On June 26, Colorado’s Progressive Network put out a scorecard for each of Colorado’s 100 State Legislators.
The score is a compilation of ratings from eight (8) Colorado Liberal Groups:
Colorado Education Association,
Women’s Lobby of Colorado,
Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition,
NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, and
Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado
As expected, most Democrats scored very high and most Republicans scored low – with the most conservative Republicans at the bottom of the barrel. There are a total of 54 Democrats and 46 Republicans in both the Senate and House chambers.
The rating of 1 to 100 (100 being the best for the liberals) features 36 Democrats getting perfect scores of 100 and all the rest scoring in the 90’s, except one slipping down to 87 (unfortunately due to his role on the Joint Budget Committee).
Only two Republicans managed to get into the 60’s (Sen. Don Coram and Rep. Dan Thurlow) while most of them (21) landed in the teens.
However, four House Republicans (zero Senate Republicans) managed to push their voting records into the single digits. And one, the lowest score and perhaps the least favorite legislator of Colorado Liberals is Rep. Tim Leonard with only a score of 7.
On June 30th, we met with Rep. Leonard to ask him what he thought about being the legislator with the lowest Progressive score.
Here’s our exclusive interview:
Citizen Press: Representative Tim Leonard, thank you for speaking with us today.
Rep. Leonard: Always a pleasure to met with you.
Citizen Press: How does it feel to be the lowest rated legislator according to Colorado’s Liberal Progressives?
Rep. Leonard: (laughing) It feels great! But did you realize our new generation of Progressives are so radical that they don’t even liked to be called “liberals” anymore?
A low rating from these groups is a requirement for me – and they don’t expect anything else either. They know me and we pleasantly pass on having to lobby each other. Good people, but their ideas get hashed about every 50 years or so – just as a second generation is forgetting the conversations of their grandparents. The Communists/Marxists in Woodrow Wilson’s day and the Communists/Socialists in Kennedy’s Day. The same ideas are back based around the same theme: I want more without having to work for it. This has been our condition since Day One. Wasn’t that Adam and Eve’s problem? Having everything and then wanting a little more.
So ranking lowest on this scale means I was a staunch defender of our constitutional rights, limited government, and fiscal responsibility. Which I am. I don’t get distracted with all the social issues and agenda items of these special interest groups. So thanks to them for helping me define myself to my constituents. I hope they blast out that scorecard.
Citizen Press: Were you surprised by any of the ratings?
Rep. Leonard: Not at all. This year there were a lot of radical bills put out in the House where the Democrats had the majority. And since the Democrats are trained, ordered actually, to vote one way, there is a guarantee that those bills will pass out of the House. The most radical ones, which these groups hand up to their favorite Democrat, pass with only Democrat votes. It always amazes me though to see how lockstep the Democrats are in voting. It makes me wonder what principles really form their debates. Even after the Bernie/Hillary conflicts, I thought there would be more discussion in the Democrat Party on ideas. Guess not.
Citizen Press: Do you believe that this rating could hurt you during your 2018 reelection campaign?
Rep. Leonard: Are you kidding me?! I have to figure out how to make a mailer out of this!
Just look at these organizations. They are pure activists and lobby groups. They funnel money from leftist billionaires in New York and California and then shuffle the funds around to each other to make themselves look bigger. Eight different groups with only three main purposes: keep abortions legal, plentiful, and subsidized; create as many special groups that are not heterosexual to give the appearance of something other than the tiny minority they are, and then convey on them special rights to be intolerant to others; and third, divide the rest of the good people of Colorado into more separate groups like women, workers, immigrants etc, so they can make everyone angry at everyone and “fight for our rights!” Conservatives like me just look at all these groups and call them Americans living in America with the greatest form of government, a Constitutional Republic, and the best economic system, free enterprise. We are all in this together, so why spew so much division. Unless it gains them more power in a more powerful government. Hmmmm.
Whoops, I forgot two groups: teachers unions and earth worshipers. Now I’m not talking about teachers and conservationists. I’m talking about the unions that take cuts out of every teacher’s paycheck every month and use it to grow a bigger public education machine by funneling tax money toward themselves. And I’m talking about environmentalists that view the earth and its resources at a higher value than mankind and our quality of life. I am not talking about being good stewards of the land, water, animals, and air that we have been given to enjoy and use wisely. I am talking about those that think the Earth is the deity and Man subservient.
Did you look at some of the bills these groups thought were so important as to rate them as defining their organization? These are the bills they think that the average working family in Colorado puts above the freedom to just live their lives without government in their way every time they turn the corner:
The Right to Change your Birth Certificate — so if you change the gender with which you identify, you can change you birth certificate so your past gender doesn’t haunt you in the future.
Keep funding a children’s survey that asks every personal question imaginable about sexual identity, activity, and homosexuality. Just reading the survey will make you blush if you don’t live in the world of sexual exaggeration. I think that’s called lasciviousness.
Or how about the bill to ban counseling to kids under 18 years old to help them work through their hormonal changes. This bill would have made it illegal to help them with their heterosexuality, but legal to push them into the homosexual behaviors and lifestyle.
These are just some of the bills they rated. These eight groups think this is what Coloradans “value” over constitutional rights, good choices in public schools, well-maintained roads, and a dependable law enforcement and court system. Are they crazy? These groups are so wrapped up in their obsession with acceptance of homosexual behavior and the guilt-free killing of innocent unborn babies, that they think the rest of us are, too.
Well, news flash: my votes against these bills and for other bills that they objected to, like the free exercise of religion, are what the voters in my district want. Sensible, simple, and sound government. Not radical yelling by radical groups whipping up noise for their own agendas.
Sorry, that was kind of a long answer – I got whipped up there.
Citizen Press: What do you think about some of the Republicans with high ratings in the 40’s, 50’s and even two in the 60’s?
Rep. Leonard: These Republicans only hurt the Republican brand. It’s like owning a coffee shop that starts selling more and more food and drinks. Pretty soon, when folks ask where a good coffee shop is around here, you don’t even come to mind. Stick with what you love and get better at it. Republicans have a knock-out platform: full of liberty, freedom, individual responsibility, free market solutions, and limited Constitutional government. I love it and promote it every chance I get. And that means every bill I vote on, I read; and I ask myself if this new law will make our citizens more free to choose, families more free to raise and educate their kids, and business more able to keep the fruits of their labor. That’s why I vote No on all the Liberal bills – they just want to expand government into every area of our lives.
Back to our lukewarm Republicans. If their voters, and us fellow legislators, cannot count on them to vote according to the party platform, then we’d be better off with them switching to the Democrat Party and getting the Dems upset with spoiling their brand. But at least they would have to fight their party less and could go home feeling good about all the money they gave to every group that walked in the door and how they solved problem after problem with the Big Smart Hand of Government.
Good ideas come from an exchange of thoughts based upon different principles so each side can better understand the view of the other. Republicans that don’t understand what they should stand for do no service to anyone; they are just reeds blowing in the wind.
Citizen Press: Thank you for discussing the score card, if you have time, we would like to get your input on a few more issues facing Colorado.
Rep. Leonard: Ok, shoot.
Citizen Press: Where do you think the future of politics in Colorado is going? Will we see Republicans take back control of the State House?
Rep. Leonard: I am no political analyst, nor do I have any desire to predict a bigger picture. And personally, while I see the value in a majority in each chamber, my stomach turns over when the Republicans that got us that majority forget their platform and vote according to another worldview. I’m a big believer in the End Never Justifies the Means. When you add that to my knowledge that we have a big God, then anything is possible – all I have to be responsible for is my own words and actions. God will take care of the rest.
Citizen Press: So you’re not really going to answer my question. Alright, how about the national political scene. Does it affect your job here in the State Capitol?
Rep. Leonard: I just got asked by another newspaper today on my opinion about the health care discussions going on in Washington. Maybe the media is seeing a growing trend on the affect of Washington’s decision on the common man. A concept I think is a shame. We should be so free to live our lives that the chit chat that comes from Washington ought never affect our everyday lives. Now the President signs an Executive Order on one day, and my health insurance penalty is immediately postponed. That’s not the way to run a government. And not the design of our founding fathers.
Ok. Washington. Yes, I think when Obama was in, the Democrats were emboldened to push their agenda of big government funded with lots of taxes. The Republican’s heads were spinning playing defense. A lot of freedoms were lost. Now the energy is reversed and the Democrats are spinning in defense, except the Republicans are not scrambling to get those liberties back. That’s the crying shame. Obamacare needs to be repealed. Immediately and thoroughly. The tragedy is that the longer it exists, the tougher it is to transition to a free market system. Hey, if a thousand businesses in the middle of the desert in Las Vegas can get ten thousand pounds of seafood every day to a hundred thousand happy customers, then the market can figure out how to match doctors and patients without the government.
Washington needs to let us keep our fuel tax revenue so we can build our own roads without their interference. And they need to stay out of our schools – we don’t need their Common Core program so another round of educrats can get their hands on tax money. And we certainly don’t need all their interference in welfare! Among the Feds, the State, and the Counties, we have so many programs that we need programs to manage programs!
Citizen Press: In your opinion, what are the defining issues of the 2018 election season going to be?
Rep. Leonard: Well I know sanctuary city issues will be coming up because I hear about new Democrat candidates running solely on that issue. The just don’t get it: all that regular Coloradans hear when Democrats talk about sanctuary cities is that they want to harbor illegal criminals and give them special rights that the rest of us don’t have. Meanwhile the liberals work overtime to change the legal vocabulary written in Federal Code, “illegal aliens”, to undocumented immigrants so the audience will sympathize with a foreigner who wants to come to America but just doesn’t have his paperwork together. That worked for a few years, but pictures of the endless streams of 20-year-old men coming to Europe and leaving their mothers and sisters behind in their war-torn country while they terrorize little Swedish and Belgian towns, is not playing any more. Folks are waking up that refugees are coming in for a different reasons than their great-grandparents.
Medicaid expansion will have to be dealt with. With Obamacare pushing 1,400,000 Coloradans into Medicaid, the State is now spending $6,600,000,000 on these folks who are now longer the poorest and most needy among us. Can anyone honestly say that 1 out of 5 Coloradans is too poor to care for themselves? For perspective, free public education has been in our state Constitution since its ratification in 1876. It now cost the state $5.5B to educate 866,000 public school students. Look how health care welfare has pushed by that in only four years!
It will take some fiscal discipline to handle these issues and I hope we have some Republicans ready to lead and stay together on budget problems. Minority Leader Patrick Neville has been great along with the rest of the Republican House leadership team. Maybe a chiropractic adjustment for a few others will help their spine. I know I will do my job. And hopefully get a woefully low rating again next year from those wanting to explode our budget.
Citizen Press: Well, thanks for taking the time today to give our readers an idea of what a non-liberal progressive sounds like…
Rep. Leonard: Oh, there’s still more where that came from!
Citizen Press: I’m sure there is, but enough for today. Thanks for your time. (And good coffee, by the way.)
Rep. Tim Leonard serves in the State House for Colorado House District 25 representing western Jefferson County.