About mamajama55

Teacher in northern Colorado. Nosy, curious, persistent.

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…)

Klingenschmitt Doesn’t Separate Political and Religious Money, either…

Rep. Gordon K. in Da Housse! (from GJK’s Facebook page)

(This is a reader diary promoted to the front page by Colorado Pols)

Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt from Colorado’s House District 15 just cannot remove his foot from his mouth. He also just cannot separate religious and political speech. Using scripture to explain horrible crimes, slandering of colleagues and organizations as terrorists, all stem from this basic conflation.

However, what I’m outlining here is how his campaign finances suffer from the entanglement of religion with politics. I will look at all three organizations Klingenschmitt owns or uses:

  1. GJK, Inc (his for-profit company),
  2. GordonforColorado, (his campaign committee),
  3. The Pray in Jesus Name/Persuade the World Ministries nonprofit. (PIJN/PTWM).

It’s not as gruesome and insensitive as his “God judges America /Ripping Women Open” comments, but just as horrifying if you believe, as our country’s founders did, as I do, in the separation of church and state.

Problem #1: The mysterious GJK, Inc. corporation

GJK as linked from the Pray in Jesus Name to Paypal “Donate to Political Work”
  •  GJK Inc, appears to be Klingenschmitt’s large, unregulated,  unaccountable cash stream from online donation buttons on the PJIN religious pages. This is illegal and unethical. 



[Lots more after the jump…]


War with ISIL: Discuss

You've seen or read about their snuff videos of captured journalists and humanitarians. I could have filled this post with horrifying images – but if you have right wing friends or acquaintances, your spam box is already filled with those posts, along with inflammatory rhetoric claiming that all Muslims in America secretly want to do the same things.  Muslims are being killed in America as crazed, deluded, armed "patriots" try to "defend America", terrifying peaceful refugees and innocent Muslim citizens.

You want ISIL stopped, degraded, destroyed, marginalized. Yet our own foreign policies, and those of our closest allies in the region, have allowed them to grow and thrive.  According to the latest report from BBC news, drone strikes and Kurdish resistance are barely containing ISIS/ISIL's advances.  This map shows the current state of IS – controlled territories and resources in the region.




ISIL has a budget of two billion and releases annual reports.

"It's the worst of all worlds: external funding from wealthy outside donors, state sponsorship from across the Persian Gulf, and the ability to raise large amounts of money locally," Zarate said.

Anonymous has successfully targeted the group's recruitment efforts. 

Thousands have been killed in our drone strikes which cost civilian lives and further polarize and radicalize neutral people.

Our "allies", i.e. the Saudi and other regimes, are not fighting against ISIS and ISIL, except with propaganda ( Al-Arabiya, owned by Murdoch chum Prince Al Waleed. The network was shut down after only one day on the air, following pressure from the royal family. So much for freedom of the press in Saudi Arabia.)

We all remember how  George W Bush lied us into a decade of fruitless war in Afghanistan and Iraq. ISIL recruitment grew as a result of Amerian and allied torture, deaths of half a million civilians, and now Al-Qaeda branches are firmly established in many countries, including lawless Somalia.

We don't want to get lied to again about nonexistent WMDs or hypothetical mushroom clouds. ISIS has no nuclear weapons – yet.. We don't want to be stupid sheep again. We don't want to "break" the region further. Yet something must be done about ISIL.

President Obama has asked Congress to authorize military force, after using military force for the last five years in drone strikes. "Boots on the ground" and special attack forces such as SEAL teams are specifically not ruled out in the proposed resolution.

Will political posturing be the extent of the actions of Congress? Are the possible impacts on the 2016 elections the primary concern of politicians?

What will your newly elected Senators and Representatives do?

What do you want them to do?





Latest Right Wing Fantasy: NAACP Bombing a “Hoax”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Charles C. Johnson wants attention. He wants digital pageviews on his website**' so that he can keep promoting himself as some kind of conservative wonderboy crusader for the truth. He isn't trusted among credible journalists along the political spectrum. He tends to regard morals, ethics and truth to be insignificant obstacles when pursuing a breaking news story. And if the truth isn't flashy enough, Johnson will fix it up until it is sexy enough to bring readers to his site.

Charles Johnson, of, interviewed on Redstate 12/21/14 Johnson's latest attempt to fire up the right wing blogosphere is his claim that the Tuesday, January 6, 2015 attempted firebombing of the NAACP headquarters in Colorado Springs was a hoax. His story has been shared throughout the right wing blogosphere – Twitchy, Drudge, Newsmax, and dozens more are gleefully proclaiming that the NAACP faked the bombing.

Johnson, a blogger based in Fresno, California, (pictured on Redstate, above), used the Google Earth program to find an existing dark splotch on the NAACP HQ which existed before the attempted bombing. See Google Earth screen cap, right.

However, video from  the Democracy Now story clearly shows two marks, one angling upward, one downward. The Blogger littlegreenfootballs has a nice summation of the Google Earth "evidence". Mark Reiss' photo from the Gazette, reprinted in Jesse Paul's Denver Post story, also clearly shows both marks next to each other. (below)


Discuss: Cyberwar, North Korea, Sony’s “Interview” Fiasco

(Hackers suck – promoted by Colorado Pols)

"The Interview" was not a great movie. It appears to have been a fantasy ammosexual buddy movie, aimed at those panting, sweaty hordes who know what real he-man American foreign policy should be if that wuss Obama were not in charge.  By Golly, North Korea would be sorry they went in the wrong mom's basement, futhermucker.

That said, the swift withdrawal of the movie from scheduled Christmas theatre showings, in the total and complete capitulation of Sony pictures to the hacking of its servers, sets a chilling precedent for free speech.

Why did Sony make the movie in the first place? How would we react if a rival nuclear power attempted a holiday film about assassinating our President?  Domestic white hate groups fantasize about this constantly, but usually not on widely distributed video. I have to think that a foreign, say, Bollywood, blockbuster on this topic would not be kindly received.

What were they thinking? Did Sony get what they deserved? Should we mourn that we will not see "The Interview" while Kim Jong Un is in charge? Did they do the right thing in cancelling all showings?

Here's a link to Ari Melber and Lawrence O'Donnell's discussion on MSNBC if you need background.

Most of youtube is also chilled – Hardly a trailer to be seen. ..all are now "private". Over-reaction much? I haven't seen mass freakout like this since 9/11.




Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Pueblo Courthouse

(Why don't they just go to hell? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

SUNDAY POLS UPDATE: Pueblo Chieftain:

The release uses a number of derogatory terms toward the gay community and specifically mentions Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz saying he, “Couldn’t move fast enough to start marrying fags,” and use that as an impetus for their planned protest.

The release also states, “Same-sex marriage dooms nations,” and that Pueblo County “foams at the mouth” to marry gay people, among other things.

The Westboro Baptist Church group routinely travels across the country picketing against gay marriage and other highly contentious things such as military funerals, and are often met with much opposition wherever they go.

Upon hearing the news, citizens of Pueblo mobilized on Facebook and began making plans for a counter-protest for that day.


Westboro Baptist Church, well-known for picketing the funerals of soldiers to protest "gay-friendly" military policies, is now scheduling a picket December 29 at the Pueblo Courthouse to protest the hundreds of gay and lesbian couples married by County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz.

The founder of WBC , Fred Phelps, passed away last spring , and his family members have been leaving the church.  Nevertheless, there are apparently a core of true believers willing to travel to Pueblo to keep their church's name, and their homophobic cause, in the news. 

The language of this flyer is of someone clearly both fascinated and repelled by gay sex. "Crack in the dyke", "forcing this….sin down the throat", "angel-gagging drivel", etc. 

I predict a hostile reception for WBC, and that the number of counter-protesters at the Pueblo Courthouse will far outnumber the WBC haters. Pueblo, is, by and large, a tolerant, live-and-let-live town, which elected an openly lesbian House Representative, Daneya Esgar,  this year. Colorado legislators passed a bill allowing civil unions in 2013, and it took effect last May. 

Puebloans are also unlikely to allow an organization which pickets the funerals of soldiers to publicize itself in the Home of Heroes.Further, the WBC picket attempt is likely to alienate Republican moderate and independent voters, who have only reluctantly been dragged along on the Pueblo GOP quest to smear Clerk Ortiz, accusing him of voter fraud and discrimination, in actions and lawsuits. The WBC picket will, I predict, be a gigantic, oozing black eye for the Pueblo GOP. 

So y'all come on down to Pueblo for a wintry picnic on the Courthouse Grounds. WBC will provide the fire and brimstone- maybe. 

People Testify to Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force

 "Our children should not be expected to be test subjects," said Angela Kirkpatrick, mother to a Greeley elementary school student. Greeley has allowed numerous oil and gas wells next to public schools, even while  COGCC (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) admits that there are "data gaps", and no long term health studies about the effects of breathing benzene and methane on children's health.

In Loveland, Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper's Oil and Gas Task Force heard public comments from noon until 8 pm. I took notes on the last hour and a half of the public comments. Around four hundred people packed the Meeker Building in the Ranch Events complex, to listen and to speak.

(Below, fracking rig located next to Greeley Weld School District 6 stadium in Greeley, CO)

Testimony that I heard ran about 2:1 for slowing oil and gas production until public health impacts are known, for stronger regulation and enforcement, and for  communities to control how much oil and gas production they will allow. The tradeoff in quality of life vs. the economic boom was a continuing theme. Many expressed concern about earthquakes in Weld County, probably caused by injection of fracking fluids under pressure. Audio links to public comment are here and here

Denver Post "Colorado oil, gas task force gets earful from elected officials" by Mark Jaffe

Durango Herald article, "Gas and Oil Task Force Looks at Local Control, "by Peter Marcus

Greeley Tribune article (behind paywall)

My notes on public comments:

"Privatizing the profits, socializing the costs" – Martin Lind

Maydean Worley: Northridge HS site in Greeley, with leaks near the school. At the proposed elementary school site, the drilling company was "stunned into silence" when residents requested an air quality monitor.

Nick Johnson: concerned member of Lafayette community. (which voted to ban fracking) " We understand that it's an economic boon – we also understand that it's a public health issue.We need to give more authority to our local communities."

What is being proposed is a land plan- set up land use standards before communities are built. – He's talking about how earthen berms were built to shield neighborhoods from noise and . (unknown speaker)

Rod Brueske – This commission, if they want to have legitimacy, needs to have a grand jury investigation of the COGCC, COGA, b/c of their interpretation of state regulations. These orgs have allowed reduced or no fines or fees for violations. They are acting with criminal negligence, and I highly recommend an investigation of this pattern of violations.

Jennifer ? – personal story about living next to holding tanks. I feel that I live in an industrial area now. Lights, sound, natural gas, open flames, truck traffic. Ugly, smelly, bright, noisy. Little info about long term exposure – I feel that my family are test subjects.

Shane Davis: I’m a miner. There are epic failures of the state and COGCC to abide by its mission . 40% of all spills in Weld County have already resulted in groundwater contamination. And contamination statewide.  You have to look at the failures to know what you have to do in order to keep them from happening again.  Please recuse yourselves because of a conflict of interest.

Mizraim Cordero: C3, representing business interests across the state. Mission is to keep state’s economy going. All industries, ag, construction, etc, not just oil/gas. Much discussion about local control. Regulating business on a municipal level results in unstable and inconsistent policies. “Patchwork of regulations”.

Chris Guttormsson

Property rights, mineral rights, etc. People don’t understand who actually owns the minerals. They don’t have control of surface. When you make recommendations, please consider helping public be better informed on this.

Dr. Judith Boyle I live in Highland Farms. I’m not against anyone’s right to develop their minerals. I am disturbed by the increased rampant drilling which seems to be happening without apparent forethought or a plan in place.  Regulations of oil and gas haven’t kept up with the technology. EX horizontal drilling.

Kristen Allen – homeowner in Windsor. Near proposed site with drilling within 500’ of people’s homes. Impact on their property values was negative per realtor’s appraisal when they wanted to sell.

Earl Pittman: – I’m Republican, pro-drilling. Brags about how low his gas mileage is.  I ask the task force to recommend local control. (cites long numbered rule). Great Western is the driller at issue. Colo State Dept of Health wants GW to move well site away from residents, but GW is ignoring it. It’s not a political issue, it’s a safety issue, and quality of life issue. They’ve lost our trust.

Robert Winkler: risk management consultant: I’m concerned about health and quality of life issues associated w oil and gas development.  We’ve voiced our concerns to local officials. They are unwilling to evaluate independent research data. Please recommend a comprehensive health impact assessment at the next legislative session.

Maggie Burns: sharing a story.  Grew up on Western slope. Economics does matter. There is a way to balance the interests of health and all the other concerns, but don’t forget that economics matters.

Andrew Browning: with Consumer Energy Alliance. We’re a national organization. We want to increase production of domestic energy, to promote jobs and increase energy security. Banning energy production not viable, not collaborative, bla bla.

Steven Olson: Loveland resident. Lot of rhetoric, movie Gasland was sensational, misleading. Loveland energy project, pro-development group. Technology has advanced to enable safe and responsible development.

Karen Dike: Retired RN from Loveland. Here on behalf of my grandchildren. Gov Hickenlooper, you are making those of us who live in Colorado into lab rats for the oil and gas industry. You are asking us to prove that breathing benzene, methane, et, are not harmful to our children. Your moral and ethical responsibility is to …..It is time to say enough to this industry.

Steve Juhan  My grandfather did a lot of mining and development. Long-ass bio, with no discernible point.  Oil and gas creates jobs. Thank you.

Michelle Smith –  I’m on the board of (two organizations) runs an organic farm. We are losing small farmers in CO. Our hay costs tripled.  Leasing our mineral costs 2X helped us pay for our hay. Better education on MOU is the answer. Property rights should be respected.

Michael Lozinski  Disgruntled homeowner in Firestone area. Noise level was unbearable. I support America being self-reliant, but we can’t do it being irresponsible. COGCC didn’t do anything to ENCANA. I’m a homeowner without any rights. Rules are not enforced. This favors big oil. Need to fix COGCC so they will enforce the rules.

Kaye Fissinger from Longmont. President of Our Health, Our Future. In reading the directive, B1 and B2 has made health and wildlife subservient to the interests of the oil and gas industry. This is a moral issue. A constitutional and statutory and regulatory error. Task force has an opportunity to correct these wrongs.  Can make regulations more stringent than those adopted by local government. Should be able to place moratoria as Longmont did.

Judith Blackburn –  Also from Longmont, a “ban promoter”. Current laws and precedents need to be challenged. Because its legal doesn’t mean that its right. It’s impossible to promote oil and gas and still protect the rights of workers and neighbors. Disingenuous ads from energy companies do not promote trust. Questions of inspection and enforcement aside, we are all in some sort of experiment here. No one knows the long term effects…….

David Quave  During the oil embargo, I learned how important it is to be energy independent. When I moved, I loved working my farm, living in nature, safe haven. I propose that we all work together for optimal pad placements, respect rights of surface and mineral rights owners.  I want to enjoy sitting on my porch.

John Clarke: Former Larimer County Commissioner, former Ft Collins —- No municipality has tools they need to properly regulate oil and gas. Costs to taxpayers would be high. Talks a lot, says little. Fracking is just like construction. Right…..

 Ken Stone:  I work for a local O&G production co. Story of his life. Without O&G production, this economy won’t hold up.

Angela Kirkpatrick parent of a Greeley elementary school student. COGCC agrees that there are “data gaps” which “warrant further study”. We know the effects of benzene. Children are more vulnerable. The effects of being exposed to multiple volatile compounds are still unknown. Our children should not be expected to be test subjects. It’s COGCC’s responsibility to prove to safe to the community. It is not the community’s responsibility to prove that it’s safe to the COGCC.

Tim Reams from Earth Guardians. We need to know what the fracking chemicals are. When there is demonstrated risk to health standards, shut the wells down. There is violation after violation, one company 70 different times. When the state is not doing its job, local communities have to have the private right of action. This guy got the most applause of anyone yet, prompting a stern “no applause” warning from the moderator.

I took video of the last half hour of testimony, and will add it to this diary as time permits.

The task force will continue meeting  today, Friday, November 21, until 12 pm. The task force is  expected to recommend legislation in the next legislative session.

The public made its wishes known. Overwhelmingly, people want public health and quality of life prioritized over oil and gas profits. We know that the task force members will listen, as they did just that for over twenty hours so far. But will they hear? And hearing, will they act to protect public health and the environment?

Will public concerns about health and quality of life have a greater impact on policy than energy dollars? That remains to be seen.














Stand By Your Man: Tom Ready’s Domestic Violence Known to GOP since 1991

(Yeesh – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Most of Colorado now knows about Tom Ready, the Pueblo County Commissioner candidate who promoted the idea that the Sandy Hook school massacre was just a "hoax" perpetuated by people who want more gun laws. The Pueblo County Republican Party has been deafeningly silent about Tom Ready's extreme views, refusing to condemn them, and blaming Ready's opponent, Sal Pace, for bringing it up. Ready half-heartedly "apologized" in the Denver Post, but made it clear that he considered himself to be the real victim.

But it isn't the first time that the Pueblo GOP has chosen to "Stand By Their Man" in the face of reports of horrific behavior. Twice, in 1991, and in 2009, a woman asked the courts for a protective order against Tom Ready. 

Yet nothing was done – Ready was the Pueblo Republican Party Chairman for ten years, and was sent to represent the party nationally in 2009. Now, he is the party's candidate for County Commissioner. 

The Republican Party of Pueblo has always stood by Doctor Thomas Ready, even when his wife publicly accused him of five years of battering, culminating in a violent incident on March 15, 1991.

On that day, the Pueblo Chieftain wrote, Mrs. Ready came home to find a moving truck and crew at their shared home, and Dr. Ready supervising the moving out of the couple's shared property.

When she arrived, according to her statement, the couple argued. She claims Ready knocked her down in the driveway and broke her sunglasses. Mrs. Ready contends that, when she entered the home and tried to call police, he shoved her away from the phone, knocking her down again.

Mrs. Ready also alleges that Ready kicked her several times after one of his bows was broken when he shoved her into an archery display at the home. When she broke free, she said, she ran and asked the moving men why they hadn't called the police.

She said the men laughed and said, "You married him, not us."

Mrs. Ready said that, when Ready came out of the house, he said, "I never touched her, guys. You saw her kick me."

So,  after reading that,  once your blood stops boiling, understand that the fine folks of the Pueblo Republican Party read the same article. And Pueblo's a small large town. Most people know what's going on with everyone else. Half the people are related to each other – the other half went to the same high schools.

And after reading in Pueblo's conservative daily paper, the Pueblo Chieftain, about Ready's beating  his wife for five years, culminating in an assault which left her bruised and bloody,  the Pueblo GOP re-elected him chairman, as they did for the next nine years. In fact, as a special honor, they sent him to the National Republican Convention in 2008.