GOP Boots Indifferent Rep. Justin Everett from 2 Committees

Last October the Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado awarded Jefferson County Republican Rep. Justin Everett with its "Goldwater Award," in recognition of the Colorado elected official who most represents the values of one Barry Goldwater (The RLC of Colorado is so conservative that they recently announced that they won't endorse any of the Republican candidates for Governor).

In announcing their award for Rep. Everett, here's what the RLC of Colorado wrote on their website:

This is not a reward for using “liberty” rhetoric.  The most important lesson an activist can learn is to pay attention to a politician’s votes rather than the words they use.   It takes a principled and diligent legislator to work through this myriad of bad legislation and ensure that he votes consistently for liberty.  In 2013, no one more fulfilled the vision of Barry Goldwater or the words of our Liberty Compact than Representative Justin Everett.

If you ask around you will learn that Justin commits long hours outside of the legislative day to understand these bills.  He serves as a resource for others, both in the chamber and in the public, who want to understand a particular bill.  In this way he is more than one vote in favor of our a principles, he is a leader on their behalf. [Pols emphasis]

Maybe this was all true in 2013. But these days, if you ask about Justin Everett around the Capitol, most people will probably ask you if you've seen him anywhere. Rep. Everett is taking the small government rhetoric to new heights — by doing as little "governing" as possible.

MissingEverett

The smallest government is NO government.

Yesterday, House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso removed Everett from two committees — "Education" and Transportation and Energy" — with little in the way of explanation. DelGrosso replaced Everett on the "Transportation and Energy" committee with Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, but left Republicans with a vacancy on "Education." DelGrosso was so mad at Everett that he asked the Sergeant at Arms to escort Everett out of the committee rooms. (Everett remains a member of the "Public Health Care and Human Services" committee; by statute, legislators must be a member of at least one committee). Here's DelGrosso's statement:

“Representative Everett is dealing with some personal issues and I wanted to give him more time to handle them. He was one of a few of our members who are on three committees, so I decided to remove him from two.Representative Everett remains on the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee and will be reappointed once the issues are resolved.”

So why such harsh treatment? DelGrosso is apparently fed up with Everett's indifference toward his job, and his willingness to vote against the Republican caucus in favor of whatever the Liberty Caucus demands. Everett is frequently late to, well, everything, and he's completely unprepared when he does show up (and manages to stay awake). Everett sponsored the 2014 version of a bill to ban public employee unions, but in a January hearing he seemed unable to answer basic questions about the legislation, presented no witnesses, and watched as the committee took just 8 minutes to reject the bill outright. A bill to ban public employee unions was never going to get any traction in a Democratic-controlled House, but it's unusual for a sponsor to essentially do nothing to support its cause.

But it's not just committee assignments that Everett has blown off. As you can see in the graphic, Everett has been marked "Absent" in roll call votes a whopping 23 times already this year — once more than the number of "Absent" marks for all other House members combined. A Colorado Pols analysis of House roll call votes shows that Everett has only once been "Present" at least 3 days in a row. At least he's consistent.

Republicans have struggled to convince voters in recent years that they really have Colorado's best interests at heart. This fiasco with Everett is only going to make that impression worse.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Craig says:

    I'm assuming that this Republican Liberty Caucus knows that Barry Goldwater was not only firmly pro-choice but that he was pro-gay rights and marriage as well????  Seems kind of stupid to be supporting all these folks with the "Goldwater" award when they don't get the heart of Goldwater's conservatism.  I'm also wondering if they got permission from the family to name their award this.  It's a difficult process, I know because I was on the Board for the Republican Coalition for Choice when it named its annual award after Goldwater.  Bet they're just using his name without permission.  Just like "Republicans" today to follow the law only when it suits them.

    • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

      I doubt Barry Goldwater would be a "conservative"these days.I'm kind of doubtful he'd even be a "Republican' since I'm not sure the current Republicanparty would accept him and his thoughtful,reasoned approach to policy matters. They'd try to put him through the purity tests maybe ask him to use the current blathering points, fear phrases, and buzzwords,maybe throw in a dog whistle or two and be sure to include the free market ,liberty rhetoric and he'd tell them all to take a long hike. I've learned that if a group's self-chosen title includes the words"liberty","patriot" or "patriotic", or "family"to check my wallet frequently.Checking your sanity is only necessary if you listen to and believe such outfits.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        lang – I forwarded the link to this thread to a good family friend, Leo Corbet, who was the President of the Arizona State Senate for 16 years.  A really great man – who has now left the party and registered as an Independent.  Here was his response:

        The Goldwater Institute here in Arizona does so many things that Barry would never agree with. I was so fed up with it all that I became an Independent!!
         

        When the party is losing the Leo Corbet's of the world, someone should be hitting the "pause" button…

    • jpa11074 says:

      Um, riiiight…t'would seem you might want to ask Mr. Obama about following or enforcing the law…

  2. Not Dame Edna says:

    So, Rep. NEverett is never there. Go Mary Parker!

    • jpa11074 says:

      No thanks, I'll be delighted to keep Representative Everett – one who actually believes in constitutionally limited government, individual liberty, and fiscal responsibility. No more progs, please.

  3. ohwilleke says:

    I would want to have some sense of what the "personal issues" in this situation were before throwing stones.  The fact that these are only vaguely described does invite suspicion, but shit does happen, even in the lives of legislators, and without knowing what is going on, I am reluctant to judge.  

    Normally, if serious "personal issues" are expected to be ongoing for a substantial period of time, a legislator will resign and a vacancy committee of the incumbent's party will fill the post.  If these issues are ongoing, expect pressure to resign to mount.

    • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

      If there were any serious personal issues wouldn't you think Everett would have told this to DelGrosso, and DelGrosso would have taken it easier on him ?  Just to presume there are personal issues out of thin air without anything to indicate so seems like strange logic to me.

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Not logic….just a cover story.

      • jpa11074 says:

        Representative Everett did tell DelGrosso – read the article where he admits such and DelGrosso said he was doing so to give Justin some extra time. Further, real people do have personal family issues, the details of such are none of others business. I expect him to be reinstated on committees shortly.

        Strange logic? Yes, only because you're not using any nor appear able to read. I guess progs will be progs…making things up to suit their desires…Alinsky'd be proud.

  4. jpa11074 says:

    Interesting that your hit piece post states the "most basic task of a legislator is to show up." No, that is not or certainly should not be why we send them there. We have plenty of legislators that simpley show up. Most are woefully unprepared and many lack the education or knowledge to adequately do the job of understanding the legislation that is before them. Thankfully, Representative Everett is not one of those.

    He diligently reads and studies bills to understand their potential impact on citizens. He uses basic principles to determine whether the bills are truly something that fits the constitutional role of our government and rejects those that do not. He also is a good resouce for others in the state house who don't do quite as much diligence. In sum, such is why he received the Goldwater Award.

    Justin also does not just blindly follow a party line. We have more than enough who just show up and do what they're told – or outright try to subvert the constitutional role of government. I'll stand with Justin – against progs of the D or R stripe – and will work to keep and elect more thoughtful representatives like Mr. Everett.

    • Ralphie says:

      Reading and studying bills is only useful if you actually show up to vote on them.  Everett is shortchanging his constituents.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        But that's the thing about the low-info throwbacks; if you spew the right buzzwords and stimulate their little reptilian brains, they don't care if you actually do anything…it just gives them comfort to hear someone validate their comically outdated world view. 

        • jpa11074 says:

          Mr./Ms. Cur-mudgeon…I suppose you might be proud of your ad hominem, but it indicates you've nothing of substance to offer. Comically outdated world-view? Priceless gibberish…

          Low info voters care not whether their representation actually understands the bills they vote for or against. Take Obamacare as an example – an extreme example maybe, but very typical of how state and national representation votes without reading or understanding legislation.

          Most don't read the bills or ony read summaries at the state or federal level - or can't understand the material they do read. Rep. Everett is not one of those and am delighted he is in office working for his constitutents in HD22. I'd prefer a partime representative that actually does a thorough job over one who just shows up. You might have noted in this session as with last, that any republican votes against the party-line iron grip of the democrats hasn't made much difference anyway…

          As do many others, I pray Mr. Everett is successful in resolving his issue soon – for he and his family as well as for his constituents.

  5. BlueCat says:

    We can all sympathize with personal hardships and family tragedies, etc. But if they make it impossible for this legislator to do his job, his constituents have the right to know what they are, at least in general terms. Health related? Therapy related?  Family related? No need to go into private details but some explanation should be forthcoming.

    With our short legislative season, if a problem means means too many missed votes then the right thing to do is to step down so that constituents don't have to go without representation.

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