Get More Smarter on Friday (Feb. 13)

Get More Smarter

Today is Friday the 13th, the first of 3 such "unlucky" days in 2015; there's another Friday the 13th in March and again in November. 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.


TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Legislation to regulate abortion clinics in Colorado failed in a State House committee yesterday. Super-conservative Rep. Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt voted with Democrats to kill the bill on Thursday, apparently because he was concerned that the legislation would give state approval for abortions.

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Wheat Ridge) introduced legislation on Thursday that would ban the use of red-light cameras across the country. FOX 31's Eli Stokols speculates that the bill may be an early sign of a potential Perlmutter campaign for Governor in 2018. Rumors of Perlmutter's interest in the Governor's Mansion have been on the rise since Gov. John Hickenlooper's re-election last November. Former Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is a likely 2018 candidate as well.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Colorado Week in Review for February 13th, 2015

Colorado Week in Review

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Feb. 12)

Get More Smarter

Abraham Lincoln would have celebrated his 206th birthday today, which would have made him the oldest living President by a wide margin. 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.


TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Republicans gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to the "Let Parents Do Anything They Want with their Children" "Parent's Bill of Rights." Senator Tim Neville and Senate President Bill Cadman seem intent on making sure Republicans have every opportunity to say something embarrassing before the House inevitably spikes the legislation.

President Obama called for Congressional support to increase military action against ISIL (or "ISIS," or whatever acronym your prefer). In response, Republicans in Colorado's Congressional delegation declared that they are absolutely, definitely, going to sit on their hands for awhile. Sen. Cory Gardner bravely put all of the responsibility on the White House in a statement, as did Rep. Scott Tipton. As the Pueblo Chieftain writes, "Tipton wouldn’t say what action the U.S. should take against ISIS. Like Gardner, he said that’s Obama’s job." Nothing says leadership and decisionmaking like responding, "Go ask your dad."

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Ken Buck undecided in GOP state chair race

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Ryan Call, Steve House.

Ryan Call, Steve House.

Colorado's newbie congressional Representative, Ken Buck, can't decide who's the better man to lead Colorado's Republican Party: current Colorado GOP Chair, Ryan Call, or challenger Steve House, a businessman and former gubernatorial candidate.

Speaking on KLZ's morning show yesterday, Buck said (at 8 minutes below):

Corporon: The party organizational meetings have been going on here in Colorado. And there seems to be a movement afoot to challenge the leadership of Ryan Call at the head of the Republican Party. In your own county, 13 of the 13 elected officials to the county, and the bonus members, have all come out in support of Steve House…Have you had any time to think about this race?

Buck: Sure, I've had time to think about it. Cory Gardner is the highest-ranking elected official in Colorado. He is supporting Ryan Call. Ryan, while not very successful two years ago, was successful this last election in getting things done and has agreed to step down after two years. On the other hand, Steve House is a good friend of mine. I respect the way he ran in the governor's race. And I thought he did a good job and brings a lot to the job. At this point, I have talked to both of them and not made a decision on what I am going to do. [BigMedia emphasis]

Corporon: I want to encourage you to watch very carefully…the wave that's going on in these organizational meetings. In Arapahoe, 15 or 23 people came out in favor of House. In Denver, 10 of 13. …Adams County Republicans, 10 of 13 supporting Steve House. There are people who really feel that the Republican Party under-performed here in Colorado compared to the wave…

The GOP will select a state chair March 14.

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War with ISIL: Discuss

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

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

 

 


 


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

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

Anonymous has successfully targeted the group's recruitment efforts. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What will your newly elected Senators and Representatives do?

What do you want them to do?

Discuss.

 

 

 

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Feb. 11)

Get More Smarter

Has anyone seen the Denver Nuggets? We still have a team, right? 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.


TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Two of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent memory are being discussed again today under the Capitol Dome. Sen. Tim Neville's "Parent's Bill of Rights" (also known as SB-077 or the "Let Parents Do Anything They Want with their Children" bill) is back on the docket. Also scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee is SB-070, Sen. Kevin Lundberg's ridiculous bill to de-regulate small child care centers in Colorado.

► Also expected to be discussed in the State Senate today is SB-020, also known as "Erin's Law." This bill is intended to assist schools in education and response to cases of child sexual abuse, but Democratic proponents of the legislation expect that Republicans will attempt to hijack the discussion by adding amendments intended to weaken sex-education classes in Colorado schools.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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McPlagiarist resurrects political career with election as county commissioner

(Like Dave Balmer says, everybody deserves a second chance – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Scott McInnis.

Scott McInnis.

It appears that the entire front-range media missed one of the most exciting election stories of 2014: the resurrection of failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis!

McInnis, who was taken down by wizard Dan Maes in the 2010 Republican primary, won a seat in November on the Mesa County Board of Commissioners.

If you call his office, you get a message saying:

"Thank you for contacting commissioner Scott McInnis. Although he is unavailable to take your call, your call is important. Please leave your name, phone number, and a brief message. Thank you."

A quick check revealed that this exact phone message (except the name "Scott McInnis") was plagiarized, but McInnis probably had nothing do do with it, as the message was delivered in a woman's voice.

Back in 2010, McInnis was caught by The Denver Post for plagiarizing portions of short articles he wrote on Colorado water issues, commissioned for $350,000 from the Hasan Foundation.

The price tag prompted former Post columnist Ed Quillen to write that he wanted to engage McInnis as "my literary agent, since he knows how to cut some sweet deals.”

McInnis blamed his water-article plagiarism on his ghost writer, Rolly Fisher, but McInnis eventually took some measure of responsibility for it.

Last year, during his county-commissioner race, McInnis washed his hands of any wrong-doing for the plagiarism, telling the Grand Junction Sentinel he regretted admitting to any mistakes about the plagiarism.

“I’ve used ghost writers my whole career. I would have said I didn’t make the mistake. I wasn’t dishonest then and I’m not dishonest now.”

Barring any recalls for un-commissioner-like behavior, which may or may not include plagiarism, he'll serve until 2019.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Feb. 10)

Get More Smarter

Still nursing that hangover from celebrating "Family Day" in Canada yesterday? 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.


TOP OF MIND TODAY…

The Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee will hear testimony today on SB15-091, also known as the "Construction Defects" bill. The legislation sponsored by Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) would reduce the statute of limitations for homeowners on construction defects from 8 years to 4 years, because, screw consumers. This bill will not be heard today after all — there was a late calendar change.

► Anti-fracking groups are holding a news conference today outside City Hall in Denver. The groups are pushing Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and the Denver City Council to support a pre-emptive ban on leasing federal land for fracking in the South Platte River watershed in South Park.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Feb. 9)

Get More Smarter

Only 7 more shopping days left until President's Day. 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.


GET READY FOR THIS…

► Senator Laura Waters Woods (R-Arvada) presents SB15-069 in the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology committee today. Also known as the "Right to Discriminate" bill, SB-069 would repeal some basic protections for workers in companies with fewer than 15 employees, allowing employers to discriminate based on sex, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and disability…and pretty much anything else you can think of.

► Let's get fracking! Several pieces of legislation focused on fracking are expected to be discussed this week.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Why I support David Sabados for Party Chair

My name is Wesley Song and I support David Sabados’ run for Party chair. I put my name here to be sure that there can be no question as to who I am and the reasons I support Dave. I have been a Democrat since I attended the University of Northern Colorado. I registered as a Democrat in 2004, shortly after the election before I started work in the Colorado state capitol as an intern. I am a Democrat because of David Sabados. While I was at UNC, I had held fast to being an independant. I was one of those independent voters that believed that both parties were screwed up and couldn’t do a damn thing. David showed me what it meant to not only believe in principles but to stand up to them. After we got to know each other and I worked with Democrats, I came to understand why he worked so hard. There are some great people in the party. The party has some great principles. There are things to be fought for. The things I wanted were the things that the Democratic party stood for.

Since college I’ve done work in campaigns, but I have primarily worked in the private sector and participated in politics like most people. I am not a high dollar donor, nor am I a super activist. I have mainly gotten my news from reading the Huffington Post, Colorado Pols, and the various local and national newspapers. I care quite a bit (as many of my facebook friends can probably attest) to certain issues. That being said, after the last election I have seriously contemplated leaving the party and returning to my independent status. It is my impression that the party has left some of the values that I most care about to the wayside in favor of better polling and a perceived greater appeal. I feel like the support for unions has become the crazy uncle type of topic that we push aside, except when we need their money and their support. It seems that we’ve forgotten that public education is what built the middle class in America. I don’t hear enough about what we are doing about income inequality and its tremendous effect on the middle class American. This last election, I heard almost nothing about what we stand for. I didn’t hear what it was to be a liberal or a progressive in anything. Maybe I missed some speeches, or some of the flyers got lost in my inbox. The fact is that I think we can win elections by running on what we believe in. I think that being a liberal and progressive isn’t about being a wuss as the right would sometimes have me believe. I think that leading by over polling our message is like the joke about the French revolutionary that says, “There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.”

So I’m going to support someone that I may not always agree with, but who isn’t afraid to lead and to work hard. I’m staying a Democrat as long as I know that we’ve got people in the party willing to make it better.

Get More Smarter (Friday, Feb. 6)

Get More Smarter

Open up your brain. 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.


TODAY IS THE DAY…

► A State House committee will consider the so-called "Death with Dignity" act today (HB15-1135). The legislation would allow terminally-ill Coloradans to seek a "life-ending prescription" from a doctor. Some conservatives and other right-wing groups are opposed to the bill and have taken to calling this "Self-Murder," which makes about as much sense as Republicans using the term "Gun Control."

► Republicans have to figure out what to do with the so-called "Parent's Bill of Rights," which narrowly passed out of committee yesterday as the debate descended into anti-vaccination madness.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Colorado Week in Review for February 6th, 2015

Colorado Week in Review

Get More Smarter (Thursday, Feb. 5)

Get More Smarter

It's time for the first Get More Smarter in Colorado Pols history. We're more excited than Tim Neville in a room full of men (no, not like that).
 

TODAY IS THE DAY…

► State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) will try to explain his "Parent's Bill of Rights/No Rights for Children" (SB15-077) legislation in the Senate Education Committee today. Republicans will likely let this train wreck of a bill make it out of committee so that the full State Senate can continue to ruminate on why SB-077 is a political disaster for 2016.

► Speaking of really terrible ideas, Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) is in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee today to discuss SB15-070, which would drastically reduce regulations on small child care facilties and operations. Child welfare advocates are baffled by Lundberg's bill and say it would present a serious safety risk to children. Lundberg says that parents should figure out on their own whether or not a child care facility is safe; you know, because pedophiles readily identify themselves and all.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Rube Goldberg, Jr., declines Colorado budget post

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

DENVER – Troubled by constant comparisons to his contraptionary father, Rube Goldberg Jr. embarked on a more stable career path by earning advanced degrees in finance and economics. His sensible, award-winning work to follow drew attention from governmental offices nationwide, leading to job offers beaucoup with the promises of proper pay and pensions.

Goldberg Jr. accepted many of these offers, not shying away from tough challenges, such as the recession-ravaged City of Detroit or several California cities facing bankruptcy. But in February 2015, his calm and collected demeanor finally showed signs of cracking, after he applied for and disgustedly refused the Director’s position with the Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB).

“With all due respect, and by that I mean ‘none,’ this is the most f$(%*d-up fiscal structure I’ve ever seen,” said Goldberg Jr., with a look in his eye like black holes in the sky, hair disheveled and chain-smoking Spirits. “If you people really want to live this way, be my guest and I’ll go live in a more sensible place, like Greece or Iceland. But the fact is, even my Dad couldn’t have fathomed a process more convoluted than this, and it made me think of him a lot. So, I sat down and took my best shot at a Rube Goldberg Sr. to illustrate the folly. Now, get me the hell out of here!”

Goldberg the Younger was down the road mere minutes after making his announcement, but didn’t get far since he hit a massive traffic jam, thanks to the gas-tax-related lack of funding for Colorado highways. Luckily for us, he absent-mindedly left behind a stack of notes, and Denver Dooley found the time to summarize some of his key points.

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Sen. Scott’s “War on Rural Colorado”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Yesterday alleged "rural champions" Senators Scott and Sonnenberg conspired to kill a bill carefully tailored to benefit rural Colorado.  Charles Ashby is reporting in the Daily Sentinel:

DENVER — For all their recent protestations about Democrats allegedly waging a war on rural Colorado, Senate Republicans shot down a bill Tuesday aimed squarely at helping less populated regions of the state still trying to recover from bad economic times, a Western Slope senator said.

The Senate panel, chaired by proud fossil fuel aficionado Grand Junction Senator Ray Scott, offered no explanation for its decision to kill SB36 Rural Economic Emergency Assistance Grant Program which would have created a $2 million grant program for rural communities in the state facing large scale lay-offs.  Like in Delta County, where I live, SB36 would have brought help for the hundreds of coal miners let go over the past year from two of three mines in the North Fork (due to a canceled TVA contract and a coal mine fire).  

SB36 had the support of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado  (formerly led by now Mesa County commissioner Scott McInnis and currently run by Bonnie Peterson, formally head of Club 20), the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (run by another former Club 20 director, Reeves Brown), Colorado Counties Inc. and the Colorado Municipal League.  

…representatives of which all testified before the committee saying virtually the same thing: This bill will help rural Colorado.

As Ashby notes in his thorough and lengthy article, also reporting that the legislation had explicit support from the Boards of County Commissioners in Delta, Gunnison, Lake and Pitkin counties and even support from Tri-State, which operates the coal-fired power plant and coal mine in Craig. 

The only explanation, such as there is any worth noting, is that the bill was sponsored by Kerry Donovan, the lone Senate Democrat from rural western Colorado, and victor in a bitter race that pitted fossil fuel interests against conservationists.  

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