As the dust settles on the 2012 legislative session, the public is starting to realize what a massive failure this represented for conservatives in the Colorado General Assembly—and especially Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty.
In the debate over civil unions in Colorado in 2012, Republican leaders refused to play by the rules. Our legislative system is designed to give every bill a fair shot, and to ensure that the will of the majority is carried out. But when faced with a result he didn’t like, Speaker McNulty chose to shut down the legislature and hide until the clock ran out. When given a second chance by Gov. John Hickenlooper to do the right thing, McNulty changed the rules to ensure that civil unions would again die without a full vote of the House. With the role of leader comes the responsibility to represent all of Colorado, not just a vocal minority of extremists. The Republican leadership in the House stood in the way of the public’s will—and even a majority in their own chamber.
McNulty did this for one reason: he knew that if civil unions got a fair vote, it would have passed with some of his fellow Republicans voting yes. And McNulty wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Since January of 2011, Frank McNulty has been in charge of the Colorado House of Representatives, and he has abused his power to a greater degree than anyone has seen in our state in years. He’s bullied colleagues, refused to compromise, and lied to fellow legislators, members of the press and the people of Colorado. McNulty’s actions have earned him almost universal condemnation in the press. The Denver Post wrote that “McNulty and Republicans resorted to a disgraceful power play to kill a popular bill that would acknowledge a basic civil right.” 1
Sign our petition: tell McNulty he’s not going to get away with it this time. We’ll share your names and comments with McNulty, other legislators and public officials, and the press.
Colorado needs leaders who work with one another to put the will of the voters first, not Tea Party zealots who would rather shut down the government than work toward practical solutions to real problems our citizens face. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of Coloradans now support civil unions for committed same-sex couples.
Elected officials are accountable not only for the votes they make, but for who they select to lead their caucuses in the legislature. The terrible leadership choice House Republicans made in Frank McNulty has led to an unprecedented failure of leadership in the Republican-controlled Colorado House. The only choice we have left now is to hold them all accountable in November.