January 5 2010, 11:53 AM
Jobs. That's the emerging hot topic for this year's election, and Democratic Governor Bill Ritter has failed on that front, claims Americans for Prosperity Colorado. The conservative group has issued a scathing 71-page report, "Colorado in Transition: Killing the Golden Goose," which Ritter's office calls as a "diatribe" and others say contains errors. The anti-tax group believes Colorado is just one generation away from the same kind of fiscal crisis facing California thanks to excessive taxes, uncontrolled spending, and an environment that's hostile to job growth, writes The Denver Post. A Ritter spokesman dismisses the report, pointing to an unemployment rate that's three points below the national average, and adding that many national organizations see Colorado as "one of the best states for doing business." How the old tax-and-spend debate will play into the minds of voters is unclear, as Republicans look to challenge Democratic control of the Legislature. The GOP has reasons to be optimistic about picking up seats, according to a State Bill Colorado analysis of voting districts. And if U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is the Democrats' canary in the coalmine, the party could be in trouble. Congressional Quarterly's CQ Politics just changed its rating of the 2010 Colorado Senate race to "tossup," meaning there's no clear favorite. Bennet (pictured lower) is reaching out to voters, noting that Colorado has weathered the recession better than other states (via the Durango Herald). Meanwhile, one of his potential competitors, former lieutenant governor Jane Norton, is using different language, telling CBS4, "We need to focus on controlling spending and helping Coloradans get back to work."