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OPINION

Coloradofornia?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

As the Unofficial Goodwill Ambassador Plenipotentiary from the State of Utah to Western Colorado, I, in my unauthorized capacity do hereby extend the offer of asylum to any Coloradoans seeking same in the Beehive State, as their state slides toward Californiacation.

As someone who lives within a figurative chip shot of the border, my wife and I occasionally make forays into the Centennial State for day trips and weekend getaways. It is very beautiful. It has picturesque towns with fascinating shops that have things like wine tastings and display exquisite artwork. Believe it or not, we actually bought some handmade plates and cups from an exquisite (and pricey) boutique. In the days when I was still bitterly clinging to my progressive roots, we also made excursions to the music festivals in the state. Colorado is many things. And in particular, it is very, very progressive.

The nation knows by now that this week, Governor John Hickenlooper put his signature on some pretty eyebrow-raising laws that is if one is not Diane Feinstein. The scope of these measures have been broadcast, blogged, and discussed ad infinitum and other articles on Townhall address them.

We all know that Colorado has cracked down on guns. Given the state’s trajectory, it was only a matter of time. But what is not being widely discussed is the impact of that trajectory.

Just on the basis of the bills signed on Hickenlooper, Magpul is leaving the state. The gun magazine restrictions alone could mean a major hit for the company, who expects to put Colorado in its’ rearview mirror by the end of the year. Magpul is considering moving to Texas, Wyoming, and possibly Utah. And when it goes, it will take hundreds of jobs with it.  Colorado may want to take note: jobs and companies mean tax revenue. A lack of them also means a lack of money.

Many Coloradoans cast a baleful eye toward the energy industry and in particular fracking. Despite the fact that fracking has never caused any environmental problems, and it would be contradictory to a for-profit business to allow gas or chemicals to escape during the fracking process, (We’ve had fracking in Utah for years and have never had an issue. Not once.) the anti-fracking faithful will brook no discussions that may run counter to the propaganda. For a great look at how environmentalists keep informed, may I suggest a look at Dan Joseph’s hilarious interviews with them at an anti fossil fuels rally last month.

Since they do not look beyond the fear-mongering campaigns, they are unaware that fracking is safe, and some cities have begun invoking their home-rule clause to keep the energy industry away, even if the state asserts its supremacy regarding regulation of the industry. Last I checked the issue was headed for the state’s legislature.

Another blow struck for the people of Colorado. However in Utah, where the energy industry is working to hold its own, revenue raised through mineral lease and severance taxes pays for things such as roads and sewers. Taxes on the energy industry helped fund a recreation center in my town and a new library. And it funds education. Granted, the industry could fund much more if it were allowed to do more work, but that is another column for another time.

Across the line in Colorado, Education Secretary Arne Duncan will provide $5.2 million in federal funds to aid underachieving schools there. And as of Wednesday, Colorado’s Senate Education Committee was trying to come up with ways to fund the schools. Lawmakers are considering a bill to up the income tax.

So the Colorado plan seems to be: Run off the gun owners and the gun industry. Run off oil and natural gas. And then hike income taxes and beg for crumbs from the federal table to fund education.

And the legislature there has voted to allow illegal immigrants to avail themselves of in-state college tuition rates. So if you were born in America but not in Colorado, you still pay the out of state price if you cross the state border. But if you were born outside the U.S. and sneak over the border, then you get the discount rate. That should have the college applications rolling in this spring.

So to all you Coloradoans yearning to breathe free you have my offer of asylum. You can camp in the backyard, I’ve got some trout I caught a few weeks ago in the freezer I can fry up, and we’ll get you started on your new life and enrolled in one of our concealed carry courses.

There is only one condition: You must register to vote. You see here in Utah, we’ve got our own problems with wanna-be blue-staters and “air quotes” conservatives. (Calling them RINO’s was getting so passé.’) The last thing we want is to end up like Colorado.

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