News this week that CO Gov. Bill Ritter would not run for re-election in 2010 has, of course, sent the two major parties scrambling. The announcement was given with no notice to other officials or the party members themselves. After the announcement, the way in which potential Democratic replacements have been offered up and discussed by the “Serious People” nagged at me. I want to explore these developments with the removal of a state Representative from a committee vice-chairmanship and trends emanating from the Obama White House.
Turncoat Joe Lieberman played his Senate Democratic colleagues like a freaking fiddle. Despite campaigning against them since he lost his Connecticut primary in 2006, Senate Democrats voted today to allow him to retain his Homeland Security Committee Chair position. Despite not initiating one investigation while holding that position the past two years (not the Katrina response, not war profiteering, nothing), Democrats voted to permit Lieberman to continue to stab them in the back the next two years.
Sen. Salazar (“D”-CO) talked his fellow Democrats into keeping Lieberman in the Chair he had, and to give up his Environment and Public Works subcommittee position. Since Lieberman voted for the Iraq invasion and to continue the occupation every time it came up; since Lieberman voted to condone torture and rendition; since Lieberman voted to trash the writ of habeus corpus; since Lieberman voted to expand illegal wiretapping of U.S. citizens without justification; since Lieberman voted for retroactive immunity for that illegal wiretapping, he gets to keep his Chairmanship. He voted the opposite way than his Democratic colleagues on most of those issues. He voted the same way with his Democratic colleagues on Envrionment and Public Works issues. But he lost the latter and kept the former, with the assistance of Sen. Salazar, who Lieberman “mentored” when he first arrived in the Senate four years ago.
A number of diaries exploring these two have been written at SquareState, including this one, this one and this most recent one. I expect much more to be written in the next couple of years, if Salazar remains a Senator (rumors of an Interior Secretary post abound). Neither Joe Lieberman nor Ken Salazar have voted in Americans’ best interests (since when did torture become a “left vs. right” question?!). Neither deserve to represent their constituents. Will anyone successfully challenge Salazar in 2010 or Lieberman in 2012? I certainly hope so.
More changes in who holds what office continues with Colorado’s Secretary of State. The most recent SoS, Mike Coffman, won the CO-06 race to replace the xenophobic, racist Tom Tancredo. Courtesy of ProgressNow’s Daily News Digest, I learned that seven applicants are interested in being Colorado’s next Secretary of State:
* Former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
* State Rep. Bernie Buescher.
* Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon.
* Rosemary Rodriguez, chairwoman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
* Gilpin County Clerk Jessica Lovingier.
* TV show host Aaron Harber.
* Dan Willis, secretary for the Democratic Party in Denver.
Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn is personally holding 100 bills up in procedural gamesmanship. That’s despite the fact that the bills have no serious opposition and even broad support. That’s despite the fact that Sen. Coburn has been in the Senate as long as Sen. Barack Obama. Do we hear about Sen. Coburn’s inexperience as a reason he shouldn’t be where he is? Of course not. Sen. Coburn is just acting like an ass. He’s playing the Republican playbook of “government can’t work” to an extreme. He and his extremist ideologues want to show the American people just how little work the Congress can do.
In a brilliant and likely unprecedented move, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is gathering the bills into what’s called an omnibus and will bring that to the floor. Instead of taking up time with 100 individual bills, the Senate will consider only one.
Sen. Coburn is up for reelection in 2010. I’ll support his opponent enthusiastically.
Isn’t it interesting how the price of oil is “plummeting” as Congress looks to pass legislation that would crackdown on unregulated speculation of commodities? Throw this on top of the giant list of examples that demonstrate the market isn’t free, as conservatives have been crowing about for too long. Remember, the price of oil kept going up despite a significant decrease in demand earlier this year.
Barack Obama’s campaign is launching Solutions for Colorado, which is a good thing. The first two events, however, are being hosted by the most right-leaning Democrats Colorado has to offer: the Salazar brothers.
Our first event is in Pueblo, where we’ll share our ideas on the economy and be joined by Rep. John Salazar. At our second event in Windsor, we’ll be joined by Sen. Ken Salazar to discuss our energy solutions for Colorado.
What about Reps. DeGette or Udall, both of whom have been in office longer and both of whom are more progressive than the Salazars? This is an interesting way to begin these meetings and points toward a likely mode of behavior if Obama is elected President: tacking right in search of the mythical center.
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.