January 8, 2005


FADING STAR (Robert Novak, 1/08/05, Townhall)

The once bright prospects for Colorado Gov. Bill Owens to be the conservative favorite for the 2008 presidential nomination are taking another hit with his support for a referendum to amend his state's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR). The change would no longer require lower government spending in the wake of a recessionary year.

As a state senator 13 years ago, Owens first attracted national attention by sponsoring a TABOR constitutional amendment that required government surpluses to be returned to taxpayers each year. The new referendum backed by Owens would allow the state government to retain most of the surplus this year.

Conservatives seeking a governor to run for president for several years had their eyes on Owens. Their interest dipped, however, when Republicans lost control of the Colorado legislature and lost a U.S. Senate seat in the 2000 elections amid the party's success in most parts of the country.

He was done on Election Day.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 8, 2005 6:15 AM

His reversal on TABOR indicates that Owens has become part of the problem not part of the solution. The GOP must be very careful not to be seduced by the same Inside-the-Beltway siren song that the Democrats were.

Americans did not vote for the GOP because they wanted the pork barrel to be run by some octogenarian from Alaska but not from West Virginia. They wanted the money wasted in the pork barrel used for deficit and tax reduction. If the GOP forgets this lesson, it could easily be Pres. Hilary in 2008.

Posted by: Bart at January 8, 2005 10:51 AM

Actually, Bart, we want your pork used for deficit reduction. We don't receive pork, but merely essential government services that couldn't be cut by any administration with even an ounce of humanity.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 8, 2005 12:10 PM