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Fire It Up: Sal Pace’s Union Speech Riles the State’s Political Leaders

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Colorado’s AFL-CIO held a rally Tuesday to unveil its latest legislative agenda at the state Capitol–“a more moderate” plan than last year’s, writes the Denver Business Journal, one they hope will find “backers in the business world and across the political spectrum.” But the moderation was stunted after state House minority leader Sal Pace took the microphone, promising to “put my fist where I need to put it” for union interests. The Pueblo Democrat accused Republicans of being the party that seeks to make the “rich richer,” adding, “I’m willing to go and rumble to make sure we’re fighting for good jobs” (via the Denver Post). But as the euphoria wore off, the criticisms mounted. One union staffer calls Pace’s remarks “abrasive.” And Pace himself admits, “I went overboard with the rhetoric.”

State Senate President Brandon Shaffer, also a Democrat, had set a much different tone during the rally, saying “there is nothing that needs to be partisan in talking about helping people.” But Pace had already offended the GOP. House speaker Frank McNulty, a Highlands Ranch Republican, tells the Denver Daily News, “The extent that Sal Pace and his union allies decide to focus on job creation instead of protecting their own special interests, then we will be able to find common ground. But they need to move away from protecting their little piece of turf and look at enhancing job creation in Colorado as a whole.”

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