – and doing so at a rapid clip.

Despite Democrat House Speaker Mark Ferrandino’s claim that this legislative session was to be all about the three C’s – “cooperation, consultation and consensus” – nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s been nothing more than a partisan majority steaming down the tracks to ram through their progressive agenda.

In fact, the legislative agenda in Colorado has been punctuated more by “the three G’s:”  Guns, Green, and Ganja pretty much sums up where the Democrats’ priorities lie this session.


The Colorado legislature has just passed some the most radical gun control measures in the nation, similar to ones just introduced by Democrats in California.  Colorado’s new laws include bans on ammunition magazines over just 15 rounds, and background checks for private-party and online sales. Now that Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper has supported those bills hook, line and sinker, there’s no telling how much further Colorado could follow in California’s footsteps – possibly banning semi-automatic rifles entirely and introducing a “bullet tax” on all ammunition sales as California has. That’s a nickel-per-bullet tax on every bullet.

And in Colorado, not only are they trampling your 2nd Amendment rights, they’re also concurrently running jobs out of this state. Just ask the employees who work at Magpul Industries.


Taking a page from their California friends (well, I suppose they wouldn’t  take an actual page – that would consume paper and kill a tree, after all), the Colorado Legislature has begun to foist upon the people of Colorado various taxes or fees to subsidize their green energy plans.  Senate Bill 252, for example, would force rural electric power associations to increase by 150% their retail electricity sources from government-“approved” renewable-energy sources by the year 2020. It is nothing more than a gigantic green energy mandate and a rate increase on rural residents who often earn less and can least afford it. And you thought Democrats were for the little guy.

At least California learned its lesson with the ill-fated, highly-publicized bankruptcy of Solyndra.  Nowadays, California’s own San Francisco Bay Area tree-hugging Governor Jerry Brown can be heard talking more about jobs than green energy.  Democrats in the Colorado Legislature, on the other hand, haven’t received the memo. Maybe it’s related to that whole paper thing.


The longtime home to those infamous 1970s Cheech & Chong movies, even the State of California hasn’t passed the legalization of marijuana. But now that weed has become legal in the State of Colorado, you see Democrats going after tax revenue like a college roommate ransacking the house in search of the munchies. The Legislature is now hungering for a nearly 40% tax on recreational weed after receiving the green light from the State’s pot task force.  Concerns are now growing that sellers won’t bother to collect the tax or that buyers will simply go underground for their purchases, which makes Amendment 64 rather pointless if I may be so, ahem, blunt.

As matter of fact, a new study from Colorado State University suggests that revenues from marijuana taxes won’t do much, if anything, to save Colorado’s budget. In fact, the money that was promised for new school construction will fall far below the $40 million promised by legalization proponents during the campaign. Hmm, people lying about how much money would go to schools… where have we heard that before?

Add to “the three G’s” these other Colorado goodies: plastic bag taxes, gay marriage and same-day voter registration – laws that even the radical State of California has not passed.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Los Angeles to see that the California-cation of Colorado has thoroughly taken off and is now giving California a run for its money as the fastest destructing State in the Union.

Jennifer Kerns is the Communications Director for Coloradans against Unions Using Kids as Pawns

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