When Governor Jared Polis steps up, as Colorado’s highest-ranking member of the Democratic Party, he gets good results. His promise to veto rent controls is the latest example. We can only hope this encourages him to drive more often.
What matters is the outcome of the ruler’s actions – not the optics or appeasement of the party. Real leaders tell their parties what to do. Followers follow political parties.
The governor seems to care about the poor and lead accordingly. At least for those who have survived pregnancy, labor, delivery and unregulated “postpartum” care under the Police Act to help “black people” and “low-income” families terminate pregnancies.
Aside from signing the most anti-poor abortion law in North America, Polis has consistently worked on behalf of low-income people leaving the maternity ward alive. Polis has started a special school for homeless children. Low-income, homeless, and immigrant children want a high-quality education traditionally restricted to children from higher-income families. Those life-affirming acts require respect.
For Paul, this is a conviction. He constantly stands up to his party’s opposition to independent schools and other elements of educational freedom. The party opposes school choice because teachers’ unions favor the old one-size-fits-all attendance center model and unions fund democratic campaigns. Polis doesn’t care. He has enough money and a backbone to stand firm on something he considers more important than acceptance in the Democratic cocktail circuit.
Polis showed similar condemnation when he recently promised to veto a bill that would include rent control for mobile home residents. This works like a charm. Legislative leaders hit the rent control provisions in House Bill 1287—which would have limited annual rent increases for mobile homes.
Politics is power. The veto pen is a primary source of the ruler’s power. Do not waste time and effort on a bill that cannot bypass the governor’s office. Give him something to sign. That is why whatever remains on the governor’s desk becomes his responsibility – whether it improves lives, burdens the masses, saves lives, or kills.
Perhaps threatening to veto the rent was easy. As a businessman—and somewhat erratic disciple of Reganomics engineer Art Laver—Polis has a more sophisticated familiarity with economics than his fellow Democrats. They play Monopoly, they play Candy Land.
Polis knows that rent control is whacko economics. It appears to be a financial relief for those struggling with rent. In the long run, it always backfires on the people least able to afford shelter. This really annoys the governor.
Rent control is not different from any price control. When the authorities restrict the value of a good, service or commodity, we get little of it. Former Republican President Richard Nixon inadvertently demonstrated this by capping oil prices and causing fuel shortages in the 1970s.
Controlling rents has had the same effect forever. If we limit the value of low-cost housing, fewer will provide it. Limit the value of the mobile homes or plots they sit on, and the owners eventually sell the parks to major mall developers and McMansions.
Instead, rent caps anchor tenants lucky enough to own rental properties. This reduces employee turnover and overburdens job seekers.
When it really matters to Polis – when he knows he’s right and the results outweigh all other considerations – he uses or threatens the mighty power of the pen. When he hesitates, putting party and politics ahead of principle, we get a bad law in Candyland.
Because of the negativity of the veto, we have the most extreme and heinous “reproductive rights” law in the country – one that creates serious and deliberate legal ambiguity. He could and should have demanded a bill that was less extreme and more accurate.
Resisting the veto has given us several “criminal justice reforms” that have led to higher rates of violent crime and rising overdoses. It cut energy production with foolish regulatory schemes. Colorado has made the unexpected capital of auto theft in the country. And the list goes on.
The Democratic Party controls 100% of the Colorado state government—every government agency, every statewide office, both houses of the legislature, both the US Senate seats, the CU Board of Governors, and the Colorado State Board of Education. This led to political excesses unlike anything Colorado had seen in 150 years. The quality of life in Colorado is deteriorating, not rising.
Extremist politics is bad politics, whether imposed by the right or the left. As Governor, Polis is obligated to ensure that the residents of Colorado receive reasonable and actionable governance that takes into account the interests of all. We get it when he imposes moderation on his party with the threat of a veto. We get it when he saves us from rent control. When he drives, he succeeds. Endangering his legacy and his constituents, Polis doesn’t do it often.
Colorado Springs Newspaper Editorial Board