As Republicans realize their time in power is waning, they’re pushing hard to get their brand of judicial nominees onto benches. Wayne Allard has been one of the most unproductive Senators since … well, I don’t know when, but he hasn’t been busy working for Coloradans, that’s for sure. So it was with interest that I read there was some contention developing regarding appointing district judges. Allard wants to cement conservative activists to benches to serve for years to come. Ken Salazar wants to slow him down and appoint judges who might actually do their job: interpret law and not make it.
It seems Allard submitted some names back in November. Salazar formed a panel a couple of weeks ago to put together their own list of names and to provide information on those Allard submitted. Salazar’s method increases the transparency of the nomination process. Allard, as usual, operated outside of public discourse. Allard raised an important issue: background checks and the confirmation process takes months to complete. Further, the Senate won’t consider anyone after July 1. There are (or soon will be) three vacancies to fill.
That was the state of affairs up until yesterday, when it was announced that Allard asked the seven nominees he recommended also apply to Salazar’s panel. The media likes conflicting stories, and this case is no different:
“Allard has said that the process needed to get underway and there wasn’t time to take part in the commission that Salazar started earlier this month, given that the Senate is not going to consider nominations after July 1. Salazar has said Allard did not consult him and that the selections were made in the “dark of night” and that there is enough time to formalize the process.”
It’s interesting to see how members of the strict father party deal with situations. It’s also interesting to see Salazar take this much interest in the issue. We’ll see how things turn out and who (if anyone) gets nominated.
The nominees: Christine Arguello, Colorado’s former chief deputy attorney general; Phillip Brimmer, chief of special prosecutions for the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office; Gregory Goldberg, former Colorado assistant U.S. Attorney; U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty; 19th Judicial District Judge James Hartmann; former Colorado U.S. Attorney William Leone and 1st Judicial District Judge Mary Jo Menendez.
I re-registered my vehicle yesterday. I view the process as pretty silly, but I had to get it done. Ironically, I read an article while waiting for my emissions test to finish that Gov. Ritter has proposed raising registration fees by an average of $100 per vehicle to help pay for the backlog of transportation infrastructure Colorado is facing.
Doing so would raise $500 million per year, the minimum needed to maintain our road system, according to Ritter’s transportation panel. It would take $1.5 billion more per year to fix roads and bridges.
Predictably, state Republicans freaked out. Since the Governor didn’t recommend privatizing every road and enriching just one old white guy, apparently he doesn’t have a ‘practical solution’.
‘“The governor was unbelievable,” said Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany of Colorado Springs. “Instead of a practical solution, all he wants to do is talk some more. And all he wants to talk about is another de facto tax imposed on the people of this state.”‘
See, it’s okay for a corporation to impose de facto taxes on people any time they want – no need for votes from citizens for that. But if the big, bad government needs to pay for infrastructure maintenance, it’s time to bring out the talking points.
I have a question for Sen. McElhany: how many bridges need to fall and how many people need to die as a result of failing infrastructure before you recognize that investments in the commons need to be made?