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Gov. Ritter: why I voted for Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet was "heads and shoulders above the rest of the crowd" for the U.S. Senate seat appointment in 2009, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said at a recent campaign event for Bennet in Denver.

"I had an enviable position, in many respects, because it was an embarrassment of riches, a lot of great candidates," Ritter said of his selection process. "But I appointed Michael Bennet and I did it for a reason. I did it because I believe this country is at a time of great transformation, whether you talk about health care or education or energy issues. There are a variety of things that we could look at in the public policy circle and say: We need people who are thoughtful, we need people who are intelligent, we need people who are inspired in their own vision about what this country should become. And Michael Bennet was heads and shoulders above the rest of the crowd because he has that vision, he has that transformational way of thinking."

We're not sure what Democratic Party primary voters will make of that high-minded endorsement from the lame-duck governor, but former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff has TRANSFORMED Ritter's coronation of Bennet (who has never run for office) into a populist fight for the nomination.

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If you can add and subtract, you can have rocks thrown at you, literally

When I reviewed this video of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall praising Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, I felt like the little kid in a candy store staring at the shelves and feeling overwhelmed with options (of course, if I were a kid now I couldn't get as much candy because I would have to start paying the Ritter candy tax).

One at a time:

"I've watched a lot of people throw rocks at him, literally."

Literally? Did I miss that news article? I'm pretty sure I would have heard if we started stoning our elected officials. That's taking partisanship to a really unhealthy level.

"Our Republican friends are often against four letter words."

Yes, I am against all four-letter words. If a word has three or five letters, I'm cool. Four? I am against it. Here's a four-letter word I really dislike, DEBT, as in $12.4 trillion.

"At this point in time [Republicans] have trouble with the word 'math'."

Do you mean that, LITERALLY?

"I want to thank [Ritter] . . . for being able to add and subtract..."

I can add and subtract. Can I be governor?

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Will Senator Bennet's huckster pitch SHAMWOW! next?

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is working hard to be the darling of the left and survive a primary challenge from Andrew Romanoff.

It's paying off, as indicated by this protest in downtown Denver, led by Scott Kwasny of Jobs with Justice...

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Bennet loves Romanoff - and bad policy

"I love you, and I just wish you were running a primary against one of the people causing the problems," appointed U.S. Senate Michael Bennet of Colorado reportedly said at last night's forum with Democratic primary opponent Andrew Romanoff.

Sen. Bennet, YOU are causing the problems, pushing the Senate to pursue health care reform through reconciliation, proposing restrictions on political speech, and backing the $787 billion federal stimulus boondoggle.

Speaking of which, when formulating policy, please consider using "Boondoggle: A Search Engine for Democrats."

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Romanoff: "Lower the age of Medicare eligibility to zero."

"What does the country need to do to move health care reform forward?" U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff was asked at the recent "Be the Change" candidate forum in Denver.

"We should lower the age of Medicare eligiblity to zero," Romanoff replied. In other words, a universal health care system with a single payer, i.e., the TAXPAYERS.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (a stand-in for Romanoff's primary opponent, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet) said he agreed with a "universal, single payer model." Then he explained Bennet's position, which is for the public option (which Polis ALSO SUPPORTS as an alternative.)

Here's a question for Colorado voters: can we AFFORD to have Bennet, Romanoff or Polis anywhere near the U.S. Treasury?

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A Colorado tax trap for "excessive pay"

A few money quotes from the recent "Strike a Better Balance" rally on the Colorado statehouse steps...

$$$ "We must storm that ballot box and we must unshackle our legislators so they can provide the funding our schools deserve." - Karen Mortimer, PTSA president, Whittier Elementary School

$$$ "Employment should be protected in every sector, including public workers." - Sammantha O'Brien, Metro State College student

$$$ "A quality education is at least as important as low taxes, if not more so." - O'Brien

What goes along with such thinking is, of course, are NEW SCHEMES such as House Bill 1263, with 18 Democratic legislators signing on.

"This bill will limit the amount corporations deduct from their taxes for salaries they pay in excess of $250,000 a year," explained Carol Hedges of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute. "Now, be clear, it doesn't limit what corporations can pay. But it does limit how much the cost of that excessive pay they can transfer to us as taxpayers."

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Sen. Bennet's amendments to the First Amendment

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet's strident calls for campaign finance restrictions, contrasted with his prodigious fundraising (nearly $5 million, by one count), explains part of his credibility problem with Coloradans. Taking donations hand over fist and then trying to limit some donors sounds like, "Fine for me, but not for thee."

Speaking of free speech, what does the appointed senator think about the 24/7 media environment in which public policy is debated? Not much, it turns out.

"One of the thing that we need to recognize is that I think we lost something [from] when most of us got our news from Walter Cronkite. Or, you know, from somebody that we all had to watch and we made up our mind about," Bennet said during a town hall meeting Jan. 7 in Highlands Ranch.

"It's very interesting when you look at what's happened to the media environment. Because now, I mean, it could have been and it may still be, this great democratization of information, right, that's going out on the Internet. And everybody can have access to everything. That could end up being very powerful, it really could.

"At the moment, what is happening, I think, is that we each can find our own echo chamber where everybody agrees with whatever it is we imagine to be true. And because there's just so much of it on TV and in the blogs and everything else - which is not to say there aren't good blogs or good TV - but there's so much of it that so much of the conversation is about process; because you can't talk about...The substance doesn't change enough for that to be a story, you know, in real time."

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