What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

Articles written by Mark Hillman


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  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Jun 6, 2024

    Property taxes remain a hot topic in Colorado and rightly so. During COVID, economists expected home values to fall as the economy experienced a sharp recession. So in 2020, the legislature asked voters to eliminate a 40-year-old law that prevented property taxes from rising in unison with the value of that property. Voters agreed. Then something strange happened: the COVID recession was brief and instead of tanking, home prices soared because few homes were offered for sale. Without the 40-year-old Gallagher amendment to limit residential prop...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|May 23, 2024

    We used to joke that “no man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” That’s no laughing matter in today’s Colorado. The collective sigh heard across our state when 100 legislators finally went home to mind their own business reflects the growing sense of dread that accompanies the Colorado General Assembly convening each January. Although some of their worst ideas died on May 8 when the annual session ended, many of them will rise again like zombies next January, and Coloradans will again be subjected...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Apr 11, 2024

    Although I am less optimistic, I still hold out hope that Colorado isn’t irretrievably doomed to follow California, Oregon and Washington into the hopeless abyss of Progressivism. A few key indicators will soon reveal if we have passed the point of no return, including whether enough common-sense Democrats remain to stand with Republicans against the Far Left’s relentless assault on our Second Amendment rights. Senate Bill 131 would prohibit licensed concealed-carry permit holders from carrying their guns in “sensitive spaces,” which sponsor...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Mar 21, 2024

    Remember when Democrats fiercely defended freedom of speech and freedom of expression with few limitations? That was when Colorado Democrats still had to compete with Republicans for statewide elected offices and legislative majorities. Having grasped the political upper hand, Democrats are now sadly in thrall to Progressivism and its requisite censorship of dissenters. Instead of proclaiming, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” Democrats at our State Capitol now practice “free speech for me,...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Feb 22, 2024

    Forty-four years ago this month, Ronald Reagan won the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, vaulting him on a path to the 1980 nomination and a landslide victory over President Jimmy Carter. The last presidential candidate to largely unite the country, Reagan defeated Carter 489-49 in the Electoral College and 51-41 percent in the popular vote. Four years later, he won 49 states and 59 percent of the popular vote. Reagan “rose from the ashes” of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign thanks to his “A Time for Choosin...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Jan 18, 2024

    Businesses that fuel Colorado’s economic engine can’t be blamed for cringing at the specter of the Colorado legislature’s return this month. Plaintiffs lawyers, however, are not cringing. Instead, the people who pay to put their faces on billboards along our busiest highways are licking their chops. Last year, lawmakers went on a lawsuit binge, introducing a record 25 bills that used private lawsuits for enforcement, rather than entrusting enforcement to a government agency. According to the Common Sense Institute, 43 similar bills have been in...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Dec 7, 2023

    For all the talk about President Biden’s determination to seek a second term, the case against him doing so is building. Numerous polls now show him decisively trailing former President Trump, both nationwide and in key battleground states. Overwhelmingly Americans realize Biden is too old and no longer competent to be President. By only slightly smaller margins they feel the same about Trump. In a recent story which attempted to portray a viable strategy for Biden’s re-election, Politico’s Jonathan Martin acknowledged: “The oldest preside...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Nov 2, 2023

    To realize that “the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked” one need only look at the anti-Israel protests around the world since Hamas terrorists murdered some 1,400 civilians and kidnapped 200 others. The horrific acts include: • More than 260 people concert-goers gunned down as they fled marauding butchers. Women were raped, their legs broken, some burned alive. • A grandmother taken hostage was executed by terrorists who filmed her murder then posted it to her social media account for her family to see. • Traffic and dashboard...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Oct 12, 2023

    Even if Prop HH passes, our taxes will go up! We didn’t need an election this November to receive a modest property tax reduction. The legislature can cut taxes anytime; it doesn’t need voter approval. But with Coloradans facing the largest property tax increase of our lifetime due to soaring home prices, the legislature chose to put a massive expansion of government on the ballot disguised as a property tax cut. Remember this: even if Proposition HH passes, property taxes will still increase. If property values double in the next 10 yea...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|May 17, 2023

    For the first time I can recall, this year’s session of the Colorado General Assembly concluded with frenzy and confusion more typical of what we see in Washington, D.C., than what’s expected of our citizen legislature. It’s not unusual for a few complicated bills to linger until the waning hours. However, this year’s 120-day session ended on Monday, May 8, with these ignominious developments: • On Day 117, still 156 bills – one-quarter of the 617 introduced since Jan. 9 – remained unresolved. With just two weeks to go, 335 bills were still in...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Apr 12, 2023

    For the past two weeks, Democrats and Republicans have engaged in a test of wills in the Colorado House of Representatives. Democrats are using their 46-19 majority to pass bills which they consider essential to address shootings in public places and to establish Colorado as a regional refuge for “reproductive health care.” Republicans know they cannot stop these bills, but because they view them as a threat to citizens’ constitutional freedoms, they have chosen to inconvenience the majority by filibustering these controversial bills. Filib...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Mar 29, 2023

    State Representative David Ortiz (D-Littleton) makes a compelling advocate for the rights and struggles of disabled Coloradans. “I lived 30 years as an able-bodied leg-walker, a five-minute-mile running, hard-charging combat aviator — until a crash in Afghanistan left me paralyzed from the waist down,” he told the House Judiciary Committee. He understandably views himself as the unofficial representative of the disabled community and fashions his legislative agenda with that constituency in mind. So, it follows that he would sponsor legis...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman, Former Senate Majority Leader and State Treasurer|Mar 15, 2023

    Last year, the Colorado General Assembly demonstrated the good sense to pass Senate Bill 115, recognizing that property owners are not liable for actions committed on their property by criminals. It didn’t matter, legislators agreed, if the property owner operated a controversial business. Ultimate responsibility for harm rests with the person who pulled the trigger. This bipartisan legislation, which passed the Senate 34-0 and the House 64-1, came in response to a lawsuit arising from the 2015 shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in C...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Nov 30, 2022

    “Democracy,” wrote H.L. Mencken, “is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” A majority of Colorado voters have made it clear that they want to be governed by Democrats. With Democrats presiding over a struggling economy, widespread crime and social disorder, this result is dumbfounding. Surely, Coloradans were ready to restore some measure of political balance? Instead, voters soundly rejected Republican candidates across the board. Democrats won every race in which both parties devoted...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Oct 19, 2022

    Here’s my plain-and-simple explanation of and recommendation for statewide issues on the Colorado ballot for 2022: Amendment D, New 23rd Judicial District Judges. In 2020, the legislature created the new 23rd Judicial District by removing Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties from the 18th Judicial District. This amendment makes it easier to assign some judges from the 18th to the 23rd Judicial District. I will vote yes. Amendment E, Property Tax Exemption for Gold-Star Spouses. The existing property tax exemption for seniors and disabled v...

  • Capitol Review

    Mark Hillman|Sep 21, 2022

    My late father often reprimanded my loquacious tendencies by quoting Proverbs 10:19: “In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” The passing of Queen Elizabeth II reminds me of that wisdom because her 70 years as ceremonial monarch of England shows the power of silence. If my parents were still here, they would rightfully remind me that I could learn from her example. In Great Britain, the Prime Minister — somewhat like our President — is “head of government,” but the King or Queen is “head of st...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Aug 24, 2022

    Not long ago, Colorado was one of the safest, most prosperous states in the nation. Today, Colorado is a mess. Crime is soaring. The economy is faltering. Energy prices are rising. Schools are struggling. Many of today’s problems are the predictable result of “progressive” policies adopted during the four-year reign of Governor Jared Polis and large Democrat majorities in the legislature. In the next few months, Colorado voters must decide if they’ve had enough. Democrats pursued legislation that was tough on law enforcement and soft on crimina...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Jul 6, 2022

    Equality of all citizens is a uniquely American concept. Historian G.K. Chesterton said, “America is the only nation in the world that was founded on a creed.” That creed comes from the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This declaration came at a point when slavery was nearly universal. Native Americans made slaves of conquered tribes and of b...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Jun 22, 2022

    Sometimes it seems Democrat strategists know the minds of Republicans better than Republicans know themselves. Consider the current scheme by Democrats to spend millions to influence the Republican primary. Organizations funded by Democrats are running ads to promote United States Senate candidate Ron Hanks and governor candidate Greg Lopez. One of their favorite messages is that Hanks or Lopez is “too conservative for Colorado.” Remember, they are intentionally sending this message to Republican voters. I’ve heard or read Republicans respo...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|May 11, 2022

    God saw fit to stop at 10 commandments, but politicians can’t leave well enough alone, so a series of “Eleventh Commandments” apply to them. One of those admonishes: Thou shall not make the voters more cynical. This year, Democrats at our State Capitol are breaking that commandment, too. With polls showing that Colorado voters may finally be ready to end their four years of unrestrained power, Democrats are discarding their professed priorities like a sinner headed for confession — hoping voters will forgive and (especially) forget. So, let...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Apr 27, 2022

    The State commission charged with adjudicating which Colorado schools must expunge their “American Indian mascots” devolved further into a kangaroo court last week. Chaired by Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera, the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs was required to “identify each public school in the state that is using an American Indian mascot” by July 28 of last year. More than eight months later, the commission is suddenly considering whether to add seven new schools as potential violators for using “Thunderbird” as their mascot. At...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Mar 30, 2022

    Democrats at the State legislature made a remarkable choice in recent weeks to burnish their “reproductive rights” bona fides by passing a bill that stakes out perhaps the most extreme position possible on abortion by explicitly depriving an unborn child of any legal rights whatsoever until the moment after birth. A premature over-reaction to fears that the United States Supreme Court may strike down Roe v. Wade, the bill strangely ignores Colorado’s history as one of the most permissive in the nation on abortion. In 1967 — six years before...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Feb 16, 2022

    Nearly 160 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, his place in history as “The Great Emancipator” of black slaves is firmly established. Nevertheless, a defense of Lincoln is a required response to the fallacy-ridden 1619 Project in which the New York Times seeks to rewrite American history through a racist lens. In 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project, Peter W. Wood performs documented research that 1619 neglected by citing no sources and providing no footnotes or bibliography. Readers of 1619, inc...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Feb 9, 2022

    Confidence in elections is paramount to our system of self-government. Those we elect have an obligation to work together to build security and transparency in those elections. Today, both parties are largely failing that test. After the 2020 election, President Trump’s falsehoods about a “stolen election” set the stage for him to agitate a crowd that gathered on Jan. 6 to “fight like hell” or “you’re not going to have a country anymore.” At least several hundred demonstrators took those words seriously and broke into the United States C...

  • Capital Review

    Mark Hillman|Jan 12, 2022

    Like a demolition team swinging a sledgehammer, legislators intent on purging Native American mascots from Colorado schools smashed their opposition with little consideration of the wreckage they were creating. So certain of the righteousness of their cause, they denied even mere consideration to the communities upon which they imposed their will. Two of Colorado’s smallest districts — Arickaree (103 students) and Mountain Valley (153 students) — are being severely harmed by this legislation which isn’t just about mascots but instead prohibi...

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