Colorado’s legislative session is 120 days long, and lawmakers introduced 617 bills during the 2023 session. Of those, 218 passed and have been signed into law by Democrat Gov. Jared Polis. More are waiting to be signed.
Democrats have a historic majority in the Colorado House, a supermajority in the Senate, and control the governorship. As such, all of those bills passed with Democrat support—and more often than not, over Republicans’ vehement objections. It’s a marked change from 2002, when the GOP dominated politics in Colorado.
Republican state Rep. Stephanie Luck is one of a handful of Colorado representatives fighting back and trying to expose what she describes as Democrats’ Marxist agenda, in which individual rights don’t matter and the government controls every aspect of life.
“When I first got elected and sworn into office in 2021, Governor Polis gave his State of the State address shortly thereafter and stated that it was his goal and the goal of his Democratic majority to fundamentally transform Colorado,” Luck told The Epoch Times.
“So, the question becomes, what was the initial foundation they want to transform? And I would point us to the mission statement of the United States, which is the Declaration of Independence.
“And basically, we could go word by word in that most famous phrase starting with ‘We hold these truths.’ We can start with the word ‘We’ and demonstrate how they want not a ‘We,’ not a unified whole, not one nation, but different tribes, different groupings, different identities, and then just go every single word and recognize that they really are advancing the opposite of that mission statement.
“And that is what Governor Polis and the Democrats have been doing in Colorado.”
Luck refers to the book “The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care),” by Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer.
It details how, in the summer of 2004, progressive organizations and a group of multimillionaires—including Colorado’s now-governor Polis—devised a plan to elect a Democratic majority. The group called themselves the Roundtable.
“Everyone had a common goal and it wasn’t to win friends. It was to win elections. That was the measure by which they would succeed or fail,” Schrager writes. He adds that the group’s main avenues to flip Colorado blue were an extensive organization, a deep understanding of data, and, arguably the most effective, taking advantage of campaign finance reform laws.
Dr. Joshua Dunn, a professor of political science at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, agrees.
“There was a well-orchestrated Democratic plan to take control of the state. … [The Roundtable] was smart,” he told The Epoch Times. “They were smarter than the Republicans. I think the Republicans will tell you that they were outsmarted by them. I don’t think there’s any doubt about it.
“They were well organized, disciplined, and they imposed discipline on people who wanted their support. They had requirements for people—particularly in local races if you wanted to get support from them—you had to go and knock on a certain number of doors.”
In addition to organization and discipline, Schrager notes that the group understood that swaying state politics could have an outsized effect on politics at the federal level.
By taking advantage in the early 2000s of tax-exempt 527 organizations, so named because they are organized under Section 527 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, the Roundtable raised $3.6 million, while Republicans raised $845,000.
“In hindsight, it’s remarkable how quickly members of the Roundtable adapted to the new campaign finance reality. While national political groups were beginning to use 527s … in 2004, it was unusual for state-based organizations to understand these exotic organizations and complex rules that governed them—much less master them to the point that they could be used effectively.”
With a significant war chest for state-level elections established, the group targeted Republican politicians. And they did so through targeted ads, leaflets, boots on the ground, automated calls, and a unified message that a Democratic majority was better for Colorado.
Schrager quotes Polis as saying: “We really didn’t truly know how big this would become. Clearly, when we started, we had no idea. I didn’t know this would have great historical significance, nor did anybody there that we would transform Colorado.”
But transform the Colorado political landscape they did….