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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonOctober 9, 20186min1970

It has been apparent for more than a decade that Colorado needs to spend more money on its roads. If you have had the occasion to travel across our borders recently, it is apparent that even blood red states like Utah, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming have figured out how to finance this central responsibility of government. For the past half dozen years each new Legislature has identified transportation funding as its bi-partisan, number one priority without significant result. On this November’s ballot voters have an opportunity to choose between a pair of citizen initiatives that embrace the competing theories regarding this challenge that have consistently defeated resolution by our legislators.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonOctober 1, 20187min200

How we think about risk has very little to do with the actual, statistical chance of injury. If it did, few of us would ever climb behind the wheel in our cars. It was Jerry Kruk of Calgary who schooled me on the psychodynamics of fear a quarter century ago. He initially worked as a professional risk communicator for Canadian oil and gas projects, but later migrated to nuclear conflicts, specifically issues of radioactive waste disposal. Kruk emphasized two guiding principles: (1) when we can’t see, hear, smell or taste a threat we sensibly fear it, and (2) when we have little or no opportunity to forestall a danger or prevent our exposure, particularly if that risk is created by unknown or uncaring others, we respond with anger. Consequently, we think nothing of driving to the grocery due to the comforting presumption we can exercise control over our personal risk. This assurance is, of course, largely an illusion. More Americans have been killed on our roads and highways than in all our wars.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonSeptember 24, 20187min318

Technology develops in accordance with an ethos and logic impervious to ideology. Politicians on both the right and left have been badly burned in recent years by staking policy positions presuming tomorrow will look a lot like today. Whatever you may believe about evolution in the biological realm, technology changes incrementally in response to the application of human ingenuity. This all came to mind as I listened to speakers at a workshop on Colorado’s energy resilience earlier this week at the law offices of Faegre and Benson in Denver.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonSeptember 17, 20187min432

Despite all the public chest thumping that takes place on both the right and the left regarding policy preferences, it’s wise to remain alert to the possibility these displays are often masquerades behind which lurk personal animosities. As a freshman legislator I quit the House Democratic caucus following an accusation by Minority Leader Bob Kirscht that I had traded my vote with Republican Frank DeFilippo. I announced I would not return to the caucus until it elected new leadership and then dedicated the ensuing year to the insurrection that replaced Kirscht with Federico Peña as Democratic leader in 1981. Bob switched his party affiliation the following morning in exchange for an appointment to the Joint Budget Committee, a plum assignment from which he would ladle dollars over his House District in Pueblo.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonAugust 29, 20186min342

Politics, like most avocations, functions in the shadow of myths. Perhaps the most popular is the notion that real social change grows up out of the grassroots — best captured by, “…if the people lead, then their leaders will follow” trope. There is a modicum of truth to this theory, courage always being in short supply among elected officials. However, upon closer inspection, we frequently discover the fingerprints of hidden actors.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonAugust 20, 20186min493

Last week I found myself pursuing five electric scooters at ten miles per hour that had commandeered a full traffic lane northbound in Denver on Lincoln Avenue. Since Bird and Lime dumped hundreds of their stand-up, motorized scooters without warning on the city’s sidewalks, more and more riders seem to feel the street is a better option for them than the sidewalk. This can’t possibly be a good idea and it is only a question of time before a driver dispatches several of them to an emergency room or the morgue. Skateboarders are now joining in the fun. Honking at them only elicits a middle-fingered salute.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonAugust 9, 20187min430

Since Colorado voters pasted the TABOR amendment that steers spending and revenues into our state constitution in 1992, the myth of its sacrosanct power has been embroidered each year.  It is frequently viewed as the "third rail" of politics – attempt to tamper with it and you will surely die. However, only a slim majority approved Doug Bruce’s fourth attempt to handcuff government on an otherwise crowded ballot. While Bill Clinton won the presidential poll that year, Ross Perot’s message of budget rectitude scored its largest voter endorsement in Colorado.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonAugust 2, 20186min355

A recent study published in the Journal of Psychological Science attempted to estimate the collective sense of narcissism shared in each state. The primary measure of perceived self-importance asked residents what percentage of American history was primarily shaped by their own state? Collectively, these estimates totaled a whopping 907%. One of the researchers, Henry Roediger of Washington University in St. Louis observed, “The question we asked is crazy in one sense, because there is no correct answer, but it told us a lot about people and what they believe about themselves. We thought the numbers would be high, but not this high.”