Just when I was ready to start liking the Fort Collins Coloradoan again after its front page reporting of Marilyn Musgrave's vote against lowering student loan interest, they go and drop the ball on me big time.
As everyone is now aware, yesterday the U.S. Senate was unable to pass a minimum wage hike because the Republicans refused to grant cloture to the bill, insisting on saddling it with business tax break amendments.
But late afternoon on Wednesday the Republicans in the Senate went much farther than that, and actually introduced a counter-resolution that would eliminate the federal minimum wage altogether (Senate vote, see Bob Geiger's column here). Who introduced this groundbreaking legislation? None other than Fort Collins local boy Wayne Allard (R-CO), still in peak reactionary form as the defender of the wealthy hyper-elite.
Where was our local newspaper reporting on this bold legislative gambit by our local hero? Unfortunately, nowhere...
To Republicans like Allard, there is no economic problem that cannot be solved by making working class Americans toil harder for their daily bread. Aristrocatic conservatives like Allard worship the idea of hard work done by other people. The Republicans and their supporters have done everything they can over the last twelve years to give us a world of extreme wealth divisions, and productivity gains harvested by those at the top.
Was it news to the Coloradoan that Allard was the one who introduced such a potentially landmark bill, one that would have rescinded one of the greatest advances in 20th Century economic policy? No, it wasn't. They carried only a wire service article in the B section, with a few paragraphs buried in the jump that briefly mentioned the countermeasures introduced by the Republicans. Allard's name was nowhere to be found--not in the headline, not in the copy.
Why not? If you're a Republican or Libertarian who truly believes that the federal minimum wage should be eliminated, then you would celebrate Allard's historic move, right? If you're a Liberal, then you would surely want to know about it too. Either way, you'd want to read about it in the local paper, don't you think?
To my newsroom friends on Riverside: Come on, guys. This is serious stuff, and the local readers should know about it. Yesterday I decided that I'd plunk down two bits at Schrader's every time I mentioned the Coloradoan in a diary entry. By this reckoning, I owe you another fifty cents, but you're making it damn unpleasant this time.
We all know that Allard is an embarassment. A huge titanic embarassment for the state and for Larimer County. Is it so important to shield us from this?
...By the way, kudos on the Musgrave editorial today. Good analysis. A good step in the right direction. For that, you get my fifty cents today.