Republicans don’t seem to know how to get out of the mess they created with the special session. Governor Owens called the special session in an attempt to get as illegal immigration measure on the ballot after a Colorado court struck it down, but Democrats have so outmaneuvered Republicans that the GOP has been left making contradictory and confusing statements. As the Rocky Mountain News reports:
The Senate gave initial approval to a Democratic measure that would ban government services to illegal immigrants beginning Aug. 1. Democrats said their proposal, if signed into law, would be the toughest in the nation and does far more to crack down on illegal immigration than a thwarted GOP-backed ballot measure that led to the special session.
But Republicans dismissed House Bill 1023 as a do-nothing measure, and said they still believe voters should have a say on the issue in November. “It’s a dereliction of duty to come up with something short of a ballot measure,” said Sen. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins.
Johnson obviously wants to see a measure restricting services for illegal immigrantsÂ on the ballot,Â because Republicans believe it will help boost turnout among their base.Â Democrats pulled a fast one on Republicans by seeking to enactÂ a similar measureÂ as of August 1, thus eliminating the need for the ballot measure. Republicans who say thatÂ it should insteadÂ be on the ballot aren’t going to make a lot of sense to the average voter. Democrats can say, “Republicans want to make this a political issue, but we’re trying to solve the problem now.” Republicans look like the ones who are only playing politics.
Even Governor Owens is gettingÂ in his share ofÂ contradictions. He called HB-1023 a “do-nothing” piece of legislation, which is exactly what criticsÂ said of the ballot measure he favors.Â As Square State rightly points out, Owens is sounding more than a little hypocritical here.
Democrats are making Republicans look silly, and the GOP is only helping the cause by barking about…nothing. They’d be better off trying to claim credit for making Democrats address the issue further in a special session, but instead they’re intent on jumping up and down and throwing a tantrum because things didn’t go their political way. That’s not going toÂ help them in November.