Gardner Goes Full “Con Man Cory” In Aspen Times Interview

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner sat down with Aspen Times reporter Rick Carroll this week, and was subjected to a lively battery of questions ranging from his views on abortion and contraception to local control over oil and gas drilling. Gardner’s answers are in some ways tellingly evasive if you know the facts, while others could come back to haunt him in very straightforward ways between now and Election Day. Here are some excerpts, make sure you click through to read the whole thing.

On birth control:

AT: During this campaign you have said you favor over-the-counter birth-control pills. Is it fair to say you have changed your mind and how do you explain that?

Gardner: Sen. Udall’s lying and because Sen. Udall can’t run on the economy, on energy, he can’t run on health care, he’s got to run away from those issues. He’s running a very negative and deceptive campaign full of untruths…the fact is I support contraception available over the counter without prescription.

AT: Without prescription?

Gardner: Yes, and that’s the key part and we need to fix Obamacare to allow that to happen… [Pols emphasis]

On abortion:

AT: Do you believe that women have their own right to make their own choices about health care, specifically abortion?

Gardner: I am pro-life and I have voted for measures that have exceptions. [Pols emphasis] I think Sen. Udall wants to divide the state of Colorado and not focus on issues of the economy or health care or energy. In fact, I would say this: When it comes to health care, Sen. Udall has said that people shouldn’t be making their own health-care choices. He cast one of his votes on Obamacare, a bill passed that took 335,000 Coloradans off the insurance they were promised they could keep…

On immigration:

AT: Earlier this month you broke rank with the Republicans by voting against a bill that would have dismantled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival. But in 2013 you voted in favor of a bill that would have ended it. Can you explain your change of heart?

Gardner: Those were two different pieces of legislation at different times… [Pols emphasis]

On oil and gas drilling and climate change:

AT: Do you support Udall’s legislation to protect the Thompson Divide area from drilling?

Gardner: I know the legislation that Sen. (Michael) Bennet has introduced and Congressman (Scott) Tipton has obviously been working on this issue. … Federal legislation that affects a local issue, those discussions ought to be led by local stakeholders… [Pols emphasis]

AT: Do you believe in climate change?

Gardner: Well, I have said that the climate is changing. I’ve said that before but I’m very concerned that the revenues for it would destroy our economy, like Sen. Udall’s idea to place a carbon tax, driving up the cost on low-income earners, on people with fixed income and they would destroy our economy.

A remarkable interview for the sweeping ground it covers–and the sweeping reinventions Gardner is trying to make from his former staunchly conservative self on display. But beyond that, there’s an audacity to Gardner’s deceptive answers that’s really quite extraordinary. When Gardner says he has voted for abortion ban “measures that have exceptions,” meaning exceptions for victims of rape or incest, he avoids saying that he has also voted and even sponsored abortion bans that do not contain any such exceptions. Gardner’s talk of “fixing” Obamacare is plainly meant to deflect from Gardner’s dozens of unpopular votes to repeal Obamacare. Gardner’s answer on immigration, for its part, is laughably weak, and won’t mollify critics in the least.

But the real shocker in this interview could be Gardner’s lip service to local control over oil and gas drilling. After weeks raking opponent Mark Udall over the coals, demanding Udall publicly come out against ballot initiatives for local control of oil and gas drilling that Gardner falsely characterized as an “energy ban,” what is anybody supposed to make of Gardner saying now that local stakeholders should “lead discussions?”

Even with no knowledge of Gardner’s record and the issues that have been animating this race so far, the responses in this interview raise questions–it’s obvious he’s not telling the whole story, and that he’s responding to allegations the reader can’t fully appreciate without more context. Those who take that next step to get that context will discover pretty easily just how deceptive Gardner was in this interview.

And it’s difficult to see how that ends well for Gardner.

Tancredo: Impeach Obama Over Immigration. Just Do It!

tancgov

Talking Points Memo caught up with former Congressman and Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, to ask him what Republicans should do in the event that President Barack Obama takes executive action on immigration–the suddenly burning issue Republicans left hanging as they left Washington for the August recess:

If President Barack Obama takes unilateral steps to grant “amnesty” to people living in the U.S. illegally, the House of Representatives must impeach him, former Rep. Tom Tancredo told TPM in an interview.

“It’s unconstitutional. He should be impeached if he tries it,” Tancredo, a Colorado Republican and outspoken immigration hawk in the House from 1999 to 2009, said Wednesday evening by phone from his home in Denver…

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and his allies emphasize that they have no plans to pursue impeachment. Even some conservative House lawmakers say it’s impractical because there won’t be the two-thirds Senate majority needed to convict and remove him from office.

Tancredo’s message Boehner: do it anyway. [Pols emphasis]

“Do you do what’s right or do you look at it from a political standpoint? You can say, gee, we probably couldn’t convict him,” he said. “Of course, Democrats will take full advantage of this and say it’s because he’s black. But if it’s the right thing to do it’s the right thing to do. But if you don’t do it then all of a sudden you have set a precedent for future presidents to violate the Constitution. You’ve raised the bar — you’ve made it harder to impeach somebody. It’s a very dangerous thing.”

At this point, it’s a fair argument that Tancredo really is speaking for the Republican base–just not its leadership, which has no interest in talking about something as radical as impeachment with elections around the corner. TPM cites a CNN poll last month in which fully 57% of Republicans support impeaching the President. Outside the Republican base there is nothing like this level of antipathy toward Obama, which demonstrates the effectiveness of conservative media in both radicalizing and insulating the Republican base from mainstream public opinion. This last point is critical to understand: if the idea of impeaching Obama seems absolutely insane to you, you’re simply not getting the right programming.

The proof is on FOX News every night, where the impeachment drumbeat is loud and proud.

This is how, even as the party’s leadership insists to undecided voters that there is no appetite for throwing our already divided politics into yet more chaos, the GOP grassroots is kept at the fever pitch Republicans need to win elections. It’s a delicate game, but we submit to you that Tancredo knows exactly what his role is: and somewhere in Washington, a Republican strategist is fine with it.

Any who care about the GOP’s long term future are horrified, but without the base, there’s no midterm victory.

Reporters don’t correct Coffman’s assertion that Reid blocked GOP immigration bills

(Reporters: time to ask the next question – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

CORRECTION: At least two immigration-related bills cleared the GOP-controlled U.S. House this session, so I erred below in writing that none did. One responded to the crisis created by the young migrants crossing the border. It would have boosted border security, legal processing, and support. Another would have provided more visas for immigrant students with math and science skills and reduced the number of visas for other immigrants. Sorry for the mistake.
—————–

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), left, with anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), left, with anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

It's tough to fact-check an entire debate, if you're an increasingly lonely reporter at a shrinking news outlet, but a reporter somewhere should have corrected Rep. Mike Coffman's assertion, in his debate last week against Democrat Andrew Romanoff, that immigration bills cleared the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

In explaining his opposition to a bipartisan immigration bill passed by the U.S. Senate, Coffman said (@21:45):

“I think both parties have it wrong right now. I think on the left it's, unless we get everything, then nothing will move. And in fact, individual bills have moved over to the Senate. And Harry Reid would not take it up because it was not quote-unquote comprehensive. And then on my side of the aisle, you know, we've got to get moving. And I've worked with my folks on the Republican side to get them moving. And so I think there's got to be a middle path. And that middle path is a step-by-step approach.” [BigMedia emphasis]

Coffman would have had a complete and total brain freeze if he'd tried to remember how he voted on these immigration "bills," because they don't exist.

He'd have been wrong even if he'd said a singular immigration bill cleared the U.S. House. But he said "bills" plural, multiplying his apparent mistake.

A phone call to Coffman's spokesman, Tyler Sandberg, seeking clarification was not immediately returned.

(more…)

Immigration Reform Protesters Swamp Denver GOP Offices

seiuprotest2

Release from Service Employees International Union Local 105 on a protest against inaction on immigration reform by Colorado Republicans in Congress–especially U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner–held outside the Cherry Creek offices of the Denver Republican Party today. Video clips from the protest after the jump:

Immigration advocate voters, immigrants and community leaders marched on the Colorado & Denver Republican party headquarters today calling on Cory Gardner to clear his record on Immigration Reform.
 
"We know Gardner's anti-immigrant record and won't let him hide from it," said Jennifer Rodriguez, a member leader with the Service Employees International Union Local 105 and a Colorado voter. "We will be actively educating and turning out voters in the next few months so they know the truth about who Gardner is. We will hold him accountable at the ballot box."
 
Gardner was one of only a handful of Republicans in the House of Representatives including Michelle Bachman who opposed Speaker Boehner's principles on immigration reform in January of this year. Due to this opposition, Boehner pulled his commitment to the principles just a short week later. The result? Comprehensive Immigration Reform was never allowed a vote in the GOP controlled House this year.
 
"The majority of Coloradans support comprehensive immigration reform and fixing our broken system, Gardner's time to show us he truly believes in a comprehensive solution and not just border security is over," said Yemane Woldesilassie, an Aurora voter and Ethiopian immigrant.
 
The march on the Colorado/Denver GOP offices culminated when Denver police were called to dispatch the crowd.
 
Woldesilassie added, "They can make us leave today but they can't keep us at home come Election Day." [Pols emphasis]

 

(more…)

Beauprez threatens to sue feds if immigration laws not enforced

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

beauprezdemsfear

Speaking on a Denver radio show yesterday, gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez threatened to sue the federal government if it doesn't enforce the nation's immigration laws.

Asked by KNUS host Steve Kelley whether he'd "build a coalition with the Jan Brewers and the Rick Perrys" and "put this state on the line if it requires a lawsuit" to enforce immigration laws, Beauprez replied, unequivocally, "yes."

Beauprez, who's facing Democrat John Hickenlooper, added that he'd sue the federal government on other issues as well, such as federal lands.

Beauprez said he'd seek a "coalition" of governors to demand that the "federal government, one, enforce the laws, in this case secure the borders, modernize legal immigration so people can get an answer and so that we can enforce employment laws in Colorado and in America, and that we know who's here, that they're legally here and what they are doing here; that's why you have rule of law."

(more…)

“Mostly true” not “mostly false” that Gardner blocked immigration reform

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

In a fact-check last week, Politifact concluded that it was "mostly false" for SEIU to assert, in a radio ad, that senatorial candidate Cory Gardner "blocked immigration reform." A fairer conclusion would have been, "mostly true."

Politifact's logic:

So far the House has not acted [on immigration-reform legislation], and prospects are dim for action before the fall elections. That means Gardner hasn’t had the opportunity to actually vote on legislation, making it hard to attribute any blame to him. It’s not as though he holds any leadership positions where he could have advanced legislation or held up the process.

Hard to attribute "any blame" to Gardner? Please.

Gardner went from publicly backing comprehensive immigration reform to publicly opposing it. It's safe to say that he was making the same arguments against comprehensive reform to fellow House Republicans, including Eric Cantor, who was a close Gardner ally, having taken a personal interest in Gardner during his first term in office. Gardner was on everyone's list for House leadership, and he was already a Vice Chair of the National Republican Campaign Committee.

But regardless of what he said to House leaders, Gardner never produced a specific immigration reform plan of his own, relying instead on his platitudinous lines about the need for more border security.

If you attack a plan that's on the table, and you have no specific plan of your own, that's blocking, maybe not total blockage, but blocking nonetheless.

So, while would be false to say Gardner blocked immigration reform all by himself, it's at least "mostly true" to assert the he blocked it nonetheless.

Throwback Thursday: Mike Coffman and the Teabaggers

As we head into August of this 2014 election season, Rep. Mike Coffman remains one of the most vulnerable members of Congress in the entire nation, in a district considered a model for balanced representation–so much so that the CD-6 race has become a "petri dish" for understanding how politics in America today works.

But it wasn't always such a close business for Rep. Coffman, who was originally elected to Congress in a very different CD-6. Prior to redistricting in 2011, CD-6 was an ultra-safe conservative seat and the stomping ground of Rep. Tom Tancredo. This was the district that gave Tancredo latitude to become a national embarrassment to Republicans on the issue of immigration, happily re-electing him year after year now matter what kind of headlines he made. When Coffman ran for the seat in 2008, he went to great lengths in the primary to tell voters how he would use this "very Republican seat" to take "strong positions."

With that history explained, today's "Throwback Thursday" photo of Coffman, at a Tea Party rally on the west steps of the Colorado Capitol from that pre-redistricting glückliche Zeit, will make a lot more sense! Without that background, it's kind of difficult to square this picture with the Mike Coffman voters in today's CD-6 are supposed to be getting to know today:

coffmanteabaggers

It seems to us this could be…the word is not misused, we guess, because it's exactly what it looks like.

Suffice to say that it's one of many photos from this bygone era that could come back to haunt him. Shortly.

We found the problem with immigration reform

Reps. Mike Coffman and Cory Gardner have voted to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, four times, and as recently as May.

Last night, they ‘changed their minds’ and voted against an amendment to end DACA. With the election fast approaching, it’s no surprise why.

But don’t be fooled by this apparent change of heart. Both Reps. Gardner and Coffman continue to block real immigration reform. In fact, before leaving for a month-long recess, they voted against bringing a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill up for a vote–a bill that would have helped millions of families, and so many people right here in Colorado.

Tell Congressmen Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman that you see through their political pandering. Demand they take real action now.

There’s no question about it: America is facing an immigration crisis, and something must be done. And when we need leadership the most, Mike Coffman and Cory Gardner are letting us all down.

There’s a reason why Congress’ approval ratings are at historic lows: it’s because politicians like Gardner and Coffman refuse to do their jobs. Click here right now to send the message that it's now or never.

Thank you,

Amy Runyon-Harms

“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.

 

Gardner’s immigration spin cycle now includes attack on Udall for supporting Senate Bill

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner.

Senatorial candidate Cory Gardner has been hitting the radio airwaves recently with his thoughts on immigration, and I've discerned a pattern, nothing too complex, but a pattern nonetheless:

Start with point number one here: 1. Sound like you're for immigration reform. 2. Attack others for immigration-reform failures. 3. Sound like you have an actual factual immigration-reform plan, when, in fact, you have nothing specific to offer. 4. Go back to point number 1.

Here's how it works in action, as delivered during a Hot Air interview July 26, so real reporters can be prepared, if they interview Gardner on immigration.

Gardner: We have a humanitarian crisis at our Southern border that underscores the broader need for responsible immigration reform.

[That's point one: He's sounding like he wants rational reform.]

Gardner: My opponent, Senator Udall, voted in favor of the Senate legislation that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would decrease illegal immigration by as little as 33%. Our current problems require long-term reform, not short-term Washington fixes.

[Point two: He's blaming others. And, by the way, the bill would cut illegal immigration by 33-50 percent.]

Gardner: I believe we should move forward with an immigration policy that prioritizes border security, and that includes a viable guest-worker program that capitalizes on the benefits of legal immigration to this country.

[Pont three and four: He's sounding like he has a plan. But where is it? Judging from his utterances, you'd think he supports the bipartisan Senate bill, which he's just slammed Udall for supporting. What does Gardner support?

In another recent interview, on KFKA's Amy Oliver show, Gardner rattled off his immigration spin cycle in a slightly different order, but the points were there.

(more…)

Corporate-Driven Education Reform Experiments Failing in Denver and Around the Country

I decided to add to my recent articles about the Colorado State Board of Education primary in Denver after reading an article today in Chalkbeat Colorado, a national non-profit education news agency. In the article "8 struggling schools opt in to Colorado's new turnaround network."  Ashley Jochim, research analyst at the Center on Reinventing Publication Education and one of the policy experts advising the states the following: 


                                                                                                                                                   Stacey Jocim, CRPE

"But Jochim said the resources will only be fruitful if principals are allowed to adopt the best ideas, even if they run counter to district policies – something that could be a challenge when it comes to personnel, budget, and curriculum. 

If Colorado stumbles, it won't be alone, Jochim said.

 "We're not in a place where anyone has done [a turnaround network] right,"* she said.

*Bold added for emphasis.                                                                                       Link:  http://tinyurl.com/okb5gdp

 


Since the beginning of the now-Senator Michael Bennet's term as DPS superintendent, Denver Public Schools administration has pursued an aggressive approach to public schools that includes firing and displacing teachers, closing schools, and privatizing public schools by putting control in the hand of private companies that use public and private funds to run those schools. Bennet hired Mr. Boasberg to be the COO of DPS by attracting him away from his position as the VP of Corporate Affiairs at a multi-billion dollar corporation (a background much like Bennet's). In addition Boasberg chooses to reside and Boulder and will not send his own children to the District he oversees.  

 

DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg                                Boasberg and Senator Michael Bennet

                              


What is Turnaround?

For a background on Turnaround, Turnaround is a status that is granted through US Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan's landmark education policy, Race to the Top. Much of Race to the Top included money to backfill the budgets of states, districts, and schools who were suffering devastating cuts during the Great Recession. Another component was school turnarounds to be funded under the School Improvement Grants. In order to receive funding for Turnarounds, a school must be in the lowest 5% of rankings on high-stakes standardized tests like CSAPTCAP, and PARCC. The federal government promised $5 billion dollars over 5 years. It just happens to be that these schools are primarily. 

 

                                                                                                                                       US Secretary of Education,                                                                                                                                                          Arnie Duncan

There are 4 Turnaround models in the federal guidelines:

  1. Turnaround Model – Replace the principal and rehire no more than 50% of the school’s staff, adopt a new governance structure, and implement a research-based vertically aligned instructional program. 
  2. Restart Model – Transfer control of or close and reopen a school under a School Management Organization (SMO) or school operator that has been selected through a rigorous review process. 
  3. School Closure – Close the school and enroll students in other, higher-achieving schools. 
  4. Transformation Model – Develop teacher/principal effectiveness (including replacing the principal), implement comprehensive instructional reform, extend learning and teacher planning time, create a community-orientation, and provide operating flexibility and sustained support

Link:  http://tinyurl.com/prel32m

 

Translated into normal  English:  

  1. Turnaround ModelFire or displace at least half of the staff and the principal.
  2. Restart Model – Create a charter or give the existing school a privately-run and publicly-funded charter school.
  3. School Closure – No need to explain. See Chicago Public Schools or DC Public Schools.  
  4. Transformation - Fire the principal and invest. Only model that doesn't fire and displace effective teachers. 

DPS most commonly chooses the Turnaround model. This is not the case nationwide. Once again, I want to reiterate the quote that "We're not in a place where anyone has done [a turnaround network] right."


What does this mean for DPS?

According to this Colorado Department of Education website, DPS has used federal Turnaround grants at least 14 times over 3 years, receiving millions in federal money. 

Link:  http://www.cde.state.co.us/fedprograms/tieredinterventiongrantresources

  1. Montbello High School (Close)
  2. North High School
  3. Noel Middle School
  4. Philips (Close)
  5. Rishel (Close)
  6. Lake
  7. Skyland (Close)
  8. Greenlee 
  9. Gilpin 
  10. Trevista 
  11. Charles M. Schenk 
  12. Smith
  13. West
  14. Bruce Randolph

 

The list above does not include schools that went through a similar process called "Redesign". These schools did not qualify for the School Improvement Grants, happened prior to SIG, or are outside of the CDE reporting. This following list may be missing additional schools, but the redesign and closed schools that I can recall outside of the SIG grants are:

  1. Remington Elementary (Closed)
  2. Smedley Elementary (Closed)
  3. Horace Mann Middle School
  4. Del Pueblo Elementary (Closed)
  5. Wyman Elementary (Closed)
  6. Gilpin
  7. Polaris (Closed)
  8. Manual High School (Twice:  resulting in many students, predominantly of color, never graduating high school)
  9. Kunsmiller Middle School
  10. Grant Middle School
  11. Oakland Elementary (Twice:  turned into SOAR Oakland charter school and then closed again)
  12. McGlone Elementary
  13. Green Valley Ranch Elementary
  14. Centennial K-8
  15. Fairmont K-8
  16. Ashley Elementary
  17. Smiley Middle School (Closed)
  18. Kepner Middle School (Coming in 2015-2016)

 

Denver Public Schools currently has two Turnaround networks of schools managed by their own Instruction Superindent, Deputy Superintendent, and support staff. The current networks are the West Denver Network (WDN) and the Denver Summit Schools Network (DSSN). They are in process of establishing a new turnaround network including Cheltenham Elementary, Columbine Elementary, Fairview Elementary, and Valverde Elementary. This network is flagged for Redesign or Turnaround if improvement is not made soon.  

 

 

DPS has already redesigned or turned around 17 schools on its own and 14 more with the support federal money to aid their programs. This makes 31 schools in Denver where students were displaced, teachers and other staff were fired. 

 

What is the result?

 

The Achievement Gap Is Growing.

Denver Public Schools consists of 77% minority students. 58% of those students are Latino, and 14% Black. As the District administration continues to fail to address the achievement gap, it continues to fail the majority of Denver students. Furthermore, these schools all predominantly serve or served students of color. Two of Denver's iconic schools that successfully served African American students, Montbello and Manual High Schools, have been tinkered with with little success. DPS eventually shut down Montbello and is trying to decide what to do with Manual. Similar Turnarounds and closures are happening at Latino schools like West High School and Kepner Middle School. Tom Boasberg has even admitted that while the achievement gap is shrinking statewide, it is getting worse in Denver, 

"While we're seeing significant gains across all demographic groups, we are not seeing our gaps close and this is very concerning," Boasberg said. "As we move forward, clearly we need to improve the effectiveness of our efforts to close the achievement gaps."

Citation:  "Latino students in Colroado Slowly closing gaps on achievement tests." Denver Post

 

​​Articles:

 

Massive Layoffs and Firings of Effective Teachers.

The vast majority of these schools implemented a process that either shuttered the school or required the staff to reapply for their jobs despite positive performance evaluations. The district is then able to displace or layoff teachers without any cause when they had been performing effectively. 

Articles

 

Fewer Teachers of Color in Denver Schools

  • It is a well-known fact that Denver Public Schools is losing more teachers of color than they are attracting. ​According to Colorado Public Radio reported Jenny Brundin in an article in February 2014, only 4% of teachers in Denver are black while 14% of the student body is black. The gap worsens with Latinos with a 17% Latino teachers and 58% Latino students. Link – "Race Matters in the Classroom:  Why are all of my teachers white?http://www.cpr.org/news/story/race-matters-classroom-why-are-all-my-teachers-white

Articles:

 

Major Funding for Politicians (Democrats for Education Reform) and Republicans Who Support this Model. 

 

2009

2011

​​2013

 

Maybe this will help explain why the NEA's body of over 8,000 education employee delegates vote in support of a request to ask US Secretary of State Arnie Duncan to resign. School boards are getting more and more funding from national corporate and special interests that are working to privatize public education and bust teacher and other public employee unions (one of the strongest checks on corporations and Republicans). 

We are now seeing this in Douglas County, Jefferson County, Big Thompson School District, and District 12 as well. It is time to get educated and get organized to preserve one of the major pillars of American prosperity. 

Perlmutter, Bennet Push for IRS to Waive Fee that Marijuana Businesses Cannot Avoid

Ed Perlmutter

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County)

Whatever your opinion on the legalization of marijuana — both for medicinal and recreational uses — it's become increasingly clear that banking and tax laws need to be adjusted for the safety and security of both businesses and customers.

As David Migoya reports in the Denver Post, Rep. Ed Perlmutter continues his push to find some sort of fair middle ground for pot shops that are being forced to conduct most of their business operations entirely in cash:

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Ed Perlmutter on Friday asked the Internal Revenue Service to stop assessing a 10 percent penalty on legal marijuana businesses that are forced to pay federal withholding taxes in cash for lack of banking services.

In a joint letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Bennet and Perlmutter, both Democrats, noted how pot shops in Colorado often have little choice but to pay employee withholding taxes in cash since banks won't take their business.

IRS rules require the taxes to be paid via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, and businesses that don't comply face a 10 percent penalty on the tax.

News of the practice came to light when The Denver Post last week reported about a Denver dispensary's legal efforts to challenge the IRS…

…Another problem is that businesses willing to pay the IRS assessment — often amounting to tens of thousands of dollars — can't get an installment plan as other businesses do because they remain out of compliance and subject to additional penalties, according to the attorney who is challenging the fines in U.S. Tax Court. As a result, a legal marijuana shop's operating license is in jeopardy — despite paying their taxes on time — because state law requires them to be in compliance with all federal and state tax laws.

This problem seems particularly ludicrous — again, no matter your opinion on marijuana — because pot shops have absolutely no option for avoiding the 10% penalty they are assessed for not using banking services. The federal government still doesn't allow banks to accept deposits from marijuana businesses, so how, exactly, are they supposed to comply with IRS rules requiring the use of banking services? We're not going to allow you to deposit money in a bank…but we are going to fine you for not having a bank account.

We wouldn't expect Congress to take action on this issue, since Republican House leadership has largely pledged not to take action on, well, anything beyond getting mad at President Obama for trying to govern while they race office chairs up and down the hall. But this is a pretty good issue for potential bipartisan support if there ever was such a thing. Republicans are normally jumping at the chance to prevent the federal government from infringing on state's rights; when you include the opportunity to complain about the IRS at the same time, this should be a slam dunk for the GOP. And again, this is a serious safety issue when you force an industry to carry around massive amounts of cash; why bother robbing a bank when you'll get more cash out of a pot shop that had a good weekend?

If and when federal law is finally changed to accommodate changes created by state elections, Rep. Perlmutter should get the credit he deserves for being at the forefront of a set of issues that really do affect Coloradans of all stripes.

 

Beauprez favors Arizona-style action on immigration, if feds don’t respond to his demands, lawsuit

(Making best buddy Tom Tancredo proud! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

In wide-ranging thoughts on immigration policy delivered over the weekend on a Denver radio station, Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez said states should enforce federal immigration law themselves, in the absence of federal action, "as Jan Brewer tried to do in Arizona."

The Arizona law, backed by Brewer, allowing police to detain anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. It's widely believed that the law would have led to harassment and discrimination of legal and undocumented immigrants.

Beauprez said that before he'd take immigration matters in his own hands if elected governor, he'd join with other governors and sue the federal government to "secure our borders."

Beauprez made the comments on KOA 850-AM, a Denver radio station, Saturday in response to a question from guest radio host Doug Kellet, who asked Beauprez about the young undocumented immigrants captured recently along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I was with a group of people the day before yesterday, and several of them were from our southern cities, Pueblo specifically," said Beauprez on air. "And they said, if buses show up, they will be in the streets to block them. I think you are going to see what happened in California start happening everywhere."

Beauprez also said: "It’s going to affect all the states out here, and the President is trying to gloss over it and tell us all the wonderful things we’re doing as a nation to accept all these people. He doesn’t tell us the impact on the people who are already here and are going to pay the bill."

Kellet didn't ask Beauprez if he'd participate in the street protests himself.

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Beauprez accuses Obama of dumping undocumented immigrants in Arizona for political revenge

(This is pretty gross. – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

Undocumented children are literally dying along the U.S. border, in the desert, and radio-host Mike Rosen and gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez are accusing Obama of dumping undocumented kids in Arizona, as a form of political revenge against Arizona governor Jan Brewer:

ROSEN: You suppose that there could be any spiteful motivations on President Obama’s part for dumping a lot of those unaccompanied—

BEAUPREZ: (sarcastically) Surely not. You’re not that cynical, are you?

ROSEN: — teenage immigrants into the state of Arizona because he doesn’t like [Republican Governor] Jan Brewer?

BEAUPREZ: [laughing loudly] Yeah, it’s perhaps more than coincidental.

ROSEN: Hmmmm. Hmmm

It's moments like this when you wish SuperTalker from above would float into the KOA studios, bop Rosen on the head, and say, "Shut up, Mike. And you, Bob, want to be governor? What kind of governor makes ugly and bizarre accusations, like this, based on no evidence at all. And you're laughing about it, at the expense of the poorest, most vulnerable kids? It doesn't get much worse."

Then SuperTalker would tell KOA listeners that he's placed Rosen in timeout for a few days and asked him to think about whether it would be right, on any planet, to say such things, as kids are caught in the immigration nightmare that we've created.

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Time’s Up For Two-Faced Immigration Pandering

GOP Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman.

GOP Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman.

​During the latest round of debate over the perennially hot-button issue of immigration reform, proponents of comprehensive reform have creditably given Republicans tremendous leeway to come around on the issue. This was a pragmatic decision on the part of traditionally Democratic-aligned immigration reform proponents, hoping that growing public support for their version of reform, which would include a sensible path forward for undocumented immigrants already in the county, would push enough Republicans to the table to make progress.

To this end, immigration reform advocates were elated to see Rep. Mike Coffman, the successor to anti-immigrant firebrand Tom Tancredo in Congress, paying newfound lip service to the idea of immigration reform. Coffman has continued to make what can be best described as "surgical overtures" to immigration reform proponents, in particular calling for a path to permanent residency for undocumented students who join the military.

“These are talented, hardworking DREAMers who will strengthen our military, boost our national security, and enhance our military readiness.”

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Rep. Mike Coffman (left).

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Rep. Mike Coffman (left).

Notice how Coffman even uses the term "DREAMers?" The way Coffman talks about immigration reform today, you might never realize that he voted to deport those same DREAMers. So did Rep. Cory Gardner, now Colorado's Republican U.S. Senate candidate–who just this week told immigration reform protesters occupying his Greeley office:

I will continue my efforts to convince Speaker Boehner and the rest of the House to bring immigration reform legislation to the floor.

Like we said yesterday, this is the same Cory Gardner who helped kill bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that had already passed the U.S. Senate. Cory Gardner voted to deport DREAMer students right along with Coffman, and Gardner even objected to the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona challenging the constitutionality of that state's SB-1070 anti-immigrant law.

This is the emerging fact: the gap between Coffman and Gardner's words on immigration reform and their deeds is becoming so wide, that for anyone who understands the issue, it's simply not believable. You just can't reconcile their statements with their actions on immigration reform, which have done absolutely nothing to advance the issue. In fact, and there's no nice way to say this, their votes make bald-faced liars of both of them.

For reform proponents who gave Coffman, and to a lesser extent Gardner lots of time and space to do the right thing, this realization has of course been painful. It proves that reform advocates cared more about advancing the issue than partisan politics, and that is to their credit. But the net result has been that both of these politicians avoided attacks that could have done real political harm to them for many months. The unfortunate lesson in all of this is that sometimes pandering works: the time Coffman and Gardner bought themselves going into their hotly competitive elections this year was invaluable.

But as the AP's Nicholas Riccardi reports, reform proponents are done being pandered to, and mad as hell.

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