Happy Colorado Day From Both Ways Bob Beauprez!

Today marks the 138th anniversary of Colorado's first day of statehood–on August 1st, 1876 Colorado was officially admitted to the United States as the 38th state. Politicians across Colorado are looking for creative ways to publicly observe today's anniversary, if anything trying extra hard because it's an election year. And sure enough, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez posted a Buzzfeed style "10 things I love about Colorado" list today:

3-farm 

3. The land that was my family's farm – where I still live

First problem: Beauprez is using an image of his beloved "family farm"…from Google Street View? We might have expected a more, you know, personal photo? Or at least sent a staffer over to the beloved family barn to snap one? No points for effort here.

Back in March, we had a little fun with a statement that Beauprez made in a radio interview about having "lived off the land my whole life." Beauprez's family did once own a dairy farm in Lafayette, but as we explained, Bob Beauprez sold the farm to develop the golf course and high-end residential subdivision known today as Indian Peaks. The barn depicted above is located on Beauprez Ave. in the Indian Peaks golf course, and Beauprez owns a large home in this development. So it may be technically correct that Beauprez still lives on land that "was" the "family farm." But so there's no confusion, here's where Beauprez's McMansion sits today in the Indian Peaks development relative to the Beauprez barn:

beauprezpeaks2

Something about this view spoils the authenticity of Beauprez's nostalgia for the family farm. Of course, though it's not what Beauprez was intending, the story of Colorado family farms being sold off and developed into tract homes and golf courses is very much a part of our state's history.

Just not so much the part we celebrate on Colorado Day.

CO Republican Vice Chair Calls for Investigation into Tancredo Attacks

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

tancgov

On KLZ's nooner show Aug. 29, Freedom 560, Colorado Republican Party Vice Chairman Mark Baisley announced his support for an investigation into the Republican Governors Association's involvement (via the Republican Attorneys General Association) in attack ads against gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo.

Ken Clark: Quite frankly, you’re right about one thing. And that is simply that it was — Who was it? It was the CREW folks that actually did dig this up — and yes they’re left leaning and yes, and they did leak this information to Lynn Bartels. However, there is one problem with all that. It’s true!!!

Mark Baisley: It is true!

Clark: Yeah! The RGA got involved, the RGA, the establishment Republicans, the national establishment got involved in our election here in Colorado, manipulated it, and lied — flat out lied against Tom Tancredo. Now, did Bob Beauprez know this was happening? I doubt it. In this article that Lynn wrote, she claims that — or Ryan [Call] claims that he had no idea it was going on. Frankly, I don’t buy that, because right before the election, Ryan Call was putting out propaganda from the Party that used all of Bob Beauprez’s lingo on how he described himself. So, I’m having trouble with the idea that Ryan Call just didn’t know this was going on. Sorry, but he’s the chairman of the state Party

Baisley: Okay, and I don’t know the answer to that. Chairman Call and I have not spoken on this topic. And so, I’ll reach out to him today. But, regardless, the RGA has done something that is just wrong. And they obviously know that it’s wrong, because they took such great pains to hide their actions. And we need to come against them very strongly. So, I’m calling for the Republican Party in Colorado to stand up to the national influences and say, “Look, you SOBs! This is our state! We’re Western culture. We think rather independently. Stay the hell out of our world, here!” And let’s even– let’s have a local investigation. Let’s have the state Party denounce that kind of involvement and let us just do what we do best, get out the vote for our nominee, and go beat the Democrats. But stay out of our world! And yeah, even if there’s an investigation that needs to be done to bring out what were the dominoes that led us to this point, that would be great, too. I’d be all for that. [BigMedia emphasis.]

Clark: Well, yeah, because I agree with you, Mark. And you know what? I am very, very pleased to hear you come out so forcefully and strongly, and stand up and actually make the call for an inviestigation into this matter. Mark, I think that is huge. That’s the kind of leadership we’re looking for. Now, there’s a mealy mouthed press release we got from Beauprez. It really didn’t go that far. And I understand he is the candidate, but at the same time, if he didn’t know that these guys were doing this– and you’re absolutely right, Mark, they were doing everything they could to hide those dollars.

Listen to Mark Baisley on KLZ FREEDOM560 7.29.14

Fallout from RGA/RAGA Scandal Will Seriously Harm Coffman Campaign

Hick and Coffman

Several top GOP donors are supportive of both Gov. John Hickenlooper and AG candidate Cynthia Coffman (and not just because of their fashion sense).

Earlier this week the Republican Governor's Association (RGA) was accused of funneling money through the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) in order to fund television ads that were critical of GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo — ostensibly to boost the candidacy of Bob Beauprez in advance of the June Primary election. The story received national media coverage, from the Washington Post to the Newark Star-Ledger (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the current Chairman of the RGA and was recently in Colorado to raise money for the group), but one particular angle deserves another mention.

According to Republican sources close to the issue, the fallout from the RGA/RAGA scandal could prove disastrous for the campaign of GOP Attorney General nominee Cynthia Coffman. From what we hear, Coffman was counting heavily on massive financial support from RAGA in her bid to defeat Democrat Don Quick this fall, but the cross-pollination of RGA and RAGA finances has many Republican donors balking at writing checks to RAGA on Coffman's behalf.

It's no secret that RAGA and RGA work closely together, sharing expenses for trackers, polling, and other critical resources. Heck, they even share the same office building in Washington D.C. (1747 Pennsylvania Ave., with RGA in Suite 250 and RAGA in Suite 800). But in working together to influence the Republican Primary in Colorado, RAGA and RGA crossed a line that has angered a vitally-important group of GOP donors (vital for Coffman, anyway). As the campaign of Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has always been quick to acknowledge, there are many wealthy and influential Colorado Republicans who support Hickenlooper's bid for re-election as Governor. Many of those same Republican donors also support Coffman — and had planned on writing big checks to RAGA for soft money support of Coffman's campaign. But because of the RGA's pre-primary shenanigans, those GOP donors are likely to refrain from making further donations to RAGA because they don't that money being used by the RGA — we're talking at least $100,000 in funding that will no longer be spent to help Coffman.

Coffman had been counting on RAGA to pick up the financial slack in her campaign, where she has lagged behind Quick and the Democrats. Prior to today (Aug. 1 is the deadline for the most recent fundraising period), Quick had about $232,000 in the bank compared to less than $70,000 cash-on-hand for Coffman; with relatively small contribution limits for Attorney General, Coffman was always going to have a hard time matching resources with Quick without the help of RAGA.

It appears clear that the RGA was working behind the scenes to influence the outcome of the GOP Gubernatorial Primary in June. But by involving RAGA in that effort, they may have inadvertently crippled the campaign of Cynthia Coffman for Attorney General.

Politifact Skewers Gardner Over Bogus Keystone XL Claims

mostlyfalse

We've talked a few times about the well-funded efforts by the oil and gas industry to make an electoral issue in Colorado out of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline–a shortcut from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to Oklahoma and petroleum export terminals along the Gulf Coast. The industry and allied Republican politicos have expended tremendous time and effort into firing up the public to demand construction of this pipeline begin immediately–before environmental reviews are complete. That's not the way they characterize the issue, of course, but that's the bottom line.

Here in Colorado, despite the industry's insistence in paid advertising that the Keystone XL pipeline represents an essential battle for American freedom, there's never been much to get agitated about either way. The Keystone XL pipeline won't pass through our state, and Colorado already has pipelines connecting Commerce City to the oil sands region in Canada. Studies indicate that, far from an economic benefit to our state, completion of the Keystone XL will increase gas prices in the central United States including Colorado, since we'll be competing with export customers for Canadian crude oil.

We've discussed all of this in previous posts, but the fallacious arguments for Keystone XL from Colorado Republican politicos go on unabated. Yesterday, Pulitzer Prize-winning fact checker Politifact ripped GOP U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner for claiming again, as he has many times, that Keystone XL would create "thousands of jobs in Colorado."

In the Colorado Senate race, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall recently voted against Congress fast-tracking the pipeline, but said the administration’s review process should continue. His likely Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, has called for swift approval, insisting it would be an economic boon to the state…

"The Keystone Pipeline would create good-paying jobs," Gardner said. "Not only where the pipeline is being built, good-paying construction jobs, but manufacturing and service opportunities in Colorado along with the Keystone Pipeline. We would create thousands of jobs in Colorado, if the Keystone Pipeline were to be built."

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

​As Politifact explains, that isn't anywhere near accurate. Early estimates of "job creation" from Keystone XL reached into the totally ridiculous hundreds of thousands, figures which Politifact reports not even industry proponents use anymore. According to the State Department's latest analysis, if the construction of Keystone XL lasts two years, roughly 8,000 temporary construction jobs would be created. Adding reasonable multipliers for indirectly created jobs from that economic activity results in something like 40,000 "job years," or individuals employed for a one-year period as a direct or indirect result of the project–with some 30,000 of those outside states where the pipeline will be located.

The bottom line is, "multipliers" to account for "indirect job creation" are a major fudge point for political prevaricators. But for argument's sake, let's say they're right. How many jobs, direct or indirect, would Keystone XL create in Colorado?

Ian Goodman, who co-authored a Cornell University study of the pipeline, said it’s unlikely that Colorado’s chunk of those 30,000 jobs would reach the thousands…In a rosy scenario, Goodman estimated that at most 1,400 additional jobs could be created in Colorado, but more likely it will be less, perhaps closer to 500. [Pols emphasis]

As we’ve noted in the past, too, almost all of these jobs are not permanent, as is often the case with construction projects. The State Department found the pipeline would create 35 permanent jobs and 15 temporary jobs once it went into operation.

So yes, there would be some number of temporary jobs created in Colorado by the construction of Keystone XL. Colorado has a robust petroleum services sector, with plenty of qualified workers who could supply the construction effort. But it's nothing earth-shattering for our state's already booming oil industry, and to say that "thousands of jobs in Colorado" are riding on the Keystone XL is simply not true. And if you really want to get into the weeds about it, are 500 temp jobs worth as much to Colorado's economy as the higher gas prices forecast by Keystone XL's completion will hurt?

There are plenty of arguments worth having in Colorado this election season. Keystone XL isn't one of them, but it may prove valuable for snaring Gardner in another demonstrably false statement.

Udall Calls for Resignation of CIA Director After Spying on Congress Revealed

Sen. Mark Udall.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo)

From the Huffington Post:

Following reports that Central Intelligence Agency employees improperly accessed computers used by U.S. Senate staff to investigate the agency, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) on Thursday called for the resignation of John Brennan as CIA director.

"After being briefed on the CIA Inspector General report today, I have no choice but to call for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan," Udall said in a statement. "The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate Intelligence Committee computers. This grave misconduct not only is illegal, but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences."

According to a CIA Inspector General’s Office report first obtained by McClatchy, agency employees in 2009 hacked Senate computers being used to compile a report on the agency’s infamous detention and interrogation program — a move that some critics have characterized as a significant breach of the separation of powers. Brennan has apologized to Senate intelligence committee leaders, including Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who took the floor earlier this year to excoriate the agency for skirting the law and attempting to intimidate Congress.

As a member of the powerful Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, Udall has been a leading national voice on both the CIA allegations and the more well-publicized NSA spying scandal. From a purely political perspective, Udall's outspoken beliefs on this issue line up well with the interests of Colorado voters, and should help him craft a strong narrative with the barrage of TV ads making their way to your living rooms.

“House Republicans Simply Cannot be Led”

kidsrunning

Herding Republicans

Members of Congress were scrambling to make their flights home today for the August recess…and then Republicans f***** everything up again.  As "The Fix" reports this afternoon:

Oops, they did it again.

A spending measure designed to address the ongoing crisis of undocumented children entering at the country's southern border was shelved Thursday because the party couldn't rally the necessary votes to pass it. That decision raised the specter that the House would adjourn for a five-week summer recess without passing any sort fix for the border crisis. And, it amounted to yet another defeat for maligned House Speaker John Boehner and other members of the Republican leadership team who not only pushed hard for the bill's passage but also confidently predicted victory earlier on Thursday. (At press time, there was some question as to whether some sort of legislation could be cobbled together to gain a majority of Republican votes. Even if that happens, the inability of Republicans to pass the leadership-backed vehicle is a remarkable swing and a miss.)

The failure of the GOP leadership's immigration solution fits a now-familiar pattern for Congressional Republicans. Led by Boehner, the party's top brass fight with President Obama on the parameters of a legislative solution to a problem in the country. In hopes of answering the "do nothing" charges leveled at them by Democrats, those same GOP leaders put a proposal on the table that offers a handful of concessions but nowhere near the number the White House is demanding. The tea party faction in the House — led by Sen. Ted Cruz (yes, you read that right) — balks, demanding that the GOP make no concessions of any sort to the president. The party leaders whip support for the bill but, ultimately, find that 20 (or so) of their conference will not be for it under any circumstances. That means Boehner either has to a) pass legislation with Democratic votes or b) pull proposals off the House floor to avoid embarrassing losses.

The issues change — tax increases, immigration, the farm bill and so on and so forth — but the underlying reality remains the same: House Republicans simply cannot be led…

…House Republicans continue to flail helplessly while the country watches, mouth agape.

Yup.

 

2014 Colorado Legislative Conservation Scorecard

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Today we were proud to release the 2014 Colorado Legislative Conservation Scorecard. Overall, the 2014 legislative session was pretty good for the environment.  The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels was the first one up with a story this AM, headlining our recognition of Rep. Jared Wright (R-Fruita) for “reaching across the aisle.”  

Rep. Max Tyler (D-Lakewood) joined us on our press teleconference and spoke of his pride in working to help clean up uranium contaminated groundwater for residents in Canon City and move innovative water efficiency measures. One of which was inexplicably vetoed by the Governor. Although in the end the Governor did end the bill signing session with a bang for the environment. Rep. Tyler’s House Transportation and Energy Committee did yeoman’s work on conservation issues this past session as Senator Ulibarri’s Senate State and Veteran Affairs Committee.

The future looks bright on conservation with up and coming leaders like Rep. KC Becker (D-Boulder) while we salute conservation champions Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass), Randy Fischer (D- Fort Collins) and Claire Levy (D-Boulder).  Conservation Colorado will work hard to defend our conservation champions this fall and we expect to move a progressive agenda next session to protect Colorado’s air, land, water and people.

Our press release below:

(more…)

Colorado GOP Delegation All In For Suing Obama

Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

As the Los Angeles Times' Mike Memoli reports, GOP House Speaker John Boehner now has the "authority" to file an unprecedented and likely doomed election-year lawsuit against President Barack Obama, in a move either considered a forestalling of impeachment proceedings or a prelude to them depending on who you talk to:

The House vote to sue President Obama is the first such legal challenge by a chamber of Congress against a president and a historic foray in the fight over constitutional checks and balances.

Wednesday’s nearly party-line vote followed a feisty floor debate and offered a fresh example of how the capital’s hyper-partisanship has led both parties into unprecedented territory, going to new and greater lengths to confront one another…

The House approved the resolution in a near party-line vote, 225 to 201. It authorizes House Speaker John A. Boehner to file suit in federal court on behalf of the full body “to seek appropriate relief” for Obama’s failure to enforce a provision of the Affordable Care Act that would penalize businesses that do not offer basic health insurance to their employees.

That provision’s effective date has been delayed by the administration twice and now won’t fully take effect until 2016. The GOP-led House has voted to repeal the law, even as it seeks to sue Obama for failing to enforce it. [Pols emphasis]

The legal analysis we've seen suggests that this suit will quickly be dismissed as a "political question." The constitutional remedy of impeachment already exists to deal with the GOP's alleged grievances, and the political contrivance of this lawsuit is plainly evidenced by the subject matter–suing to force Obama to "enforce" a law they want to repeal. Despite these questions, all four Colorado Republican members of Congress, Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton, voted to allow Boehner to proceed.

As we discussed yesterday, Boehner's lawsuit against Obama is happening as talk of impeachment in Republican circles ramps up dramatically. Democrats have used prominent Republicans like Sarah Palin calling for impeachment to great effect in the last couple of weeks raising money, while establishment Republicans like Boehner have insisted that no plan to impeach Obama is in the offing. Given Congress' abysmal popularity ratings and the public's cynicism over the gridlocked state of national politics, impeachment talk seems wildly irresponsible–unless you're in the target audience for it. For committed base conservatives who have been getting propagandized for six years about how Obama's presidency means the end of America as we know it, impeachment probably seems like a natural, even overdue development.

Outside the right wing's impenetrable bubble of self-reinforcing groupthink, it sounds like madness. And Republicans like John Boehner, who are tasked today with keeping the "Tea Party's" five-year-old rage productive while simultaneously winning votes from reasonable Americans, know it.

It's tough to say what happens next. Boehner's lawsuit faces very long odds, not just for success but even for public supportOutside the conservative coalition it's a nonstarter, and on the right there are those who say the lawsuit is useless and Republicans should be moving directly to impeachment. If the whole effort blows up in the GOP's face, Republicans in swing races like Gardner and Coffman could well be the ones who pay the price.

Coffman: “My Dog Knows What ‘Stay’ Means”

Mike and Cynthia Coffman. And dog.

Mike and Cynthia Coffman. And dog.

Attorney General John Suthers and his chief deputy, Cynthia Coffman (who also happens to be the Republican nominee for AG in 2014) have been criticized repeatedly over the last several weeks for continuing to defend a "same-sex marriage ban" that is quite clearly doomed to be defeated by the Supreme Court (Colorado, U.S., or otherwise). Suthers' obsession with trying to prevent same-sex marriage bans from being overturned has seen his office organizing defenses as far away as Indiana (no, seriously), and it is a crusade that will likely prove costly to Coffman's efforts at winning her own election as Attorney General in November.

According to something called the Villager Newspaper, Coffman has taken these efforts to another level with some pretty ridiculous rhetoric:

At the recent Western Conservative Conference she was asked if she shared her husband’s opinions.

“We do not agree on everything. On social issues, I am a moderate,” Cynthia said.

“I respect John – he has not been political and held true to his charge. We have been in the news a lot lately and things are changing quickly on the judicial landscape. The hot topic now is same sex marriage and it’s no coincidence that the Dems love having this issue on the front burner. The job of the attorney general is to follow the Constitution of the state of Colorado and the United States, to follow the rule of law and enforce the statutes. Two disagree with me – the Democrat and Libertarian running against me. My dog knows what ‘stay’ means. The clerk in Boulder County does not. [Pols emphasis] It is sad when someone who takes an oath to uphold the law is inconsistent and unpredictable.  We are beaten up for defending the law – it’s not easy. There is still a battle by the AG’s over Obamacare and I want to join them.”

 

Hillary Hall

Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall (not a dog)

Whoa.

Coffman's comments are a direct criticism of Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall, who until recently had been issuing same-sex marriage licenses under the belief that such a ban is "unconstitutional and unenforceable" after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Utah's same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional. Yesterday the Colorado Supreme Court ordered Hall to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses while it prepares its own decision.

Coffman's comments above were apparently made several weeks ago, at a point when numerous judges were telling Suthers and Coffman that their appeals were crap; if anybody could be accused of ignoring decisions from the courts at that point, it would be Suthers and Coffman. Regardless, this is a stupid and insensitive comment for Coffman to make — one that will surely be used against her campaign this fall. Remember, Colorado voters largely support same-sex marriage and equality issues, and Coffman's comments make it much more difficult to just say she is "only doing her job" as Suthers' chief deputy.

One Colorado PAC Officially Endorses Gov. Hickenlooper and AG Candidate Don Quick

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

HickQuick1

Today, One Colorado PAC – the statewide political action committee dedicated to supporting fair-minded candidates as part of One Colorado’s mission to advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Coloradans and their families – endorsed Governor John Hickenlooper and Attorney General candidate Don Quick for the 2014 general election.

“Elections matter – and this November, full equality for our families is on the line,” said One Colorado Executive Director Dave Montez.

“Attorney General John Suthers has vowed to continue defending our state’s discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples, even as Republicans in other states have decided to drop their defense of similar bans and stop wasting taxpayer dollars. We need to elect a Governor and Attorney General who will allow our families to share in the joys of marriage and stop defending the indefensible. Gov. John Hickenlooper and Attorney General candidate Don Quick are the team who will get it done as quickly as possible.”

(more…)

State Sen. King Charged with 3 Felonies & 2 Misdemeanors

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

THURSDAY POLS UPDATE: In a press release this morning, Colorado Ethics Watch calls on Republican Sen. Steve King to resign from the Colorado Senate.

Yesterday, Senator Steve King (R-Mesa County) was indicted on three felony and two misdemeanor charges related to alleged theft of public funds and falsification of records. Today, Colorado Ethics Watch calls on him to resign from the Colorado Senate.

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the 18th Judicial District Attorney's office filed a criminal complaint against Sen. King, alleging that he wrongfully took between $2000 and $5000 from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and Colorado Mesa University, both part-time employers of Senator King. The article also states that the District Attorney is investigating Senator King for other possible criminal violations.

Although Senator King is not seeking re-election, he remains the Chair of the powerful Legislative Audit Committee. The Committee is scheduled to meet twice more before Senator King's term ends. [Pols emphasis]

"The people of Mesa County deserve better than a Senator facing felony charges for embezzlement from public entities," said Luis Toro, Director of Ethics Watch. "Senator King should step down immediately and allow a replacement to serve the remainder of his term."

—-

Sen. Steve King (R).

Sen. Steve King (R).

Grand Junction seems to have really poor luck with elected officials

The complaint alleges King defrauded the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Mesa University of $2,000 to $5,000 between July 2013 and December. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Wednesday that no affidavit explaining the basis for the charges was filed.

Today, in a turn of events not altogether unforeseen by political observers, State Senator Steve King was charged with a series of crimes related to apparent irregularities in outside work that he did during his time in the legislature. 

As ColoradoPols initially reported earlier this month, King was being paid for three different government jobs simultaneously. King was fired from the Mesa County Sheriff's office early in the summer for allegedly falsifying timecards. As the extent of the questionable behavior became public, King withdrew his candidacy for Mesa County Sheriff. Now, DA George Brauchler has filed a series of charges which include felony counts of embezzlement of public property, forgery and theft. He also was charged with misdemeanor counts of forgery and official misconduct.

Thursday Open Thread

"Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves."

–Eric Hoffer

Sorry Gun Nuts, Colorado Tourism Is Booming

guns

​After the passage of gun safety bills in the Colorado legislature last year, Republicans and their gun lobby allies predicted, we'd even go as far as say hoped for, a crippling boycott of the state's vital tourism industry. This prediction quickly proved unfounded, as the most likely indicator of a boycott by pro-gun tourists–a reduction in hunting licenses–didn't take place. In fact, Colorado issued some 18,000 more licenses in 2013 than in 2012.

And as the Denver Business Journal's Ed Sealover reports, 2013 overall was a banner year for tourism in Colorado:

Colorado welcomed a full-year record 64.6 million visitors in 2013, experiencing boosts even in segments of travelers — such as business travelers — for which many other markets saw declines last year.

The Colorado Tourism Office announced Tuesday that a trio of studies it conducted on visitation found also that those travelers spent a record $17.3 billion in the state…

[T]he state bucked trends by welcoming a 4 percent increase in business travelers as well, despite an 11 percent decline in business trips nationwide, according to a study by Longwoods International. Those business travelers spent a total of $1.4 billion in the state — a 21 percent bump above 2012 levels.

Visitors came in larger amounts for a number of specific reasons, including trips to casinos, visits to cities, attendance at special events, relaxation at resorts and combined business-leisure trips, the Longwoods study found.

We'll say it again and again: the dire predicted consequences of the gun safety bills passed in 2013 never materialized. The new laws did not "ban gun ownership" as Sen. Kent Lambert ludicrously claimed would happen. If anything, the impact of the new laws has been exaggerated by both sides: recent news reports indicate that the estimates of how many background checks on private sales would be performed were significantly overstated by nonpartisan legislative staffers. And despite Jon Caldara's ridiculous scare tactics, you can still buy compliant magazines in Colorado for virtually any weapon–including Caldara's precious Glock pistol, for which he said he would "never be able to get a magazine again" if these laws passed.

When is the media going to revisit this story? Not so Greg Brophy can grandstand about good-faith estimates from nonpartisan staffers–but to explain to the public how all the crazy stuff the gun lobby predicted would happen if we passed these laws never happened?

If voters deserve one side of this story, they damn well deserve the other. Starting with Colorado's booming tourism economy even after "gun control" was signed into law.

  • RECENT COMMENTS