Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Influential is Labor in Colorado?

Andrew Oh-Willeke,
But, I think that I am hardly in the minority in seeing [Ritter's] frayed relationship with unions who are a key constituency of the Democratic party as his key political reason for not running again. And, the truth of the matter is that he could have delivered more to unions, simply by refraining from vetoing pro-union legislation that was passed on his watch. With Democrats in control of the General Assembly, he didn't veto many pieces of legislation, and the most controversial ones were pro-union measures, at least one of which he promised union supporters on the campaign trail that he would support, accompanied by unconvincing veto messages about the political process. But for those vetoes, it is my opinion that he would have been running for re-election in 2010 with broad based support from the Democratic party.
Though I am hopeful that this is the case, I am not convinced. As I wrote over at Andrew's blog, I'm just not sure that labor has that much influence in Colorado politics. Look at the record of passing pro-labor legislation in Colorado, even with Democrats controlling the legislature. Just this past session the legislature wouldn't even bring a measure to the floor to protect union dues deductions for state employees. This was an absolutely critical piece of legislation and House and Senate Democrats completely walked away from it on the last day of the session.

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

This might be because the legislators thought it was likely that the legislation would be vetoed.