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Caldara’s Newsletter 12-09-16 “Trump Gets Grabby”

Well, it’s happened – The Donald has grabbed Independence Institute’s own Amy Oliver Cooke.

No, not in that way.

If you haven’t heard the news already, Amy Cooke, our Executive Vice President and Director of the Energy Policy Center has been asked to serve on President-elect Donald Trump’s EPA transition team. Amy will act as an advisor regarding potential personnel decisions and policy direction for the upcoming administration. She’s doing this outside her work at II. Basically, she’s an even bigger star, and I’m sure she will be lording it over us in passive-aggressive ways like, “Oh, I guess this photo-copier paper will work. I mean it’s not what we use on the transition team, but I’ll make it work.”  Read about the “Mother in Love with Fracking.”

In the land of Colorado education, some school districts have conveniently decided that they are above the law. Shocking, I know. State law now says schools can’t base their decisions to lay off employees on seniority alone. Rather, and listen to how crazy this is, there must be some measure of performance in the decision.

After reading through stacks of school district contracts, Education Senior Policy Analyst Ross Izard found that several school contracts with teacher unions are not in accordance with that law. Besides setting the right example of proper rule-following for our kids, the problem is that districts out of compliance are risking massively expensive litigation. If layoffs ever do occur in these districts and they don’t follow their contractual provisions, the union or a senior teacher could sue them. Even more worrisome is the fact that if they DO follow the contractual provisions, they would have violated the law – and an inappropriately laid off effective teacher could sue them. Check out Ross Izard’s Issue Paper on the topic and stay tuned.

In a shocking twist of events, our friends at RTD (also known as “Reason to Drive”), builder of Denver’s premier 19th century train, has actually done something worthy of a compliment. Something that might- dare I say? – launch public transportation back into the 21st century. Check out my Denver Post column for something to chew on next time you’re stuck in traffic.

On this Friday’s Devil’s Advocate, guest-host Mike Krause is first joined by local author Ari Armstrong to discuss his new book, “Reclaiming Liberalism.” Then, a Trump-voting Denver public school teacher shares his post-election story of being singled-out for humiliation at his school for his conservative views. That’s TONIGHT at 8:30 on Colorado Public Television channel 12. Re-broadcast Monday at 12:30 PM.

Do you know someone who has been trampled by big government? We do, and we want to hear more. If you have a story of an individual or small business affected by our gluttonous bureaucracy – let me know. There might be something that II can do to help.

And, for the love of God, go like us on Facebook.

Think Freedom!

Jon Caldara