• Jefferson County Democrats honor Mary Ann and Dennis Larsen with Lifetime Achievment award

    The Annual Jefferson County Democratic party of Colorado is having it’s 40th annual Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner. At this Dinner, the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was given to Mary Ann and Dennis Larson.
    I asked them what this meant to them.

    Question “Why is this so important to you, why does this inspire you to work for the Democrats?”

    Mary Ann Larsen

    When we moved here, I can remember the spot where I was, I was driving and I heard that there was some people in Congress who said that
    ‘No, Women don’t deserve Equal Rights’
    and I stopped my car and I said
    ‘Am I not a human being?’
    ‘Am I not a citizen of the United States?’

    Why do I have to spend my time and my money to fight for something that should just be mine. That was the turning point for me.
    I want something better for my daughters, granddaughters and all the other women of the World.

    Dennis Larsen

    With Regards to Veterans, I’ve always been concerned with how they are treated after they’ve left service.
    (I’ve worked on) Getting people that are like minded that want to support candidates that support Veterans issues.

    Question
    “How has this area changed since you moved here”

    Dennis Larsen

    When we first moved to this area, (Jefferson County) you could not get elected as a Democrat.

    Mary Ann Larsen

    There have been a lot of good leaders in the Jeffco Democrats and I want to thank everyone of them and I want to thank all of the politicians.

    Dennis Larsen

    We really feel privileged that we have been given the honor to represent all of the volunteers that are out there because they’re hard working and they’ve given a lot of their time and even their money to make this a better World.
    Because of the honor that has been bestowed upon we give thanks to the Democratic Party of Jefferson County.

    The Colorado River, the California drought and how you can help from Sara Lu

    Do you like Blueberries? Tomatoes? Fruit and Vegetables in general?
    Pay attention. California supplies the half of the United States produce and California is in the midst of a drought that could effect all of our families.
    And at this critical time, when we need every drop of water, the EPA and US Senate are going to be ruling on which water systems should be protected – and your public comment to the EPA can help that cause.

    I talked with Sara Lu of Colorado Clean Water Action on this subject and the coming ruling of the EPA and the Senate on the
    “Waters of the United States”, a ruling that could restore protection to our waterways in this critical drought period.

    (Question) Tell me about the Waters in the United States…

    One of the Biggest campaigns we are working on is to define through the best scientific information available, what constitutes a ‘Water of the United States’ as covered by the Clean Water Act. Really what this rule does is re-establish protections for our waters that constitute the drinking water and recreational water and the agricultural water for over 117 million Americans.
    When the Bush administration reinterpreted the Clean Water Act over 65% of Colorado’s Waters and Streams were put ‘at-risk’.
    (the Ruling) is open for public comment until October 20 after which the US Senate has to vote to adopt that rule or not.
    We are working to educate the public and help them to know that they have a voice and can submit their own comments.
    They can go to the EPA website or they can go to the CleanWater.org website which will give them directions to submit their comments.

    This ruling will return the EPA standards to Pre-Bush Era standards, which is barely a decade old. Yet there are some, like at Fox news who are asking
    “Will EPA Water Grab tip US back into Recession?”

    I think the real question is can we afford not to protect as much of the water ways as possible when you look at images like these before and after pictures of Lake Shasta?

    Take a moment to visit the comment page at CleanWater.org or go directly to the EPA Waters of the United States page and let the EPA hear why expanding protection of water is important to YOU.

    Rachel Zenzinger deserves to return to Colorado State Senate

    I had the opportunity to talk with Colorado State Senator Rachel Zenzinger. A little on the background of Senate District 19. After some very partisan recall elections in Colorado, She stepped in for the former Senator,  who graciously resigned. But as you hear in this interview, Rachel Zenzinger is no mere office placeholder, she has the experience, enthusiasm and most importantly a history of Bi-partisan achievement – something this state needs more of at the Capitol. Here is a clip on that Bi-partisanship experience.

     

    Question: What do you bring from your experience on the City Council (of Arvada) and as the Mayor Pro-Tem?

    I think I brought with me to the State Legislature a really collaborative spirit. One of the reputations that the State Legislature has is that nobody works together. Working in a non-partisan election and politics, I really have an ability to work across the aisle, because there was no such thing as an aisle. Working with my colleagues both Democrats, Republicans, and Independents and I really felt like I brought that experience and background with me to the State Capitol. I am very proud to say that I have a 100% bi-partisan record down at the Capitol and I hope to continue to be collaborative and work across the aisle.

    There also needs to be real insight and leadership on Education issues. I believe that Rachel's experience in Education will continue to bring Colorado forward.

     

    Question:

    Why is Education important to the people of your district and Jefferson County?

    I am very excited to talk about Education. Education is my passion and my profession. I am a former Teacher. I also had the privilege to be on the Senate Education Committee…. I think that having a good strong Public Education system is the foundation, the basis, for our Democratic Society. In the last 2 years I worked at Regis University in the Masters of Arts and Education program, and my focus was on Teacher leadership. I really feel one of the untapped resources we have in our schools are the leadership capacities of our Teachers.

    Here is the extended interview:

     

    Question: Senator Zenzinger, what are the issues that you feel are most important for this campaign and in this District?

    The 3 issues I am mainly focused on while working at the State Legislature are the same issues I hear when I am knocking on doors, and that's really what I call the 3 E's – Education, the Economy and the Elderly. So I am going to keep focusing on those 3 areas because I know that is what is important to my voters here in this district.

    Question: How do you plan to use your experience to move the State forward?

    I think that voters should elect me because I understand the issues that mean the most to them, good schools, a strong economy with plenty of good jobs, and the needs of our seniors. I really think that I am the candidate that will get real results.

    I couldn't agree more. In a time when divisive issues and campaigns are all too common, Colorado needs a legislator with experience for the challenges we face, and who has a real history of collaboration and Bi-partisanship to move our District and our State forward.

    And that's not just me talking – Typically Republican leaning groups like Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry and the North Metro Chamber of Commerce have endorsed Rachel Zenzinger.

    For more information on Rachel visit http://www.rachelforcolorado.com/

    Where Divesting from Fossil Fuels was born

    There is a lot of news about Colorado lately, but I bet this story is still under the Radar.
    I interviewed John Powers who is the founder and visionary for the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and found out that the idea of Divestment from University Portfolios from Fossil Fuels was birthed at a place made to find Energy solutions, the Alliance Center. (a movement needed internationally for Low Lying Islanders)

    On the Divestment movement at 3:28 in the video

    “There’s a movement now Divest – Invest, I want to go on record that this idea was conceived on the 3rd floor of this building. Here at the Alliance Center, a group called “As You Sow” and other folks happened to be meeting here… they came up with the idea that you have to divest. Take your investments out of fossil fuels and then you have to invest them into something alternative.”


    Read on for John Powers’ views on the problem with Natural Gas as a ‘bridge fuel’, the future of Renewable energy, warning about the future of our energy portfolio, and changing the model on which businesses operate from the ground up.

    Colorado recently has been in the midst of a fight between pro-fracking and anti-fracking ballot measures that were pulled as ‘compromise’ which left environmentalists upset.

    From John Powers:

    “When you are talking about a ‘bridge fuel’ (Natural Gas), a bridge starts at some place and ends some place. We are putting all this infrastructure for Natural Gas…
    That infrastructure is money we should be putting into demand side and most benign supply side energy (Renewable Energy)
    And now Utility scale Solar is the cheapest form out there.
    Colorado and the U.S. has the chance to provide the leadership to take these steps…Colorado has the the potential to be a leader internationally.”

    On that subject, John knows what he is talking about. He built a coalition to pass the ground breaking Amendment 37 in 2004, which required our State utility, Xcel to make their energy portfolio include renewable energy.

    On the Climate forecast of Storms, Droughts, and Floods:

    (Question) What things have we seen in real time, the example I want to use is the (Colorado) Flood of September 2013…. When is that point when 50 plus 1 gets that something has changed?

    “We can either anticipate what’s coming at us, which is irrefutable, or we can wait for these crises to mount, (if that’s the case) there’s going to be a lot of heartache, sorrow, and economic pain.
    People in the short term say that economically, we cant afford to these controls…
    I’m saying economically long term if you don’t do them now, you’re TOAST

    And on the Grand Re-opening of an even more Energy Efficient Alliance Center on August 14th:

    The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado was founded to bring points of view together to find long term solutions. When you are part of creating solutions, you are more likely to implement those solutions. (The Building Remodel) We tend to think in terms of costs in a building per square foot. Instead of per square foot, the deeper more sophisticated question is how much is this building going to cost per worker? This is a model we are looking for people to implement in existing buildings, and IT’S PROFITABLE!

    Thanks to John Powers for being the visionary for the Alliance Center and to all the people who are part of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado for helping navigate the way in which we plan our Renewable energy future.
    And come to the Grand Reopening of the Alliance Center August 14th!

    Clear Channel axes Colorado’s liberal radio AM 760

    I was astonished to find my local progressive station running the Bloomberg News. Here is what I found :

    radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/88602/kkzn-denver-to-drop-liberal-talk/

     “AM 760” KKZN Thornton/Denver is next in line to shift to another Talk variation following similar moves in recent months at sister stations in Portland and Los Angeles…. Clear Channel registered RealTalk760.com last December that could potentially be used for KKZN. With the company also owning News/Talk/Sports 850 KOA and Conservative Talk 630 KHOW perhaps the company will follow in the footsteps of its Los Angeles and San Francisco clusters and move Rush Limbaugh off of KOA to enable it to focus on all local programming.

    This is a shocking move for me, since we have an increasingly trending Progressive voter base in the state. And the article says 630 is the Conservative station in the area, but there are many others and 850 also runs conservative talkers too.

    But that is not the only evidence, since I moved here in 2000, our state governance has gone from a Double Republican house and Senate, Republican Governor, Republican Senators,  and majority Republican Congressional Caucus to now being the opposite – Democratic Senators, Democratic majorities in legislature, and Majority Dem Caucus in Congress.
    So what gives?  I can't believe that the Denver Metro Market can not sustain a liberal radio station. I mean Boulder is the Berkeley of the Rockies.

    And I speak not only as someone who listens to the shows, but I also was on air as a progressive radio show host from 2007-2009.  And I can tell you – if there is not a radio station covering these stories – many times they won't get covered at all:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/02/617871/-Co-Sec-of-State-stealing-election-for-McCain?detail=hide
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL6AsDJe8bg
    That interview with Colorado Ethics Watch – prevented a scheme by then Secretary of State Mike Coffman from disenfranchising THOUSANDS of newly registered voters in the 2008 election.

     

     

     

     

    In mid-September he (Coffman) issued a memo to the County Clerks telling them specifically to not register anyone who does this.
    Consequence: Thousands of new voters are attempting to register to vote, thinking they are successful because they signed up through some organization such as ACORN or any of the political parties, but are not registered and will not be allowed to vote if they do not correct their forms.

    When I say thousands, I am not over-exaggerating. In Denver County alone (the only one I have numbers for so far) this ruling has resulting in approx. 3000 denied voter registrations! And that is just one county, and one with thousands of more forms to even look at!

     

     

     

     

    ALSO:

      Secretary of State Mike Coffman broke the law last year by allowing his database manager Dan Kopelman to manage the database while he was running a Republican voter database company on the side. See story by Dan Whipple

        Coffman's State Elections Director was discovered to be staying at a loft owned by the software salesman who manages the Voting Machines for our state, machines that have already been de-certified, then re-certified by Coffman. She resigned pending an investigation, and it calls into question the veracity of our voting machine process.

     

     

     


     And Coffman himself ran for Congress that year when he was supposed to be supervising the election – several conflicts of interests.
    At that time, I was working the Obama campaign and our team had personally registered many of these first time voters – and we were all concerned that a close race with Colorado going to the Republicans could have won it for McCain. Fortunately – the pressure we brought through rallies and covering it on Progressive radio and blogs forced caused a lawsuit to be filed and a judge ruled that the Sec. of State had over stepped his bounds.
    Now Mike Coffman is in a Congressional Race vs. Andrew Romanoff – and it is the top watched race in the country for 2014.
    So the story from 2008 is still relevant – if someone will be on air to cover it.
    I can't help but think someone in the corporate news room is taking Liberal talk off air to favor Republicans in the mid terms and onwards.
    It also seems that in a year when issues like controlling Fracking, Marriage Equality, income inequality, Marijuana legalization and other social and environmental issues are becoming increasingly majority issues – it would make since that these issues would be profitable to cover.
    I would like to hear the community offer suggestions on a way to remedy this.

     

     

    When Beer and Natural Gas collide

    What happens when Oil and Gas companies contaminate the Water that Brewers rely on for their Beer in the State of Colorado?
    What happens after the citizens of the towns with those Beers (Da’ Beers!) passed ballot initiatives to protect their towns?
    What happens these towns are sued to force Fracking against their will and their best interests?
    Find out when the Beer lovers of this great state (more Microbrews per capita in the Union)
    come together for the Frack Free Brew Festival on Sunday August 25th 2013 at the Boulder Bandshell Amphitheater – at the heart of the University of Colorado’s campus.
    When planning the festival back this winter, be based it on the Reinheitsgebot or the German Beer Purity law of 1516.

    In May, the Brauer Bund, or German Beer Brewing Union warned Chancellor Angela Merkel that Fracking could ruin the Beer industry.

    And this summer, 26 Brewers asked Governor Hickenlooper to strengthen regulations on Fracking, after a fracking spill of Benzene in the rivers of Western Colorado
    and the Governor is responding….

    One Brewer told me he is all for jobs for people in the Oil and Gas industry, but at the same time if their job drilling is going to take away his job brewing beer, then he has to draw a line.
    And the current form of Fracking that pollutes water has only been around since 2005, while Brewing Beer has been around for 5000 years and is venerated in almost every culture.

    So now, together Breweries, Bands and the People are coming together
    to send a message – Save Our Beers!

    And this is just the Beginning of the Frack Free Brew Tour.….

    ‘Safe’ Governor embraces Fracking, will face primary

    If you were to Google the name of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper as recently as a couple of months ago, you'd see articles such as
    John Hickenlooper 2016 Presidential Buzz Continues, Dispite His Best Efforts
    but now, if you Google his name, most of the search results are

    Gov. John Hickenlooper Tells Senate Committee He Drank Fracking Fluid
    and my own
    CO Democratic Gov. Hickenlooper switching to Republican Party?

    For those outside of Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper testified before a panel in Washington D.C. that along with his Halliburton buddies, he 'drank fracking fluid' – a now infamous quote that has been used in countless newspaper articles around the country to defend the 'safety' of Fracking.
    Lastly, in response to two cities, Longmont and Fort Collins passing fracking bans – the same Governor took to the airwaves to announce that he would sue any city attempting to ban fracking on behalf of the Oil and Gas industry.

    This article is not to further vilify Governor Hickenlooper any further than he has already done by himself, but to point out the Governor's expanding vulnerability to a primary and to get feed back on who would be the best to defeat the Governor and hold the seat for the Democratic party.
    And, this is also an article that will show potential challengers to the Governor how they can chart their path to a primary victory.

     

    Like I mentioned before, I watched and blogged for a 2010 Senate Primary challenge for Michael Bennet by Andrew Romanoff.
    That race had several key advantages for Senator Bennet who retained his seat.
    1) As an appointed Senator to replace Ken Salazar, he had not really voted on anything controversial so there was no real record to attack.
    2) He said little that was controversial – he kept his head down and just stayed out of the spotlight
    3) He had the endorsement and campaign support of President Barack Obama – this I believe was the deciding factor on why he was able to fend off a challenge by Andrew Romanoff.

    That was a tough battle – as we waited and hoped for the gaffe from Bennet that would give Romanoff an opening – but it never came and Bennet won the primary. Both sides came together and helped Bennet beat a tea party candidate in the General.

    This week, ironically, Senator Bennet announced his endorsement of Andrew Romanoff in his Congressional bid against Mike "Obama is not an American" Coffman.

    So that's good news.
    Like I said – we waited for a gaffe or a chance mistake – but Bennet kept out of sight and uncontroversial.

    Now let's look at the Governor's actions – he has embraced fracking – and threatened to sue 2 cities who have banned fracking.
    Longmont was the first – and it is a nearby neighbor to Boulder – and many of the environmental activists involved with the ban came from Boulder.
    The second city is Ft. Collins – home to Colorado State and a fairly liberal enclave.
    My point here is – Fort Collins, Longmont (and by association Boulder) are liberal enclaves – in fact in a general election, the city of Boulder is the counter weight to conservative Colorado Springs.
    Hickenlooper might could afford to alienate these liberal places in a General – but alienating these democratic strongholds is a fatal flaw in a primary.

    The Governor has basically ceded the majority of the votes to his opponent from these areas in a primary.
    Some 'smart' people will say – 'but he has the Oil and Gas industry and their money on his side'
    good for him, he will need it.
    In Longmont, for instance, the Oil and Gas industry spent half a million dollars to put up negative ads against the November fracking ban ballot initiative, yet lost 60% to 40% against a completely unfunded grassroots people powered movement.

    Boulder – Longmont – Fort Collins votes – is also home to some of the finest Microbreweries who depend on clean water for their beer and business model.
    So when you pick up a Fat Tire, Left Hand, Dale's Pale Ale, Avery, or Oskar Blues – think of how the Governor is putting those businesses in peril.

    And Hickenlooper has not just ticked off his local constituents and businesses – by going to Washington and telling everyone how 'safe' fracking fluid is, he made himself the national figure of Environmentalist's anger.
    Whomever challenges him will have not just local donors, but donors from outside of Colorado – and celebrities like Josh Fox and Mark Ruffalo or Matt Damon who have made stopping fracking a number one priority.

    And this is not just my opinion -
    in a recent article it highlights statements Hickenlooper made further comments to anger voters to the Coloradoan:
    Hickenlooper Says State Willing To Compromise Over Fracking Ban In Fort Collins To Avoid Lawsuits

    “When you ban fracking, you’re telling all those people that paid their money, their savings, their investments to get their mineral rights now they’re being taken away,” Hickenlooper said to The Coloradoan. “That’s called a taking."

    His 'compromise' is that these cities might be able to keep the ban in place if they can raise the money to compensate the Oil and Gas companies who are not allowed to frack.

    Gee, how generous of him.

    Now, for those wondering if this primary is my idea alone, read these comments from the article above:

    As far as some of us Democrats are concerned, Hickenlooper need not bother to seek re-election…. wonder if Romanoff, who is not running for the House, would change his mind and seek the governorship instead? As far as this Colorado Democrat is concerned, I would vote for him over "Hickups" any day of the week.

    Ridiculous! The governor is willing to compromise with an industry that will destroy our natural resources in the name of what …jobs? They people will destroy our environment and leave..slam bam etc. Shame on you Hick!

    Colorado. I've been watching this online from N.H.. Please be wary of eminent domain, It could be around the corner! Just ask land owners in Texas, who had to sell to TransCanada (thats right Canada) in the name of public good.(Keystone pipeline) THAT IS CALLED TAKING! Oh yeah and "trade secret", thats like pissing in someones pool and calling it "biological property".

    I voted once for him and I think it will be the last time.

    I will support Ken Salazar and 99.9% of Hispanics will too…if he runs..

    Don't worry, we'll be running a primary opponent against Frackenlooper!

    Draft Salazar

    John's campaign slogan will be "Stick a fork in Hick,he's done"

    And it goes on and on….

    My environmental friends are wondering if Hickenlooper is acting so brashly against his base because maybe the administration has plans for him… who knows… but he doesn't deserve re-election us, and I doubt the President will get involved in this race.

    So who makes for the best challenger?
    My choice as I mentioned before is Morgan Carroll – she introduced several pieces of fracking legislation last year that were killed by the Republican led house. Now she has the chance to re-introduce them in the majority and further protect cities wanting to limit fracking.

    There is also Andrew Romanoff just starting his congressional race.
    Ken Salazar who just stepped down as the Secretary of the Interior.
    Others might be Congressman Ed Perlmutter or Congresswoman Dianna Degette.
    Or it could be someone else – your thoughts?

    2013: Ground Zero for Fracking

    (Crossposted at Huffington Post)

    This November, against all odds, the town of Longmont, Colorado, passed the first Fracking ban in Colorado. This ballot initiative was necessary because when the city council passed a ban in the summer, ‘Democratic’ Governor Hickenlooper threatened to sue the city to overturn it. Hickenlooper has sided with the Oil and Gas industry on every occasion, even cutting a commercial for the Industry which stated there were ‘no instances of contamination’ from Fracking.

    Then, the Governor signed an Executive Order creating an Industry friendly task force that takes away the rights of local communities to regulate fracking.  

    Undeterred, the people of Longmont turned to the Ballot Box and put the question to the Longmont voters.  Against enormous political pressure, the people of Longmont won, and now the industry-funded Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) is suing the city over the voter-approved ban.

    This is ground zero because this fight pits establishment politicians, even Democrats, aligned with the Oil and Gas industry, against the people who live in the communities who are endangered by fracking. If the Colorado Oil and Gas Industry wins their lawsuit it will most like be appealed to Federal court or even to the Supreme Court.  How will our President side on this issue?

    In support of the citizens of Longmont and to inform and encourage other communities in Colorado, the grassroots group Be the Change held a rally and performance

    event in Boulder on December 2nd.  Environmental Activists rallied in Colorado in solidarity with the City of Longmont.

    Present was Bill McKibben of 350.org, Josh Fox of ‘Gasland’, Wes Wilson – Wes Wilson, former environmental engineer with the EPA, Phil Doe of Be the Change (CO), and

    Michael Belmont of the Longmont activists who helped pass the ballot measure.

    There were activist groups like Mothers for Sustainability and the Sierra Club.

    Musical performances included Josh Fox, Laura Goldhammer, Earth Guardians, Elephant Revival, Pressure Point and Kunundrum.

    Listen to the speakers and the bands lead the charge for support for the citizens of Longmont, and everyone opposed to fracking in this video here, with quotes from the speakers below.

    Josh Fox of Gasland

                                           

    The speakers are during the first hour, and the music starts with Josh Fox on Banjo at 1:12 into the video.

    Bill McKibben of 350.org

    (7 minute mark)

    It was really good to see that pledge of resistance going around, and with a few thousand names on that (pledge) it will be harder for the powers that be to ignore what’s going on.

    We watched 1200 people arrested in Washing last year. It was enough at least to temporarily slow down this big Tar Sands pipeline – the Keystone pipeline….

    All these fights are coming together in great ways. And I am so grateful to you all for the work you are doing.

    Michael Belmont -emcee and Longmont Activist with Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont

    (10 minute mark)

    I entered this fracking fray because of a deep concern that the American Democratic process is being sold to the highest bidder. But the Giant doesn’t always win. In spite of a bullying Governor, a trillion dollar industry who threw half a million dollars at us, and 7 former mayors of Longmont who opposed our efforts, the ordinary people of Longmont prevailed.

    On November 6, 2012, in Longmont, Colorado,against all odds and in the face of oppressive state laws, 60% of the voters from virtually all political persuasions reclaimed their constitutional right to health, safety and wellness by prohibiting the dangerous industrial operations of Fracking and the disposal of its toxic waste in our city limits.

    Wes Wilson of the EPA:

    (22 minute mark)


    Lisa McKenzie of the Colorado School of Public Health showed in her studies that if your live within 1/2 mile of a gas well, you were more likely to have cancer and other illness….

    So the science is now in. We know that fracking wells poisons people nearby.We can’t allow this to continue.

    Josh Fox of Gasland:

    (35 minute mark)

    I don’t think Obama wins this state without Boulder.  I don’t think (Governor) Hickenlooper doesn’t win this state without the people like you going to bat for him. And if he is coming out there and saying to you ‘Well were going to sue you for defending your health.’ (boos) I mean this is an outrageous position for a Governor to be taking. For citizens to be democratically organized and standing up for your rights and saying ‘We don’t want the Fossil Fuel Industry, the chemical contamination and the lies of the 19th century… and 20th century in our future. We are going to defend our sanctity of our health, defend the character of our homes, defend the character of our towns… and then the Governor takes sides against the citizenship and sues them!?! (BOOS) I mean this to me seems to be an untenable political position if you are loud enough….

    Our fate in New York is also tied to what you guys decide to do…

    We need you badly… California, which has an enormous shale, the Monterrey Shale which stretches from East of San Francisco to East of Los Angeles and over the entire Central Valley –  the Agricultural Breadbasket and almond bakset and artichoke basket of the United States,  is in direct conflict for water, land and territory with the Oil and Gas industry and that’s coming…

    If we can find a way to make Colorado a base of support, I think we are going to be able to help all of those fights.

    Other Notable Quotes:

    Sonia Skakich Skrima – founder of What the Frack?!

    I tell people that this is not just the Oil and Gas industry Fracturing for Natural Gas. They are Fracturing our water, they are Fracturing our representative democracy, they are Fracturing our health, all for profits.

    Angela Monti of Mothers for Sustainability

    (47 minute mark)

    Colorado is moving in the direction of the so called ‘New Energy Economy’. Many elected officials, state agencies and state environmental leaders… public universities are collaborating with the Oil and Gas industry to develop Colorado’s Natural gas reserves, thereby committing Colorado to decades of Hydraulic Fracturing. In 2010 under the leadership of Governor Ritter, and with the support of several state level environmental organizations, the state legislature passed the Orwellian and erroneously named Clean Air, Clean Jobs act making Colorado the first state in the nation to pass a fuel switching bill. It requires Public Utilities to transition some of their units to  Natural Gas and requires it must be produced here in Colorado, effectively mandating Hydraulic Fracturing in Colorado.

    The musicians were concerned and outspoken as well.

    The Earth Guardian’s singer Mr. Martinez – who gives me a lot of hope from the younger generation:

    I went to Washington, D.C. and filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado and against our country for not protecting our atmosphere, and our air, and our water. (it’s filed) on behalf of the Our Children’s Trust campaign that says all the water, the air and the Earth is to be protected for future generations to come… We are filing in all 50 states to reduce our carbon emissions….and we actually won in Texas in New Mexico, so they are lowering their carbon emissions every year and are now planting trees…

    The group Pressure Point added

    It is not our right but our duty to peacefully protest any and all actions that contradict the interest of We The People. We see a huge injustice today in the political arena where politicians are ruled by banking and special interests groups that is becoming a concern for the future generations of this Country and our World.

    Kunundrum Guitarist Joseph Diehs :

    Like many, I did not know what Fracking was or just how bad it is. But I do know I like a good beer. For those of you outside Colorado, the areas they are talking about Fracking – Longmont, Boulder, Fort Collins, they supply the water to some of the best breweries in the state, if not the country. There’s New Belgium (Fat Tire), Left Hand, Oskar Blues (Dale’s Pale Ale), Avery… Think how that would hurt those businesses if the water they used was ruined by fracking.

    Other shout outs went out at the event to Sam Schabacher of Food and Water Watch for organizing various actions across the state, Shane Davis of Poudre Canyon Sierra Club, the Unity Center of Boulder for hosting and all of their excellent crew in charge of lighting, sound and stage management.

    Thanks to Tommy Golec for editing and sound for this video.

    Most of all, thanks to the people of Boulder county and Longmont for standing up to  the Oil and Gas Industry and our Governor.

    By the way, if you are so inclined, please contact Governor Hickenlooper’s office on this subject at (303) 866-2471.

    More video of the EPA hearing and Fracking protest last fall:

    Governor Hickenlooper says there have been no instances of contamination from Fracking….let him drink this water…

    Josh Fox of Gasland, Bill McKibben in Boulder this Sunday

    Two highly respected environmental activists are going to be in Boulder Sunday.

    Mr. Fox is specifically speaking on Fracking the fight between Longmont and our Governor.

    Details:

    Be the Change, Jamming for a Frack Free Colorado!

    Sunday

    3:00pm until 5:00pm

    Unity of Boulder

    2855 Folsom St, Boulder, Colorado 80304

    SPECIAL GUEST:

    Josh Fox, creator of the documentary Gasland, the short film The Sky is Pink, and the soon to be released Gasland II.

    LIVE MUSIC

    Elephant Revival members, Laura Goldhamer, Pressure Point, Earth Guardians, Josh Fox on banjo, Kunundrum and more….

    SILENT AUCTION

    To donate, contact DontFrackMe@gmail.com

    ALSO FEATURING:

    Phil Doe, Be the Change, USA

    Wes Wilson, whistle blower on EPA’s failure to regulate fracking, featured in Gasland

    Shane Davis, Fractivist.com

    Angela Monti Fox, mom of Josh Fox and founder of TheMothersProject.org, Mothers for Sustainable Energy  

    Following this Bill McKibben is speaking at Boulder campus and many of the people are coinciding this rally with Josh Fox to draw a spotlight on Gov. Hickenlooper’s decision to attack Longmont’s plan to block fracking.

    Anonymous claims it hacked Karl Rove’s vote stealing operation on Election night

    As reported from Democratic Underground:

    Anonymous (we think it is Anonymous?) says Karl Rove was gonna vote fraud all the Machines, and that’s why he was so flabbergasted and refused to believe it when Fox called Ohio for Bamz, but they stopped him from stealing all the Machines by jamming up ORCA, because it was not actually a GOTV system but a “steal the vote” system, but they stopped him, we are pretty sure that is what the following letter, which we guess is from Anonymous probably, says.

    http://www.democraticundergrou…

    The video:

    transcript:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/1133…

    Although this is definitely conspiracy filled, it does explain why Ham Rove’s head was exploding live on FOX news on Election night – even saying after the race was called, that ‘the numbers were going to change in Ohio’

    (See about 1:42 in the video)

    Romney supporter’s death threats to Denver restaurant via Westword

    ( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



    From Daily Kos:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

    This story

    http://blogs.westword.com/cafe…

    circulated by Westword has gotten a local Restaurant which happens to be Mexican and Mormon into the scopes of all the crazies across the country….

    The Mormon owners of a Mexican cafe in Denver say that they have gotten death threats, hate calls and fake orders after refusing to allow Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to make campaign stop at their restaurant.

    “One person who called said, ‘Watch your back. We know where live and we’re going after you,’” Oscar Aguirre, the son of the owners of Rosa Linda Mexican Cafe, told KMGH New Media Producer Wayne Harrison. “We just didn’t want our business used as a campaign stop.”

    more below….

    http://www.thedenverchannel.co…

    He said many callers [who made harassing or threatening phone calls] believe Rosa Linda refused to serve Romney because of a story in [Westword, the local paper] that said Romney “wasn’t invited” to eat at the restaurant.

    “That’s not true,” he said. “We just didn’t want our business used as a campaign stop.”

    Aguirre, who is Mormon and whose parents are Mormon, was contacted on Aug. 6 about a possible campaign stop by Romney. [...]

    “It was presented to us that (Romney) wanted to do a political stump here. (He wanted to) talk about our small business (and) because we share our religious views with the candidate and are Latinos it would be great for him to do a campaign stop,” Aguire said. “We did say ‘no’ because we are not Republicans, nor are we Democrats. We will welcome any sitting President of the United States. But, we did not want to be a campaign stop.”

    In addition to death threats, Aguirre said the family-run restaurant has had to deal with canceled orders and reservations. [...]

    “Since the Westword article came out, hate mail has been coming in from people across the country — people sending us death threats and people calling us telling us we are racist — that they hope we go out of business,” he said.

    “Last year, we fed 5,500 free meals (video below). This year, we may serve above 6,000 free meals. Please let the American public know that we are not racist or bigots. We are just a working family wanting to help our community and our country by serving those in need,” he said, adding, “Please stop the hate.”

    For those of you concerned that a local eatery who chose to be a-political in an election year – which many businesses must do in order to follow the (hated) advice of never talking about religion or politics, and whom now are being targeted with death threats and loss of business, would you please buy a gift certificate and show them that being a-political is not a crime?

    https://rosalinda.boomtime.com…

    Colorado’s Mike Coffman is acting ‘UnAmerican’

    It seems that Mike Coffman of Colorado is doing his best to hand his congressional seat over to the Blue column, but for those not familiar with Mr Coffman, he is not just a dumb birther caught with a live microphone.

    Mike Coffman was Colorado’s former Secretary of State before running for Congress.

    And in 2008, when politicos thought Colorado could have been one of the deciding states in the Election, Mike Coffman did his very best to try to become the Katherine Harris of the 2008 election.

    Let’s go back to that year in this diary:

    “At Issue: Forms used by Voter Registration Drives. They include a place for people to include their Driver’s License Number, State ID Card Number or Social Security Number (only requires last 4 digits). There is a box present which states “I do not have a Colorado Driver’s license or Dept. of Revenue identification number” which people are supposed to mark if they are going to only give an SSN.

    The Secretary of State has included in his Rules (dated July 2008) that any new voter who does not mark that box and only gives their SSN shall not be registered to vote.  In mid-September he issued a memo to the County Clerks telling them specifically to not register anyone who does this.”



    Coffman issued this ruling that said that people who did not check a small box would not be registered to vote.

    This was in late July of 2008 – after voter registration drives had turned in tens of thousands of first time newly registered voters – many were from the group I was working with at the time.

    After this, the New York Times found Coffman’s office were purging thousands from the voter rolls, far exceeding the number of people who died or moved out of the state.

    Also, during the election year, Colorado Ethics Watch discovered through filed motions, that:

    Coffman’s State Elections Director was discovered to be staying at a loft owned by the software salesman who manages the Voting Machines (DIEBOLD) for our state, machines that have already been de-certified, then re-certified by Coffman. She resigned pending an investigation, and it calls into question the veracity of our voting machine process.

    hear that info here:

    and was caught also doing this:


    Mike Coffman broke the law last year by allowing his database manager Dan Kopelman to manage the database while he was running a Republican voter database company on the side.

    Mike Coffman openly disenfranchised voters by voter purges, used onerous rules to attempt to disqualify newly registered voters, had his State Election director’s living arrangements being paid for by DIEBOLD, and, had his database manager running a partisan Rebublican voter database company while managing the supposedly non partisan voter database of Colorado.

    Incidentally, Coffman ran for his congressional seat that year in 2008, using voting machines he approved and in which his office counted the votes for that district.

    Mike Coffman may be a birther, but he is no dummy, and has shown in his past decisions as Secretary of State that he worked very hard to try to prevent people from voting for Barack Obama in 2008 in Colorado, which makes him not just a birther, but dangerous.

    Oh, and by the way – the Democrat running against him is Joe Miklosi – and guess what he did before he ran for office?

    He worked for Progressive Majority helping elect local Democrats to office in Colorado.

    Joe Miklosi’s campaign has a petition to ‘stop hiding’ from Reporters on his ‘un-American’ comments on President Obama.

    Also contribute to this Act Blue page “Mike Coffman is acting ‘Un-American’”

    Just for fun:

    Ballot initiatives to stop Fracking in Colorado

    Fracking in Colorado and all around the Country has been speeding up at an alarming pace. I had the chance to talk with Activist Sonia Skakich Skirma about some of the terrible things that have been happening to residents in Colorado, but also some good news for the November Ballot.



    First the incredibly bad news that has been occurring in Colorado.

    Colorado Environmental Activists have had some issues with our Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as well as with our Democratic Governor for making a radio commercial that stated

    “we have not had one instance of groundwater contamination associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing”

    Really? How about this story, which is one of many and were featured in Josh Fox’s Documentary, Gasland.

    Secondly, from the interview:

    Arapahoe County, like other communites across the Front Range where this new (fracking) has come, has started writing rules specific to the Oil and Gas industry.

    The COGCC – the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission had their Attorney General come in and say (to Arapahoe County)

    ‘If you write rules, Arapahoe County, that is one more wit more strict than State regulations we, the State, will see you in Court.’

    You heard that correctly, the State is threatening to sue if local municipalities try to enact rules that prevent unsafe drilling or fracking practices.

    They are trying to enact these rules because there has been ample evidence of widespread contamination by the Oil and Gas industry.

    Bruce Finley of the Denver Post went through the COGCC files and found that in a 30 month period, there were 1000 spills and 1/3 of these spills impacted ground or surface water.

    And this expansion of Fracking which uses millions of gallons of water is happening in a year when we are expected to have record drought not seen in a decade from low winter snowpack.

    But finally, there is some good news:

    One locality, ironically solidly Republican Elbert County and Colorado Springs have taken a stand against the COGCC and set up stricter rules after lawyer Barbara Green assured them that case history would rule in favor of Municipalities over the State, which will pave the way for other counties to follow suit.

    And even better news:

    There are very encouraging new initiatives that now are going to be put forward by Be the Change.

    One of them will be Ballot Initiative 3 and this would reassert that the Public owns all of the Water in the State, including all access to all streams and rivers.

    The other is Ballot Initiative 45 which states that any use of Colorado Water which contaminates it can not be considered a beneficial use of that water.

    I know the Oil and Gas Industry will fight tooth and nail to convince voters that Fracking is harmless.  But if successful these initiatives would effectively end Fracking in Colorado.

    Thanks to Sonia Skakich Skirma and to the following activist organizations

    Fracking Colorado,

    What the Frack, Save Colorado from Fracking, Josh Fox,  and 350.org.

    And if you can, attend the Earth Day Rally at the State Capitol on Sunday April 22nd from 1-3.  

    2012:The year without a Winter

    Last year in Denver,Colorado, there was snow on the ground through the end of April and warm temperatures were not really felt until mid May.

    Since the end of February this year, Colorado has only had 2 days that I can count where there were wintry conditions, and that was with lows of 30 degrees at night. What I can remember though, are March temperatures in the mid 80s occurring on four to six different dates, mirroring average temperatures for mid June.

    Trees have already blossomed, and there are grasshoppers, bees, butterflies and lots of pollen in the air – something we should not see until late May or early June.

    The Washington Post has reported that these first three months of 2012 have shattered records, especially in March.


    In March, at least 7,775 weather stations across the nation broke daily high temperature records and another 7,517 broke records for night-time heat. Combined, that’s more high temperature records broken in one month than ever before.



    More from the Washington Post:

    The winter that just ended, which in some places was called the year without winter, was the fourth warmest on record. Since last April, it’s been the hottest 12-month stretch on record, Crouch said.

    But the month where the warmth turned especially weird was March.

    Normally, March averages 42.5 degrees across the country. This year, the average was 51.1, which is closer to the average for April. Only one other time – in January 2006 – was the country as a whole that much hotter than normal for an entire month.

    The “icebox of America,” International Falls, Minn., saw temperatures in the 70s for five days in March, and there were only three days of below zero temperatures all month.

    “When you look at what’s happened in March this year, it’s beyond unbelievable,” said University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver.

    NOAA climate scientist Gabriel Vecchi compared the increase in weather extremes to baseball players on steroids: You can’t say an individual homer is because of steroids, but they are hit more often and the long-held records for home runs fall.

    They seem to be falling far more often because of global warming, said NASA top climate scientist James Hansen. In a paper he submitted to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and posted on a physics research archive, Hansen shows that heat extremes aren’t just increasing but happening far more often than scientists thought. What used to be a 1-in-400 hot temperature record is now a 1 in 10 occurrence, essentially 40 times more likely, said Hansen.

    And the reports of extreme winter warmth has gotten noticed by lots of people.

    In Maine:

    Ice leaves Beech Hill Pond earliest that 80-year-old can recall

    OTIS, Maine – Since 1947, Edwin “Sonny” Colburn has been keeping track of when the water in Hancock County’s Beech Hill Pond goes to ice, and back again.

    Never, he says, has he seen a winter like this.

    “There were years when we were driving vehicles on the ice on Thanksgiving, and we were ice skating and ice boating the first part of April,” he said Tuesday. “This year, the lake wasn’t frozen over until the morning of January 21st, and the ice went out the 21st of March, the earliest I’ve ever seen it go.”

    In Colorado, March is our heaviest snow month.

    We have had one day of snow in March, and little rain – which probably exacerbated a forest fire – 3 months before the beginning of ‘fire’ season.

    Another person who noticed the alarming temperature?  

    President Obama at a March fundraiser with Oprah in Chicago:


       ”We’ve had a good day,” Obama said. “It’s warm every place. It gets you a little nervous about what’s happening to global temperatures. But when it’s 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March it gets you thinking…”

       ”Something’s wrong,” Oprah interjected.

       ”Yeah,” Obama said. “On other hand we really have enjoyed the nice weather.”

    The article also notes:

    Instead of temperatures in the mid-40s, the historical average, Chicago is in a record-breaking streak of 80-degree weather. This “extreme and unprecedented” heat wave began last Wednesday and may continue through this Wednesday. “Before the heat wave, there had only been 10 March days on record that reached 80 degrees, and on average Chicago would see one 80 degree day in March every 14 years,” the Daily Herald reports.

    While it is true that I’d rather go for a hike than shovel snow, there is a downside to the early spring and summer temperatures – from CNN:


    The warm temperatures also contributed to conditions that were favorable for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. There were 223 preliminary tornado reports during March, a month that averages 80 tornadoes, according to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center. The majority of these tornadoes occurred during a severe weather outbreak across the Ohio River Valley and Southeast in early March. The outbreak caused 40 deaths and total losses of $1.5 billion, making it the first billion-dollar disaster of 2012.

    It is my belief that our fellow Americans are much more likely to be persuaded by what they can see with their own eyes – trees blooming in the winter – much more than statistical data, which as we have seen before can be made to look less than reliable – even when it’s  revealed to be a smear campaign against legitimate science.

    So what I want to know is what you have seen where you live.

    What odd weather have you seen?

    And more importantly, what are your friends and family saying about this weather?

    Rick Santorum’s Red Badge of ‘Savage’

    We now have a real fight on our hands for the 2012 campaign.

    Do not underestimate Rick Santorum.

    IMHO he has all the boxes checked for a viable Republican candidate – let’s look.

    Not Mitt Romney – Check.

    Conservative – Check.

    From a potential Swing State –  Check.

    A ‘true believer’ faith wise – Check.

    Stable family history (as far as we know) – Check.

    Access to oodles of Super Pac money via Foster Freiss – Check.

    Stable on issues, not flip flopping – Check.

    And lastly, and perhaps the most important – Rick Santorum and the Google.

    Yes, Dan Savage’s re-naming of Rick Santorum was a good laugh when Santorum was a defeated intolerant Senator, but now that he is a viable Presidential Candidate, things are different. This is a  ’Red badge of Courage – or Savage’ and it will help Santorum.

    And here’s why…

    Like a Red Badge of Courage or ‘Savage’, the Right can go on the attack on this ‘Santorum’ Google issue.

    You know how that Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial is giving the Right fits because it sounds like a pro-Obama ad, even though it wasn’t at all coordinated?

    The Right wing noise machine can play the same game.

    They can point to Dan Savage’s column and re-naming of Santorum and say

    ‘This is how the elite, liberal, Obama supporting left view the sanctity of marriage – by tearing down a faithful family man who supports traditional views on Marriage’

    Rick Santorum has all the boxes checked and thanks to the Google joke about ‘frothy’ stuff, he has a lot of name recognition because he has been laughed about on many different outlets, Colbert, Daily Show, late night, Saturday Night Live etc.

    Remember Richard Nixon’s statement “you won’t have this clown to kick around anymore”



    And how he seemed headed for political obscurity only to become the President 8 years later?

    Hypothetically, how does Obama answer this question?

    “Mr. President, do you agree with Dan Savage’s characterization of Senator Santorum for his beliefs about Marriage?”

    It certainly is not as an easy slam dunk as questions on Romney or Gingrich.

    And with Romney, the attacks were so easy, the hated Obamacare is based on Romneycare.

    But now, the White House is on the defensive from a large voting block amid backlash over one of the provisions of his healthcare plan – contraception in Catholic hospitals.

    David Axelrod, a senior campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, said the administration had heard the Roman Catholic Church’s concerns and never intended to “abridge anyone’s religious freedom.”

    But he gave no sign that the administration would reverse course under intensifying pressure from church leaders and political heat from Republican presidential candidates.

    Over the weekend, Catholic clergy across the country called for congregations to pressure Obama to back down.

    “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement last month….

    White House spokesman Jay Carney also sought to diffuse criticism from church leaders, telling reporters later on Tuesday the administration would work with religious organizations “to see if the implementation of the policy can be done in a way that allays some of those concerns.”

    With Romney, this was a non-issue as his Massachusetts plan went just as far if not farther in covering contraception.

    But with Santorum, you have a bona fide conservative issue, not just solidly against contraception, but a person that has been on record for years defending abstinence, even going so far as to promote the uber conservative ‘sex only for reproduction‘ viewpoint based on his faith in the Old Testament.

    I can remember when Catholic Bishops were telling people if they voted for John Kerry they would be denied communion based on Kerry’s view on Abortion.

    Santorum already will have the Catholic faith block on his side, and the other religious right groups will be on board as well, just as they were in Iowa.

    We were laughing as we considered thrice divorced Newt Gingrich as the opponent for the Election.

    We were smirking as we watched Romney take 2 or 3 positions on every issue and distance himself from his own health care plan and try to laugh past tough questions from Fox interviewers.


    I don’t see that in Santorum. His statement today after moving into the lead with 4 contests to Mitt’s 3 is “Conservatives are starting to get it

    Once in awhile, I switch from Ed Schulz to Rush Limbaugh (during commercials) and I heard a lady take Limbaugh to task for making light of Gingrich’s 3 marriages.

    She said, with firm conviction

    “If it is choice on the ballot between Obama and Gingrich, I’ll write in Santorum, because it means that much to me and other women”

    Limbaugh was on the defensive like I had not heard before.

    We laughed at Santorum before, but the longer he is winning, the more the narrative will be that ‘Santorum is the new comeback kid’

    a nick name that helped Bill Clinton win his nomination.

    I believe Barack Obama is headed for a second term, and he will campaign effectively, but I don’t want any of us to laugh off Rick Santorum.

    Talk me down, or better yet, talk strategy, because that’s the smarter thing to do.

    Never underestimate an opponent, especially one with a Red Badge of ‘Savage’.

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