January 10, 2008

Fun to Watch Colorado Media Matters

Colorado Media Matters is a whirling cog in the Big Blue Lie Machine. It sometimes spins so fast that it forgets where it wants to end up. Today, they are working over the Denver Post article comparing Washington State unionization and Backroom Bill Ritter's boondoggle.

They've done such a good job at explaining how good Colorado public employees have it that they have forgotten that they needed to leave a justification for the order. They even argued that away:

But the Post omitted key differences between Colorado and Washington, including the significant contrast between the states' rates of union membership and the measures that Colorado has taken since 2004 to maintain prevailing wages for its workforce, while Washington state workers' pay was losing ground to those in comparable private-sector occupations.


For example, the Post reported that "thousands of [Washington] state workers have received double-digit raises after a state survey found that their wages lagged far behind the private sector," and that the state "agreed to give increases to certain workers, such as nurses, that brought them to within at least 25 percent of what they would make in the private sector." But the article neglected to point out that, unlike Washington, the state of Colorado has implemented measures designed to keep state employee salaries competitive with those available in the private job market.


In contrast, Colorado's Total Compensation report, updated in December, states, "With very few exceptions, the General Assembly has historically and consistently funded market salary adjustments at prevailing levels based on the salary survey process." The report further shows a timeline of actions Colorado has taken from 2004 through 2007 to improve total compensation of its employees, including aligning "salary ranges to move with the market and leave no employee below range minimum."

So, here's our question for both Media Matters and for Governor Bill Ritter: If Colorado workers have it this good, what is the justification for the order in the first place?

Media Matters spends so much time arguing its case that it forgets where it starts and where it wishes to end up. It doesn't seem likely that it wanted to end up tearing apart any and all justification for the Bill Ritter executive order, but that is what it has done.

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