Locals rate well in Legislature

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – July 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Locals rate well in Legislature

Central Colorado appears to be represented pretty well in the Colorado General Assembly, at least if you go by a “report card” issued at the end of the session by Colorado Confidential, an award-winning website that should fascinate any Centennial State political junkie.

It listed the top 10 state representatives (there are 65) and senators (35 all told). based on a complex formula which involved the number of bills introduced by the legislator, passed by the General Assembly, and signed by the governor.

District 60 Rep. Tom Massey, a Poncha Springs Republican, ranked fourth. He was one of only two Republicans in the top 10 — since Democrats control both houses and the governor’s office, Republicans have less chance of getting their bills through.

Massey did well because “Most of his bills … had bipartisan support. Actually, Massey made sure that was the case. All of his bills had a Democratic co-sponsor in the Senate, and Massey employed an unusual tactic. For more than half his bills, there was another primary House sponsor who was always from across the aisle.”

Also making the top 10 House list was Democratic Rep. Kathleen Curry from Gunnison County; she came in fifth, right behind Massey. She has just started “Friends of the Western Slope,” a small-donor ($50 maximum) political committee.

“I’m going to raise money for rural Colorado and the Western Slope in particular,” she said, She wants to raise money for candidates “sticking their necks out and voting regionally to protect our area.”

She expected some flak from her party leaders, since the committee will support both Republican and Democratic candidates, but legislators should represent their regions first and foremost.

Over in the Senate, Gail Schwartz of Snowmass was in the first year of her first term, but still placed second on the Confidential report card. Every one of her 11 proposed bills became law.