About mamajama55

Teacher in northern Colorado. Nosy, curious, persistent.

Latest Maketa Indictments Highlight Problem of Police Domestic Violence

Terry Maketa, former El Paso County Sheriff, was indicted Wednesday, May 25, 2016, by a Grand Jury on six felony counts, including extortion, tampering with a witness, and second-degree kidnapping.  The latter two charges stem from Maketa and codefendants Paula Presley and Juan San Agustin intimidating a witness to keep her from testifying against her abuser, a deputy under Maketa’s supervision.

From Benzel and Sun’s Gazette reporting:

After a sheriff’s deputy was arrested in August 2013 for assaulting his girlfriend, Maketa directed the woman to recant her story and tell investigators she “instigated the incident in order to allow (the deputy) to get his job back,” the indictment alleges. When the woman, a civilian jail employee, followed his instructions and provided a false confession about being “the aggressor,” she was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, assault and driving under the influence.

“Detective Lisa Kaiser, the interviewing and arresting officer, did not believe she had probable cause to arrest (the woman) for either crime, but arrested (her) because the order came from her superiors,” the indictment says.

Maketa was booked and bonded out of jail on Thursday, May 26 .  Maketa had resigned in disgrace in 2014, ahead of a recall effort, amidst charges of sexual misconduct, corruption, and incompetence in his office.

Terry Maketa's mugshot

Maketa’s 5/25/16 mugshot  Credit : Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office

Maketa was one of the so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” involved in a lawsuit against Colorado’s stricter gun laws, including magazine size limits and background check requirements.

Colorado media outlets have capitalized on the lurid sexual content of the Maketa case – Westword,   the Denver Post, and the Colorado Springs Gazette have all run stories emphasizing the conduct of the “Shirtless Sheriff”. We’re all sick of that steamy shower selfie, so, please, Pols, don’t post it in this diary.

Your local media will not emphasize this point:  Maketa (and co-defendents Presley and San Agustin) threatened,  arrested, and  jailed a witness to keep her from testifying about abuse she had received from one of Maketa’s deputies. This conduct was and is part of a system which makes it virtually impossible for victims of domestic abuse to get justice, if their batterer happens to be a cop. 

Some chilling statistics from Purple Berets, a support organization for victims of police domestic violence:

  • Domestic violence is 2 to 4 times more common in police families than in the general population. In two separate studies, 40% of police officers self-report that they have used violence against their domestic partners within the last year. In the general population, it’s estimated that domestic violence occurs in about 10% of families.

  • In a nationwide survey of 123 police departments, 45% had no specific policy for dealing with officer-involved domestic violence.

  • In that same survey, the most common discipline imposed for a sustained allegation of domestic violence was counseling. Only 19% of departments indicated that officers would be terminated after a second sustained allegation of domestic violence.

  • In San Diego, a national model in domestic violence prosecution, the City Attorney typically prosecutes 92% of referred domestic violence cases, but only 42% of cases where the batterer is a cop.

Diane Wetendorf, a victim’s advocate and author , has written a Handbook for Victims of Police Domestic Violence. In her introduction, she states:

If your abuser is an officer of the law, you may be afraid to:

  • Call the police — He is the police.
  • Go to a shelter — He knows where the shelters are located.
  • Have him arrested — Responding officers may invoke the code of silence.
  • Take him to court — It’s your word against that of an officer, and he knows the system.
  • Drop the charges — You could lose any future credibility and protection.
  • Seek a conviction — He will probably lose his job and retaliate against you.

Yes, it’s disgusting that Maketa and his playmates were schtupping each other and playing games on the taxpayer’s dime. It’s deplorable that they hid corruption and cost overruns in their department. The citizens of El Paso County have been better served since Maketa resigned and Sheriff Bill Elder took over the Department.

Hypocrisy reigns with the “Focus on the Family” crowd in the Springs – conspicuously absent has been any comment condemning Maketa’s conduct from Darryl Glenn, Gordon Klingenschmitt, Doug Lamborn, or any other Tea Party Republicans from El Paso County. Glenn was one of the EPCO commissioners who overlooked Maketa’s shenanigans, including the “open secret” of his sexual liasons within his department, for two years, and approved all of his budgets. It wasn’t until the scandals hit the press that Glenn and the other commissioners finally asked Maketa to resign.

Justice has been served cold – three years cold. For Maketa and his cohorts, and Darryl Glenn and the other EPCO Commissioners who ignored the red flags and kept on approving Maketa’s budgets, who perpetuated the Good Old Boy network by silencing victims, covering up for abusers, and maintaining a Blue Wall between victims of abuse and safety, cold justice is as good as it’s going to get, and better late than never. For Priscilla Samento, wife of retired Canon City police officer, it was just plain too late, when in 2014, her husband killed her, then himself.  That’s too often the case with police families. Police own and use guns, and victims are twelve times more likely to be killed in domestic abuse if their partner owns a firearm.

Readers, I ask you to be aware of the plight of victims of police domestic violence, and help  if you can.

Cartoon re: police domestic violence

Graphic from Purple Berets

Fact Sheet:  the National Center for Women and Policing

American Bar Association: Domestic Violence Statistics



Rescheduled Pols meetup Sat 4/23 2 pm at Jezebel’s in Denver

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

So we’re trying this again. Who’s in? If a later time works better, speak up. The weather is supposed to be good. 2 pm is still in time for brunch. They also have a happy hour.

Jezebel’s is at 32nd and Tejon in Highland. Great food, great atmosphere.  I’ll be there. I think (notaskinny)cook will. Anyone else?

Rescheduled: Pols meetup, Sat 4/23 in Denver 2pm at Jezebel’s

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Meet other Polsters at Jezebel’s (32nd & Tejon) in north Denver tomorrow. 303-433-3060

Meet Michael Bowman, and try to convince him to run for office. Meet the ever-charming (notaskinny)cook. Tell mamajama55 how to really fix education. Buy Duke a drink to show there’s no hard feelings over the Sanders /Clinton fracas. Or just come to enjoy the fabulous food and drink at Jezebel’s (run by fellow polster Whiskey Lima Juliet) , meet some congenial souls, and have a great time. See ya!

Homophobic Williams to run for Chaps’ old House seat

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Constituents of House District 15 in El Paso County have been represented for almost two years  by a homophobic, gaffe-prone politician with ethical challenges:  Dr. Gordon Klingenschmitt, aka “Dr. Chaps“. Now, unless mass sanity strikes, they will probably be represented by another gay-bashing, hot-tempered, inexperienced  politician: David O. Williams.

“Chaps” announced that he would not run again for HD15; he is now running against Bob Gardner for  SD12,term-limited Senate President Cadman’s district. Chaps’ long-suffering constituents should have had a reprieve from embarrassing stories about their duly elected representative. Klingenschmitt’s greatest hits have included claiming that a brutal assault on a pregnant woman was God’s punishment, saying that Rep. Jared Polis wants to behead Christians, and being under IRS investigation for possible  financial misconduct.

david o williams

David O. Williams, candidate for HD15

Unfortunately, House District 15’s new Republican nominee, David O. Williams, looks to be potentially every bit as embarrassing as Chaps. Homophobia? Check. Lack of elected experience? Check. Hot temper – Shoot first, then aim? Check. Dubious financial history, only ever employed in his father-in-law’s business, kicked out of the only two positions he’s ever been elected to ? Check. Add to this access to weapons and $2,000 from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in 12/2013, and EPCO HD15 voters may have another embarrassingly rocky two years ahead of them.

David Williams is the son-in-law of his employer,  Doyle McAlister, who was a registered sex offender in 2013.  McAlister’s company, MKW Global Sourcing, is primarily in the Chinese export-import business.  MKW employs Williams as Program Manager.

Williams ran for HD15  in 2014, but Dr. Chaps got the nod from the El Paso County delegates. Williams’  homophobic behavior is well known, and has included booing a “Log Cabin” gay delegate; threatening someone else with an AR15; discriminating against funding of gay clubs as UCCS Student Body President, and fostering a climate of gay-bashing and bullying during his tenure, because of which he was finally impeached.


Klingenschmitt on the Run from CGW, IRS Inquiries

(Run Chaps, run! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE 3/13/16 The Gazette ran an article by Megan Schrader, which Klingenschmitt claims “clears me of all wrongdoing”.  Schrader’s article goes deeply into Chaps’ Pray in Jesus Name/ Persuade the World Ministries nonprofit finances, finding that Klingenschmitt spends about 75% of his donations on fundraising expenses – to Fund Raising Strategies, Inc, whose CEO is Klingenschmitt’s old friend Bruce Eberle. Eberle has worked for decades in the direct mail fundraising business. His various businesses market lists of conservative donors, and raise millions for right wing candidates and causes.

Questions still not answered by the Gazette article:

  • Why does Chaps have no Board for his nonprofit organization? Most nonprofits have a Board of Directors to guard against abuses and provide oversight – Klingenschmitt is the only CEO and is accountable to no one.
  • Why are there no grants made to any of the charities he said that he has raised money for? (the orphanage in Harissa, India, among others)
  • See Klingenschmitt’s Persuade the World 2014 tax return, below
  • Persuade the World ministries 2014 Schedule )
  • Why is there still an obvious conflict between the tax-free nonprofit PJIN show, and the clearly political guests, causes, and messages Klingenschmitt promotes on his shows?

Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt fled down a Capitol corridor Wednesday, invoking the aid of a Capitol guard to protect him from the probing questions of  Colorado Government Watch’s Dede Laugesen. Video follows:

Here is CGW’s report:

Confronted on camera at the State Capitol Monday with questions surrounding his controversial, tax-exempt charity, state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt shut down the attempted interview and had state troopers eject a Colorado Government Watch team from the public building.

Flanked by a uniformed Colorado State Patrol officer, the first-term Colorado Springs legislator refused an interview when approached outside the chamber of the state House of Representatives by CoGW Executive Director Dede Laugesen. Klingenschmitt then stormed off as Laugesen called out questions about whether the lawmaker was using his nationwide nonprofit religious ministry—which has raised more than $1 million since 2010—to drum up business for his parallel for-profit operation.

The state trooper blocked Laugesen and an associate from following Klingenschmitt—into a common area used by the public on the State Capitol’s second floor—and he ushered them out of the building.

As Klingenschmitt makes his hasty exit, Laugesen also asks him why his charity has no board or any other officers, and she notes there appear to be no tax documents or other records substantiating his claims to have raised money for an orphanage in India. He does not respond.

Klingenschmitt’s Persuade the World Ministries, also known as Pray in Jesus Name—a 501(c)(3) Colorado nonprofit corporation whose only officer is Klingenschmitt—took in more than $850,000 in tax-deductible contributions in 2014 and over $1 million since 2010, its latest tax returns show.

The operation has been under scrutiny for some time.

Among other things, it is the subject of a separate inquiry by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office following a complaint filed with that agency by Colorado Government Watch last fall, alleging violations of Colorado’s Charitable Solicitation Act. Colorado Government Watch also recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, calling for an investigation and audit of the operation. Klingenschmitt has declined to disclose donors and other details of his nonprofit operation.

Klingenschmitt, who also hosts a show as a televangelist on a national satellite TV network, has brushed aside our inquiries about his for-profit operations and how they tie in to his nonprofit activities. Most recently, he has not responded to our public letter calling on him to disclose his latest tax returns to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for public inspection, as provided by law.

Readers, please note that this is based on painstaking research and writing I did in April of last year. Colorado Government Watch is welcome to it, but it would be nice if they would credit my work.

Klingenschmitt’s taxes and money will be difficult for any except the IRS or a government agency to sort out – Diener Consultants handled Klingenschmitt’s PJIN donations since at least 2011- 2014.  Diener is the organization most well known for vacuuming up the donations of gullible conservatives, and making them disappear, as they did with some poor sod’s $150,000 contributed for creating a non-existent fence along the border. Now Klingenschmitt’s fundraising is handled by Fund Raising Strategies, Inc, headed by Bruce Eberle. Eberle also has a dubious reputation for suckering gullible conservatives. He was involved with Americans for Tax Reform, and was integral to Florida’s effort to certify the dubious Bush “win” in 2000, through his direct mail lists used by

I understand that Colorado Government Watch has their own agenda – which, I think, is cleaning up some of the rampant corruption in El Paso County Republican circles, and that they hope to replace corrupt Republicans with clean(er) ones. Although that’s not my agenda, I applaud them for their efforts.

For the rest, it’s just entertaining watching Chaps run from the cameras.

State of the Union Open Thread

Polsters,  this is President Obama’s final State of the Union address. You can watch it live here. on PBS, or here on Huffpost. He is expected to urge Democratic candidates to carry on his policies, and he is expected to critique the hate and fear mongering from the right.

State of the Union, with Ryan dyspepsia.

It’s not known if he will talk about the ten American sailors being held captive in Iran.

The Congressional Black Caucus chose to make a statement by lining the aisles to greet and cheer for the President. Knowing that the right wing already has their talking points tweeting out about “weakness”, “ineffectiveness”, etc, they want to stand up for this President, and what he has managed to get done.

Like a good professor, Obama tells his audience what questions he will answer.

  1. How do we give everyone a shot at opportunity in this new economy?
  2. How do we get technology to work for us and not against us, especially given climate change?
  3. How do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman?
  4. How can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us, and not what’s worst?

On the economy, he touts the fact that the American economy is strong, the jobless rate is down. He promotes the free pre-K for all, two free years of community college. He sounds a lot like Bernie Sanders.

Health insurance benefits should be portable, which was the point of the Affordable Care Act. And no, he’s not promoting a single payer program, even with the risk-free lame duck status.  A shame.

On technology, he announces a new National Health Institute research program to cure cancer. Joe Biden is in charge of “getting it done”.

He says that if you still want to debate the science of climate change, “Have at it. But you’ll be pretty lonely.” He’s promoting clean energy tech big time. Good call.

“In fields from Arizona to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than coal.”

“We’ve gotta accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources.”

Wow. It sounds like he’s advocating for a carbon fee. Go Obama.

So on to safety. “These days, we’re threatened less by evil empires, and more by failed states.” Nice.

Um, none of the generals in the audience is applauding. That can’t be a good thing.

“We don’t need to build up ISIL. We need to stop promoting the lie that somehow they are representative of one of the world’s largest religions.”

Paul Ryan is practicing his skeptical pose. He tries tilting his head first to one side, then the other. Now he’s trying a chin stroke. Perhaps he misses his beard.

“If you doubt the United States determination, or mine, just ask Osama Bin Laden. Ask the leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Ask the leader of the Benghazi attack.”

He reminds us that US forces saved millions of lives by halting the spread of Ebola in Africa.

Now he’s promoting TPP.  A reminder that he is a corporate centrist, and not a union supporter, in spite of the support unions have given him.

Reminder that he opened relations with Cuba – yes, another accomplishment.

He claims that we are on the verge of ending HIV/AIDS, and wants to do the same with malaria.  Can this possibly be true?

On to the meat of how our politics need to bring out the best, and not the worst, in us.

Trey Gowdy looks like the ghost of David Bowie with acid reflux. He is not feeling this “poltics bring out the best” deal.

A plea to stop targeting Muslims and immigrants.

Up to now, he’s been Reasonable Obama, pleading for sense and rationality from the irrational. Now on to the rhetoric of the Obama we know and voted for. Winding it all up with “We the people”. All of us. A better politics doesn’t mean we agree on everything.

His basic themes of unity and common interest, bipartisanship, the basic decency of the American people.

“Our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get all the attention.” I have no doubt that a President with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have managed to bridge the divide. And I’m gonna keep trying to get better, as long as I hold this office.”

“We have to reduce the influence of money in politics”.

“We need to make it easier to vote, not harder. We need to modernize elections. This is America. We want to make it easier for people to participate.”

Changes in our political process – not just who gets elected, but how they get elected, depends on you. (paraphrased)

I’m convinced that Paul Ryan has an itch on the back of his neck, and is trying to scratch it by rolling his head back and forth.

Our future depends on your willingness to uphold your duties as a citizen. To vote, speak out, especially for the weak. Especially for the vulnerable. We need every American to stay active in our public life, not just at election time, so that our public life reflects the decency that I see every day.

Now he’s evoking the diverse American lives  – the student, the teacher, the protester, the police officer, the boss, the worker, etc.

Now he sounds like Walt Whitman, evoking the America we love. Clear-eyed, big-hearted, optimistic that unconditional love will bring us through.

And he’s winding it up.

Well, at the risk of rotten cabbages flung from the left and right, I liked this speech. I’m proud of our President, with all of his shortcomings and might-have beens. I think that he has been a leader who has kept us from going over Bush’s brink, has managed to buy us a little more time to save life on the planet.

Fort Morgan’s Cargill Plant Fires 150 Muslim Employees in Dispute over Religious Freedom

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

On December 23, 2015, Cargill Meat Solutions Plant in Fort Morgan fired 150 mostly Somali Muslim employees after forbidding Islamic prayers at work, saying, “If you want to pray, go home”. The employees are not eligible to be rehired for six months.

Screen capture of ABC news video

Cargill employees fired for praying at work. Attribution: Denver Channel, 12/30/15

The meat processors, some of whom had worked at the plant for 10 years, had been allowed, under long-standing policy, to take five minutes to pray during their own unpaid lunch and break times, in a “reflection room” provided by the plant. This policy, in place since 2009,  allowed its employees the freedom to pray at work, and allowed the company to produce meat products profitably and on time. Six hundred of the 2100 workers at Cargill’s Fort Morgan plant are Somali Muslims.

Then, suddenly, according to CAIR’s Hussein, Cargill cracked down and stopped allowing Muslim prayer at work. Members of other faiths, presumably, are still allowed to use the company “reflection room” to pray during break time.


Guandolo, you fool, I like hummus, not HAMAS….

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

John Guandolo.

John Guandolo.

John Guandolo, professional Muslim-hater, is pumping up the pity party. After his “Understanding the Threat” presentation at the Centennial Gun Club didn’t get quite the attendance he would have liked, he blamed HAMAS. According to Guandolo the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Southern Poverty Law Center, and anyone else who published articles calling him an “Islamophobe”….including me – is working with HAMAS.

Yes, dear readers, your very own middle-aged schoolmarm blogger is now, according to Mr.Guandolo, in league with HAMAS. And I thought I had only expressed a preference for hummus. Because hummus is yummus.

In fact, I did call Guandolo an Islamophobe, which means someone with an irrational fear of Islam. I don’t know how I could have been more precise. However, his headline blared:

UTT Trains Hundreds in Colorado Despite Efforts by Hamas

Guandolo falsely contends that Islamophobia is a capital crime under Sharia law, and that therefore, his life is in danger. He also claims to have called the FBI to defend him from these “threats”, but, alas,

Calls and emails to the FBI by UTT concerning these threats continue to be ignored.

(Perhaps it has something to do with him shagging a witness and getting kicked out of the FBI?)

I never received any confirmation from the Denver Police Department about whether or not they were granting officers inservice credit for attending Mr. Guandolo’s “training” on how to racially profile Muslims. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman never returned my calls or emails, either.


Denver Police asked to Boycott anti-Muslim “Training” in Centennial

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver Police are being asked not to attend an anti-Muslim “Training” session tonight, put on by known bigot and Islamophobe John Guandolo.

RMGO’s flyer for the Centennial Gun Club event August 13-15

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, put out this press release today:

In an email sent today to a number of Denver-area police departments, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper wrote:

“CAIR formally requests that your department investigate whether or not any officers will take Mr. Guandolo’s training and whether you believe the biased and agenda-driven presentations he offers will be of any benefit to your officers or to the communities they serve.”

Earlier this year, CAIR welcomed the withdrawal of an FBI representative from an event in Texas that was initially sponsored by the anti-Muslim hate group ACT! for America and featured Guandolo.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is sponsoring these “training sessions” at the Centennial Gun Club tonight, August 13, 14, and 15. I wrote to Attorney General Cynthia Coffman July 24, asking her to prohibit law enforcement from attending training to learn how to racially profile people, when I published this diary about Guandolo’s event. I never received a reply. Today, I called Denver Police Public Information to find out their response to the CAIR email on indoctrination of their officers. Again, no response. 

Guandolo makes a living spreading hate and fear of Muslims.

Southern Poverty Law Center considers Guandolo to be a spokesperson for hate groups.  Guandolo, kicked out of the FBI for having a sexual affair with a witness, claims that “Muslims do not have First Amendment rights to anything.” Fellow bigot Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy is worried about Somali nationals packing meat in Greeley; At the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Gaffney said:

I don’t know about you, but it kind of creeps me out that they are getting jobs in the food supply of the United States.

– Southern Poverty Law Center, Disgraced Former FBI Agent….

Four other states – Kansas, Texas, Arizona, and Virginia –  have prohibited these nuts from spreading their views, at least to police officers and public officials on the public’s payroll. Guandolo’s organization certainly is a “hate group”, and should not be spreading anti-Muslim bigotry and racial / religious profiling in Colorado.

Bigots, Birchers, and Islamophobes in Colorado Mainstream Now

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Groups promoting hatred and fear of Muslims, gays, immigrants, unionized workers, and people of color are openly meeting in Colorado. These meetings are being promoted by mainstream Republican activists, and are aimed at influencing policy by informing local law enforcement and legislators of the  “threats” these groups pose. The John Birch Society had an Executive Dinner in Denver July 24.  RMGO is promoting an anti-Muslim training session for law enforcement, community and the public Aug. 13-15.

John Birch Society- the Founding Bigots

The John Birch Society met July 24, at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in North Denver.  Many mainstream GOP activists planned to attend, according to their Facebook pages. The John Birch Society (JBS) has a long history of racism and religious bigotry in the United States, and was where the Koch Brothers learned how to prey upon the fears of the ignorant.

In the JBS world view, communists are everywhere.

The JBS had its origins in the McCarthy era, as an anti-Communist group.  “Birchers” preached that all Civil Rights Movement leaders and actions were Communist-inspired. My father, an editorial writer for the Post, used to rail about the “Goddamn Birchers” who would oppose every piece of civil rights or anti-poverty legislation in Denver, and tried to suppress his editorials in the 1960s.

Although JBS leadership now wears three-piece suits, and meets at $50 a plate fundraising dinners in nice hotel ballrooms, their messaging has changed very little: “Those people” (leftists, feminists, unionists, environmentalists, gays, Muslims, the UN, Democrats, people of color promoting Obama’s “race war”) are conspiring to take away your American way of life,  and they must be stopped, preferably with a hefty donation to the JBS. 

The JBS contributes heavily to “Right to Work” and other ALEC- generated legislation.  Colorado legislators are rated  on the JBS “Freedom Index”. Rated at 70% or higher: Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn, Scott Tipton,  Cory Gardner, and Ken Buck . It will be interesting to see which of these Republican politicians attended the JBS dinner.

 John Guandalo: RMGO sponsored workshops August 13-15 on “Understanding the Threat” of the Global Islamic Movement


Who’s Perry Haney, Again?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Perry Haney, running again to be a “career politician”.

So who is this Perry Haney guy who’s going to challenge Morgan Carroll for the CD6 Democratic nomination?

1. A Chiropractor, who has had his medical license restricted in two different states (IA and CO) because of unnecessary massage therapy, and overcharging patients. Pols, 12/13/1, quoting from the IA board findings.

2. A “moderate Democrat” who has donated $16,000,mostly to Democratic legislators or committees since 2009. He contributed to Scott McInnnis’ run for Governor in ’09. TRACER, contribution search.

3. Someone with no facebook presence at all, as Nancy Cronk noted in the #1 post. He seems to get around to Democratic fundraisers, and is mentioned by others, but has no social media presence of his own. This always raises a red flag for me; I interpret it as the track of someone who doesn’t want to be bound by past history. Facebook search

4. A perennial candidate for CD6,  Perry ran in 2012, and loaned himself $370,000 to do so. Pols, 2/2012 article

5. Haney flirted with the idea of running in CD3 in 2012. He ended up running, then dropping out of the running for CD6 , after he received a campaign finance complaint from Call’s CRCC . Haney had  raised substantial monies without committing himself as a candidate. Pols, Legal briefs on file with FEC.

6. A guy with good credit, apparently, as he took out a $1 million loan to self-finance the CD6 campaign. FEC page for Perry Haney. Morgan Carroll has no finances on file with the FEC as of July 17, 2015.

7. A candidate that Colorado Republicans love to write about (because otherwise, you see, they would have to write about Morgan Carroll). Colorado Peak Politics.

8. A candidate with no identifiable issues or positions, except that he’s “tired of career politicians in Washington”, and “thinks CD6 deserves better”. I agree.  To start with, we need a real Democrat, not just a Republican Lite contender like Perry Haney.

Because Elections Matter – Why We Should Care about “ChairGate”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado GOP chair Ryan Call, AG Cynthia Coffman.

Former Colorado GOP chair Ryan Call, AG Cynthia Coffman.

In the Politichicks article “Sex, Lies, and the GOP“, Kathryn Porter has given readers an explanation for why Marilyn Marks and Becky Mizel were motivated to force House to resign. I can’t speak for the motivations of others who may or may not have been involved, but I contend that Marks and Mizel needed for Steve House to step down as Chair of the Colorado GOP, in order to keep their positions of influence within the GOP, and within Colorado’s conservative base.

Quoting from Porter’s article:

One of those [Steve House’s] critics is elections integrity expert, Marilyn Marks who shared her experience as a member of a state party elections oversight committee. She said that some members walked off due to the inexplicable decision to replace the committee vice-chair and the invitation to include county clerks—holding different agendas—whom the committee was seeking to hold accountable.

Steve House, as Chair, chose to open up the party’s Elections Oversight Committee, of which both Marks and Mizel were members. He was seeking to have a less antagonistic, less litigious relationship with the County Election Clerks.  However, antagonism and lawsuits against the Clerks, complaints to the Secretary of State,  are how Marks and Mizel roll. This is their schtick, their raison d’etre. In the narrative Marks has carefully built up for the last few years, no public election official of any party can be trusted. The election system is full of gaping holes and opportunities for fraud, and only she, the “election watchdog“, can protect vulnerable votes.


Follow the Money – a GOP ChairGate Theory

By now, every political news junkie in Colorado knows that there was an attempted “coup” to force the Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party to resign. On Monday night,  June 15, 2015, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, and Pueblo County GOP Chair Becky Mizel met with GOP Party Chair Steve House, and asked him to resign, because of unspecified “concerns” that had been raised by unspecified persons. House initially said that he would resign, only to withdraw his resignation that same night.

All along, the timing of “ChairGate”  has seemed suspicious to me. Only last Friday, June 12,  Tyler Harber, a former GOP  operative, was sentenced to two years in jail for illegally coordinating campaign contributions between a super PAC, Harden Global LLC, and a congressional campaign in Virginia. Harber worked extensively  in Colorado, with the state Republican party. As we know, sometimes prisoners try to make deals – they implicate others to get lighter sentences. Who or what did Tyler Harber know regarding coordinating of finances with the state GOP? Probably quite a bit. Will he negotiate rather than quietly going to jail? Probably.

Another timing coincidence was the  May 31 announcement by new GOP Chairman, Steve House, that he intended to hire Tyler Hart as his Executive Director. This is exactly when all of the schznit started to hit.

Tyler Hart* is a business pro. She knows finances inside and out. Perhaps what House was saying in those private meetings that got so many people so scared was something along the lines of , “Tyler will check out the books. She will come up with a new system which will make sure that we never need to worry about mixing candidate monies with issue committee monies, soft with hard money,** or anything inappropriate or illegal. We won’t have to worry about a second Tyler Harber scandal.”

Organizations don’t like when someone comes in and starts screwing around with how they organize their money. It would be like me coming into your kitchen, opening all your cupboards, and saying, “You’re doing it all wrong. Now this is how you set up your spices alphabetically, and by the way, we’re going to throw away the ones that are more than a decade old, and what is that smell? ” It would piss you off. 

Spices before organization.

Spices – before

Because next, they might tackle the piles of paper on your desk, and you know exactly what each pile signifies, and if someone tries to organize it, it’s gonna mess up your whole system. When Becky Mizel tried to “organize” some confidential election documents, it really irked Clerk Ortiz.

Former Senator Ted Harvey is the Mizel/ Coffman/ Tancredo preferred candidate for Executive Director. Ted Harvey is also a finance whiz. He’s a whiz at fundraising for bogus causes (Stop Hillary! Draft Newt! Stop Pelosi!) and laundering the money, while keeping most of it for salaries and “operating expenses”. In other words, Harvey is almost a crook, a fundraiser who has been able to shuffle money around and keep it just this side of legal. That’s who Mizel, Coffman, and Tancredo want running the state Republican party – someone who brings in cash, moves it around, makes it seem legal, and has so far gotten away with it.

They really don’t want a genuine financial systems expert, particularly one as high-powered and legit as Hart seems to be, coming in and moving all their damn spices around and screwing with their systems just to keep the candidate and issue monies separated, and everyone on the right side of the law. That would f*ck up their system! Keep Tyler Hart out of the damn books!

If it takes forcing House to resign, oh well, it would be worth it. As far as the accusations of infidelity, and the vague threats of an unspecified lawsuit, I read that as  “how Becky Mizel rolls”.  Ask Clerk Ortiz, who has been hit with lawsuit after lawsuit from the Pueblo GOP for nonexistent election fraud violations. Mizel is one of the most ruthless people in Colorado politics. Luckily for Coloradans, she is also one of the most incompetent.  She must have thought that threatening Steve House with some old BS about infidelity that probably happened years ago would be enough to make him resign, taking Tyler Hart and her unwelcome financial oversight with her.

It’s just a theory, but it does fit the timing well.



* Yes, I know that Tyler Harber and Tyler Hart look and sound alike. Harber sounds like “jailbird”. “Hart” sounds like “Hard core”. Helpful?

**For people who want a basic primer on campaign finance, I recommend Money in Politics 101.

The main thing to remember about politics and finance these days is that it is always “bigger on the inside.” With so much SuperPAC dark money flooding into swing-state Colorado these days, following the money has become like delving into Mary Poppins’ magic carpetbag. You never know what might pop out.

A campaign finance metaphor




Beer Wars: Coal, Water, Smelt, and the Great Beer Boycott of 2015

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Forget about buying New Belgium Craft Beer in Craig, Colorado. Most of the liquor stores, and some of the bars, just aren’t selling it anymore. The boycott is a reaction to New Belgium’s support of the work of the Wild Earth Guardians (WEG). WEG has successfully promoted an environmental lawsuit halting expansion of the ColoWyo coal mine in Moffat County near Craig, and some local coal miners fear that their livelihoods will be sacrificed for an environmental cause or an endangered species. In an article in the Craig Daily Press, Lori Gillam, an owner of Stockmen’s Liquor store, said, “We pulled those beers because their support of WildEarth Guardians… who said their ultimate goal is to shut down coal mines. Craig is a coal mine town.”

These fears are being relentlessly inflamed in the right wing blogosphere, and on right wing talk radio. On June 9 and 10, Ken Clark’s Freedom 360 show was all about the so-called “War on Coal” in Craig, Colorado. 

New Belgian Beers on Tap

New Belgium Beers on tap, from National Journal article by Matt Berman. Photo by Quan Ha



“They’re coming after Colorado!,” Ken Clark breathlessly reported at 8:39 minutes into his 6/9/15 Freedom 560 show. From 5:23 to 8:20, Clark made the following statements about Wild Earth Guardians:

  “These are the same folks that created all this havoc in California. [They] .. are the whack jobs that shut down all of the irrigation to these farmlands in order to protect that smelt, that fish. . . They pretty much killed California and their farm production.  Fresno County – the unemployment rate’s 47%. These are the same guys. . . .They have set their sights on Colorado. They are coming here.  And now they’re coming after us.” 


Factually, Clark is just plain wrong here, although he wisely left wiggle room by saying that his “friend told him so”, and he plans to “check it out”. Fresno’s unemployment rate in 2014 was 11%, not 47%. California is obviously suffering from drought, and farmers, tourists, developers, businesses, and wildlife are all struggling and negotiating for the use of the same diminishing pool of potable water. The only reference to environmental regulations and fish in the Fresno Bee article was the mention of how water is being kept in Lake Shasta to keep  salmon and trout alive. 


Koch –funded “Nonprofit” Stomps Down Hard on Health Care Initiative

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

You’ve probably never heard of Initiative 20….unless you listen to right wing talk radio, or hang out on right wing websites. Then, you might believe that Initiative 20 is a Communist plot to ration your health care, run all private insurors out of Colorado, take away your Medicaid, and generally make your life miserable.

Colorado Care? Yes!

Initiative 20, the ColoradoCareYes plan, is the beginning of the end of the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) in Colorado, and Koch-funded attack groups are trying to stop it before it begins.

Republicans, after having tried to repeal the ACA 54 times, (but still having no plan to replace it) should be rejoicing that a coalition of groups in Colorado, inspired by Senator Irene Aguilar, M.D, is promoting an alternative to the ACA.  I mean really…the end of mandates? The end of Obama’s name on your health care plan? No price discrimination against rural consumers? No deductibles? It’s a Tea Party dream!

In the original ACA legislation is an “innovation” provision, article 1332, which allows states to opt out of the ACA, if they can prove that their own programs have as good or better outcomes for consumers. The ColoradoCare plan as written would be simpler, more fair, and less expensive than the ACA.

Instead of rejoicing that Democrats are accomplishing their goal of replacing the ACA, however, Republican operatives and organizations quickly stomped on the rollout of Initiative 20 with a Koch-brothers funded website, and talk radio diatribes about how the ColoradoCareYES Initiative must be stopped.

Some background information: (more…)