GOP Lawmakers Push for Sanctuary Virus County

THURSDAY UPDATE: As 9News reports, Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon is not the dumb one of the bunch:

While the Douglas County Commissioners are politically aligned with the Republican lawmakers, not all of them agree. Republican Commissioner Abe Laydon supported Tri-County’s mandate.

“Now is not the time to politicize a pandemic,” he told 9NEWS.

Laydon said his focus will be on working within the parameters of an order to keep people and businesses safe.

“Where I stand is — do everything we can do to make sure that hospitals, doctors, nurses, first responders, senior citizens are not decimated by what we’re hearing,” he said.


UPDATE: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville is some kind of jackass:


Letter from Douglas County Republicans

As Denver7 first reported today, Republican lawmakers from Douglas County are hopping mad about a new “stay at home” order implemented by the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. A similar order has also been issued in Boulder and Jefferson counties.

Six Republican legislators who apparently support becoming a Coronavirus Sanctuary County signed the letter addressed to the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners: Sen. Chris Holbert, Sen. Jim Smallwood, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, Rep. Kim Ransom, and Rep. Mark Baisley. You can read the full text of the letter here, but this is the important part:

It has come to our attention that Tri-County Health has issued a “shelter in place” order, which includes Douglas County. As a result of that order, we urge you to terminate whatever contract exists between Douglas County and that organization.

It is our understanding that at least two of you opposed this heavy-handed application of governmental power. To those who did oppose the action, thank you for standing with the constitution and with the majority of your constituents here in Douglas County. We consider it unacceptable that a contracted health agency could somehow ignore the will of a majority of our elected and accountable Douglas County Commissioners.

Sigh. Where to begin?

First off, this is more than just Douglas County Republican lawmakers screeching at one another; Chris Holbert is the Senate Minority Leader, and Patrick Neville is the House Minority Leader, so they are effectively speaking for the entire GOP caucus here. Their message is simple: If health experts don’t do what non-expert elected officials tell them to do, then we should fire them. 

We’re also perplexed that Sen. Jim Smallwood would sign his name here. Smallwood recently tested positive for coronavirus and is currently living at his second home in California. He’s not even IN Colorado at the moment, so how can he make this judgment?

Douglas County Commissioners Roger Partridge, Lora Thomas, and Abe Laydon.

More importantly, the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) is represented by three Republicans, none of whom are qualified to make public health decisions of this magnitude. Here’s the official biography for Abe Laydon, who was elected to the BCC in 2018:

Prior to being elected as County Commissioner, Laydon served as a Douglas County Planning Commissioner for two terms, and as the Douglas County Republican Party’s first vice-chairman and treasurer. A graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, Laydon has been involved in philanthropy and civic service his entire life. He sits on the board of many local nonprofits, was an officer and member of Denver Active 20-30 and the Metro Denver Board of Christian Legal Society.

Yeah, let’s put that guy in charge during a global pandemic. Roger Partridge previously owned a physical therapy business, and Lora Thomas is a former trooper with the State Patrol who served as the elected Coroner of Douglas County from 2011-15.

Screenshot from Patrick Neville’s Facebook page

Laydon, Patridge, and Thomas may be very nice people, but none of them are public health experts. In fact, we’re guessing that Douglas County contracts with the Tri-County Health Department in part because they don’t already have a bunch of public health experts roaming the building.

Oh, and to make matters worse, Rep. Neville also appears to be doxxing members of the Tri-County Health Department (see image at right), including the wife of State Rep. Kyle Mullica; you should know that Kyle Mullica is a trauma nurse working on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak, and Julie Mullica is the Systems Director for Infection Prevention at SCL Health.

Finally, it’s important to note that this letter from Republican lawmakers doesn’t provide any sort of alternative suggestion for how to handle the coronavirus outbreak in Douglas County. Holbert, Neville and friends aren’t for anything — they’re just against this for reasons they don’t even bother to explain.

We could go on and on about how irresponsible and shameful it is for a group of elected leaders to be publicly questioning a literal life-or-death health decision in the middle of a global pandemic, but the insidiousness of this letter speaks for itself.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    And, now you know why Jared did not go for a complete statewide shutdown.

  2. itlduso says:

    My only regret is that I have but one life to lose for Douglas County’s economy.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  3. The real question is whether or not he’ll make this argument the next time he gets pulled over by a town cop:

    “Unelected bureaucrats should not have the unilateral authority to simply decide to enact policy that would imprison citizens for 18 months and fine them 5,000. This is outrageous and will only lead to less social distancing as people panic buy. #copolitics”

  4. unnamed says:

    It's rich that Neville compares orgs he hates to the Gestapo while he goosesteps with Dear Leader.

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    The list of “essential“ businesses is actually fairly expansive, and appears to include:  grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, essential government services, medical and dental offices, automobile repair facilities, laundromats, dry cleaners, liquor stores, dispensaries, animal shelters and veterinary services, hardware stores, utilities, construction facilities, child care facilities for essential workers, and restaurants/food services with delivery and/or carry out . . .

    Q.  So, what the hell else could any patriotic American someone else possibly need right now (besides maybe hookers)???

    A. Gun stores!  (but, you knew that, didn’t you?)

    Yep, that’s what this is all about folks — that’s clearly what’s got the House Minority Leader the Representative from RMGO pissing his red-white-and-blue Underoos AGAIN today.

  6. MichaelBowman says:

    Trump asks for cease and desist on Priorities USA ad: 


    Trump refused to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously, now he won’t take responsibility as his administration has been totally unprepared for this crisis.

    — Priorities USA (@prioritiesUSA) March 23, 2020


    • MADCO says:

      twiter does seem to like Trump

      It should get tv time.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Too bad so many Forever Trumpers won't ever see it but they will be supporting him beyond the grave.  They just won't be able to vote for him come November.

        • kwtree says:

          Remember, most actual voter fraud is committed by Republicans. So I think we may well have some dead GOPers voting in the next election. 

          Perhaps that is Neville’s target demographic in his bid to make Dougco a “sanctuary county”. …It would definitely increase the numbers of dead Republicans to vote the party line.

          Unfortunately, the virus does not ask for party affiliation when it invades one’s respiratory system….it’s nonpartisan that way. 

  7. JohnInDenver says:

    Hmmm… who can help these 6 Republicans? 

    "El Paso County Public Health and other local public health agencies are working to limit and slow potential spread of this disease, and all community members can help. We advise you to stay informed with reliable sources of information, take everyday actions to protect yourself and those you love, and share accurate information with neighbors, friends and co-workers, especially people who may have difficulty receiving or understanding the  information."

    El Paso County Case Summary:  122 cases, 5 deaths

    And I suspect this issue is moot, now that Gov. Polis has moved beyond his "crowd size" order to issue a statewide stay-at-home order that will begin at 6 a.m. Thursday and go until April 11.

  8. Gilpin Guy says:

    It would blow their minds if they found out that India issued a lock down directive for 1.3 BILLION people for 3 weeks.  Makes their shithole county seem like small potatoes.

  9. UglyAmerican says:

    More importantly, what's up with the tan suit

  10. kwtree says:

    At least Dougco’s County Commissioners  aren’t as openly racist as Kansas’ Riley County Commissioner Chair, Marvin Rodriguez, who said

    "I know that other people are having a great problem. And someone reminded me that in Italy, they have a lot of garment-people there, fashionists [sic], and they have a tremendous amount of Chinese there, and that's where a lot of it started," Rodriguez said at a special county meeting on Wednesday, according the Kansas news agency The Mercury. "So we don't necessarily have any [Chinese people], but I think the board would like to make sure we're on top of it, and the board will decide on that part."

    So the clear suggestion is that Italy’s CV19 epidemic was more serious because of the “fashionists” (code for gay people) and Chinese folks. Since Kansas lacks fashionists and Chinese people, it should be OK.

    Kansas statewide has 127 confirmed cases of the virus, although they have tested very few people. Missouri looks like a hotspot with over 250 cases. Kansas is under a stay-at-home “suggestion”. 

    This is why racist complacency about the virus can be deadly. 

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