Saturday, June 6, 2009

The latest Ritter veto

Gov. Bill Ritter infuriated labor unions again this week by vetoing a bill that would have allowed collective bargaining rights for firefighters. Firefighters. Whether you think this was a good or a bad bill, the nub of the problem is best summed up by commenter Ralphie at Coloradopols:
A governor with a majority in both houses shouldn't have to veto a bill.
If he vetoes a bill, it's either because he didn't communicate his wishes to the legislature, or he did and nobody listened.
Either way, that demonstrates a lack of leadership.
Let's just stipulate that overall, organized labor in Colorado is a lot better off with Ritter in the governor's mansion than it was with Owens there or it would be with Penry there. Still, this is two slaps in labor's face in the last month, and they didn't need to happen. I don't get the impression that Ritter is consciously trying to insult labor. It seems more like he has no political strategy at all. He seems to wait until a bill gets to his desk, and then very honestly and sincerely decides what's best for the state. That's a good decision to be making, but it's the wrong time to be making it.

It's a lot like the Bennet appointment. Again, not a bad choice at all. But he managed to offend a lot of Democratic allies in the process. It didn't need to happen.

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