Authored by Katie Spence via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Colorado’s legislative session is 120 consecutive days long and during the 2023 session lawmakers introduced 617 bills. Of those, 218 passed and have been signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis. More are waiting to be signed.
Democrats have a historic majority in the Colorado House, a supermajority in the Senate, and control the governorship. As such, all bills passed with Democrat support—and more often than not, over Republican’s vehement objections. It’s a marked change from 2002 when the GOP dominated politics in Colorado.
Colorado Republican Rep. Stephanie Luck is one of a handful of Colorado Representatives fighting back and trying to expose what she describes as Democrats’ Marxist agenda, where individual rights don’t matter, and the government controls every aspect of life.
“When I first got elected and sworn into office in 2021, Governor Polis gave his State-of-the-State Address shortly thereafter and stated that it was his goal and the goal of his Democratic majority to fundamentally transform Colorado,” Luck told The Epoch Times.
“So, the question becomes, what was the initial foundation they want to transform? And I would point us to the mission statement of the United States, which is the Declaration of Independence.
“And basically, we could go word by word in that most famous phrase starting with ‘We hold these truths.’ We can start with the word ‘We’ and demonstrate how they want not a ‘We,’ not a unified whole, not one nation, but different tribes, different groupings, different identities, and then just go every single word and recognize that they really are advancing the opposite of that mission statement.
“And that is what Governor Polis and the Democrats have been doing in Colorado.”
Luck refers to the book, “The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care),” by Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer.
It details how, in the summer of 2004, progressive organizations and a group of multimillionaires—including Colorado’s now governor Polis—devised a plan to elect a Democratic majority. The group called themselves the Roundtable.
“Everyone had a common goal and it wasn’t to win friends. It was to win elections. That was the measure by which they would succeed or fail,” writes Schrager. He adds that the group’s main avenues to flip Colorado blue were extensive organization, a deep understanding of data, and, arguably the most impactful, taking advantage of campaign finance reform laws.
Dr. Joshua Dunn, a professor of political science at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, agrees.
“There was a well-orchestrated democratic plan to take control of the state. … [The Roundtable] was smart,” Dunn told The Epoch Times. “They were smarter than the Republicans. I think the Republicans will tell you that they were outsmarted by them. I don’t think there’s any doubt about it.
“They were well organized, disciplined, and they imposed discipline on people who wanted their support. They had requirements for people—particularly in local races if you wanted to get support from them—you had to go and knock on a certain number of doors.”
In addition to organization and discipline, Schrager notes that the group understood that swaying state politics could have an outsized impact on politics at the federal level.
“In hindsight, it’s remarkable how quickly members of the Roundtable adapted to the new campaign finance reality. While national political groups were beginning to use 527s [527 concerns a section of the Internal Revenue Code governing a type of tax-exempt political organization] … in 2004 it was unusual for state-based organizations to understand these exotic organizations and complex rules that governed them—much less master them to the point that they could be used effectively.”
By taking advantage of 527s, the Roundtable raised $3.6 million. In contrast, Republicans raised $845,000. With a significant war chest for state-level elections established, the group targeted Republican politicians. And they did so through targeted ads, leaflets, boots on the ground, automated calls, and a unified message that a Democratic majority was better for Colorado.
Schrager quotes Polis saying in The Blueprint: “We really didn’t truly know how big this would become. Clearly, when we started, we had no idea. I didn’t know this would have great historical significance, nor did anybody there that we would transform Colorado.”
But transform the Colorado political landscape they did.
From 1978 to 2002, Republicans controlled both the state House and state Senate. But in 2006, Democrats took control of both chambers.
Then, the 2010 election was the nail in the coffin, according to Dunn, and it came down to candidate quality, “This was an enormous lost opportunity for the Republican Party, and I think it’s very difficult to overstate the significance of that election or the decline of the Republican Party in Colorado.
“That was the Tea Party election. By all rights, the Republican Party should have won both the governor’s office and what’s now Senator Michael Bennett’s Senate seat in that election, but they made two catastrophic mistakes. They nominated a Tea Party candidate for governor who was so ill-prepared that Tom Tancredo ran as a third-party candidate.
“Then on the Senate side with Michael Bennett, again, Republicans should have won that, but they nominated Ken Buck, and he was not prepared for primetime in that race and made several significant mistakes, but he almost won.
“If the Republicans had another good option, they easily would have won that race. So, there you have two statewide elections that Republicans should have won easily, and it was money that they just left on the table,” Dunn said.
A ‘Marxist’ Agenda
Colorado has since shifted to the left.
“We’ve obviously moved to the left. There’s no doubt because there’s been nothing to put the brakes on for [Democrats],” Dunn said.
“You saw that with this past legislative session. … There were a lot of really controversial pieces of legislation. … Even the stuff that didn’t make it through, the fact that it was being considered kind of tells you where they’re trying to go.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Polis wouldn’t have minded Republicans controlling one house of the state legislature just to limit the bills that made it to him where he had to make a difficult choice. Either support his own party, which would require him to sign some legislation that might undermine a general election campaign for president, or veto and anger his own caucus,” said Dunn.
Luck sees the Democrats as pushing a Marxist agenda.
“Let’s just take the right to contract and the right to property,” she said. “These are alienable rights [meaning transferable] that our founders understood were necessary to a free people. So, the right to property is a derivative of our self.
“And unfortunately, many of my colleagues don’t understand that property is inherent to oneself. They see property and wealth building almost through a lens of evil. Those who have are somehow inherently bad because they ‘have.’
“So, what we have seen this last session is a pitting of employees against employers, tenants against landlords, any category of people that my colleagues think at some point have been oppressed or have been wronged, are now—through law—given extra rights and afforded extra protections that I believe are largely unjust.”
In the 2023 legislative session, Democrats passed Senate Bill 23-184, “Protections For Residential Tenants,” that, among other provisions, prohibits landlords from considering “certain information relating to a prospective tenant’s income or rental history.” That “information” includes income and credit scores. The new law also puts a cap on how much income a landlord can require to qualify a prospective tenant.
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