In 1999, the New Orleans Saints traded all of their draft picks — and their first- and third-round draft picks the next year — to the Washington Redskins for the first pick in the NFL draft. With it, they selected University of Texas running back Ricky Williams. The Saints went 3-13 that year, and within three years Williams would be playing for the Miami Dolphins.
When members of Congress and Pentagon leaders realized we needed to close military bases around the country and find ways to use others better, they knew they would face impossible political dilemmas. Communities around the country would fight to keep their bases and missions. What politician with an ounce of self-preservation instinct would vote to close a base in his or her own district?
When Gov. Bill Ritter announced he was leaving office to spend more time with his family, some greeted the news with skepticism and doubt. After so many scandals involving public figures, it’s easy to assume ulterior motives.
But I’m giving the governor the benefit of the doubt. I do believe that sometimes elected officials leave office for the sake of their families, because I did it myself.
Shortly after I started as the founding director of Denver’s Mayor’s Office of Regulatory Reform in 1991, Elbra Wedgeworth, the office’s deputy director, told me she wanted us to have breakfast with one of her Leadership Denver classmates from the district attorney’s office. Shortly thereafter, she and I met with Bill Ritter. From that day, the three of us went on to bigger and better things. Elbra became president of the City Council and brought the Democratic National Convention to Denver.
As I write this column, I’m looking at an online Denver Post story announcing that my friend and former colleague in the state House, Kathleen Curry, has renounced her affiliation with the Democratic Party and is now officially “independent.” It comes as a surprise only insofar as sitting elected officials rarely leave their parties. That said, Curry, who hails from Gunnison, has always had an independent streak.
There is nothing quite like starting the new year standing chest deep in 33-degree water. Regardless of what happens in 2010, everything else should seem like a walk on the beach.
After years of covering the annual Evergreen Lake plunge, I finally had the guts to participate. I made the decision to jump several weeks ago, but it wasn’t until I was standing on the edge of a hole cut through 20 inches of ice that I was fully committed. With a giant step forward, I leapt into the icy water.
It’s disappointing on every level that health care reform, like the stimulus plan before it, will be enacted without bipartisan cooperation. While Democrats have charged Republicans with being obstructionists and Republicans have called Democrats arrogant, the simple fact is that President Obama’s major initiatives will be enacted without Republican support.