Miller Hudson

HUDSON: TIMES HAVE CHANGED

July 4th fireworks should illuminate rather than obscure American realities

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Day may fall on August 1st each year, but July 4th always serves as a reminder that we are the Centennial State, admitted to the union a century after the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadel-phia. In 1776 Lewis and Clark had not yet undertaken their trek from St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia, crossing the Rockies somewhere in Wyoming, and Colorado was familiar only to its Native American tribes and a handful of French-Canadian trappers and other mountain men.

The Ethics Commission: What a joke!

The Colorado Statesman

Until Ronald Reagan defeated him in the 1970 Governor’s race, Jesse Unruh was the long serving, all-powerful, iron fisted Speaker of the California State Assembly.

HUDSON: ONLY SO MUCH MONEY TO BE HAD

November’s school finance ballot measure could hurt other prospects for next year

The Colorado Statesman

Since Colorado voters approved the TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) Amendment in 1992 with 53.7 percent of their votes, thereby awarding taxpayers the right to vote on all future tax increases, no statewide tax hike has been approved.

Puff, the Magic Dragon, arriving soon to nest in Colorado

The Colorado Statesman

Ten years ago I left Paris on the Friday before Halloween riding the high-speed, Belgian THALYS train headed for Amsterdam. Although most Europeans call it All Souls Day, their holiday is similar to ours, and my coach was packed with college students, many in costume and most of them drinking heavily. They were bound for Amsterdam and the Netherlands’ recently opened coffee houses — then, they would be on to the city’s synth-beat dance halls. Marijuana was the draw, trance dancing, the high and communal hotel rooms the payoff.

Catch 22 at the Colorado Parole Board

The Colorado Statesman

In 1981 the police drama Hill Street Blues began its award winning seven season run on NBC. Throughout the series Daniel J. Travanti and Veronica Hamel, a police captain and public defender, were romantically involved and many episodes ended with them talking in bed after long days at the office comparing notes on their respective challenges. I distinctly recall an episode where Hamel complained to Travanti about how one of her clients was being mistreated by the police.

HUDSON: DENVER OR ADAMS COUNTY?

Whose competing land use policies will fly when it comes to the prickly subject of DIA?

The Colorado Statesman

Political pundit E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post recently penned a column questioning whether American democracy remains capable of delivering the services that voters want and need from their government. While it was the dysfunction in our nation’s Capitol that prompted his musings, there is a growing skepticism among historians and political scientists regarding the performance of democratic institutions across the globe. During the past decade, electoral politics has experienced a rough patch.

HUDSON: GESSLER SHOULD JUST ANTE UP THE BUCKS

Great Scott! A political tempest in a teapot

Contributing Columnist

Colorado’s good government brigades placed Amendment 41 on the ballot in 2006, creating an Independent Ethics Commission where complaints can be lodged against state employees and elected officials for alleged breaches of propriety. The proposal was adopted with 62 percent of the vote despite the fact that there is virtually no evidence of misbehavior in Colorado’s governance. By comparison with many of its peers, both state and local governments in Colorado have been remarkably clean over the years. But, in the hyper-partisan political environment that has taken root during the past decade, the Commission has provided an inviting venue for besmirching an opponent’s reputation.

HUDSON: A MODEL PRISONER, NOT VIOLENT TROUBLEMAKER

Governor’s office, Denver Post complicit in covering up mistreatment of al-Turki

Contributing Columnist

During the darkest days of the Cold War, a “hot line” was installed connecting the White House and the Kremlin as a safeguard against the inadvertent launch of nuclear missiles that would trigger the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) of both countries. Picking up this red telephone, at a time when all other phones were black, would ring the companion phone at the other end. A similar arrangement appears to exist between the editorial offices at the Denver Post and Governor Hickenlooper’s policy staff.

HUDSON: THE MATH ISN’T SO SIMPLE

Question: When is a legislative expenditure not a TABOR expenditure? Read on...

Contributing Columnist

Supporters of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) amendment would like Colorado taxpayers to believe it provides a simple braking mechanism on increases in state and local spending. And, for a few years in the mid-‘90s it probably did just that — slow the rate of growth in these governmental budgets. But it didn’t take long for the finaglers (think lobbyists, tax lawyers, JBC members, OSPB staff and the half dozen other legislators who actually understand how the long bill works) to begin constructing TABOR escape hatches for their favored initiatives.

HUDSON: VITAL BRICKS IN THE WALL OF COLORADO’S ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE

Regional cooperation is forcing a paradigm shift in the way we govern in Colorado

Contributing Columnist

Denver residents no longer need to padlock their liquor cabinets and hide away their daughters when the Legislature arrives in town. The legal protection that Colorado voters learned about last session, when state Rep. Laura Bradford was released after a suspected DUI stop by Denver police officers, wasn’t established to forestall partisan kidnappings — it was authorized to insure quorums weren’t threatened by multiple incarcerations in the Denver County jail.