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Lundberg: Gov. Hickenlooper’s labor pick “very much on the left”

Posted by Kelly Maher on January 18th, 2011
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Colorado state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, is wary of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s appointment of Ellen Golombek to head the state Department of Labor and Employment.

“The governor’s appointment for the Department of Labor is very much on the left,” Lundberg told me this month. “And that disappoints me. It doesn’t surprise me, honestly. I mean he is the Democrat governor, so he’s going to do that. We’re going to have some battles and some fights on a lot of issues. I’m hoping to find some common ground somewhere. But if it’s going to be common ground, it’s going to be ground that supports the citizens. And that’s more of a conservative perspective than a big-government side of the coin…”

Golombek “worked for 14 years with the Service Employees International Union and Colorado AFL-CIO,” according to Hickenlooper’s Jan. 3 announcement of the appointment.

State Sen. Bill Cadman, R-Colo. Springs, told me having someone whose “background has been on promoting unionization and union issues” is a problem because it “sends the exact opposite message to business that we are trying to portray in Colorado.”

And what is Golombek’s most recent position?

“Golombek currently serves as Colorado state director of America Votes, a liberal group that works to encourage voting and to maintain what it calls a ‘permanent progressive campaign infrastructure,’” reported the Denver Business Journal.

Though Democrats control the state Senate, Republicans have promised a thorough vetting.

“The Senate chamber has the responsibility of confirming appointees of the governor,” according to the Colorado News Agency. “The appointees have a hearing before a Senate committee where a recommendation is made for the full chamber’s up or down vote. Typically, appointees sail through the process. This time however, Senate Republicans say the process will not be on auto-pilot.”

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kelly Maher
    Kelly, a co-founder of WhoSaidYouSaid, brings more than 10 years of campaign and policy work experience. In addition to her skills in grassroots activism and organization, Kelly has a knack for distilling complex issues into accessible messages that resonate with voters. Her policy specialties include health care, education, employment and tort reform. Follow Kelly on Twitter at @okmaher.

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