Legislative shift

Friday, November 01, 2013 12:14 PM
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Recalls could spur move to middle on hot-button issues

David Ross, DO, COMPAC chair,
and Tamaan Osbourne-Roberts, MD, COMPAC vice chair


The unprecedented and historic recall of democratic state senators Angela Giron of Pueblo and John Morse of Colorado Springs for their support of a package of gun laws brings the partisan balance in Colorado’s upper chamber to a tipping point, with the Democrats still holding a one-vote advantage at 18-17.

Historically, close partisan divides translate as the Doctrine of Equal Risk – neither side can roll the other – which may produce more legislative compromises on non-partisan issues or, alternatively, foster congressional-style gridlock. Speculation is rampant while the shock waves are still receding. As Yogi Berra once observed, it’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. Even more so, we would add, when trying to predict political behavior.

Other Senate Democrats, feeling that metaphorical gun pointed at them, may move somewhat further toward the right on some issues, or even contemplate a party switch on certain votes if their district swings more that direction.

The recall effort was heavily financed on both sides by wealthy out-of-state individuals and well-funded organizations. As the analysts and pundits sift through the postmortem evaluations, the underlying political dynamics were complex and not necessarily tied exclusively to the enacted gun control reforms.

If anything, this recall has illustrated the power of constituency and the grassroots in the political arena. COMPAC relies on grassroots physician engagement with local legislators to assure those elected officials will listen to our views long before they have to vote, and your contributions to COMPAC assures that legislators who stand by their medical communities will receive support when medicine’s adversaries come after them in the next election cycle.

We extend our sincere thanks to all of our COMPAC members who signed up at the Annual Meeting or through your 2014 dues payment. We could not function without your support. We encourage all CMS members to join COMPAC on our vital mission for our profession, our patients and our community.

As the aftermath of the recall plays out, COMPAC will continue to follow the implications for medicine’s agenda in the 2014 session, including medical liability, Medicaid, managed care and other hot button medical issues.

Welcome new COMPAC board members

Dave Ross, DO, chair
Tamaan Osbourne-Roberts, MD, vice chair
Kurt Papenfus, MD
Mary Vader, DO
Tom Wiard, MD
Brent Keeler, MD
Patrick Pevoto, MD
Sidney Adler, MD
Warren Pettine, MS

Also, thank you to our continuing board members for another year of valuable service.

Gina Alkes, MD
John Bender, MD
John Cletcher, MD
Ben Galloway, MD
Mark Johnson, MD
Jan Kief, MD
Lee Morgan, MD
Mary Rice
Stephanie Sandhu, MS
Kathleen Traylor, MD
Chris Unrein, DO

Posted in: Colorado Medicine | Legislative Updates | Initiatives | Advocacy


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