Friday, July 9, 2010

Democrats Could Lose the Colorado House

State House observers believe Democrats could lose control of the Colorado Assembly. A combination of an electorate leaning Republican due to national issues, a lame duck Democratic governor and a sharp turn to the left among legislative Democrats leave them vulnerable. After big Democratic wins in 2004 and 2006, they would have to lose six seats to lose control.

In the latest Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce legislative scorecard that was released on June 3, the Democratic Front Range delegation produced some of the most anti-business representatives, with Fort Collins Randy Fischer leading the way.

Randy Fischer is a good example of the Democrats’ problem. He is rated the delegation’s most anti-business member. Democrats improbably made him the chairman of the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee. He is an urban legislator, an extreme environmentalist and strongly opposes farm water projects.

Most of the Democrats’ voting shifted to a more anti-business position this session, partially reflecting their sense that this may be the end of their domination of state government and their decision to balance the state budget by removing a number of business tax exemptions.

This clearly will be a tough year for Democrats to raise any business money in closely contested seats. Will organized labor and the wealthy liberal donors be able to save them?

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