Welcome to Taxorado

Slated on Backbone Radio, Dec. 7 Listen every Sunday, 5-8pm on 710 KNUS, Denver... 1460 KZNT, Colorado Springs... and streaming live at 710knus.com.

How about that Bill Ritter? What a sense of humor. Off he went to Philadelphia this week with his begging bowl to hit up President-elect Obama for a billion or two in federal money for "Colorado's two most pressing needs (which) are in transportation and energy infrastructure." But as columnist Vince Carroll pointed out, that doesn't mean the Governor has asked Coloradans to fund those things with our own votes and dollars. Oh no, his tax hike this year (defeated) was aimed at college scholarships. And the one last year (likely unconstitutional and now in court) was just slush for the general fund under the pretext of helping kids.

For such statesmanship, Ritter has racked up a D in the Cato Institute's fiscal report card on governors. Not a partisan ranking either; a number of Dems scored much higher than he did. "Governor Ritter Welcomes You to Taxorado," says a bumper sticker being circulated by former State Treasurer & State Sen. Mark Hillman.

Mark Hillman will host the radio show this Sunday, with Matt Dunn riding shotgun, as I continue on a secret mission that either involves (a) solving the Mumbai attack, (b) untangling Christmas lights, or (c) working on my almost-done book manuscript. Hint: remember which multiple choice usually worked best in school.

** Guests will include Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, who actually can enlighten you on Mumbai, and Colorado campaign finance guru Scott Gessler, who can scare your socks off with tales of the Democrat campaign monster that turned Colorado blue.

** Speaking of scary, Hillman has also majored in the arcane details of PERA, the troubled state pension plan. Call him to talk about it on the air... 303 696 1971.

As for 2010... Ritter is a lock for reelection, claims Mike Littwin, because statewide incumbents never lose in Colorado. Not so fast, Mike. Sen. Floyd Haskell lost in 1978. Sens. Tim Wirth & Hank Brown both quit after one term in the '90s. Ritter's big troubles and small polls might make him a voluntary one-termer too.

Yours for the Republican revival, JOHN ANDREWS ------------------------------------------------------------