Denver Post deceives subscribers with stealth fees for advertising and other inserts

The Denver Post is shortening the length of subscriptions with a deceptive tactic, allowing the newspaper to collect more money by forcing subscribers to renew earlier than they might have expected when they signed up.

The ploy is to charge subscribers $3 for four newspaper inserts delivered throughout the year, unless subscribers, many of whom are elderly and likely struggle to track life’s details, proactively opt out of receiving the newspaper inserts. Three of the supplements are advertising inserts and one is a Broncos bonus, presumably filled with pages and pages about the football team.

Unless subscribers know about the inserts and assert, at the time of their subscription renewal, that they don’t want them, then the length of their subscriptions are reduced by $12 worth of deliveries, which is a bit less than a month. That’s a lot of money for the newspaper, if you multiply it by hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

In another effort to make more money on subscriptions, The Post has stopped giving subscribers credit for vacation stops. If you halted delivery of your newspaper during your vacation in the past, you used to be able to add extra days to your subscription. Now you can’t.

This isn’t going over well with some subscribers, like my mother-in-law, who cancelled her subscription recently. She follows life’s details to a fault, so the shortened subscription didn’t escape her attention or her temper. She’s done with The Post.

When The Post called me to renew my own subscription, I confirmed all of this from the telephone saleswoman.

But I cannot provide an official comment or verification from The Post because, unfortunately, multiple calls and emails over the last few months to Circulation Director Bill Reynolds and Publisher Mac Tully were not returned. Before he left the newspaper, former Post Editor Greg Moore referred me to them.

I think the vacation-stop policy makes sense.

But charging for advertising supplements and pages full of minutia about the Broncos that should be part of your subscription anyway? That’s sleazy. And it will drive away customers.

Are Republicans already giving up on Bennet race?

(No “Con Man Cory” to the rescue this time… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Michael Bennet.

Sen. Michael Bennet.

After State Sen. Tim Neville was surprisingly knocked out of the Republican battle for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, State Sen. Justin Everett (R-Littleton) took to Facebook to lament:

Everett: “Sadly, our only chance to defeat Michael Bennet is no longer in the race. Thank you, Tim, we know you will always be on the front lines in the fight for freedom and liberty. God bless you and your family.”

Reporters might write off Everett’s comment as despondency after a shocking loss by Neville, whom Everett was obviously backing. But judging from the first quarter fundraising numbers, showing that none of the GOP primary candidates are, in Politico reporter Eli Stokols’ words, “really crushing it,” you have the privilege of wondering if Republicans are starting to join with Everett in thinking the race has already been won by Bennet, who’s sitting there with $7.6 million in the bank.

As The Denver Post put it:

No one in the crowded Republican field looking to unseat [Bennet] has reported more than $1 million cash-on-hand, and whoever emerges from the five-way fight likely will drained of resources just trying to win the June 28 primary.

The GOP fundraising leader, Jack Graham,the former CSU athletic director, dropped $1 million on his own campaign, and has, as ColoradoPols pointed out, more money in the bank “than the rest of the Republican field put together.”

Anything can happen, and big campaign spending may flow from 527 groups still unknown. But with the Colorado Republicans’ A-Team out of the race before they got in it, and the remaining B-Team not catching fire money-wise or otherwise, it’s a legitimate question for reporters to ponder: When will the toll of layers of candidates, piled upon divisiveness and Democratic unity, against the backdrop of an improving economy and even an increasingly popular president, make Republicans say, hmm, maybe we should throw our time and money elsewhere.

Q1 Fundraising Winners and Losers

We have a long tradition at Colorado Pols of examining “Winners and Losers” from key fundraising periods, and the Q1 reports that were due on April 15th represent probably the most important three-month period since Colorado moved its Primary election to June prior to the 2014 election cycle.

The first (and last) full quarterly fundraising cycle before the June 28th Primary ended at midnight on March 31, but federal campaigns weren’t required to submit their complete Q1 reports until April 15th. Campaigns for the U.S. House are required to file fundraising reports electronically, but Senate campaigns can drag out the public disclosure period for days (and sometimes weeks) by filing their fundraising numbers (literally) on paper and mailing the reports to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

We’ve been anxious to compare fundraising numbers for Q1, particularly from the 5 remaining Republican Senate candidates; for most of the GOP Senate field, the Q1 numbers are about the only objective information we have to go on right now in terms of evaluating a campaign’s strengths and weaknesses. We’ll update this post in a few days (or weeks) as new information becomes available, but with most campaigns announcing their fundraising hauls late Friday or over the weekend, we can still sketch out a pretty good list of “Winners and Losers” already.

For this “Winners and Losers” list, we are only comparing fundraising numbers for the U.S. Senate race and CD-6. In most Congressional districts in Colorado, the full slate of candidates wasn’t even known until Democrats concluded their caucus process with Saturday’s State Convention in Louisville.

Q1Fundraising-2016-Chart

NOTES:
*Cash-on-hand totals for Graham, Blaha, Keyser, and Frazier may not account for any outstanding balance owed to petition signature-gathering firms…or for most staffing expenses, for that matter. Campaigns typically hold off on making significant expenditures until the day after the end of the fundraising period so that they can “report” a larger cash-on-hand amount.

**We don’t yet know how much money Glenn has in the bank, but we do know that he doesn’t have any six-figure balances owed to petition-gathering firms. Because Glenn made the Primary ballot through the caucus/convention process, his expenditures will naturally be significantly less than his opponents.

Click after the jump for our “Winners and Losers” of Q1…

 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (April 18)

MoreSmarter-RainFrom Snowmageddon to Slushpocalypse. Try not to get too squishy today. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Because April 15th fell on a Friday this year, today is Tax Day in the United States (unless you are a huge corporation, in which case today is just like any other day). Good luck scrounging up some stamps from your desk drawer.

 

► The legislature gave final approval to the 2016 state budget on Friday, but not without controversy. A last-minute request from the Governor’s office to give $3 million to the Kit Carson Correctional Center on the Eastern Plains — a privately-run prison that apparently cannot exist without government help — nearly upset final negotiations on the “Long Bill.”

 

► Colorado Democrats didn’t let something like a little Snowmageddon keep them from turning out to various Congressional District Assemblies on Friday nor the Democratic State Convention in Loveland on Saturday. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders performed well, as expected, and can lay claim to 39 of Colorado’s 66 Democratic delegates.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Breitbart should state that Woods likes Trump, making her involvement in pro-Cruz shenanigans unlikely

(Seasons change, people change – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Sen. Laura Waters-Woods.

Breitbart’s Julie Hahn reports that four Colorado lawmakers, who are members of Ted Cruz’s “Colorado Leadership Team, voted against a 2015 bill that would have created a presidential primary in Colorado.

Trump has said the absence of a primary or caucus vote helped Cruz trounce Trump in the race for Colorado delegates. And Hahn’s story implies that Cruz supporters in Colorado’s legislature might have been working to squash Trump as early as last year, when they voted against a bill establishing open primary that might have benefited Trump.

“Social media posts, along with Cruz’s campaign website, reveal that Sen. Ted Cruz supporters in the Colorado Republican Party were responsible for crushing an effort to give Colorado the ability to vote in a state primary…The four Republicans who voted against the initiative were Sen. Kevin Grantham, Sen. Kent Lambert, Sen. Laura Woods, and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg.”

The trouble with this conspiracy theory is that Woods is actually factually on record as saying Trump is one of her top two favorite presidential candidates. As such, Woods is the only elected official in the state to affirmatively say she likes Trump.

Woods “narrowed the field” after watching the GOP prez debate in Boulder, and she concluded that her “favorites are Ted Cruz and Donald Trump” (here at 25 min, 50 seconds).

Later, Woods “liked” a Facebook post by The Conservative Update, which stated:

‘Like’ if you would vote for Donald Trump if he were the 2016 GOP nominee.

So if Woods was secretly in the tank for Cruz last year, when she voted against the presidential-primary bill, she, at a minimum, had a change of heart after being wowed by Trump at the Boulder GOP debate. But, more likely, she voted against the prez-primary bill for other reasons.

In any case, Hahn should update her post with the fact that Woods praised Trump and said he was one of her favorite candidaates along with Cruz, before she jumped on the Cruz boat.

Predatory-lending bill shouldn’t fly under journalists’ late-session radar

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

predatorylendingSometimes reporters ignore bills in the state legislature that look like they would surely die quickly in the hands of divided government. But here’s a piece of right-wing legislation that surprisingly cleared Colorado’s divided legislature last year, before a being vetoed by Gov. John Hickenlooper: a “predatory-lending” bill.

Similar legislation, introduced just last week, should be scrutinized by journalists, despite the end-of-session onslaught on top of the usual onslaught.

This year’s predatory-lending bill (SB16-185), which could be heard this week, would allow for an increase in interest rates on subprime “personal loans,” which are sold to people whose credit problems preclude them from obtaining loans with more favorable interest rates.

Such loans are convenient–and can actually help struggling families improve their credit ratings. But they’re costly, with the potential to be devastating economically for low-income people.

Lenders are getting 36 percent on the first $1,000 in a personal loan, and 21 percent on such loans from $1,000 to $3,000. Yet the senate bill would set up a mechanism to jack up the rates even more. Last year’s failed bill aimed to set the interest rate at 36 percent for all personal loans up to $3,000.

Personal loans average $6,000 in Colorado. They shouldn’t be confused with pay-day loans, which typically carry an even higher interest rate and can be no more than $500, under state law. So these are completely different types of loans.

In vetoing the measure last year, Hickenlooper was “particularly struck” by the Colorado Attorney General’s assessment that higher interest rates on personal loans would not make them more readily available to consumers.

This validates statements by the bill’s opponents that lenders of personal loans are profitable and thriving–despite allegations by the bill’s opponents last year that higher interest rates are needed to keep lenders from abandoning the business. And the number of personal loans sold last year is the highest since 2009, so the market is actually growing under the current regulatory structure, opponents say.

A number of groups have lined up against the predatory lending bill, including AARP Colorado, Bell Policy Center, Center for Responsible Lending, CLLARO, Colorado Catholic Conference, Colorado Center for Law and Policy, Colorado Council of Churches, Colorado Fiscal Institute, Gary Community Investments, Company, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, One Colorado, ProgressNow Colorado, and Small Business Majority.

Given what happened last year, and the public’s well-known demand to know what lawmakers are doing to help (or in this case hurt) working families, journalists should keep a close eye on this year’s predatory-lending legislation.

“You Are Not Alone” – Congressional Candidate Bob Seay Speaks at the CD-04 Democratic Convention

CD-04 Convention, Loveland, CO

April 15th, 2016

I am Bob Seay, and I am running for the privilege of representing CD-04 in the U.S. House of Representatives. My opponent is Ken Buck.

And that alone should make you want to vote for me.

I am currently the band director and music teacher at Lamar High School. In addition to my teaching duties, I have served as my school’s building rep for our local chapter of the National Education Association. I’m also a political activist.

I’ve done a lot of work, but I haven’t held an elected office. Compare that to the people who have been elected to office but haven’t done a lot of work, at least not for us. People like the Republicans in the Senate.

In a Congress in which 51% of the members are millionaires, I will know how it feels to live paycheck to paycheck. I know how it feels to be really sick and to not have health insurance or the money to pay for a doctor. I know what it’s like to be unemployed and alone.

I have been there.

I think about those points in my life when I get a campaign contribution from someone who lists their occupation as “unemployed.” That is an incredibly humbling feeling. This is not a game. I’m not running just so Democrats can have a name on the ballot. I’m running because I see needs that are not being met.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our campaign. Your donations make this campaign possible. Thank you to the people who have volunteered their time, knowledge, and skills to this effort. I am blessed with a lot of smart, talented, and committed friends. But we’re not there yet. We need your help now more than every if we are going to move forward.

You are encouraging us to go on. You are letting us know – letting me know – that we are not alone.

And that is why I came here tonight: To tell you that you are not alone. Because it can be lonely being a Democrat in CD-04

You are not alone if you disagree with Ken Buck and the radical agenda that he represents.

You are not alone when you believe that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege. A medical crisis should not lead to a financial disaster.

You are not alone when you believe that a woman has a right to make her own personal and private medical decisions. This is 2016. Why are we even still having that conversation?

You are not alone when you tell oil companies that homeowners and communities should have the right to say “No!” when someone wants to put an oil well in their backyard.

You are not alone.

For too long, we have been locked out of the conversations that affect our lives. We have been told to be quiet and to accept the fact that we live in a conservative district. We have been ignored and treated as if we don’t even exist. It is time for us to speak. It is time for us to be heard.

Ken Buck doesn’t want to hear us.

Ken Buck doesn’t want to hear that climate change is a real problem, even though anyone with a thermometer and a piece of graph paper can tell that it is.

Ken Buck doesn’t want to hear about campaign finance reform. Ken believes that corporations are people and that money is speech. But if money is speech, then who will speak for those who don’t have any money?

Ken Buck doesn’t want to hear that being “pro-life” means more than just telling women they have no choice. You can’t call yourself “pro-life” if you repeatedly try to defund programs that help families. If you try to defund clinics that help women. If you support policies that are killing the planet.

We are facing serious problems. But some of the solutions seem pretty obvious.

We can reduce poverty and lower the number of people who need food stamps by requiring employers to pay a living wage. You can’t really call it a “minimum wage” if it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of what it costs to live in a community. At the same time, we need to recognize the needs of small business owners in small towns, the real job creators. We give tax breaks to corporations and they move jobs overseas. Small businesses keep jobs here. Small business owners in CD-04 tend to be very good people. We need a realistic living wage structure that works for workers and for small business owners. And we need to stop using taxpayer dollars to subsidize large companies like Walmart that refuse to pay their workers a living wage.

We can save Social Security by raising the cap on social security contributions. Full disclosure: As a teacher, I am part of PERA, which is not part of the Social Security system. But most of you in this room pay 6.2% of your salary in Social Security taxes. But if you make over a million dollars a year, you pay less than 1% of that income. In what universe is that a fair system?

We can increase our productivity and encourage our young people by making it easier for qualified students to go to college. A college graduate should not have to start out with 30, 40, or $50,000 in debt. It is time for America to get back to the business of investing in education. It is time for America to get back to the business of investing in young Americans.

We can preserve the environment without sacrificing our economy by transitioning to alternative fuels. How many blacksmiths do you know? At one time, this country was full of blacksmiths. They made horseshoes, and wagon wheels, and all sorts of useful things. Where did they all go? Was there some sudden mass extinction event that only targeted blacksmiths? No. They became the men who built or worked on the cars that made their job obsolete. They transitioned from an antiquated technology to a new technology. We need to do that same thing with oil and gas. The people who are drilling for oil today could be the same people who are drilling for geothermal energy tomorrow, or working on wind farms, or solar arrays, or on things that we haven’t even thought of yet. This is not a job loss. This is a job transition.

As we consider alternative technologies, we must also consider alternative crops. Given the changes in climate and our water supply, we need to consider hemp and other crops that are better suited to our new environmental reality. We need legislation that allows farmers to do that. We need to end the “buy and dry” policies that have ruined our farmland and wrecked our economies.

We can fix our immigration problem with laws that let honest people join mainstream society instead of fixating on ways to keep people out. You can’t solve your problems by blaming them on someone else. Racist hatred has never solved anything.

I’ve heard people say that people like me are just people who want free stuff. That’s not true. That would be the Tea Party that expects to receive government benefits without paying anything for it. We understand that nothing is for free. What we want is to be able to say how the money we pay in taxes is spent. As a nation, we have invested a lot of money in corporations, in the form of subsidies, tax breaks, and other giveaways. It is time for us to invest in people. It is time for us to invest in Americans.

This election is a battle of ideas. And in a battle of ideas, we will win, because the truth is on our side. The truth is that Eastern Colorado needs the programs and policies that come from the Democratic party. CD-04 needs universal healthcare. We need economic development. And good public schools. And need immigration reform.

And Ken Buck is not helping us to meet those needs.

We are not alone. The rest of the state needs those things too. The rest of the country needs those things. And the next President of the United States, whomever she or he may be, will need a Congress that will work with them to get the job done.

So remember:

You are not alone.

Your voice matters.

Your ideas matter.

And in this election, your vote will matter.

Thank you.

You can learn more at our website at bobforcolorado.org.

Or at BuckNo.org 

Either way.

 

 

 

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

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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

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

In multiple interviews, Glenn attacks Keyser for exploiting his Bronze Star for political gain

(Gloves off – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn.

Republican U.S. Senate Jon Keyser is “running on, ‘I have a Bronze Star,'” GOP U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn told 9News today, for a “Balance of Power” show to be aired fully on Sunday morning at 8:45:

In a teaser for the program, Glenn says, “Jon Keyser is a nice guy but does not have a lot of depth or breadth of experience. He’s running on ‘I have a Bronze Star.’” Glenn told 9News. “I respect him for that, but he didn’t even finish a term in the legislature.”

9News anchor Kyle Clark reported on the interview:

Glenn assailed Keyser for lacking a conservative voting record that would qualify him for the Senate.

“You can’t just go in there and drop your Bronze Star and say, ‘This is how I’m going to vote.’” Glenn said.

The Keyser campaign fired back sharply.

“Darryl Glenn is embarrassing himself and further proving why he will never be a United States Senator,” said Keyser spokesman Matt Connelly.

Glenn, who won a GOP election Saturday to appear on the Republican primary ballot, presented a similar version of his attack on Keyser on KVOR radio in Colorado Springs April 11, stating:

Glenn: “You hear a lot of people pandering out there, saying great things.  And I’m personally offended at Mr. Keyser.  He needs to stop campaigning on the fact that he has a Bronze Star.  I love the fact – I honor him because he has that.  But I represent, here, five military installations.  I have people on my own team that have that.  And the one thing they don’t do is campaign on it. These people do things that most people don’t want to do.  But you don’t use it for personal benefit.  So he needs to dial it back!”

Listen to Glenn on KVOR radio April 11:

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Nothing But Crickets on Fundraising Report Deadline

UPDATE: Numbers now coming in (summarized by the Denver Post) , and it’s not looking good for “insider pick” Jon Keyser at all:

Graham’s campaign said Friday that he raised about $341,000 and enters the homestretch of the GOP primary with about $942,000 cash-on-hand — a warchest that was inflated by a $1 million loan from Graham, a political newcomer who once served as CSU’s athletic director…

Keyser, a former state lawmaker, will report about $300,000 raised in the first quarter with about $200,000 cash-on-hand. He loaned his campaign $100,000.

Without question this tiny haul for Keyser is very bad news for his campaign. A powerful Q1 for Keyser was the one only thing everyone was looking for to elevate him above the pack of Senate candidates, because he’s been a pretty poor candidate in every other aspect. Having to loan his campaign 100k just to get close to Jack Graham’s total won’t get that done. This underwhelming fundraising performance for Keyser is great news for Graham, Darryl Glenn, and Ryan Frazier, who can all spin it as a big victory over the GOP establishment.

—–

YodaCricketsToday is April 15th, which is normally the deadline for submitting your taxes; but because the 15th falls on a Friday, you have until Monday the 18th to finish your frantic search for deductibles.

Unfortunately for those Coloradans running for political office, there is no extension for submitting Q1 fundraising reports, which are due today. Congressional candidates should be submitting their reports electronically to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), but Senate campaigns often choose to mail their fundraising reports to gain a few extra days before they become publicly available.

We should know by early next week how the fundraising numbers stack up in various high-profile races in Colorado, and as we wrote in late March, Q1 numbers could absolutely make or break some of the campaigns for U.S. Senate. But the complete lack of information (thus far) on potential fundraising outcomes for the first quarter of 2016 send a rather obvious signal that none of the Republican Senate candidates are particularly confident about their numbers. 

It is fairly common for big statewide campaigns to announce fundraising numbers on their own timeframe, and in years past we would have heard some of these numbers by now as the campaigns announce them with a chest-beating press release. Frankly, we can’t remember a comparable time in which none of the challengers in a big race announced their quarterly results early. Friday afternoons are always good days to dump bad political news (particularly when they land on the eve of a potential snowstorm), so we’re definitely keeping an eye out for any announcements today that attempt to float under the radar.

For an idea of what to expect, here’s a quick rundown of the five GOP Senate candidates (you can go back to our earlier fundraising post for more details):

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Wayne Williams Touts Colorado Election Law But Still Opposes It

(Chutzpah, baby – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Last month, on Rocky Mountain Community Radio, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams praised a Pew study for, as Williams put it, “highlighting some of the improvements and the innovations that we try to look at in Colorado.”

The Pew study gushed about Colorado’s 2013 law, which, among other things, mandated that mail-in ballots be sent to all voters, authorized same-day registration, and shortened the length of residency required for voter registration.

The reforms, according to Pew, reduced election costs by 40 percent, and over 95 percent of voters surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied.

Even though he opposed Colorado’s election-modernization law when it passed in 2013, Williams subsequently praised Colorado’s election reforms, well before the Pew Study was published. For example, he lauded the new voting centers and options in Colorado Springs.  And prior to touting Colorado’s wide use of mail-in ballots at a 2015 conference, he issued a news release saying, “Colorado continues to lead in a host of areas.”

So it was an interesting journalistic moment, after the Pew study came out last month, when Colorado Community Radio’s Bente Birkeland asked Williams if he’d oppose Colorado’s election law again, after seeing how it’s worked.

Yes, Williams said he would oppose it, “Because it didn’t include the kind of give-and-take that we’ve tried to do since I’ve been Secretary of State, which is to sit down with the stakeholders of both sides ahead of time and work things out.”

I wondered if Williams had substantive reasons for his opposition, or if it was just a procedural problem for him. His office provided a detailed list of alleged “improvements” made after the 2013 bill, which was referred to as HB13-1303, passed. A list of  bills that would fix current “issues” was also provided, as well as a list of “additional issues that still need to be addressed.” (See these lists below.)

“HB13-1303 made a number of good changes,” Williams said in a statement,  “but because of the above issues and because it violates Colorado’s Constitution with respect to recall (even with the changes made), I could not support it because of my oath to uphold the Constitution. If introduced today, I would work to fix the above issues through the amendment process—something that was denied in 2013 because of lockstep votes to approve by the controlling party.”

Asked to respond to Williams’ lists, Elena Nunez, Director of Colorado Common Cause, told me via email:

Secretary of State Williams has shown a great willingness to partner with stakeholders on election issues, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done together this year.

Having said that, it is discouraging to hear the Secretary laud Colorado’s election law nationally while trying to roll back the parts of the law that make it such a success. Our approach is innovative because it gives Coloradans convenient options to both register to vote and cast ballots, while creating administrative efficiencies.

…All of his examples of “1303 fixes” in the bipartisan cleanup bill, SB16-142, are election issues that would need to be addressed even if HB13-1303 had never become law.

Here’s is Williams’ statement and list in its entirety.

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Get More Smarter on Friday (April 15)

GetMoreSmarter-SnowLucky for you, your taxes aren’t officially due until Monday; you’ll have lots of time to finish up during Snowmageddon this weekend. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Rain! Snow! Rainsnow! We might get buried by snowfall this weekend…or maybe it’ll just rain a lot. The Colorado Pols’ “Triple-Doppler With Cheese” shows lots of blue ‘Ls’ and red ‘Hs’ swirling around the Metro Denver Area. Let’s hope they don’t smash into each other and form a big purple ‘K.’

 

Earlier this week we suggested that you avoid Greenwood Village today, where supporters of Donald Trump were planning a rally in front of the State Republican Party HQ to protest getting their asses kicked at the GOP State Convention on Saturday. That rally has since been moved to the State Capitol, scheduled to take place today at 3:00 pm. You might want to avoid the State Capitol this afternoon, unless you just want an autograph from Larry Wayne Lindsey, who is apparently a famous viral video guy, or something. His Hairness is fully supportive of this, BTW:

If you do make it over to the Capitol building, you’ll have your choice of places to stand and shake your fist. An “anti-corruption” group called Represent.Denver is also planning on some sort of rally this afternoon. Apparently today is “Good Government Restoration Day.” Don’t feel too bad; we forgot to pick up a greeting card, too.

Oh, and supporters of the Colorado Republican Party are still planning to rally in Greenwood Village today, for some reason.

 

► Loan Sharks! Lobbyists for the shady high-interest loan industry are once again trying to convince legislators to debate a late-session bill that would allow them to jack up interest rates for so-called “supervised” personal loans. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this legislation, and those who support it, as we have done ever since being inundated with Payday Lending spam back in 2009.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Safeway Beer Buyer: I’d Like to Sell *More* Colorado Craft Beer

(This post was authored by the Your Choice Colorado campaign. – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

I’m Russ Novotny, the Liquor Sales Manager for Safeway. I’ve seen Keep Colorado Local’s signs on liquor stores—the ones that claim the sale of real beer and wine in grocery stores would put Colorado breweries out of business.

I’m not sure what math they did to get those numbers. But here’s what I do know: Colorado grocery stores want to help local brewers grow.

I’d like to be able to stock real craft beer in all of our Safeway locations across the state. Colorado shoppers want to buy it, which makes it a no-brainer for our business.

But under current Colorado law, only one grocery store per chain is allowed to sell real beer and wine in Colorado. That rule means we can only stock local beer and wine in our Littleton location. At that store the demand for real beer and wine is so high that in the next couple of weeks we’re rolling out a new display to put hundreds of Colorado craft brewers front and center.

If every store could fulfill shoppers’ demand for real beer and wine, one study estimates that craft beer sales would grow by $125 million.

But Keep Colorado Local and the liquor lobby are teaming up to block progress. They’re using fear tactics to protect their monopoly on real beer and wine sales in Colorado. Without competition, they can charge nearly 20% more. They’ve continuously convinced legislators to protect this unfair system through backroom deals.

Our opposition might claim they’re on the side of brewers, but their actions tell a different story.

It’s time to stop denying Colorado brewers more access to customers and give consumers real Colorado beer and wine in grocery stores.

Tax Day, Tipton, and the Tired Rhetoric of an Entitled Industry

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Two things come with certainty we are told, and one of those comes with an annual deadline: Tax Day.  And without getting into the many issues of public spending, and tax policy, and philosophies of government–there is still a thread that connects them all: fairness. Who pays what for public resources, public benefit, public good.

“Only little people pay taxes.” Leona Helmsley ~ This year Tax Day is April 18.

So here is something to think about as you dig around for that last receipt hoping to save another $50 on your 1040.

Last year alone oil and gas companies, already profiting off developing resources from public lands, wasted enough methane gas that it could have put another $50 million or more into the U.S. Treasury, according to a report prepared by the Western Values Project.

That’s money that American taxpayers have to make up, even though the resources being wasted already belong to us.

So not only are we robbed of the royalty that gets vented and flared along with the gas, we lose a valuable energy resource too. The Durango Herald (covering a public  hearing held in nearby Farmington, New Mexico) reports:

“Oil and gas companies operating on federal and tribal lands are now wasting more than $330 million worth of natural gas nationwide,” Salazar said. “And in New Mexico, that’s $100 million a year, each year, through the wasteful practice of venting, flaring and leaking. In fact, New Mexico is No. 1 in the country for the amount of natural gas being lost.”

Oil and gas executives think paying Americans for the waste of their public resources could be “crippling.”

Which brings us to another thing to consider this Tax Day. The Bureau of Land Management, which administers most of the public’s onshore minerals, is finalizing an updated rule to stop this disregard shown by oil and gas companies for our energy resources and for the American taxpayer.

Under the proposed new rule more money could be returned to the U.S. Treasury, less of America’s energy resources would be wasted needlessly, and methane emissions would be cut significantly, the Herald reports.

BLM officials estimated the tougher regulations would reduce methane emissions – a gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide – about 169,000 tons per year, and decrease volatile organic compound releases by 410,000 tons per year.

“The announcement … is consistent with the Obama Administration’s goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2015,” the Department of Interior said in a Jan. 22 statement.

The BLM rulemaking is a necessary and prudent update to regulations that predate the shale boom and the widespread deployment of fracking and horizontal drilling, practices that can release large amounts of methane.

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