Colo. House Dems protest health care lawsuit |

Colo. House Dems protest health care lawsuit

DENVER – Colorado House Democrats sent a letter Thursday to state Attorney General John Suthers opposing his decision to join a national lawsuit to block the federal health care overhaul.

The letter signed by House Speaker Terrance Carroll and the Democratic caucus says the state should not be using taxpayer funds to make a political statement.

Suthers, a Republican, said the lawsuit will only cost the state $5,000, but Democrats said even that amount is too much.

Meanwhile, a progressive advocacy group, ProgressNow Colorado, delivered petitions signed by about than 8,400 Coloradans from 57 of the state’s 64 counties to Suthers’ office Thursday. The online petition demands that Suthers “stop wasting taxpayer dollars on a frivolous grandstand.”

ProgressNow Executive Director Bobby Clark said Suthers’ staff told him the petitions would be given to the attorney general. He said his group will continue gathering signatures to keep the pressure on Suthers, whom he accused of using his office to push a political agenda.

“We’re going to keep going until he takes the action he needs to take,” Clark said.

Suthers’ spokesman, Mike Saccone, said the attorney general appreciates feedback from the public on the lawsuit, which has been mixed, but it won’t affect how the office moves forward.

“Our decision to get involved in this suit is not based on polls or popularity,” Saccone said.

The decision was based on what Suthers believes to be an unprecedented expansion of federal powers, he added.

So far, Saccone said, Colorado has spent nothing on the lawsuit, including the value of staff time.

“The state of Florida is doing all the heavy lifting,” he said.

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