HUDSON: COLORADO’S GOVERNOR ON THE NATIONAL STAGE
If the Hancock media team really wants to raise our new Mayor’s national profile they could do worse than to take a lesson from Governor Hickenlooper. It doesn’t get any better for a Democrat than snagging a shout out from George Will. As the dean of (establishment, not Tea Party) conservative punditry, Will’s recent column helps spread the speculation that Hick just might make an appearance on the Democratic national ticket in 2016. A lot of homebrew will need to pass under the bridge before that comes to pass, but who’s to say it’s impossible?
HUDSON: A DAY OF RECOGNITION, BUT FOR WHAT?
For most Americans Labor Day is the bookend summer holiday which closes the family vacation months that begin each year with Memorial Day. Not one in a thousand could tell you it was established by a unanimous vote of Congress in 1894. Fewer still would know why such consensus prevailed. Suffice it to say that the wholesale slaughter of workers by federal troops during the Pullman strikes proved an embarrassment for both political parties. Designating a day of national recognition for the working men and women of the nation seemed expedient at the time.
HUDSON: I’M PROUD TO SAY I WAS THERE
Forty-eight years ago this week I moved into my dorm room at the University of Maryland in College Park. Freshmen were required to report a week early to undertake an orientation to the state’s flagship campus serving more than 30,000 undergraduates. The program also afforded the opportunity to register early for classes, meet with our academic advisors and purchase textbooks before the real crush occurred. By Wednesday we were getting bored and many of us were itching to go barhopping in Washington, D.C., where the legal drinking age was still 18.
HUDSON: SHOULD THE WEALTHY PAY MORE?
When I went to work for AT&T as a management intern, fresh out of college, the Bell System was a highly unionized monopoly. Lily Tomlin was launching her comedy career as Ernestine, the telephone company operator who would blithely inform callers, “We don’t care, because we don’t have to.” Americans could order their telephones in any color, so long as they were black and manufactured by Western Electric. The Communications Workers of America were a powerful force on the national stage, locked in a symbiotic collaboration with America’s largest employer.
HUDSON: REMEMBRANCES OF TIMES PAST
Last weekend we attended the annual picnic thrown by the Friends of Historical Trinidad and the Trinidad Historical Society at the Mitchell Museum on Main Street. My father-in-law, Tom Allen, has been president of the Friends group for several years. Born in a coal camp west of Trinidad, his father was a muleskinner and proud member of the United Mine Workers. It’s reputed he could pick a horsefly off the rump of a mule with his bullwhip, or snatch a cigarette from your lips if you had the guts to let him do it.
HUDSON: WHOPPING BUDGET DEFICITS OCCUR IN BOTH PARTIES
Thirty years ago Colorado’s Republican leadership would run a legislative resolution each election year demanding a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. No one took this exercise very seriously. It was well understood the effort was simply a political ‘gotcha’ that allowed Republican challengers in swing districts to flog Democratic incumbents who voted against these bi-annual budget balancing proposals.
HUDSON: WILLING TO WORK EVEN IF THEY AREN’T GETTING PAID
I worked my first project with Volunteers for Outdoors Colorado (VOC) twenty years ago. We replanted an alpine wetlands to better filter toxic wastewater spilling from several abandoned mining tunnels along the flanks of Mt. Princeton in the Collegiate Peaks range. I’ve tried to work two or three similar projects each summer since with VOC. For the first decade, I labored as a strong back building hiking trails, constructing bridges and wildlife viewing platforms, even preparing urban gardens and installing park equipment. Whatever the project required.
HUDSON: DEPLOYMENT GIVES US TIME TO REFLECT
First to fight for the right,
HUDSON: MY DAY IN PARKING COURT
Denver residents should be thankful that Mayor Bill Vidal has closed 75 percent of next year’s municipal budget deficit. His success may prevent the Hancock administration from considering Doug Linkhart’s proposal to auction off the city’s parking revenues to a private collection firm. My daughter lives in a California municipality that has taken this road, and, while their parking revenues are up, this windfall has only been achieved by unleashing a rabid army of ticket writers who receive commissions on their daily volume of infractions.
HUDSON: LESS IS MORE
In a one party town like Denver, the charter provision requiring a non-partisan mayoral election has opened the door to City Hall for underdogs and outsiders like Federico Peña, Wellington Webb, John Hickenlooper and Michael Hancock. That’s the upside, and one well worth preserving. The downside has been a growing propensity for vanity candidacies that clutter the general election campaign with the bizarre distraction of festering grievances and personal obsessions.