Clean air bill mistakenly killed
By Todd Hartman, Rocky Mountain News February 3, 2006
House Democrats accidently killed their own clean air bill Friday when gubernatorial candidate Gary Lindstrom, a Democratic representative from Breckenridge, mistakenly voted the wrong way.
The goof set off a partisan firestorm at the state capitol, with Democrats accusing Republicans of lacking "civility" by telling them they wouldn’t vote in favor of allowing Lindstrom to correct his vote.
Republicans, meanwhile, said they were simply standing on principal in their opposition to the bill and shouldn’t be expected to put that aside simply to help Democrats correct their mistakes.
The blowup was centered on a controversial air quality bill backed by most Democrats and several environmental groups that would enable the state to set more stringent cleanup standards than the federal government.
Democrats backing the bill say it’s critical to prevent EPA policies they argue would ease pollution controls on industrial plants and open the door to more mercury
emissions in Colorado.
Republicans and business groups counter that the bill would make it easier for citizens to bring lawsuits against industry, and that ramped up regulations aren’t needed in a state that has steadily cleaned up its air over the past 20 years.
The bill failed on a 33-32 vote on second reading when Lindstrom said he voted "yes" on what he thought was a vote on the bill itself. Instead, the vote for was an amendment that would kill the bill.
"There was a one-vote margin; my mistake caused the bill to fail when I wanted it to pass," Lindstrom said.
The bill’s sponsor Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver, said she consulted with House Minority Leader Joe Stengel, R-Littleton, about a motion to reconsider. Stengel, she said, told her he would be willing to go to the podium to ask his Republican colleagues to go along with it.
But he also told her, McGihon said, that she wouldn’t get enough Republicans to get the two-thirds of the chamber needed to consider giving Lindstrom another chance to vote.
All that was missing was Charles Laughton to hand former gubernatorial candidate (not really!) Lindstrom a sword to fall on.
But the bill will be reintroduced and Gar'll probably get another shot. Read the whole thing for it is exceedingly stupid.
Transition neededHere's a phrase I'll bet you've never heard before. It's from the draft of another bill:
12-44-211. Unlawful acts. . . . (1) (b) To sell or serve to any person, in, by, or from a food service establishment, any food unless the same is [blah blah]. . . except that nothing in this section shall prohibit . . .
(I) The preparation and serving of only coffee, tea, and NON-POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS DOUGHNUTS. . .
The Drunkablog is strong, and will forbear uttering the obvious Homer Simpson line. He asks that his readers if any show equal civility.