Jon Caldara

Jon Caldara

Democratic strategist Ted Trimpa is one of the architects of the progressive takeover of this once-tolerant and relatively sane state of Colorado. Before this legislative session I asked him what he feared most from his team now that they control every lever of power.

His answer — hubris

I found it fascinating that he didn’t use the word “overreach,” the word used most in politics to describe when one’s opponents overstep to the point where they endanger their own re-election.

Did Trump beat Hillary, or did Hillary lose to Trump?

The fact that this ultra-progressive legislature would “overreach” was a given when they won their seats on election night. But Trimpa hit on something different when he said “hubris.”

Now we know what he meant.

I’ve been doing politics in Colorado for three decades, and I can easily say I have never witnessed such wanton arrogance and dismissive condescension from those elected to administer our governmental machinery.

From the top in our governor’s office to secretary of state and attorney general, to the legislative majorities in the House and Senate, we have never had such callous, indifferent and glib individuals in charge.

Not ever before have legislative bills come to a vote without real stakeholder input and at least a façade of respect for the people and industries being savaged by new laws, rules, mandates and taxes, now called “fees” to avoid asking consent of voters.

The old adage at the Capitol was, “if you’re not at the table you’re on the table.” The warning being that you best get yourself, and your industry, involved in crafting a bill that affects you; otherwise, you’ll become the victim of it.

Our “stakeholder” process was held hostage this year. Sometimes the elites at the Capitol falsely claimed that COVID kept participation limited. Sometimes they didn’t bother giving an excuse for their bullying at all.

The last day of the session is called “sine die” which is Latin for “thank God this crap is over”. It is usually a day of last-minute bureaucratic housekeeping, long speeches and, until Senator Faith Winter accused Representative Steve Lebsock of hitting on her, a good-natured day of nonpartisan partying.

But, illustrating another example of the year-long supercilious operating system of the progressive leadership, Rep. Mark Baisley Facebooked this telling little post:

“Today is 'Sine Die' in the Colorado State legislature, the final day of the 2021 session. About 4 hours ago, we were about to enjoy the closing ceremony of the House of Representatives — when the Democrats introduced 'one final bill.' House Bill 1266 is no rubber stamp legislation. It is 55 pages of radical environmentalism snuck into law with no time given to read and debate. In fact, the paper was literally still hot when they distributed copies about an hour after calling for the vote.

“HB21-1266 introduces the concept of 'environmental justice' that seeks to make up for 'centuries of genocide, environmental racism, and predatory extraction practices” that require 'the participation of all Coloradans.' If you live in Colorado, this new law is directed at you, your liberty, and your paycheck.

“Representative Terry Carver of El Paso County described this as 'a grotesque abuse of the legislative process.'"

Indeed, HB-1266 is woke-ism written into lawbooks and energy policy.

It’s not just another $3 million tax increase without voter approval, it’s a denunciation of White Privilege, a celebration of victimhood which will jack up energy prices, hurting the working poor the most. That sad irony seems lost on the social justice addicts who passed it.

The bill reads like a Berkeley women’s studies professor commanding power plants be engineered solely by grad students from the indigenous studies department.

By the bill’s own words, it’s for “communities with residents who are Black, indigenous, Latino, or people of color," who "have faced centuries of genocide, environmental racism, and predatory extraction practices,” to punish “privileged communities” which “have a responsibility to acknowledge the harms to which they contribute and a duty to find ways to give back what has been taken.”

By the way, “give back” means crushing energy bills.

Maybe this is the greatest bill in Colorado history. If so, why drop last minute without debate?

Meet our new Pharaohs. So let it be written, so let it be done.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute in Denver and hosts "The Devil's Advocate with Jon Caldara" on Colorado Public Television Channel 12. His column appears Sundays in Colorado Politics.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute in Denver and hosts "The Devil's Advocate with Jon Caldara" on Colorado Public Television Channel 12. His column appears Sundays in Colorado Politics.

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