Tea Party meets with GOP legislators

Republicans in the state Senate and House huddled with Tea Party leaders on Jan. 6, just hours after my column urging such cooperation was filed for publication on Jan. 9 (see left column on main page, Andrews in Print). The following report came to me Thursday evening from a friend at the Capitol: Today Colorado Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp and six other legislators from both the Senate and House met for 90 minutes with 25 leaders of Tea Party and 912 groups from across the state. The groups represented thousands of grassroots activists from Greeley to Pueblo, eastern plains to Grand Junction.

They agreed to forge a strategic partnership to advance a "small government agenda" with three policy themes -- taxation, regulation and immigration. Leaders of the groups pledged to get their members involved in the legislative process including hearings and advocacy, and legislative leaders pledged to work with the leaders to build local membership and better awareness of state issues.

Participating with Kopp were Senators Ted Harvey, Scott Renfroe, Kevin Lundberg, and Kent Lambert, along with Reps. Libby Szabo and Chris Holbert. Speaker Frank McNulty and other members of House leadership were in DC, hence unavailable to attend.

Then on Sunday afternoon, after my column ran, headlined "Hey, Colorado government, we're out of patience" and sprinkled with imaginary signatures such as "Worried in Widefield" and "Available in Arvada," I received the following email from someone calling himself "Juiced in Jeffco." Could it have been Mike Kopp himself?

Dear Former President Andrews: The Senate Republicans stand ready to blast steadily and constructively at the destructive statist policies of the day. Look for bright and passionate moments of contrast when such issues appear. Look for some surprises on new ways to void Obamacare. And look for a steady appeal to competent governance and for Senate Repubs to be continually let down after pursuit thereof yields smaller than hoped-for results. Please let us know how well you think our message, on the foregoing items especially, is penetrating the T space.