Finally, good news about health insurance

In Capitol Review, Notes by Mark Hillman

For the first time in six years, Colorado’s health insurance market is showing signs of improvement.  More employers are offering insurance coverage, and more working families are being covered.

From 2005 to 2006, 1,289 more businesses offered coverage to their employees and dependants, according to a report from the Colorado Division of Insurance.

That seems like a very modest improvement until it’s compared to the previous five years.   From 2000 to 2005, nearly 23,902 businesses discontinued coverage – an average loss of 4,780 businesses per year.
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Must reads for March 19-23

In Must Reads, Notes by Mark Hillman

Compassion and the decline of America
By Dennis Prager
Compassion is killing the spirit of competition and the important lessons learned from success and from failure.  Too many Americans refuse to grow up!

What about the morality of homosexual behavior
By Janice Shaw Crouse
If General Peter Pace had said Christianity was "immoral," do you think the press would have covered protests?  Instead, he said something most Americans believe — that homosexuality is immoral.

Why the screaming left wants US to lose in Iraq
By Dinesh D’Souza
…because they perceive Bush to be a bigger threat to their agenda than Bin Laden.

The Right to Bear Arms in Washington, D.C.
By George Will
Of course, the 2nd Amendment guarantees a right of the people and imposes a limitation on government — now, if only the Supreme Court will finally agree.

Hysteria trumps self-defense in gun debate

In Blog, Capitol Review by Mark Hillman

Hysteria trumped reason yet again at the State Capitol when a senate committee killed the so-called "Make My Day Better" bill on a party-line vote.

Responsible gun owners regularly find themselves subjected to this kind of treatment by wet-diaper, nanny-state liberals who believe that any Colorado citizen with a gun is barely capable of suppressing some ravenous urge to shoot everyone who casts so much as a cross-eyed glance.

House Bill 1011 was sound and reasonable, extending to workers in a business the right to protect themselves against an imminent criminal threat — the same right that Coloradans have enjoyed in their homes since 1985. Read More

RMN: No wiggle room on Amendment 41

In Blog, In the News, Notes by Mark Hillman

Rocky Mountain News
On Point
By Vincent Carroll
February 15, 2007

Desperate supporters of Amendment 41 are arguing, some even with a straight face, that their attempt to rewrite their monstrosity after voters enshrined it in the constitution is no different from what occurred after passage of Amendment 27 a few years ago.

Early in 2003, they point out, the legislature wrote "clarifying language" to smooth 27’s rough edges regarding campaign finance. That’s all they want the legislature to do today with Amendment 41, they insist. So what’s the big deal?

The big deal? Let’s see: How about two wrongs don’t make a right? As a Rocky editorial complained in 2003 (and remember, we opposed 27 just as we opposed 41 last fall), one popular legislative plan amounted to "a brazen attempt to get around the strict campaign contribution limits that had been approved by voters in last year’s Amendment 27."
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Former GOP senate leader disputes 41 rhetoric

In Blog, In the News, Notes by Mark Hillman


A former Senate Republican leader, who carried legislation to enact a campaign-reform amendment approved by voters in 2002, says his bill was fundamentally different from a now-pending attempt to exempt large groups of people from voter-approved Amendment 41.

Mark Hillman, who served as Senate majority leader in 2003-04 and as minority leader in 2005, was Senate sponsor of a 2003 bill that implemented Amendment 27. Hillman disputes current claims that the bill made substantive changes to Amendment 27 in the way that some now propose for Amendment 41, the government-ethics law voters adopted last November.

 “Legislators are in a real bind. Either they uphold the plain language of the constitution, which is the first oath that they take, or they do what is politically popular and ignore the plain language of the constitution.”
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The Disaster that is ‘Mexifornia’

In Blog, Must Reads by Mark Hillman

Victor Davis Hanson’s two-part follow up to his book, Mexifornia, was published Feb. 6 by Investor’s Business Daily, and it’s a must-read on immigration.


  • "The debate no longer splits along liberal-conservative, Republican-Democrat or even white-brown fault lines.  Instead, class considerations more often divide Americans on the issue.  The majority of middle-lcass and poor whites, Asians, African-Americans and Hispanics wish to close the borders.  They see few advantages to cheap service labor because they are notso likely to need it to mow their lawns, watch their kids or clean their houses."
  • "I chronicled in Mexifornia the aomaly of angry protesters waving the flag of the country they vehemently did not wish to return to …."
  • "Every time an alien crosses the border legally, fluent in English and with a high school diploma, the La Raza industry and the corporate farm or construction company alike most likely lose a constituent."

Blame game bedevils Amendment 41

In Blog, Capitol Review by Mark Hillman

What if your state senator or representative voted for a bill based on what they were told it would do, rather than what the bill actually said in plain ol’ black and white?

What if the actual text of that bill put some rather outrageous things into state law and, when pressed further, your elected legislator explained, "Well, I never actually read the bill before I voted on it"?

Would you pat him or her on the head and say, "Aw, that’s OK.  We know you are busy, so we’ll just ignore the part of the law you didn’t read and instead apply only what you say you intended for it to do"?

Is that what you would say?

No, I didn’t think so. Read More

Our troops deserve our support

In Blog, Capitol Review by Mark Hillman

I have never been more discouraged by the prevailing attitude in our country than I am now as we face serious choices about the war in Iraq and the consequences of failure.

Four years ago, the U.S. Senate voted 77-23 to authorize the war in Iraq; the House followed suit 296-133.  Upwards of 70 percent of us supported removing Saddam Hussein and replacing him with a democratically-elected government.

Today, the poll numbers are virtually reversed.  Majorities of Americans now believe going to war was the wrong thing to do, that sectarian violence cannot be resolved anytime soon, and that President Bush’s plan to send deploy more troops is a non-starter.

It’s not hard to understand why.  The "news" from Iraq is almost never good – perhaps because it’s much easier to report bombings and body counts from the safety of a news bureau than it is to interview regular Iraqis who, in so many parts of the country, are benefiting from schools, jobs and opportunities that wouldn’t exist were it not for America’s intervention.
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Ethics amendment creates an ethical dilemma

In Capitol Review by Mark Hillman

Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. — H.L. Mencken

Last November, more than 62 percent of Colorado voters supported Amendment 41, the constitutional amendment advertised to crack down on cozy relationships between lobbyists and politicians.

Garnering 50,000 more votes than any candidate, Amendment 41 demonstrated yet again that just because voters give you the keys to government doesn’t mean they want to leave too much gas in the tank.

Amendment 41’s chief proponents, Colorado Common Cause, opted to put the text in the state constitution where the legislature couldn’t monkey around with it.

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How Colorado turned blue

In Blog, Notes by Mark Hillman

What a difference eight years makes – or even four, for that matter. Bill Ritter’s inauguration as governor on Jan. 9 marks a milestone in a political transformation that seemed unlikely, if not virtually impossible, just a few years ago.

Hand it to Colorado Democrats: they’ve done a remarkable job turning our state’s political landscape upside down, despite trailing Republicans in voter registration by some 170,000.
Now, activists and analysts are studying this transformation to see if the Colorado model can be exported to other states, particularly those in the West.

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