Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ray Powers passes away

Former Colorado Senate President Ray Powers passed away on Thursday. Ray, a Colorado Springs Republican was certainly a conservative, but was not a wacko. He truly was a decent human being. Interestingly, his wife Dorothy is a Democrat. Thought that must have made for strange conversations at the dinner table.

In addition to being a decent human being, Ray had principles and would not let party affiliation or the 11th commandment get in the way of speaking up for what he believed was right.

I particularly remember a fight he got in to with then Speaker of the House (and also a Colorado Springs Republican) Doug Dean over Dean's double dipping the state for expenses and per diem.

Dean was billing the state for expenses of the apartment he was renting/sharing with another legislator. In addition he was taking the $99 per day per diem. It had always been believed that the per diem was to cover the expenses incurred by legislators who had to stay in Denver from out of town. Dean claimed that it was additional salary. There was a hearing before Legislative Council regarding the matter and Dean got into a shouting match with Powers over the issue. Dean made some accusatory remarks about the fact that Powers was wealthy, could afford a house in Denver and didn't need to worry about the additional income. Powers was incensed and yelled back at Dean that he was sick of Dean's attitude.

There was no love lost there.

I also suspect that Ray, the gentleman, did not approve of Dean's philandering. He was notorious for cheating on his wife, and indeed was involved in a messy incident with a lobbyist with whom he was living (and divorced his wife over) when he broke into her house with a screwdriver.

Ahhh, the good old days.

Ray was a good guy. We could use more like him in both parties.

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