Rep. Klingenschmitt: “Different Demons” Possess Gays, Pedophiles


Our friends at Right Wing Watch posted about Republican Colorado Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt’s latest Youtube sermon, in which he responds to criticism over his suggestion a few weeks ago that it would be “better” if gay Boy Scout leaders were “drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Here’s what Chaps really meant by that, folks:

[I]nsisting that he never called for gay scoutmasters to be drowned in the sea, Klingenschmitt brought on his close friend Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action to defend him from the “lies” and to pray against the attacks on him.

As Klingenschmitt explained, he never claimed that all gay men are child molesters … and that is because gay men and child molesters are clearly possessed by different demons.

“There are clearly two different demons at play here,” he said. [Pols emphasis] “There is, of course, a demon of homosexuality in those who openly parade their sodomy in the streets. But then there’s a different demon of child molesting that is inside some of these reported molesters … I’m not saying that all of the homosexuals are child molesters, I never claimed that. But I’ll tell you in this case, all the child molesters in the Boy Scouts are homosexual. And how can I tell that? Very simple, it’s logical, there were no girls in the tents. Those are men molesting boys and their attraction to other men, or even other boys, is a different demon and we’re calling that out.”

Got that? Not all gays are child molesters, but all the child molesters in the Boy Scouts are–wait for it–probably gay! Because it’s the Boy Scouts! That brilliant deductive reasoning obviously makes Rep. Klingenschmitt’s comments about child molesting Scoutmasters being drowned no big deal. Because, you see, it’s only the demon possessed gay folks–they’re all possessed, of course, but stay with him–who have the specific demon that causes child molestation who should be drowned. The rest of you demon-possessed sodomites, well, presumably Rep. Klingenschmitt praying for you as opposed to wishing death on you. At least until the next episode of Pray in Jesus’ Name.

There, aren’t you glad he cleared that up? No doubt House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso is greatly relieved.

Colorado GOP Tries To Keep Planned Parenthood Rage Alive

komen-planned-parenthood4-19NEWS’ Kyle Clark reported last night that, although she no doubt really wanted to, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has announced that there will be no investigation by the state of Colorado into the fetal tissue donation policies of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains:

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman says state law requires the investigation be conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, which told 9NEWS Tuesday that it has no plans to investigate Planned Parenthood.

Coffman said Wednesday in a written statement that she views CDPHE’s decision as the “final response” to calls for investigation.

Abortion opponents had hoped Coffman, a pro-life Republican, would join other attorneys general who have launched independent investigations into Planned Parenthood.

Coffman’s decision not to investigate Planned Parenthood is noteworthy also because Colorado is one of only a few states where Planned Parenthood acknowledged having a fetal tissue donation program.

As Clark reiterates in last night’s story, consensual donations of fetal tissue are legal both under Colorado and federal law. It’s illegal to sell fetal tissue, but not illegal for clinics to receive a nominal fee to cover expenses for the storage and transport of the tissue. Colorado State University and other research organizations that was acquired such tissue have used to to perform lifesaving medical research on a variety of human diseases–research that has been vitally important to public health and relatively uncontroversial, until anti-abortion activists began posting heavily edited undercover videos earlier this year.

Rep. Dan Nordberg (R).

Rep. Dan Nordberg (R).

But as resident GOP-slanted “reporter” Valerie Richardson at the Colorado Statesman writes, local Republicans are not giving up on the chance to vilify Planned Parenthood a little while longer:

Thirty Colorado Republican legislators called Wednesday for a state investigation into Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and whether it is involved in “the sale and transfer of fetal body parts.”

“A civilized society cannot allow unethical and illegal medical practices such as the harvesting of aborted human organs and babies for monetary gain. I would hope that even proponents of abortion would agree to that much,” said state Rep. Dan Nordberg, R-Colorado Springs, in a press release…

“Planned Parenthood is not above the law,” Nordberg said. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a duty to enforce state statutes and I expect them to do their job, regardless of any congressional investigation.”

The letter, signed by 22 state House members and eight state senators, calls on Wolk to investigate possible violations of state law and “take necessary legal action to end such practices.”

Given the political makeup of Congress, the “inquiries” underway against Planned Parenthood today by Republican-controlled congressional committees are likely to employ the most sensationalist language possible to describe fetal tissue donation for medical research. But at least with regard to the “evidence” released so far by anti-abortion activists, there’s nothing that points to any actual violation of the law–and it’s hard to see any legitimate inquiry determining that there was. In general, the recent undercover video releases against Planned Parenthood have succeeded only in firing up the existing anti-choice base, not in fomenting any broader opposition to the organization or its work.

And barring anything unexpected, that will be the story of this request by a majority of Colorado GOP legislators to “investigate” Planned Parenthood–a few more protests, a press conference next January, and legislation that pays no more attention to the relevant facts than today’s press release. Legislation that will die in the Democratic-controlled House, of course, but not before Republicans use it to motivate their base.

But as we’ve said about the national push to demonize Planned Parenthood using these discredited videos and the same anti-abortion “torture porn” they’ve been circulating for years, this stuff motivates the Democratic base too. The proof can be seen every time an abortion ban ballot measure goes down to overwhelming defeat in Colorado, and with the notable exception of “Con Man Cory” Gardner in 2014, usually taking Republican politicians down with it.

What will this all look like by November of 2016 to general election voters? We’re pretty sure Dan Nordberg hasn’t even given that a moment’s consideration. And that should make smart Republicans very nervous.

Jeffco Recall: No Challenge, Replacements Emerge, Battle Looms

Embattled Jeffco school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Embattled Jeffco school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Circling back with events in Jefferson County following the validation last week of more the double the number of signatures required to place a recall of the right-wing majority members of the Jefferson County school board on this November’s ballot–as the Colorado Independent’s Marianne Goodland reports, conservative board members are asking supporters not to challenge the petition results:

Should a challenge occur, because of timing, the recall would go into an expensive special election. The school district will have to bear the costs of the recall election, whether it takes place in conjunction with the November 3 general election or as a special election. The cost to the district would be about $10,000 if the recall election happens on November 3, according to Jeffco United for Action. If it goes to a special election, the costs skyrocket to about $500,000.

Newkirk told The Colorado Independent he does not plan to challenge the signatures or petitions, despite saying they are filled with “erroneous, misleading, and outright deceptive language.”

…Williams earned special ire from recall supporters for proposing a change to the district’s Advanced Placement history curriculum last year. Williams suggested the curriculum should promote citizenship, patriotism and the benefits of the free enterprise system and discourage civil disorder. The proposal led to student and teacher walkouts district-wide, and it was later watered down.

She told The Independent Friday she also does not plan to challenge the signatures or petitions. “My plan is to focus on what is most important, the students of Jeffco,” and to continue the good work of the board, she said via email.

Witt said he has asked his supporters to not challenge the petitions, and he doesn’t plan to, either.

We speculated last week that it might in fact be better for the board members being recalled to have the election go forward with the regular November ballot as opposed to a separate election. We say “might” because we’ve heard credible opinions on both sides of this question–but we assume that before Julie Williams, John Newkirk, and Ken Witt decided against challenging the signatures, their handlers closely studied the matter. The hard numbers for ballot returns in the two different scenarios are much more important strategically than the message value of pinning responsibility for the added expense of a separate recall election on whichever side forced one, so this was an important consideration.

With that said, it was always the objective for recall organizers to hold the vote on the same day as the regular November election, so they’re obviously fine with no challenges.

Jeffco school board candidates Brad Rupert, Susan Harmon, and Ron MItchell.

Jeffco school board candidates Brad Rupert, Susan Harmon, and Ron MItchell.

Meanwhile, a press release late last week announced the slate of candidates running to replace Witt, Newkirk, and Williams in the event of a successful recall:

Three candidates are announcing their intentions to run as successor candidates for the three Jeffco School Board members facing recall this fall. In District 1, Brad Rupert is running for the seat currently held by Julie Williams. In District 2, Susan Harmon is running for the seat currently held by John Newkirk. In District 5, Ron Mitchell is running for the seat currently held by Ken Witt.

Williams, Newkirk, and Witt – collectively referred to as “WNW” – were elected in November 2013, making up the majority of the five-member board. Their initial steps of hiring their own board lawyer, pushing out the nationally-recognized superintendent, and making decisions behind closed doors drew ire from community members. The board attracted international attention in the fall of 2014 when they proposed a new committee to review and censor AP US History curriculum. In early July, a recall effort was launched by three Jeffco parents. On Tuesday, the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder declared that a sufficient number of valid signatures had been submitted and that a recall would be taking place on a date to be set after the expiration of a protest period.

The three successor candidates – Rupert, Harmon, and Mitchell – were recruited by a group of parent leaders seeking to build a non-partisan team with diverse backgrounds who would be committed to working together to repair the damage done by WNW. All three have or had kids in Jeffco Public Schools. It is likely that additional successor candidates will emerge from left and right, but these three are hoping to earn the support of Jeffco voters who are less interested in politics and more interested in having a board who will listen, work together, and stay focused on expanding educational opportunities for Jeffco kids.

These three candidates join Amanda Stevens and Ali Lasell, running to replace the two progressive minority members of the school board who opted not to run again. The best case scenario for recall organizers is a clean sweep of the entire Jeffco school board, which would be a victory with profound implications for the larger debate over public education policy in America.

Jefferson County students went back to school last week, and parents are on campus for open house and other events where activists on both sides are hoping to attract support. Jeffco Schools public relations, which now is reportedly managed by highly paid GOP-leaning PR consultant group Novitas Communications, is using official district communications like the “Chalk Talk” newsletter to promote a positive message that not coincidentally makes the actions of the board majority look good.

Unfortunately, the latest “Chalk Talk” newsletter was so poorly written that teachers and parents have spent the last few days cracking jokes about it:

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Aug. 26)

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Another day, another violent shooting; when will our elected officials do something? 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

Colorado Republicans have decided not to select a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016. As the Denver Post first reported on Tuesday, a Republican Executive Committee has voted to skip the “preference poll” part of the 2016 caucus in order to make sure that delegates are not bound to support a weak candidate for President; we’re calling it “The Santorum Rule.”

► The town of Silverton is asking for federal assistance in cleaning up polluted mining sites after decades of fighting against EPA cleanup efforts. As the Denver Post reports:

The decision is a paradigm shift for the small town of about 650 year-round residents in the wake of a 3 million-gallon  wastewater spill Aug. 5 at the Gold King Mine in the mountains to the north.

Many in Silverton for years have sought to quash worries about the effects of its digging heritage, but now, after pressure brought on by the EPA-caused disaster, they are shifting their tone.

“I think it’s showing that we’re well-aware that we have a responsibility as a headwater county and as a county with leaking mines,” county commissioner Peter McKay said Tuesday.

Colorado Pols continues to cover the aftermath of the Gold King minewater spill.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Wednesday Open Thread

“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?”

–Kurt Vonnegut

Colorado Republicans Choose Irrelevance for 2016

Rick Santorum.

Colorado Republicans have enacted “The Santorum Rule” for 2016.

Colorado Republicans have decided not to formally select a candidate for President in 2016 so that they can (theoretically) play a bigger role in selecting a candidate for President in 2016.

Confused? You should be. Colorado is currently the only state in the country where Republicans are essentially taking a pass on participating in the early nomination process, in large part because there are too many bad Republican candidates for President. As John Frank reports for the Denver Post:

Colorado will not pick a Republican candidate for president in its 2016 caucus after party leaders approved a little-noticed shift that is likely to diminish the swing state’s clout in the most open nomination contest in the modern era.

The GOP executive committee voted Friday to cancel the traditional presidential preference poll at the caucus after the national party changed its rules to require a state’s delegates to support the candidate that wins.

What in the name of Ronald Reagan’s ghost is going on in Colorado? There is some actual logic behind Friday’s decision — though not necessarily good logic:

State Republican Party Chairman Steve House said the party’s 24-member-executive committee made a unanimous decision — six members were absent — to skip the preference poll. He said the move would give Colorado delegates the freedom to support any candidate eligible at the Cleveland convention in July. Republican National Committee officials said the change complies with strict party rules.

“If we do a binding presidential preference poll, we would then pledge our delegates … and the candidates we bind them to may not be in the race by the time we get to the convention,” House said in an interview Tuesday. [Pols emphasis]

You might call this “The Santorum Rule,” the result of a strange 2012 cycle whereby former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum somehow ended up with the support of the Colorado delegation not long before his entire campaign cratered. The solution to this problem, according to House and other Republicans, is to skip the “preference poll” part of the GOP caucus so that Republicans don’t feel compelled to support a campaign that no longer exists by the time the Republican National Convention convenes in late July.

In other words, Colorado Republicans don’t want to be forced to select — and continue to support — a bad candidate in a field of bad candidates. There is some disagreement about whether or not this will cause Republican candidates to largely avoid Colorado through 2016; you could argue that Republicans will actually work harder in Colorado in order to make sure that they hold on to delegates who could change their mind at any time.

The upside, if you can call it that, is that Colorado Republicans could wield a lot of power if the 2016 GOP nomination comes down to a brokered deal at the National Convention. Of course, we haven’t seen a brokered convention in this country in more than 60 years, and the likelihood that it will happen in 2016 is about as probable as Donald Trump growing a new head of hair.

The Colorado Republican Party has had an odd year in 2015. They elected Steve House as their new State Party Chair in March, despite a fairly successful 2014 election cycle under Ryan Callthree months later a group of GOP leaders, including Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, tried to blackmail House into resigning from the job (and as it turns out, efforts to oust House probably began on the very day he was first elected). Republicans continue to insist that incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is beatable, yet they can’t find anybody to actually run against him in 2016. Oh, and don’t forget…this?

When viewed with the proper amount of perspective, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that GOP leaders decided against participating in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary…

…On second thought: Nope, it’s still really, really weird.

Jeb! Bush Just Makes Stuff Up About Planned Parenthood

UPDATE: Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado’s Cathy Alderman weighs in:

“Jeb Bush clearly does not understand Colorado women and their health. In our state Planned Parenthood serves more than 80,000 Coloradans, the majority of which are women. Colorado women trust Planned Parenthood, and depend on them to get the health care they need.”

—–

Jeb!

Jeb!

Reports are starting to come in from Republican presidential candidate Jeb! Bush’s town hall in Englewood today–though nominally focused on veteran’s issues, Jeb! reportedly answered questions on a number of topics.

As Democratic-leaning fact-checking site Correct the Record reports, not very factually:

Hot off of insulting immigrant families, today Jeb turned his scattershot firepower back to women’s health at a town hall in Englewood, Colorado.

“I don’t think Planned Parenthood ought to get a penny because they’re not actually doing women’s health issues,” Jeb said. [Pols emphasis]

This is a shock to the one in five American women who have used Planned Parenthood’s health services at least once in their lives. In addition to 900,000 annual cancer screenings, Planned Parenthood provides 4.5 million annual STI tests and courses of treatment. Though Jeb and other Republican politicians paint Planned Parenthood to be solely a provider of abortion services, 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s client services go toward helping prevent unplanned pregnancies in the first place and abortion services make up 3 percent.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund, as you can expect, was ready to call BS on the assertion that they don’t provide care for women’s health issues besides abortion services–with ample statistics:

“It’s clear Jeb Bush shouldn’t be making health care decisions for anyone — just look at what he did to women’s health in Florida. However this does beg the question — if providing millions of women each year with birth control, breast exams and pregnancy tests and more doesn’t count as women’s health in Jeb Bush’s world, what does?”

Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s most trusted providers of high-quality, affordable reproductive health care for women, men, and young people. In 2013, Planned Parenthood’s nearly 700 nonprofit health centers provided a total of 10,590,433 services, including:

Providing 2,131,865 women with reversible contraception, including 1,440,495 emergency contraception kits
Provided 378,692 Pap tests
Provided 487,029 breast exams and care
Screened 87,988 women whose cancer was detected early or whose abnormalities were identified
Provided 34,739 HPV Vaccinations
Performed 2,095 LEEP procedures
Provided 1,128,783 Pregnancy Tests
Provided 18,684 Prenatal Services
Provided 327,653 Abortion Procedures
Provided 47,264 Urinary Tract Infections Treatments

Oops! Politico:

While the group gets a large amount of attention for abortion services, Planned Parenthood says such services make up 3 percent of the health care it provides, according to its latest annual report. The clinics also provide preventive health services, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

Tuesday was not the first time Bush has drawn criticism for comments regarding Planned Parenthood. He remarked last month that he was “not sure we need half a billion dollars in funding for women’s health programs” writ large.

Bush later said that he “misspoke” in lumping other health organizations together with Planned Parenthood…

And that, dear reader, is how you take an issue that’s a no-brainer with your base of support and turn it into a liability. Now, the story isn’t about Jeb! engaging in the popular, even obligative Republican pastime of beating up on Planned Parenthood.

The story is how Jeb! still can’t get his facts straight.

Animas Animus: From Mindless EPA Bashing To The Real Issue

UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Jesse Paul:

For roughly two decades, Silverton has pushed back against the EPA designating the area a Superfund site, which could have brought substantial remediation funds. In 2014 the EPA warned the town that without such a label, funds for long-term remediation would be scarce.

Town and county officials say the new resolution is not a request for Superfund designation, though such an option is still on the table…

Silverton had rejected Superfund designation out of fears of the stigma associated with it. Superfund sites are on the national priority list for hazardous waste cleanup and can attract massive sums of federal aid.

Mark Eddy, a spokesman for the town and San Juan County, said Tuesday while this petition for federal funds is not linked to Superfund, it does not remove that option.

—–

UPDATE: FOX 31 reports this afternoon that officials from San Juan County and the town of Silverton passed a joint resolution last night seeking federal aid to clean up their polluting mines–acknowledging that the problem is longstanding, and making no attempt to blame the EPA:

“The people of the town of Silverton and San Juan County understand that this problem is in our district and we feel we bear a greater responsibility to our downstream neighbors to help find a solution to the issue of leaking mines,” the resolution said.

“We have been working together for over 20 years to try to deal with the environmental threat of the idled mines in the area, but we’ve never had the resources necessary to get the job done,” Silverton town administrator Bill Gardner said in a statement. “We are committed to working with our downstream partners to make sure a disaster like the Gold King spill never ever happens again.”

…The joint resolution says federal funding could pay for building and operating a water treatment facility and further remediation of the contaminated mines in the area.

Here’s the full language of the joint resolution. This significantly more contrite stance from the local stakeholders in Silverton, no longer deflecting blame out of political expediency–though we’re obliged to point out that the “resources necessary to get the job done” have been repeatedly rejected by these same local officials–should be regarded as a very positive development.

—–

Animas River fouled by minewater spill near Silverton.

Animas River fouled by minewater spill near Silverton.

After weeks of grandstanding politicians making speeches, and conservative astroturf “grassroots” groups issuing over-the-top press releases vilifying the Environmental Protection Agency for the spill of mine wastewater into the Animas River early this month, we’re no closer to answering the most important question: how do we prevent another disaster from the derelict, polluted mines above Silverton, Colorado?

As everyone not on the well-funded low-information gubmint-bashing bandwagon knows, the EPA unleashed the spill into Cement Creek above Silverton while attempting to remediate what was well known by all stakeholders to be a rapidly worsening minewater pollution problem. Contaminated runoff had been building up for years behind hastily-erected bulkheads in disused commercial mines, while mine owners from small-time local outfits to Canadian gold mining giant Kinross pointed fingers at each other. About the only thing Silverton locals and mining corporations could agree on was that they didn’t want the EPA declaring the area a Superfund site. Mining companies were afraid that operations would not be able to resume, and other locals feared the damage to Silverton’s “repuation.”

Well, as the Durango Herald reports today, the debate over Silverton’s “reputation” has taken on a very different meaning in the wake of the spill. And the part of the story frothing EPA bashers don’t want to talk about is taking center stage:

The Animas River Stakeholders Group – an un-elected volunteer group that for two decades has been at the center of the debate about how to address the pollution gushing out of Silverton’s defunct mines – is to meet Tuesday for the first time since Gold King Mine spewed 3 million gallons of sludge downstream on Aug. 5…

The meeting comes at a time when the question of whether the Environmental Protection Agency should list Silverton’s oozing mines under Superfund has taken on new urgency for both downstream communities such as Durango and people in Silverton.

Mine water retention ponds near Silverton. Photo credit: EPA

Mine water retention ponds near Silverton. Photo credit: EPA

On the one hand, you have basically every Republican politician and allied interest group in the state focusing their attention solely on the EPA’s role in this latest spill. On the other, you have stakeholders from the Animas River’s headwaters in Silverton all the way down to the river’s end and beyond–tens of thousands of people–who understand that the problem is much older and much bigger, and that this was just the latest symptom.

And those people are beginning to understand something else: a small faction in Silverton, Colorado, population 629, and big-money mining interests behind them, have put these tens of thousands in danger for their own self-interest:

Facebook users have been planning to crash the meeting for weeks. Tom Newman, writing on The Durango Herald’s website, challenged others to attend in the wake of the Gold King blowout and go “person to person” to ask why Silvertonians still spurn Superfund designation…

Even in recent years, as pollution from Silverton-area mines worsened – killing 3 out of 4 fish species living in the Animas below Bakers Bridge – San Juan County officials resisted the EPA’s warnings that the defunct mines needed to be placed under Superfund, saying they preferred working on the problem through the stakeholders’ group. [Pols emphasis]

But since the Gold King blowout, skeptics downstream and in Silverton have questioned whether a cleanup can be accomplished through the stakeholders’ group – which counts representatives from Sunnyside Gold Corp., the last major mining company to operate in the area, and San Juan Corp., the owner of Gold King Mine, among its members.

Folks, it was always going to come back to this. The last few weeks of nonstop bashing of the EPA by opportunistic Republican politicians, who never once gave a shit about the Animas River but became its come-lately champions in order to attack the EPA on unrelated issues, have accomplished absolutely nothing to solve the very real and ongoing problem of pollution flowing out of Silverton’s mines. Releasing “Good Samaritans” from liability for their own cleanup accidents is one idea, but it can’t possibly solve a problem this big–not in Silverton, or the many other polluting mines throughout the West. No one is suggesting that the EPA be held blameless for the harm from this latest spill, but fixating on the EPA instead of the pollution they were trying to clean up is an inexcusable distraction.

Hopefully, that’s about to end. Because whatever the solution is, we’re going to need the EPA.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Aug. 25)

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Jebbbbbbbb!!! 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► JEB! is in Colorado today. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is making his first official visit to Colorado as a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination. This morning he addressed a group of veterans at an Englewood VFW, with much of the focus on completing the Aurora VA Hospital project. From the Denver Post:

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told veterans at a metro town hall Tuesday that he supports finishing the Aurora VA hospital despite huge cost overruns.

“We need to finish up, we can’t just can’t waste hundreds of millions of dollars,” Bush said, during the event at VFW Post 9644 in Sheridan.

More than 100 people turned out at the event, where Bush highlighted a plan to revamp veteran services.

Bush called the construction project, and  its projected $1.73 billion cost “an unmitigated disaster.”

► The Animas River Stakeholders Group is meeting today to discuss…the Animas River. Colorado Pols has you covered on the latest news from the aftermath of the Gold King minewater spill. Meanwhile, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman continues to demonstrate a bizarre lack of common political sense; on Monday Durango city leaders revealed that Coffman tried to schedule a private meeting with local elected officials, which would be a violation of Colorado’s “Sunshine Laws.”

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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“Trump The Dragon Slayer” Billboard Goes Up Near Junction

donald-dragon

That’s the report from KREX NewsChannel 5 in Grand Junction, high-res art above to share with your friends:

Readers may recall another “edgy” billboard from 2010 in Grand Junction that made national news, featuring multiple President Barack Obamas dressed up as a terrorist, a gangster, an illegal immigrant, and a gay guy in formation. This latest billboard featuring Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump slaying a (presumably) liberal dragon–the dragon’s scales featuring acronyms from EPA to ISIS to GLBT are a heartwarming touch–appears to originate from the same concerned citizen.

So take that, RINOs and “libtards!” Donald Trump is comin’ to gitcha.

Tuesday Open Thread

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

–Charles Spurgeon

D’oh! D’oh! D’oh!

Enjoy this fundraising email sent out today from the Republican National Committee in the name of Sen. Cory Gardner. We took the liberty of marking it up to help prevent future errors. For example:

  1. Cory Gardner is from Yuma, Colorado. Not Denver. Or the Mile High City.
  2. “Grinning from ear to ear” is a tad cliche when discussing Gardner.
  3. Denver may very well be a perfect place to hold a GOP Debate. Too bad the debate will be held in Boulder.
  4. Again, good luck trying to find a GOP debate in Denver in late October.
  5. Still, not Denver.

GardnerFakeRNCEmail

Get More Smarter on Monday (Aug. 24)

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If the kids aren’t starting school this week…have fun with that. 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).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is the chief law enforcement officer for the State of Colorado. With any luck, Coffman will eventually decide that it would be a good idea to, you know, learn the law. Here’s the money quote from the Colorado Independent on claims that Coffman tried to convince Durango elected officials to participate in a closed-door meeting about the Animas River mine water spill (such a meeting would violate Colorado’s “sunshine” laws):

Talk about awkward – being asked by the attorney general herself to violate the law,” Mayor Dean Brookie told The Colorado Independent. “We were all pretty taken aback that she would have created that situation.” [Pols emphasis]

 

► Enjoy it while it’s happening before your very eyes, Polsters: The Coffmangate Scandal may very well be the most inexplicably ridiculous political scandal you are ever likely to witness. The group of Republicans who allegedly tried to blackmail State GOP Chair Steve House decided to throw a party for themselves on Friday — and, naturally, somebody thought it would be wise to take a bunch of pictures. Cynthia Coffman was either not invited, or was at least wise enough to not show up in the photos.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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AG Coffman’s Animas River Politicizing Backfires Spectacularly

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

As the Colorado Independent’s Susan Greene reports today, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s trips to Durango to “investigate” the recent spill of mine wastewater into the Animas River have local officials crying foul–and may have brushed with violating the law Coffman is charged with protecting yet again:

At the peak of the Animas River crisis, Cynthia Coffman reached out to the Durango City Council and La Plata County Commission and invited each member to dinner. But several of her would-be guests didn’t appreciate what the state Attorney General planned to serve up.

Some are blasting Coffman for ignoring Colorado’s open meetings law. As the state’s top law enforcement official, they say, she should have known better than to try to gather them together in a closed meeting.

“Talk about awkward – being asked by the attorney general herself to violate the law,” Mayor Dean Brookie told The Colorado Independent. “We were all pretty taken aback that she would have created that situation.” [Pols emphasis]

Durango.

Durango.

As Greene reports, Coffman asked several members of the Durango city council and La Plata County commissioners to join her for dinner at Durango’s Palace Restaurant on Tuesday, August 11th. The problem with such a meeting, as anyone familiar with Colorado law as it pertains to the conduct of public officials, is that a group of city councillors or county commissioners meeting together to discuss public business without appropriate public notice would be a clear violation of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.

And as we’ve noted before with Cynthia Coffman, attorneys general have a higher obligation than other public officials to avoid breaking the law:

“I would expect the Attorney General to know the requirements of the open meetings law. Her request to try to unofficially assemble city council members would be careless at best,” said Peg Perl, senior counsel for Colorado Ethics Watch, a group promoting government ethics and accountability throughout the state.

It appears that the conscientiousness of these local officials, who recognized that Attorney General Coffman’s invitation to discuss public business over dinner in private was illegal, may have protected Coffman from yet another instance of breaking the laws she is charged with upholding as the state’s top law enforcement officer–that and a flight delay, of course. But in addition to helping establish a pattern of misconduct by Colorado’s attorney general, there’s another piece of this story that needs to be considered:

“We assumed at first she was there to see if we needed her assistance,” added Mayor Brookie. “We would have really appreciated it if she had reached out to see what we needed like Gov. Hickenlooper did.”

But the locals soon realized that Coffman was scrambling in-state and with neighboring states’ attorneys general to drum up support for a lawsuit against the Obama administration. Some equated her work around the disaster with GOP presidential contender Ben Carson’s campaign stop in Durango to try to make political hay out of the spill. [Pols emphasis]

Coffman didn’t try to reschedule her meeting with council members and commissioners when it became clear from news reports and other channels that, regardless of their political affiliation, they were more interested in collaboration than litigation.

You see, folks, under the radar of sensationalized news coverage, ridiculous conspiracy theories, and eager Republican grandstanding over the Environmental Protection Agency’s role in the Animas River spill, there’s a growing anger over the politicization of the event for unrelated political purposes like attacking the EPA’s clean air rules. There’s a recognition by locals directly impacted by the disaster like the city government of Durango that, far from being “part of the problem,” the EPA was and remains their partner in solving the massive problem of mine waste pollution in Colorado and the West.

So when our Republican attorney general invites local Southwest Colorado officials to break the law for the purpose of trashing the EPA for political points, they have two very good reasons to tell her no.

And to not be very nice about it, either.

And Then The Coffmangaters Threw a Party!

harveyhocReaders by now are very familiar with the ongoing Coffmangate scandal, in which Colorado Republican Party chairman Steve House was confronted by a cabal of fellow Republicans led by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman about his “failure” to hire former Sen. Ted Harvey as the state party’s executive director–and as the story is told, then threatened House with exposure of an alleged affair if he did not resign his position.

The latest word we have is that the investigation of the Coffmangate scandal, which according to some legal experts meets the technical definition of felony criminal extortion in Colorado law, is still continuing. Last Friday night, though, according to photos we were forwarded over the weekend, a number of the principal figures in the Coffmangate scandal threw themselves a party! With House still in office and the Coffmangate co-conspirators in disarray, we’ll be damned if we can tell you what they were celebrating.

Perhaps they decided to go with self-incriminating instead.

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From left: Coffmangate instigator Tom Tancredo, Steve House’s alleged mistress Julie Naye, Republican activist Kim Hertzfeldt, and “Tea Party”-aligned former GOP state party official Lana Fore. Hertzfeldt’s name has surfaced several times as part of the pro-Ted Harvey faction that sought Steve House’s ouster.

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Here’s Lana Fore, ex-Pueblo County GOP chair and principal Coffmangate actor Becky Mizel, and Tancredo cheek-to-cheek. And look over Tancredo’s shoulder–why, isn’t that sitting GOP Rep. Clarice Navarro? Guess she’s not planning on much help from the state party next year!

But the photo you’re really waiting to see, the one that ties the whole menagerie together, is after the jump:

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