Miller Hudson

Pinnacol celebrates workers comp centennial: A history

The Colorado Statesman

Before last week’s celebration of Colorado’s worker compensation 100 year anniversary, it is doubtful that one in four legislators could have guessed the age of the program. It seems more likely that three out of four would have guessed it was some kind of New Deal legislation from the 1930s or ‘40s. In fact, it was a product of the Progressive movement, first established by Maryland in 1902. President Theodore Roosevelt created a federal version with the consent of Congress in 1906.

‘Big data’ solutions to prepare for next disaster

Contributing Columnist

Democratic State Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp of Westminster and Republican Senator Ellen Roberts of Durango have submitted legislation (House Bill 1129) that speaks to one of the fundamental responsibilities of government — public safety. Even the most virulently anti-government zealots will usually acknowledge that policing, fire prevention and disaster recovery are appropriate functions of government that cannot be effectively left to individuals. There are economic efficiencies in consolidating these responsibilities that spread risk and protect against catastrophic losses.

Dems’ ‘Groupthink’ politics case study

Contributing Columnist

No matter how cynical you get, it’s never enough to keep up,” the comic Lily Tomlin once observed about politics.

I had originally intended to open this column with a quip something like the following: “Colorado Democrats pulled a stunt at their reorganization meeting over the weekend in a manner that would make Vladimir Putin blush.” That comparison, however, became inappropriate following the brutal assassination of Putin critic Boris Nemtsov.

HUDSON: DOES THE SENATE MAJORITY HAVE A STRATEGY?

Sen. Bill Cadman’s House of Cards

Contributing Columnist

If you’ve been watching “House of Cards” on Netflix, you might be misled to believe legislative politics requires sophisticated strategic planning. Alas, this is rarely the case. In most instances, our solons make it up as they move along — playing their cards pretty much when and as they are dealt. If that strikes you as shortsighted, you wouldn’t be wrong. NFL coaches earn millions of dollars for developing winning game plans.

HUDSON: TWEEDLE DEE OR TWEEDLE DUM?

State chairs: highly qualified to herd ungrateful cats

Contributing Columnist

Four years ago both the Colorado Republican and Democratic Parties elected unusually young chairmen. Historically, both parties often turned to senior donors or business heavyweights for whom this recognition was, in part, a reward for long service and/or a readiness to pull out their own checkbooks in support of party candidates.

Hudson: Recalling a time when vaccines were a godsend

The safety of the majority trumps fear

Contributing Columnist

In recent years no matter how dismal Colorado’s performance might be on most public policy measures — whether they be high school graduation rates or taxpayer support for schools and roads — we could generally rely on the fact that one or more members of the old Confederacy, frequently Mississippi, would slip between us and the bottom of the heap. Consequently, it was startling to learn that Mississippi leads the nation in measles vaccinations among its school children at 99.9 percent while Colorado stands dead last among the states at somewhere between 82 and 85 percent, depending on who’s doing the counting.

Bob Allen left legacy as liberal lion in Colorado House

The Colorado Statesman

Robert “Bob” Edward Allen was only 26 years old and Chairman of the Young Democrats when he persuaded Denver party leaders to place his name on the Democratic candidate list for election to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1950. It would be the 60s before state legislators ran from individual districts rather than on county slates. Allen would serve for a decade in the House before moving to the Senate, where he served a single term from 1961-65.

MILLER: TERM-LIMITS, CAUCUS SYSTEM IN NEED OF REPAIR, SAYS PANEL

Overhaul in order say ex-leg know-hows

Contributing Columnist

Jim Griesemer, former Aurora City Manager, who now serves as Director of the University of Denver’s, Strategic Issues Program recently launched another of his panels examining the workings of Colorado government and politics. This year the focus is legislative accountability, including an exploration of who gets elected. The Strategic Issues Program uses a non-partisan, consensus-based process for developing its recommendations.

HUDSON: A TRAVELING CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

Gloria Allred’s sideshow competes with Bill Cosby’s center stage performance

Contributing Columnist

Two weeks ago Los Angeles celebrity attorney Gloria Allred brought the traveling press conference that provides muscle to her law practice into the basement of Denver’s Crawford Hotel at Union Station. Any doubt that Americans live in a fame-obsessed culture was erased by 10 video cameras squeezed into a tiny meeting room. Allred’s website declares she is the “most famous woman attorney practicing law in the nation today.” Critics argue she more accurately operates a reparations racket, rather than a law office, shaking down the bad boys of Hollywood.

HUDSON: THE GOVERNOR’S SECOND INAUGURATION

Governor Hickenlooper acknowledges he’s a changed man in a changed state

Contributing Columnist

Colorado’s inauguration day was a crisp winter morning this year. As John Hickenlooper took his oath of office, it was hard not to marvel at the fact that when his second term concludes in January of 2019, Democrats will have filled the Governor’s chair for 36 of the past 44 years. Starting in 1974 with Dick Lamm, who served three terms, then followed by another three terms under Roy Romer, a bright red electorate kept returning Democrats to the Governor’s mansion.