BREAKING: Multiple Casualties in Terrorist Attack at Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood

Alleged domestic terrorist Robert Dear. Photo via CSPD

Alleged domestic terrorist Robert Dear. Photo via CSPD


Sources tell 9Wants to Know that authorities have not yet entered the Planned Parenthood building. They believe additional fatalities are inside.

Sources also tell 9Wants to Know the shooter in Colorado Springs is Robert Lewis Dear, 57, of South Carolina. Police on Saturday morning said the “items” Dear left at the scene were secured, processed and are no longer a threat.


UPDATE 5:45PM: New reports that at least one police officer is dead following Friday’s terrorist attack in Colorado Springs. One civilian also killed with many more in local hospitals.


UPDATE 5:00PM: After an afternoon-long standoff, alleged Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooter terrorist now in custody. A total of nine (eleven, news reports updating) transported to area hospitals including either four or five police officers. We’ll update once we know more.


UPDATE #7: Statement from Planned Parenthood’s Vicki Cowart:

“Our top priority is the safety of our patients and staff. Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this tragic situation. Planned Parenthood has strong security measures in place, works closely with law enforcement agencies, and has a very strong safety record. We don’t yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack. We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.”


UPDATE #6: Denver Post now reporting multiple civilian casualties.


UPDATE #5: Local media reports third victim, reportedly another police officer, removed from scene. No word as of now on the status of the shooter. “Number of civilian injuries unknown.”


UPDATE #4: National media drops what they’re doing:

CNN, other cable news outlets now covering live.


UPDATE #3: KOAA-TV Colorado Springs reports from the scene:

Police are responding to reports of a shooting near Planned Parenthood on Centennial in Colorado Springs. Police are staging around the area and there are scanner reports of shots being fired and officers pinned down. People are asked to avoid the area. At least two officers have been shot. Officers are still trying to secure the area. The suspect is still shooting. [Pols emphasis]

Hope/pray as per your preference for a speedy end to this madness.


UPDATE #2: Local media reporting the shopping center at Centennial and Fillmore in Colorado Springs is “in shelter in place status” as the active shooter situation unfolds at the nearby Planned Parenthood clinic.


UPDATE: Denver Post:

The city’s fire department tweeted about the situation about 11:45 a.m. The branch is located at 3480 Centennial Blvd., just east of the Garden of the Gods. “The area is NOT secure,” police said in a tweet.


Horrifying report from the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Stephen Hobbs this afternoon:

Scanner traffic indicated at least an officer was down and one patient was wounded at Elite Vision, located an adjacent building at 3470 Centennial Blvd. A later dispatch said at four were injured and an officer was heard requesting an ambulance. Another officer indicated wounded patients were being taken to Penrose Hospital, 2222 N. Nevada Ave. At least one victim was taken by stretcher to an ambulance shortly after noon. Three police officers with guns draw were pointing their weapons in the vicinity of Planned Parenthood…

We’ll update as soon as we know more.

Editor’s Note: Defining Terrorism and Terrorists

As news unfolded in Colorado Springs on Friday involving a gunman shooting civilians and police officers, it led to a separate conversation on social media about the proper use of the words “terrorism,” “terrorist,” and “terror.”

After considering the definitions of these words (via Merriam-Webster, below), Colorado Pols has decided to enact an editorial change on this website. Any criminal act in the United States that meets the definition of “terrorism” will henceforth be discussed on this site as a “terrorist act” perpetrated by one or more “terrorists.” 

For example, the man who killed and wounded several civilians and police officers in Colorado Springs will be classified as a “terrorist” rather than the generic “gunman” or “shooter” label. Terrorism is a very real and tragic form of violence that is undertaken for a specific political or intimidation purpose. Terrorism is not defined by skin color, nationality, race, or gender. It is a disservice to the victims of these particular crimes to continue to describe the act as something other than terrorism, just as it would be wrong to falsely classify a “murder” as a “suicide.”

Merriam-Webster definitions:

TERRORISM (noun):  the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.

TERRORIST: (adjective or noun)

TERROR (noun): 

1.  a state of intense fear


a : one that inspires fear : scourge
b : a frightening aspect
c : a cause of anxiety : worry
d : an appalling person or thing; especially : brat

3. reign of terror

4. violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands


Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Nov. 25)

MoreSmarter-ThanksgivingIf you can make it to the break room and back without seeing another person, you have our permission to go home (after you read this). It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).


► State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Jefferson County) has been fairly quiet since he began campaigning for U.S. Senate a few months ago. Yesterday, Neville took time off from dialing for dollars to join the fear-mongering parade on Syrian refugees with a scary fundraising email. Perhaps Neville is taking a cue from Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, who said over the weekend that the Paris terrorist attacks were a “positive development.” Sure, a lot of innocent people were killed, but it’s not all bad if it helps you raise money for your campaign!

BTW, if you had any concerns that Neville might get squishy on his fervent anti-choice beliefs…well, you need not worry. Nobody is going to be flanking Neville on the right when it comes to abortion.


► You may have heard of the (cough-cough) “bipartisan” group of former Colorado lawmakers pushing for changes in Colorado’s reapportionment/redistricting process. What you haven’t been hearing from some of the cheerleading media outlets in Colorado is that Initiative 55 is a jumbled mess of a policy proposal. Colorado voters shouldn’t be asked to vote on a crayon drawing.

Get even more smarter after the jump…


Neville Gleefully Stokes The Fear on Syrian Refugees


A fundraising email appeal from 2016 U.S. Senate candidate and Colorado Sen. Tim Neville yesterday pulls out all the proverbial stops, invoking the prospect of Syrian refugees coming to Colorado as an invitation to an attack on Mile High Stadium (see photo above)–now with an angry President Barack Obama Photoshopped in leading the ISIS terrorists on! Argumentum in terrorem is the order of the day:

Governor Hickenlooper refuses to back down from his plans to bring Barack Obama’s potentially dangerous Syrian “refugees” to Colorado.

An unsecured border and unvetted Syrian “refugees” threaten the safety and security of Colorado’s families…

I’m under fire for daring to stand up to Barack Obama and Governor Hickenlooper.

In fact, ProgressNow — one of the largest left-wing organizations in Colorado — called me the “most dangerous politician in America” because I represent the “no-compromise, take-no-prisoners wing of the Republican Party.”

But the real reason they’re attacking me is because I’ve taken on an entrenched Democrat in a purple district before — and won.

They know I’m the Republican with the best chance to DEFEAT Michael Bennet in November 2016.

They fear me the most.

That last part is a bit confusing, since we were under the impression it was the refugees–excuse us, “refugees”–we were supposed to be afraid of? However you may feel about this message qualitatively, and we know many readers will find it thoroughly contemptible, certainly it would be a mistake to underestimate it in the context of the Republican U.S. Senate primary Tim Neville is running in today.

By most estimates the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris has been very good for Republican presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign. Marco Rubio actually said Sunday before sort-of-but-not-really backpedaling Monday that the Paris attacks were a “positive development” if they placed Americans in an appropriately fearful psychological condition. Last year on the campaign trail, now-Sen. Cory Gardner freely exploited xenophobic fears and ignorance from ISIS to Ebola.

So yes, love it or hate it, Tim Neville knows exactly what he’s doing.

Wednesday Open Thread

“Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.”

–John Locke

Slow Down! Initiative 55 (Redistricting) Is a Rough Draft, Not a Real Policy Fix

Pump the brakes!

Pump the brakes!

Redistricting. Reapportionment. Gerrymandering. Big words that create big problems.

There is no political or policy issue that is not affected by the re-drawing of legislative and congressional districts every 10 years. A truly representative democracy requires that we regularly adjust local “boundaries” in an effort to create a responsive and responsible government that reflects our ever-changing demographics.

In an ideal world, these boundaries would always be drawn in a competitively-balanced manner so as not to give an unfair advantage to any particular community, interest group, or political party. In the real world, this is akin to trying to take “politics” out of politics.

A new group of current and former lawmakers is pushing for a change to Colorado’s political map-making process. The proposal – known already as Initiative 55 – has some bipartisan support but is largely backed by Republicans such as former Governor Bill Owens (R), former Secretaries of State Donetta Davidson (R) and Gigi Dennis (R), and former House Speaker Frank McNulty (R). In fact, Initiative 55 should look pretty familiar to partisan Republicans: Much of the map-drawing requirements in Initiative 55 is comparable to a Republican redistricting attempt in 2004 that was ultimately repealed in 2010.

The primary talking point for the Initiative 55 group is that their proposal will hand over the map-making process to “nonpartisan experts,” which (in theory) would put a stop to gerrymandering. This smells like a good idea that has gained traction in other parts of the country, but what are the other ingredients that make up this political sausage? We don’t disagree that our current map-making process needs to be adjusted, but as we read through the draft language for “Initiative 55,” we found ourselves pumping the policy brakes on numerous occasions. For example:

♦ Initiative 55 would essentially make it impossible for minority groups to increase their voting power. In fact, the language specifically prohibits crafting district boundaries “for the purpose of augmenting or diluting the voting strength of a language or racial minority group.” This is one of several sections that would appear to be unconstitutional from the start.

Initiative 55 upends some critical redistricting criteria in a way that actually makes it more difficult to craft competitive boundaries. The draft language outlines a few specific redistricting factors in a very specific order; the result is that “competitiveness” and “communities of interest” would become the least important considerations in redistricting. Initiative 55 supporters say that map makers would be “required” to draw competitive seats under this plan, but it would appear that they missed their own fine print.

♦ Metropolitan counties with large populations will still be carved up into several districts, but under Initiative 55, counties can be split even if they divide minority communities or other communities of interest.

♦ One of the stranger quirks in the language of Initiative 55 is related to the tie-breaking process for the Redistricting Commission. If the Commission cannot agree on a particular map and becomes deadlocked, the default solution is to go back to the first map presented by Commission staff – no matter how flawed or misguided it may have been. If the Commission can’t agree on later versions of a redistricting map, the law would require that they formally submit the first draft to the Colorado Supreme Court for approval.

♦ Here’s another weird quirk: In the event that staff “is unable to present initial plans to the commission,” Initiative 55 would allow the staff to draw district lines and directly present them to the Supreme Court for approval (Initiative 55 doesn’t explain what kind of “event” would prohibit staff from meeting with the Commission). In other words, a handful of unnamed “staff members” could somehow skip this entire process and do the map-drawing by themselves. 

Colorado could certainly benefit from a change to its reapportionment and redistricting process, and there may be some seeds of thought in the draft language of Initiative 55 that should be examined further. As it stands currently, however, Initiative 55 is more of a rough first draft than a carefully-considered policy proposal. When you skip the details and rush past the fine print, you risk enacting a policy that ends up doing the opposite of whatever was intended.

Colorado can absolutely lead the way and show the rest of the country how best to deal with re-drawing legislative boundaries…but let’s slow down and get this right, first.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Nov. 24)

MoreSmarter-ThanksgivingWe’re planning out our tryptophan coma dreams early this year. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).


► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in Colorado today, making stops in Denver and Boulder as part of a trip that involves both raising money and “mobilizing” Colorado Democrats.

► But if you attend a Donald Trump rally, you may be taking your life into your own hands.

► Speaking of Trump, he may be in danger of losing his so-far lead in the upcoming Iowa caucuses to Sen. Ted Cruz. Might Iowa change the course of Cruz’s also-ran campaign, or make itself irrelevant? Cruz says it’s the former, with feeling.

Get even more smarter after the jump…


Hillary Clinton in Colorado Today

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is spending some time in Colorado today. As John Frank reports for the Denver Post:

The former secretary of state will speak at 11:30 a.m. at the Boulder Theatre in downtown Boulder and travel later in the day to Denver for a 3:15 p.m. event at Manual High School. The trip also includes a private fundraising event at the Boulder home of Mo Siegel, one of the founders of Celestial Seasonings.

Clinton’s visit to Colorado is the second in four months and comes weeks after rival Bernie Sanders drew an estimated 9,000 to a rally in Boulder. In June, the Vermont senator brought nearly 5,000 people to the University of Denver.

The Clinton campaign said the two events Tuesday are designed to mobilize Democratic activists ahead of the state’s March 1 caucuses. The campaign said Clinton will “discuss the issues that keep Coloradans up at night” but declined to offer specific. Her remarks at an  August event in Denver focused on the economy and the protection of women’s rights.


Rep. Don “Quixote” Coram Promises to Fix Non-Existent Voter Fraud in Colorado

Prepare thyself for tilting, dastardly windmill!

Prepare thyself, windmill, for Don “Quixote” Coram comes to do some tilting.

Montrose Republican Rep. Don “Quixote” Coram wants to require voters to present identification at polling places, and as he told the Montrose Daily Press last week, Don’s will…will be done.

One way or another, a measure to require voter ID at the polls will be on the 2016 ballot, Rep. Don Coram said.

Coram, a Montrose Republican, announced Friday during a Montrose Chamber legislative preview that he intends to introduce a concurrent resolution in the Colorado House that would require identification from those voting in person on election days…

Vote ID laws have been criticized by the New York Times and others as deliberate attempts to discourage or prevent voting among people who do not have money or means to obtain the necessary identification; a sort of backdoor poll tax.

“It’s a matter of safety,” contended Coram. “There are a few cases where (ballot) is returned to the county clerk because there is no person by that name at that address,” Coram said. “You can come in with a utility bill and say you want to vote.”

Voter fraud is not prevalent, he said. “But how much is enough?” [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Don "Quixote" Coram (R-Montrose)

Rep. Don “Quixote” Coram (R-Montrose)

Boy, Rep. Coram sure sounds excited about combating voter fraud. He sounds so intent, in fact, that we almost hate to mention that there is still no evidence that voter fraud exists in Colorado AT ALL. Let’s revisit this November 11 story from the Aurora Sentinel:

An Arapahoe County jury last week acquitted a man of voter fraud charges, bringing to a close a 2013 voter fraud investigation that identified more than 100 suspects but produced just one conviction…

The two men were among four charged in 2013 as part of a large-scale and controversial voter fraud investigation launched by former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

Gessler had identified more than 100 people he said illegally voted, but the four charged in Arapahoe County were the only people in Colorado to face charges.

In early 2011, newly-elected Secretary of State Scott Gessler testified in Congress that some 16,270 people were illegally registered to vote in Colorado, and some 5,000 of them actually cast ballots in the 2010 election. Gessler wasn’t exactly “Captain Credibility” by that point anyway, but his out-of-left-field numbers of illegal voter registrations immediately raised eyebrows among politicos in Colorado and Washington D.C.

A few months later, Gessler inexplicably reduced that number by a significant amount, claiming to have narrowed the list down to 155 non-citizen voters. Then, in 2012, Gessler sent letters to 4,000 Coloradans he suspected to be illegally-registered to vote. Fast-forward back to November 2015, and you find that “1” is indeed the loneliest of numbers.

To recap, here’s the progression of the number of “illegal voters” in Colorado, per Gessler and his magic 8-ball:

16,270 ⇒  5,000  ⇒  155  ⇒  4,000  ⇒  4   ⇒  2   ⇒ 1

Ever since Gessler first made his bold accusations in 2011, County Clerks from across Colorado have repeatedly denied that there were any known cases of voter fraud in their counties. Ever. At all. Undeterred, Gessler convinced his patsy, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, to press forward with criminal charges that resulted in finding one person who was (knowingly) illegally registered to vote but likely never actually cast a ballot. Thank goodness we put a stop to that!

Colorado has spent an absurd amount of time and money over the last couple of years in an effort to discover this illegally-voting Bigfoot character, and at every turn Colorado has uncovered a whole bucket full of nothin’. Rep. Coram isn’t going to go out on another limb by throwing out new numbers attributed to illegal voters, so instead, he just says, “how much is enough?”

We were thinking the exact same thing, Rep. Coram. How much is enough indeed?

Get More Smarter on Monday (Nov. 23)

MoreSmarter-ThanksgivingNope, we can’t spell Osweiler without looking it up first; perhaps next week. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).


► Colorado Attorney General Cynthia “Sues-a-Lot” Coffman has asked the Colorado Supreme Court to dismiss a complaint from Gov. John Hickenlooper over lawsuits the Governor says have been filed without his approval.

Hickenlooper petitioned the state Supreme Court on Nov. 4 after he complained that Coffman should not have joined about two dozen other states in suing the Environmental Protection Agency over new air pollution rules without his authorization.

Coffman said the rules are an illegal overreach. The governor supports the rules and is trying to implement them.

Hickenlooper is asking the court to force Coffman to withdraw lawsuits against the federal government that were filed without his permission, including one in Wyoming over fracking rules, one in North Dakota over clean water rules and the latest in Washington, D.C., over the EPA’s air pollution rules.

If the Governor does not back down, Coffman is threatening to force Colorado into a lawsuit against the entire galaxy.


► We’re still in 2015, but the 2016 Presidential election has been strikingly fact-free, as Chris Cillizza writes for “The Fix”:

Candidates have always done their best to bend numbers, statistics and stories to make themselves look as good — or as not-bad — as possible. But, there was almost always a line that wasn’t crossed in years past, a sort of even-partisans-can-agree-on-this standard.

Now, thanks in large part to Donald Trump’s candidacy, that line has been smudged out of existence. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous quote that “you are entitled to your own opinion…but you are not entitled to your own facts” is no longer operative in this election. That is to the detriment of not only the people running for president in 2016 but to all of us.

Trump’s latest foray into the fiction zone came on Saturday when he told a group of supporters that he watched as “thousands of people were cheering” in Jersey City, New Jersey when the World Trade Center towers collapsed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. On Sunday, Trump called into ABC’s “This Week” and got into a back and forth with moderator George Stephanopoulos over that claim. The exchange is long but worth printing in full.

You’ll have to click the link to read Trump’s bizarre claims, but it’s definitely worth exercising your mouse finger.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Weekend Open Thread

“I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.”

–Anne Frank

Chaps’ Guest: Lazy White Women Won’t Make Babies, So Paris

Right Wing Watch, excerpting GOP Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt’s Pray In Jesus Name show Wednesday on the Paris terror attacks:

William Murray, chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition and founder of the Government Is Not God PAC, was a guest on Gordon Klingenschmitt’s “Pray In Jesus Name” program today, where he was asked to share his “expertise” on last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

As Murray explained it, such attacks should not come as a surprise since France and Europe as a whole have been “overrun” by Muslims because European women are too selfish and short-sighted to dedicate their lives to having children.

You can watch Bill Murray–not that Bill Murray, obviously–in the clip above explain his theory about the failure of white European women to do their moral duty and pop out dozens of Christian babies Duggar Family-style, which has resulted in a low birthrate in Western European nations–necessitating a self-imposed Islamization of Europe so white folks don’t have to make babies:

They want to play, they want to have fun, they want to go on long vacations, they want to have money, they want to have cars, they want to have nice apartments, they’re secularly motivated, the church is almost dead in Europe … They don’t believe that the propagation of the species is the most important thing that they’re here for… [Pols emphasis]

To summarize, sex machine Bill Murray–not that Bill Murray:


Says the Paris attacks happened because European women don’t realize “the most important thing that they’re here for” is “the propagation of the species.” And the hunka-hunka of burning love we call Dr. Chaps, who we have the unfortunate duty of reminding you is an elected Colorado state representative:


Wanted you ladies to know.

If we’ve now halted any procreation among our readers on this chilly Friday evening, we apologize.