Colorado voters may be souring on public sector unions and their litany of rules, regulations and demands. This sentiment could help Mitt Romney in November if swing voters associate Obama with the recent union based recall effort in Wisconsin and teacher's strike in Chicago.
Today, Colorado’s Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, will join former Colorado Govs. Bill Owens (R) and Bill Ritter (D) to begin the “Yes on S” campaign for a measure that would change some of Colorado’s burdensome rules concerning how its public employees are hired.
On the bottom of the front page of Tuesday’s Grand Junction’s The Daily Sentinel is a story titled, “Guv: State hiring rules need changing.” According to the newspaper, similar measures in the past designed to change Colorado’s burdensome personnel rules “governing how the state can hire, what tests it needs to give, and how many people can be interviewed” have failed twice. In 2004, Colorado voters defeated a similar measure by more than 60 percent of the vote.
This time, there is no organized opposition against the measure even though Colorado’s public sector unions have invested heavily in the state’s elections.
On Monday and Tuesday, Americans For Prosperity sponsored the “Obama’s Failing Agenda” bus tour through Colorado. Americans For Prosperity fiercely organized against Obamacare and also backed Walker, organizing Tea Party rallies and a “Stand With Walker” bus tour on his behalf when Walker need all the reinforcements he could use to combat the public sector unions that tried to recall him because they did not like his public sector reforms. At one of those Tea Party rallies, the late Andrew Breitbart told Wisconsin union thugs to “go to hell.”
This sentiment has caught on, and it has put Obama in a tough position in dealing with unions and explains why he punted on the teachers union strike in Chicago. Obama needs his base of union voters to enthusiastically organize and vote for him, but Obama also knows his embrace of organized labor could hurt him among independent voters in states like Colorado.