March 20, 2014
Yesterday, I spent the morning at the Capital, as is my usual pattern. Again, I was a guest of one of our GOP legislators on the House floor. There is a place on the side of the room where I always sit, next to the GOP representatives.
While there, I saw the effects of what happens when you have a Democrat-controlled house of government. I saw it specifically regarding the handling of HB 1227, sponsored by Rep. Ginal (D). It was entitled “Sunset Dental Examiners Board”.
The bill was designed to keep that board in existence (not a bad idea), but a last-minute amendment also added a provision to the law which allowed a dental professional to self-refer to a support program for certain misconduct. The provision allows the professional to self-refer, and if that happens, the information from that referral cannot be used to support any criminal charges.
I understood how the provision might be beneficial to health professionals, but in some ways it seems to me to be a “get out of jail free” provision that might also be subject to abuse. I can see how people who have been criminally abused by a dentist or hygenist might really be angry if all of a sudden those people are not subject to prosecution for their crimes.
From what I could see, this amendment was added by Rep. Ginal as somewhat of a surprise during the second reading.
Rep. Gerou (R) rose and pointed out that such an amendment should have been presented to the originating committee, which has the time and expertise through experts and testimony to sort-through the real effects of this change, rather sprung upon the Representatives during second reading.
Further, Rep. Gerou had some questions on precisely how this law was supposed to work. It quickly became obvious that Rep. Ginal did not understand enough of her own bill to answer those questions, and she had to leave the podium to go get some help in doing so. She finally did provide sufficient answers to the questions, and the amended bill passed.
The conversations of the Republican legislators I heard during the discussion of these bills were that when the Republicans had the majority, “We were nice to them (the Democrats)”. But now, the Democrats are not even courteous in their actions. The Democrats are shoving bills through without any consideration of the Republican views.
In my view, it appears that the Democrats have little consideration for an orderly process in legislation, and might be in a little bit of a panic. Do they see the avalanche of votes against them on the horizon. Maybe.
We desperately need common sense in the Colorado legislature. This fall, we have a chance to achieve that result – if we elect the right people.
March 18, 2014
For the 16th year, I was privileged to be a presiding judge of the Colorado Mock Trial Championships, which were held at the Jefferson County Justice Center on Friday and Saturday.
I truly love not only judging the competitors, but also encouraging them to continue on to excellence in the business and professional world.
While there I got to renew friendships with some colleagues in the legal community (Judges, Attorneys, and a former US Representative), and we got a chance to “catch up” on our lives since last year when we volunteered together.
I had some wonderful feedback from the competitors, coaches, and parents. They liked the way I kept the courtroom dignified, but lighthearted enough to keep the competitors at ease.
One set of parents told me that their daughter competed in the State Mock Trial Championships many years ago (where I judged her), and then she had gone on to Denver University College of Law (where I had judged her in the Hoffman Cup trial competition there as well). She will be graduating this Spring. They said my encouragement in both competitions meant the world to her. Hearing reports like this makes all the difficult hours of volunteering in this valuable program all worth it.
While there, I got another pleasant surprise. Three or four people in the room came up to me and said, “I hope you win!” Apparently, they are residents of the 37th House District, and had been following the race. A couple of them are delegates, and committed to vote for me at the Assembly. I told them I appreciated their support, and committed to honor them with my best efforts to win, and also my voice in the legislature, if I am honored by being elected.
March 5, 2014
Wow, what a busy day. David Holden, my campaign staff worker, responded to some last-minute calls from some Precinct Leaders who still needed more of our fliers. Then I got him some signs, and he got them out at the four High Schools on the east side of I-25 where the caucuses were going to be held.
He and I started the night at Thunder Ridge, where my old Captain District (10) had the combined caucuses. I was honored to speak to the assembled attendees, and received a lot of positive reinforcement for my campaign.
Then David and I drove to Grandview High School, and got to as many caucuses as we could, before they adjourned. I saw another candidate there, who was also circulating through the caucus rooms.
All-in-all, before the evening was over, I spoke to between 28-30 precincts.
We are way out in front of the opposition. No other candidate had any campaign signs out at all. We had at least three or four at every major caucus location. Our campaign fliers were in the hands of people in the rooms, not on tables in the hallways. Way to go David Holden!
But the best was yet to come. After making a speech, I sometimes wonder if I actually reached anyone. People were nodding and asking good questions, but the best evidence came this morning.
I was at the Arapahoe County GOP Men’s Club this morning for breakfast, and was surprised by the unsolicited report made to them by a prominent political leader in Arapahoe County.
He said, “It seemed as if all the candidates for HD 37 came to our caucus last night. But Jay Ledbetter stood head-and-shoulders above them all. Jay was the only candidate who was articulate, passionate, and engaging.” All I could do was sit there in surprise, and offer my appreciation of that feed-back.
What is better, he also reported to me after the breakfast, that one candidate, in response to a difficult question from one of the people in the room, waffled, and couldn’t seem to give a clear answer to that question. He contrasted that with my response which was to the point, and unequivocal.
It is an honor to have these words of encouragement from such a prominent leader in our community. This is a man who is not on my campaign “team”, so he has no agenda behind making such a report.
He wasn’t alone. I have had several people come up to give me positive comments. One person who had been working with the campaign of one of my opponents even came up to me last night and offered to help me. I suspect our momentum, qualifications, and preparation for this seat will soon begin to give our campaign a commanding lead.
I am encouraged with all the great feed-back I got last night and this morning from so many who heard me speak last night.
Now, on to the Assembly!
February 28, 2014
A “Militaristic” checkpoint worries many. But Jay has a greater concern…
The Border Patrol has a checkpoint. It’s not at the Mexican border, but rather 25 miles north of the border, on the road in and out of the little town of Arivaca, Arizona.
Citizens there are irritated because the checkpoint subjects them – as American citizens – to what they believe is unreasonable delays and harassment by their own government.
Bobbie Chitwood, a resident of Arivaca for thirty-six years said, “This just impedes the movement of people. It feels very militaristic. The checkpoint feels like the beginning of something that could get worse. I don’t like being stopped by people with guns.”
None of us do, Bobbie, none of us. Beyond being a stop “without probable cause” which arguably violates the 4th Amendment, this process trains the American people to accept the kind of police state that characterized Nazi Germany and the former USSR. We are trading freedom for “safety”… and in the end we get neither.
But I have an even bigger problem. Look closely at the photo. Apparently these people, who are carrying around guns, don’t even have the ability to install a sign right-side-up. Do we really want to trust our nation’s security to people who don’t know which side is up.
This is a prime example of why we need common sense solutions for Colorado.
February 27, 2014
Ted Pearce, a well-known Christian recording artist, gave his endorsement to Jay, saying, ”Finally, a man running for office I could vote for!”
Many know Ted as part of the popular singing group “Lamb”. Ted is now is on his own, with his band known as “Cultural Xchange”. Ted has been touring the US and Europe, bringing a message of reconciliation and healing between divergent cultures.