Rep. Gardner, see you at the No on Personhood rally?

(He should be there, right? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Dear Representative Gardner,

Recently, you told the news media that you were giving up your longstanding support for the Personhood abortion ban ballot measures in Colorado. You may have read that the NO on Amendment 67 campaign is kicking off their opposition to this year’s Personhood abortion ban amendment with a rally and press conference today.

Can I tell them you’ll be joining us?

Thank you for your decision to reverse your years of support for the Colorado Personhood abortion bans. As you know, Personhood would have the added consequence of banning many common forms of birth control, which is one reason it has failed repeatedly at the polls by an overwhelming majority.

It’s unfortunate, Rep. Gardner, that you remain a co-sponsor of the federal Life at Conception Act, which contains the same language as the Personhood amendments that have previously failed here in Colorado.  The federal Life at Conception Act would ban many forms of birth control–in addition to banning all abortions even in cases of rape or incest. Because this directly contradicts your reasons for flip-flopping on Colorado’s Personhood amendments, I hope you announce today that you are also removing yourself as a cosponsor of that bill.

The voters of Colorado look forward to you proving yourself. Please don’t let them down!

Call For Beauprez To Send Christie’s Corruption Packing

(We need more GOP governors…like Chris Christie? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

As questions continue to grow about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's involvement in the "Bridgegate" corruption scandal, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, today called on Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez to withdraw from a joint fundraiser in Denver this week with Christie.

"Both Ways Bob Beauprez talks about bringing integrity to Colorado, but he's participating in a fundraiser with one of America's most famously corrupt governors in Denver this week," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "The Bridgegate scandal, which has resulted in state and federal investigations of Gov. Christie, makes Christie's appearance with Bob Beauprez a shocking affront to the citizens of Colorado."

ProgressNow Colorado received word that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is hosting a fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association this Wednesday at Denver's Capital Grille. Bob Beauprez, the GOP Colorado gubernatorial nominee, is the event's "special guest."

"Chris Christie endorsed Bob Beauprez as a candidate 'willing to step up and make Colorado strong,'" said Runyon-Harms. "But now the whole nation understands what Christie means by 'stepping up': wielding political power like a mob boss no matter who gets hurt. When Christie's administration saw a chance to retaliate against a political enemy, they took it, even if that meant making thousands of people suffer."

"If scandal-plagued Chris Christie is the type of politician Both Ways Bob Beauprez wants to associate with, that speaks volumes about Beauprez's character," said Runyon-Harms, "We call on 'Both Ways Bob' Beauprez to disavow the upcoming fundraiser with Chris Christie, as well as Christie's brand of sleazy East Coast corruption–instead of inviting it to our state."

“The GOP’s worst deja vu ever”

Last week, while most of us were getting ready for the long holiday weekend, the Denver Post dropped a bombshell story on ex-Congressman Bob Beauprez. This could be the beginning of the end for Beauprez's campaign for governor.

You might remember back in 2012, when presidential candidate Mitt Romney was caught on tape writing off nearly half of Americans–47% to be precise–saying "my job is not to worry about those people." Many political experts believe these remarks helped ensure Romney's defeat, casting Romney as out of touch with the needs of ordinary Americans.

According to the Denver Post, Romney may well have gotten those talking points from Bob Beauprez. The Post reports that Beauprez gave a speech two years before Romney's where Beauprez said:

"I'm guessing that most of you in this room are not in that 47 percent–God bless you–but what that tells me is that we've got almost half the population perfectly happy that somebody else is paying the bill."

Last week, Beauprez's speech made national news. Salon calls it "the GOP's worst deja vu ever." [1] What do you think of Beauprez's "47%" remarks? Click here to send us your thoughts. We'll share your names and comments with Beauprez's campaign and the press.

I believe that Colorado needs leaders who unite us, not divide us. The job of a governor is to represent the interests of 100% of the people, not half of them. If you agree, let's stand up for those values–and show that our state is better than Bob Beauprez's divisive rhetoric.

Sincerely

Amy Runyon-Harms

Call For Both Ways Bob To Come Clean About Colorado’s Water

ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, today called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez to finally tell the voters of Colorado his opinion on diverting Western Slope water to the Front Range.

"Bob Beauprez claims to value the the Western Slope's agricultural economy, but he backed a 'water grab' measure that could have devastated the Western Slope by diverting precious water resources to the Front Range," said ProgressNow Colorado executive direct Amy Runyon-Harms. "When running for governor last time, Beauprez told stakeholders in Montrose that 'no one has convinced me of the need for transmountain diversions.' That was only two years after supporting a ballot measure to do exactly that."

In 2003, Referendum A was proposed to allow the state to issue billions of dollars in bonds for new water storage projects. Referendum A was overwhelmingly defeated by the voters, especially on the Western Slope. Since then, many of the politicians who supported Referendum A have been removed from office. [1]

"When Bob Beauprez had the chance to protect rural Colorado's water, he instead listened to corporate special interests and backed a water grab so unpopular that voters remember it to this day," said Runyon-Harms. "We call on Beauprez to explain his support for Referendum A while claiming to care about Western Slope interests–and apologize for participating in a failed water grab against rural Coloradans."

Call For “Both Ways Bob” To Pick a Side on the Individual Mandate

ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, today called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez to stop trying to have it both ways on the issue of an individual mandate to buy health insurance. This comes after a surrogate for Beauprez, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve House, claimed Friday that Beauprez “admits that the individual mandate comment was a mistake.”

“Out of one side of his mouth, Both Ways Bob Beauprez says the ads attacking him for supporting the individual mandate are misleading,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “But his surrogates are spreading the word among Tea Party Republicans that Beauprez ‘admits’ his comments were a mistake? Only one of those can be true.”

In a Facebook post Friday, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve House responded to criticism of Beauprez among conservatives by saying Beauprez “admits that the individual mandate comment was a mistake.” House said further, “I am not convinced that all that many congressmen know the constitution,” but assured conservatives that Beauprez is “very prepared on issues now.” [1]

“The Supreme Court settled the constitutionality of this important component of healthcare reform, which Beauprez himself and many conservatives supported until President Obama proposed it,” said Runyon-Harms. “Once again, Bob Beauprez wants to have it both ways, apologizing to conservatives in private while trying to talk his way out of accountability with the media. We call on Bob Beauprez to do what seems to come the hardest for him: pick a side.”

Call For “Both Ways Bob” To Pick a Side on Social Security Privatization

ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, today called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez to tell the voters of Colorado whether he supports the privatization of Social Security or opposes it. Beauprez's record shows he has tried to play both sides of this critical issue for years.

"Bob Beauprez claimed while serving in Congress that he opposes the privatization of Social Security, one of the nation's cornerstone institutions to help the elderly and disabled survive," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "At the same time, Beauprez backed the proposal from President George W. Bush to privatize Social Security. Which one is Both Ways Bob's real position?"

In March of 2005, after claiming that he opposed the privatization of Social Security, then-Congressman Beauprez appeared with President George W. Bush in Denver to pitch Bush's plan for Social Security privatization. In July of that year, Coloradans traveled to Washington to present Beauprez with waffles to symbolize his "waffling" on Social Security. [Denver Post, July 7, 2005]

"Both Ways Bob tried to have it both ways on Social Security last time, and the voters didn't buy it," said Runyon-Harms. "Has anything changed since then? Do Coloradans have any more reason to trust Beauprez today than they did when we waffled on his promise to protect Social Security? We call on Beauprez to finally tell the voters of Colorado where he stands on this critical issue. He's kept them waiting years too long already."

Call For Beauprez To Explain “Birther” Comments About Obama’s Citizenship

ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, today called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez to explain comments made on a conservative radio show implying that President Barack Obama is not an American citizen.

"There is no place in respectable politics for 'birthers,'" said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "Conspiracy theories about President Obama's citizenship were debunked before he was ever elected President. Those who have continued to spread these discredited lies are doing so because they don't care about the truth, or are so blinded by hatred that they refuse to accept it. It is very disappointing that this includes Both Ways Bob Beauprez."

In a 2010 radio interview on the Talk to Solomon Show, Beauprez claimed it was "astounding" that President Obama had not yet "settled that controversy," referring to unfounded claims, years old even at that time, that Obama is not a natural-born American citizen. Beauprez said, "If this guy is an American citizen, he's a different kind of an American than virtually any that I know." [1]

"What's astounding is Beauprez's absurd pandering to 'birthers,' years after the issue of Obama's citizenship was settled," said Runyon-Harms. "Does Bob Beauprez still not know if Obama's birth certificate is real? What does Beauprez mean when he says Obama is 'a different kind of American?' Beauprez owes the voters of Colorado an explanation for these deeply troubling statements."

This Father’s Day, Remembering Cory Gardner’s vote for deadbeat dads

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)


​Click to share this image on Facebook

With Father's Day being celebrated this weekend, ProgressNow Colorado is highlighting Rep. Cory Gardner's vote as a Colorado state legislator to protect "deadbeat dads" from having gambling winnings seized for back child support.

When mothers and kids needed Cory Gardner the most, he turned his back on them. Gardner had the chance to vote for a straightforward bill asking casinos to collect overdue child support from gambling winnings–and Con Man Cory instead voted to protect deadbeat dads.

As a Colorado state representative, Gardner voted against HB07-1349. This legislation required gambling casinos to collect payments from the winnings of individuals who owe back payments for child support. Gardner was one of just nine legislators who voted against HB07-1349 on final passage, which passed with 54 votes. (Source: HB07-1349 Repass Roll Call, Colorado House Journal, 5/4/07)

We should all be able to agree that parents have a responsibility to their children, and the state must enforce child support orders to protect the most vulnerable. Coloradans deserve better than politicians like Cory Gardner who turn their backs on kids and their moms in order to make life easier for casinos and deadbeat dads.

Boehner, Cantor, Coffman: don’t be fooled again

Virtually unreported in the media, right-wing Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor–two of the top Republican leaders of the 113th U.S. Congress–appeared at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver for a fundraiser for Rep. Mike Coffman.

After promising to make immigration reform a priority this year, Coffman held a secret fundraiser with the two men perhaps most responsible for the gridlock in Washington, D.C. that’s preventing reform from passing. Coffman’s fundraiser with Boehner and Cantor is a slap in the face to everyone who believed Coffman’s empty promises.

Tell Mike Coffman enough is enough: we’re tired of the broken promises on immigration reform.

In recent months, Rep. Coffman has told voters that he now supports immigration reform, after years of opposition and using immigrants as political scapegoats. Coffman even introduced legislation to restrict bilingual ballots for legal U.S. citizen voters. The reason Coffman is paying lip service to immigration reform today is simple: the electoral landscape has changed, and Latino voters are on the verge of removing Coffman from office this November.

What Coffman doesn’t understand is that actions speak louder than words. Coffman says he wants a path to citizenship for DREAMer students, but he voted against the very program that’s allowing them to avoid deportation. Coffman says there should be a path to citizenship for immigrants who join the military, but Cantor blocked that proposal just hours after this fundraiser. Coffman says he wants the House to take up immigration reform, but instead of demanding House leaders get serious, he holds secret fundraisers with them.

It’s time to say it: Mike Coffman doesn’t care about immigration reform, he only cares about keeping his job. He’ll say anything to stay in office, but his record proves he doesn’t care about the issues his constituents want addressed.

Tell Coffman right now that you’ve had it with his empty promises and hypocrisy on immigration reform. We’ll send your message to Coffman’s office instantly, and share your names and comments his the press and other public officials.

It’s disappointing that Mike Coffman isn’t a man of his word. I, like many others, had hoped Coffman was serious when he committed to immigration reform after years on the wrong side of the issue. But Colorado deserves better than pandering. Coloradans deserve action. Thank you for helping make sure Coffman doesn’t get away with this.

No legislators were harmed in the making of this video

 

This week, the Colorado legislature wrapped up the 2014 session. Some really good things happened this year: help with childcare for working families, better education funding, disaster relief, environmental protections, and supporting high paying jobs in our state. In addition, some bad things got defeated, like crazy abortion bans and repeals of Colorado’s great renewable energy standards. And although there were some partisan fights, over 96% of the bills passed this year in Colorado had the support of both Democrats and Republicans.

We hope you enjoy it. If you do, take a minute right now to share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

2014 should be remembered as a year when Colorado lawmakers got things done and left our state better than they found it. We hope that makes you happy too.

ProgressNow Colorado’s Winners and Losers of the 2014 Legislative Session

WINNERS

 

LOSERS

1. Colorado students

This year, Colorado finally began the road back from years of devastating budget cuts to our public schools and colleges. Thanks to an improving economy and sound budgetary decision making, the state was able to restore $100 million in funding for our colleges and universities and begin to restore millions of dollars in badly-needed funds to K-12. We have a long way to go to restore all of the cuts to education since the Great Recession, but 2014 was a great start.

 

1. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

In 2013, the extremist pro-gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners helped organize recall elections against Colorado Senators who supported last year’s common-sense gun safety reforms. This year, it was widely expected that RMGO would flood the Capitol with angry mobs and misinformation in an attempt to repeal these new laws. Unfortunately for RMGO, those crowds of gun rights activists failed to reappear at the Capitol as they had in 2013. The reason is simple: the sky didn’t fall, and Colorado’s new gun safety laws are working.

 

2. Colorado’s economy and working families

From support for advanced industries to helping ensure the working families most in need can get child care assistance, this was a great legislative session for Colorado’s economy. Following up on legislation from 2013, support for advanced technology job creators was increased. Legislation brought by Sen. John Kefalas and Reps. Brittany Pettersen and Tony Exum to expand child care grants will provide invaluable help to families trying to balance their careers with caring for young children. 

 

2. Anti-choice extremists

This year, far-right legislators introduced yet another piece of legislation that would ban all abortions in Colorado, even in cases of rape or incest. Colorado is a pro-choice state, and voters have repeatedly rejected abortion bans in statewide ballot measures in recent years. This year’s abortion ban bill failed, but not before numerous conservative legislators, including House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, had signed on as cosponsors. Attempting to ban abortion in Colorado has already done grave political damage to conservatives, but they still haven’t learned their lesson. Colorado women won’t go back.

 

3. Victims of floods and fires

Following devastating floods and fires in 2013, Democrats and Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly came together to pass comprehensive legislation to help our state recover from last year’s catastrophic events and improve our ability to cope with future natural disasters. Leaders like Rep. Dave Young, co-chair of the Flood Disaster Study Committee, worked overtime to ensure the lessons learned in 2013 were reflected in policy this year. Tax credits to offset damage to property owners, streamlined relief funding for affected residents, and flexibility for local government to fund road and bridge repairs are just a few of the sensible reforms that passed this year with bipartisan support.

 

 

3. House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso

Republican Colorado House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso deserves some credit for helping pass many bipartisan bills this year, but he stumbled badly by signing on to the disastrous abortion ban legislation mentioned above. DelGrosso also faced major embarrassments within his caucus, such as the chronically sleepy and tardy Rep. Justin Everett, and Rep. Jared Wright leaving a loaded gun unattended in a Capitol hearing room. Some leaders make the best of a bad situation, but DelGrosso was unable–or unwilling–to help himself and his party's brand this year.

4. Governor John Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration worked both in public and behind the scenes to defend and expand on the historic progress made by the General Assembly in the last two years. Hickenlooper has shown real leadership on issues ranging from education to reproductive choice to equality for every Colorado family. And Hickenlooper ends the 2014 legislative session with an unbeatable record of solid economic growth in his first term.

 

4. Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman

At the beginning of this year’s legislative session, Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman exploded in a fit of rage on the Senate floor, claiming that bills were being mishandled, and even threatening recalls against Senate leadership. But as it turned out, Cadman was completely wrong, and the gun safety repeal bill he complained about received a fair hearing. But the incident underscored Cadman’s reputation as an erratic hothead, prone to emotional outbursts and unsuited to leadership.

 

5. Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino

Mark Ferrandino, ending his term as Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives this year, has made history in too many ways to count. As the first openly gay Speaker of the House in Colorado’s history, Ferrandino presided in 2013 over the long-sought passage of civil unions legislation. This year, Ferrandino has been invaluable in defending the gains made in 2013, and pushing forward with this year’s progressive agenda of economic growth, disaster recovery, and funding education. Republicans and Democrats alike have praised Ferrandino’s steady and fair leadership this year.

 

5. Legislators seeking higher office

For a host of reasons, conservative incumbent legislators seeking higher office failed to achieve their objectives. Sen. Greg Brophy’s bid for governor fizzled, Rep. Amy Stephens, Sen. Owen Hill, and Sen. Randy Baumgardner failed to gain any traction in their brief campaigns for the U.S. Senate, and Rep. Mark Waller’s run for Attorney General fell apart after faring poorly at the Republican state assembly. In some cases these were simply unqualified candidates, but legislative experience isn’t the plus for Republicans seeking higher office that it once was–mostly because the extreme GOP grassroots can’t stomach the compromises necessary to effectively govern.

 

6. State employees

Through the Great Recession, Colorado’s state employees worked without a raise for years. Colorado public employees make less than their counterparts in the private sector, and as the state’s largest employer, state employee income has a direct impact on our economy. In the 2014-2015 budget, state workers are seeing base-building pay increases for the second year. Every day we rely on our road workers, corrections officers, firefighters, and other state employees, and it’s great to finally see them being recognized for their hard work.

 

6. The “clown car caucus”

From banning abortion to going after the non-problem of buying marijuana with public assistance, there was a group of conservative legislators that one could always count on to sponsor the most embarrassing legislation this year. Many of these legislators, such as Rep. Lori Saine and Sen. Vicki Marble, won their seats with help from the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which seems to not care if candidates are completely unqualified as long as they vote RMGO’s way on guns. Republicans hoping to put on a fresh face after years of electoral defeats in Colorado weren’t helped by the “clown car caucus” this year.

 

7. Women

With one of the nation’s highest rates of female representation, the Colorado General Assembly remains a model for the entire nation. This year, in addition to vital support for single moms and working families through child care assistance, progressives in the legislature beat back yet another attempt by the far right to ban all abortions in Colorado. Senate President Morgan Carroll become the second woman to serve in that leadership role. Conservatives keep trying every year, but thanks to our strong women and progressive leadership, the “war on women” stops cold when it arrives at the Colorado General Assembly.

 

 

7. Wage thieves

After years of trying, Sen. Jessie Ulibarri and Rep. Jonathan Singer’s bill to strengthen protections for Colorado workers from wage theft by employers finally passed the Colorado General Assembly. Many victims of wage theft don’t have the resources to fight a long, expensive court battle to win back their wages. Ulibarri and Singer’s bill will allow the Department of Labor to determine cases of wage theft directly, and help ripped-off employees get paid faster.

8. Transparency and good government

One of the bills already signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper this year is legislation to make it easier for citizens and watchdogs to obtain government records through the Colorado Open Records Act. Rep. Joseph Salazar and Sen. John Kefalas teamed up to pass this important bill to prevent abuses of the system by public officials with something to hide.

 

8. Secretary of State Scott Gessler

This year’s legislative session was a disaster for Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Gessler made headlines after irresponsible budgetary decisions left his office millions of dollars in the red, compounding a record of bad judgment that already included the Independent Ethics Commission’s ruling that Gessler had “breached the public trust for private gain.” Gessler’s attempts to undermine and vilify Colorado’s election modernization laws fell flat, and his failed quest to uncover “illegal voters” has seriously harmed Gessler’s reputation under the Dome.

 

9. Colorado’s air and water

Gov. Hickenlooper’s work this year to pass important new air quality protections for oil and gas drilling is a prime example of bringing industry and conservationists together to make a positive step for everyone. New, dramatically steeper fines for oil and gas drilling violations passed by the legislature this year add teeth to the laws already on the books. And protections for water quality around uranium mining and processing sites will protect the public and the environment from harm as that industry responds to market demand. The job of protecting the public health and environment may not be over yet this year, but progress has undeniably been made.

 

9. Representative Jared Wright

Rep. Jared Wright’s brief legislative career has been marred by controversy, ever since details of his resignation from the Fruita Police Department led to attempts by fellow Republicans to get him out of the race. In the legislature, Rep. Wright further angered his fellow Republicans after leaving a loaded handgun in a Capitol hearing room–leading to calls for all legislators to check their firearms at the entrance to the Capitol like all other citizens must do. Since being pressured into not running for reelection, however, Rep. Wright has turned over a new leaf–frequently siding with progressives on issues related to public health and energy production. That has only made Wright more of a loser among his fellow Republicans, but Wright’s constituents may finally have a reason to appreciate his service.

 

10. Bipartisanship

Most of what we hear in the news today is about political controversies, and this year had its share. But it’s also worth remembering that around 95% of bills passed this year in the Colorado General Assembly had bipartisan support. On issues like disaster relief, job creation, and government transparency, more often than not there was no daylight between Republicans and Democrats. The issues that divide us sometimes define us, but other times we know how to come together as Coloradans to do what’s right–and that’s important to remember when emotions run high.

 

10. Palisade peaches

The Palisade peach lost out this year in a bid to become the state’s official fruit. Elementary school student Nick Babiak made a strong effort this year lobbying in favor of a bill to designate Palisade peaches as the state fruit, but was thwarted by opposition from the Rocky Ford Growers Association. Progressives stand with Nick Babiak and with the finest peaches grown anywhere, and hope 2015 will be the year that Palisade peaches finally receive their due.

Tell Cory Gardner to Disclose “Good Life” Special Interest Ties

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

For a high-resolution photo, click here.

Today, ProgressNow Colorado brought a yacht to the Colorado Capitol, and called on Congressman Cory Gardner to disclose whether fellow passengers of the Good Life, a yacht connected to Gardner and a controversial 2012 Florida fundraising junket, have donated to Gardner’s U.S. Senate campaign.

"We call on Cory Gardner to stopping conning Colorado and immediately disclose the names of the lobbyists from his luxury junket aboard the ‘Good Life’," demanded ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Cory Gardner claims to be in Washington fighting for the people of Colorado, but his record tells a different story. Gardner has quickly become a creature of the Washington, D.C. insider crowd, taking advantage of every perk offered to him by corporate lobbyists and out-of-state special interests.”

In March of 2012, a CBS News investigative report disclosed a closed-door fundraiser held on behalf of Gardner and several other hand-picked Republican members of Congress. Special interest donors reportedly gave tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for access to Gardner and other members of Congress. Gardner even served as a “guest bartender” at a “happy hour” that required a $10,000 donation just to get in.

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Stand with Mark Udall against the CIA’s abuse of power

For years, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado has been fighting to rein in abuses of federal power in the name of combating terrorism. Sen. Udall warned the American people about the dangers of mass surveillance against millions of innocent Americans for years before anyone knew the name Edward Snowden. To Udall’s great credit, he has consistently fought for our civil liberties in Congress–regardless of which party occupies the White House.

Today, Sen. Udall needs your help. Click here to stand with Udall as he confronts the Central Intelligence Agency’s most recent abuse of power.

News reports this week of the CIA’s alleged hacking of Senate computers to thwart the investigation into illegal detentions and interrogations have rocked Washington. [1] In response, Sen. Udall says the future of CIA Director John Brennan is in doubt. “The CIA has an important role to play, but if the public doesn’t trust the CIA, if the Senate overseers don’t trust the CIA, I don’t know how Director Brennan can continue to lead the agency,” Udall told reporters.

Congressional oversight is one of the most important checks that exists against federal abuse of power. If Congress can’t do their jobs holding intelligence agencies accountable, the risk to the civil liberties of every American is fundamental and grave. There is perhaps no more serious issue being debated in Washington today than these basic matters of unreasonable government intrusion, detention, and interrogation. It doesn’t matter which party is in the White House–we have to stand together, left and right, to protect the values that define us as Americans.

That’s the fight Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado is leading right now. Click here to stand with him. We’ll share your names and comments with Sen. Udall’s office, the media, and other public officials.

Thank you once again for standing up for what’s right regardless of party affiliation. It’s personally disappointing to me that we are still having debates over civil liberties that should have ended with the Bush administration, but I’m grateful to have a leader like Sen. Udall speaking for me today. Help me send that message to Washington.

Sincerely,

Alan Franklin

They’ve learned nothing

Every year, we see new battles over women’s reproductive rights. As the former political director for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, I’ve seen it happen over and over. In fact, more states enacted restrictions on abortion between 2011–2013 than in the entire previous decade. [1] They never stop, and we can’t let our guard down for one minute.

Today, I need you to take a stand for women in Colorado.

Next Tuesday, Republicans will once again try to pass a total ban on abortions in Colorado. This has been attempted in previous years, but what’s different about this bill is the support of Republican leadership. In fact, Republican House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso has signed on as a co-sponsor to this dangerous legislation. Instead of respecting the will of the vast majority of Coloradans–we live one of the most pro-women and pro-choice states in the country–Republicans are determined to prove yet again that they don’t believe women are capable of making their own personal, private medical decisions.

Join my fight to protect the rights of women in Colorado. Take a moment right now to contact members of the Colorado House Judiciary Committee, as well as the abortion ban bill's sponsors, and urge them to vote NO on House Bill 14-1133. Let them all know these backward bills have no place in Colorado.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Thank you for remaining vigilant at this important moment.

Sincerely,

Amy Runyon-Harms
Executive Director, ProgressNow Colorado

P.S. It’s so important you let these legislators know that you stand with the women of Colorado, and these anti-woman efforts aren’t welcome in 2014. Please don’t wait–contact our legislators now. This is a numbers game, and your voice makes a difference.

Money Badger don’t care

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Despite earlier news reports, there is apparently no meeting of the Joint Budget Committee and Scott Gessler occurring today. We'll update when we know what the deal is.

—–

POLS UPDATE: The long-awaited showdown between the Joint Budget Committee and Secretary of State Scott Gessler over his office's big budget shortfall is scheduled for later today. Lest anyone think this is simply a partisan squabble, here's GOP Rep. Cheri Gerou criticizing Gessler's fiscal irresponsibility in no uncertain terms:

GEROU: When he came into office, I believe there was a pretty good cash fund balance. And it just seems like we've been dealing with two years of spending, spending, spending, that we've gotten to this point.

We'll update with coverage from today's hearing. Original post follows.

—–

So much for the “party of fiscal responsibility.”

Colorado’s Secretary of State Scott Gessler has never been one to play by the rules. Since taking office in 2011, Gessler has faced scandal after scandal over his own efforts to tilt the playing field to his and his party’s advantage. Gessler is the only statewide politician in office today in Colorado who has been found by the state’s Independent Ethics Commission to have “violated the public trust for private gain.”

Now we learn Gessler can’t even manage his own department’s budget. After slashing fees on business registrations and other services performed by his office, news reports have revealed that the Secretary of State’s office is millions of dollars in the red. Gessler blames political opponents, but these were his decisions. Cutting fees on business is a great way to pander while running for higher office, but taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for it.

Send a message to Gessler right now: tell him you expect better.

Don’t take our word for it. Even the conservative Grand Junction Sentinel [1] says Gessler is wrong to blame others for his own mismanagement:

"Unfortunately for the [Joint Budget Committee], Gessler loves an audience and he will undoubtedly use the grandstand the budget committee is providing him to loudly proclaim his victimhood. But the JBC holds the higher moral ground in this dispute. Gessler got himself into this predicament by sharply cutting business fees for his cash-funded office, when his office had a large surplus several years ago, refusing to put a portion of the surplus into the state general fund as lawmakers demanded."

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