Republicans for Ritter
From the Rocky Mountain News:
Last week, dozens of Republican business executives met with Ritter at a breakfast in Denver to discuss economic development. Republican businessman Blair Richardson, former finance chairman for Mark Holtzman's campaign for governor, hosted the breakfast.
"There were 100 people there, and 75 percent of them were Republicans," Richardson said. "Ritter was very strong. He said he'd create an economic czar and put that person in the governor's office. He gave Bill Richardson of New Mexico as an example of a governor who is always marketing that state."
Richardson said Ritter "won a lot of converts" at the meeting. He has endorsed Ritter himself and now plans to host a series of breakfast meetings to introduce him to other Republicans.
Unlike some Democrats, I'm not turned off by the other side finding our candidate attractive. I think it would worry me if Ritter was bending over backwards to compromise principles in the method of corporate appeasment - but most of this transition has to do with Measure C:
"There's growing discontent in the business community about the position of many Republicans on Referendum C and finding the resources necessary to fund state services," Scott said.
That discontent has been a boon to Democrat Bill Ritter in his race for governor against U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez. Ritter endorsed Ref C, while Beauprez opposed it. Ref C was approved by voters last fall and allowed the state to keep billions in tax revenue that otherwise would have been returned to taxpayers.
Colorado business organizations played a key role in the passage of Ref C, fearing that huge cuts in higher education and transportation funding would harm the state's economy. Scott says many executives share Ritter's fear that Colorado is falling behind other states in funding its universities and roads.
If that is what makes Ritter appealing to Republicans, then sign me up. He currently holds a 10 point lead over Both Ways Bob. With this kind of momentum, Ritter will be the next governor of Colorado.
Something I yammer on here quite a bit is the ability for Western Democrats to bring both sides to the table. I'm glad to see Ritter bridging the gap in ever-blue trending Colorado. The inability of the state Republican party to build consensus on issues of education and infrastructure development has driven many former Republicans from the party:
"I said, 'That's it, I'm done,'" Kaufman said. "The people who run the Republican Party today don't care about business. What this party is about now is God, guns, gays and abortion. They don't care about education, health care or transportation. They think cutting taxes solves all problems."
In many ways, the futhering of this process in Colorado also stands as a bellweather for the rest of the Rocky Mountain West. With Democrats across the mountain west inheriting or inhabiting the governor's mansions (AZ, NM, CO, WY, MT and more around the corner) the Western Democrat is clearly in the ascendency.
Arthur Schlesinger described the period of post-WWII consensus in our country as "The Vital Center" - is it possible we are seeing a return to the Vital Center out in the West? If we are to establish a new era in policy, with Western Dems leading the way, then it could be possible to have a fundemental re-orientation of issues and politics.
Your Personal Note:
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)