Ballots were counted well past Election Day in many states including Colorado. It wasn’t until Friday November 7th when the Colorado Senate was announced to have flipped to being controlled by Republicans after ballots were finished being counted in Adams County. This ended a decades long drought in Colorado GOP leadership. Colorado will now have divided party leadership in the bicameral government, with the Dems controlling the House by 1 seat and the GOP controlling the Senate, with Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper at the helm, and veto power.
Divided government is very healthy for democracy, and it will also help John Hickenlooper have a term guarded by checks and balances. Hickenlooper will likely have a less controversial governance over the people in his second term, because it is less likely for super liberal unpopular legislation. (Like that of the gun laws of his first term.) It is unlikely that any such legislation will pass in the second term with the divided House and Senate leadership.
I see a healthy governance in Hickenlooper’s term and I see an economically healthy Colorado. We already have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and we have a great small company startup success rate in Colorado. And I believe the fact that John Hickenlooper won re-election by about 50,000 votes is the turning point of his entire political career. Since he won re-election he can now easily position himself to run for president in the future, which he has been considered a political up-and-comer for years, with Politico profiling him as a potential Democratic presidential hopeful.
I am upset now in hindsight that Colorado did not go ahead with the fracking ballot measures that could have been on the 2014 ballot. Over the summer, when it was still thought that Udall could potentially win, John Hickenlooper capitulated to the Democrats and worked out the deal with Rep. Jared Polis to remove the ballot measure. The idea was that it would save Mark Udall. Well it didn’t save Mark Udall and now we have not made any progress on the fracking issue statewide when there is a political hunger to make regulations and now there is no major election until 2016. I predict that Rep. Jared Polis is not done yet. He just won re-election and he is one of the most wealthy Congressmen, in the Top 10 Most Wealthy in Congress, and he is unafraid to make enemies.
Just today there was a high pressure water explosion in these sub-freezing temperatures in Weld County Colorado, and a worker died on a Halliburton fracking site. I predict the fracking issue does not go away anytime soon from the political arena, and the debate becomes louder and more contentious. Fracking is a huge part of Colorado’s economy and I know people who work in this field like any other job-field. I just hope that they are safe and not exposed to dangerous chemicals or otherwise unsafe work conditions. I do not judge people for having a job. I just think that these oil companies and engineering companies put their workers in unsafe conditions at times and perhaps we can make regulations that ensure worker safety without inhabiting the economy. Because even with the low unemployment rate, unemployment is still high and I cannot see the Colorado people outright banning anything that creates jobs. Not in 2014. So can we just make it safer? We may have to get used to earthquakes caused by human purposes in Greeley. I can’t see it going away anytime soon.