6 Reasons Why Bob Beauprez Is One of the Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections

It’s an election year and we are quickly approaching the time when working families will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote against a whole host of extreme candidates who support policies that limit rights, make it even harder to afford a middle-class life and pad the pockets of their corporate buddies. One of the “Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections” is Bob Beauprez, who is running for governor in Colorado.

1. Beauprez supported legislation that deregulated financial systems, one of the major causes of the 2008 financial crisis that hit Colorado families so hard. [H.R. 2061, introduced 5/3/05; The Denver Post, 6/11/06]

2. He voted for laws to weaken consumer protections. [H.R. 2061, introduced 5/3/05; The Denver Post, 6/11/06]

3. He also voted for laws reducing the supervision of bankers and co-sponsored more than 100 pieces of legislation on taxation and banking that benefited Wall Street at the expense of working families. [H.R. 2061, introduced 5/3/05; The Denver Post, 6/11/06; Library of Congress, accessed 7/30/14]

4. Beauprez voted to enrich his Wall Street friends and even tried to reduce oversight on the bank where he made his $400 million fortune. [Library of Congress, accessed 7/30/14; H.R. 2061, introduced 5/3/05; The Denver Post, 6/11/06]

5. On taxes, Beauprez is even worse, having voted in favor of $774 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans while trying to make working families pay a 23% tax on everything they buy. [H.R. 5638, Vote 316, 6/2/06; The Denver Post, 10/7/06]

6. At the extreme right-wing sight Townhall.com, Beauprez endorsed “right to work” legislation that does nothing but strip rights from workers, and he was a keynote speaker at a right to work convention in New Orleans. [Townhall.com, 7/14/12]

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Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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Working America Helped Put Colorado Jobs Bill Over the Top

We had some good news for American workers out of Colorado last Friday. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) signed House Bill 1292, the “Keep Jobs in Colorado Act” into law.

This marked the successful conclusion to a two-year campaign waged by Working America, the Colorado AFL-CIO, and numerous other pro-worker organizations in the Centennial State.

It’s exactly the kind of bill that states should be passing.

When they assign projects, under the new law state agencies must take into consideration a contractor’s labor practices – wages, benefits, how they treat their workers – not just cost of the bid.

Plus, state-funded construction projects have to have at least 80 percent Colorado workers. Makes sense, right? Colorado projects should have Colorado workers? That requirement has been on the books for 80 years, but finally it has teeth – now there are penalties for contractors that don’t follow it.

A similar bill was first brought up in 2012. Since that time, Working America members and organizers had over 13,000 conversations, wrote over 1,000 handwritten letters, and collected over 1,300 petition signatures in communities around Colorado.

This is the type of commonsense legislation we hope to see elsewhere. Taxpayer funds should be used to hire local workers at good wages by contractors with good labor practices. Why Republicans in the legislature opposed this bill for two years is baffling, but thanks to the Colorado AFL-CIO working with pro-worker legislators and the advocacy of thousands of Coloradoans like you, it’s finally the law of the land.

Image by SenatorMikeJohnston on Flickr.

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Gov. Hickenlooper (D) Signs “Keep Jobs in Colorado Act”

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

On Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed the “Keep Jobs in Colorado Act,” which would increase protections for the state’s working families and help make sure that taxpayer money stays in the state. The bill reforms the state contracting system, requiring state agencies to focus on more than the bid in contracting and to include other factors that would help the state’s workers, such as wages and benefits.

Colorado law already requires that 80 percent of workers on state-funded construction projects must be state residents, but supporters of the new bill say that law rarely has been enforced because the only penalty for violating the law was jail time, something enforcement officials were reluctant to pursue. The new law lays out a series of civil penalties—up to contractor disbarment for extreme offenders. Exceptions to the 80 percent requirement already exist if employers can show there is not sufficient labor in-state for a particular project.

Republicans largely opposed the bill, which also requires contractors to provide proof of the country of origin for materials used in construction projects.

“This really was my number one priority coming into this legislative session,” said state Sen. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood). “We need to do everything we can to keep and create jobs in Colorado and make sure our taxpayer dollars are being used as wisely as possible.”

The Colorado AFL-CIO applauded the passage of the bill:

“Gov. Hickenlooper signing the ‘Keep Jobs in Colorado Act’ is an important victory for Colorado workers, their families and the state economy,” said Mike Cerbo, executive director of the Colorado AFL-CIO. “After six years of crafting these policies, we are excited to join the governor as he signs a momentous bill for all of Colorado.”

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