Sonnenberg Responds to Flawed Denver Post Report

The Denver Post Editorial Page currently follows a set of publication guidelines that make it nearly impossible for letters challenging or critiquing the paper's news content to see print, so we will begin using this website to publish letters to the editor that the Post's editors decline to print. Our aim is to help set the record straight by providing the balance, fairness, missing context or countervailing information that The Denver Post should publish but won't. 

January 17, 2018

Letter to the Editor of the Denver Post

The Denver Post’s January 16 story on Senate bill 18-043, which clarifies the meaning of a state Senate rejection of a commission appointment, misrepresents the content and purpose of the bill as well as the May 2017 Senate floor vote rejecting one of the Governor’s nominations.

In the closing days of the 2017 session, the Colorado Senate voted 18-17 to reject the nomination of a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for a second term on that body. In the judgment of many, the nominee’s disappointing record on matters brought before the commission did not merit reappointment to a second term. Whether you agree or disagree with that assessment, the senate’s vote to reject the reappointment was based solely on the nominee’s public record as a commission member.

Attempts by the Governor’s office and other parties to misrepresent the Senate’s reasons for the rejection are disingenuous, unsupported by the public record, and disrespectful of the senate’s vital constitutional role in filling commission vacancies. Senate Bill 18-043 merely clarifies and restates a basic principle of the state constitution, the principle of separation of powers. It simply states that when a nominee is rejected by the Senate, that individual cannot continue to serve in the same position.

Why require Senate confirmation of a person seeking a second term if the Senate’s rejection is meaningless? It is not an “infringement” on the Governor’s powers of appointment to stipulate that a Senate rejection has real world consequences. Either the Senate’s power to confirm or reject a nominee has meaning, or it does not. If it does not, we have entered a post-constitutional era.

 

Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling)

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