A Colorado promise broken

Read the Denver Post’s Editorial.

When Coloradans elected Bill Ritter as governor, they thought they were getting a modern-day version of Roy Romer, a pro-business Democrat. Instead, they got Jimmy Hoffa.

Ritter campaigned under the guise of a moderate “new Democrat” but now we know he’s simply a toady to labor bosses and the old vestiges of his party — a bag man for unions and special interests.

The governor on Friday unveiled his plan to drive up the cost of doing business in Colorado by forcing collective bargaining on thousands of state employees.

We’re concerned this may be the beginning of the end of Ritter as governor.

By pandering to unions, and the ever-shrinking 7.7 percent of the electorate that belong to unions, he’s broken his “Colorado Promise” to voters. His promise to usher in a new era of collaborative government — where business and labor, Democrats and Republicans, would all be at the table — was nothing more than a sham.

It’s unconscionable for the governor of a state that’s limped through lean budget years to knowingly drive up the cost of government. And for what? Political payback to unions?

He’s even doing an end-run on the legislature, controlled by his own party. Instead of introducing a bill in the legislature that could be debated and fine-tuned — the collaborative process he promised — Ritter junked what has worked for Colorado for decades with the flick of a pen. He didn’t even have the guts to stand before the public and announce his plan. Instead, he sent out a press release late Friday afternoon when he hoped no one was looking.

It’s government by fiat.

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