A look at the lighter side (usually) of what goes on in the Colorado General Assembly ....
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night (with a nod to Rodgers & Hammerstein): In the past week, members of the Colorado state House departing for the upper chamber have left in their wake a few parting shots at those whom they are about to join.
To wit: Both Reps. Bob Rankin and Jeff Bridges have referred to how much fun the House is, in contrast (apparently) to the Senate.
Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, in his last moments as a state representative, called the Senate the place "where fun goes to die" and that he hoped to be a "bridge (no pun intended)" between the two chambers.
"Please don't leave me alone with those people," he joked.
Rankin, R-Carbondale, was a tad more measured in his farewell, which took place on Friday.
"I read a book recently about capturing life's moments. For me, this is one of those moments. In thinking about it and trying to capture, it, I was trying to get in touch with my feelings and how I would feel about it in the future," Rankin said, to some chuckles.
"I'm not sure I'm being banished to the dark zone for having committed malfeasance in office and having the inability to accurately add numbers or subtract numbers," Rankin joked. "This historic old chamber comes alive every day, and every day is a pleasure," and that's because of the people, he added.
Taking one for the team: Rankin has been on the legislature's Joint Budget Committee for the past five years and is expected to rejoin the JBC next week representing the Senate Republicans.
In a gracious move that is viewed as being in the best interests of the JBC, after Rankin is sworn in as a senator, Senate Republicans will hold a new election for JBC representative. Sen. Dennis Hisey of Fountain, whom by all accounts is doing a good job and really wanted the position, has agreed to step aside to allow Rankin back on the committee.
Hisey, who was elected to the JBC last November, is making the move with the support of Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert of Parker. Rankin is the JBC's senior member, having been on the committee longer than any member of either chamber. His experience is especially valuable since the JBC has four newcomers out of its six members this year.
If you haven't already learned that Pueblo runs the General Assembly: Rep. Daneya Esgar of Pueblo suffered the most humiliating of insults this week, when someone put a T-shirt with a Hatch, New Mexico (oh the horror!) Chile on it. People in Pueblo, which grows its own renowned chile, do not take that lightly, Esgar among them, and she demanded that the speaker find out who committed such a grievous act and punish that person severely.
"It's treason!" she thundered.
The villain was Rep. Hugh McKean of Loveland, but to Esgar's dismay, he was only fined $1 and then Speaker of the House KC Becker even withdrew that fine.
"He'll get his," snarled Esgar (in jest).
Say what? Quote of the week: This week, both the CLAW caucus (animal rights) and the Sportsmen's Caucus held their first meetings of the session, both on Thursday.
The CLAW caucus had as its featured guest First Gent Marlon Reis, who has taken on animal welfare as his pet (pun intended) issue. The Sportsmen's caucus takes a decidedly different view on animals, which usually involves hot dogs and the like.
Rep. Larry Liston of Colorado Springs announced both groups' meetings on Tuesday. Of the Sportsmen's caucus, he said, "They like animals in a different way," which got a couple of raised eyebrows.
Then he added, CLAW "likes to pet them; we like to eat them." Added Rep. Lois Landgraf of Colorado Springs, CLAW has a "barking good time."