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February 01, 2011 11:16 PM UTC

Colorado Pols Mailbag #2 (Part 1)

  • by: Colorado Pols

We got a ton of questions for our Colorado Pols Mailbag, otherwise known as “Ask Alva.” We received so many questions, in fact, that we’re going to have to answer them in separate “parts.”

Click below for Part 1 of Colorado Pols Mailbag #2.

KHMECK asks a few questions, including an older one that was lost in the mailbox:

1. Hi Colorado Pols,

In theory, I’ve heard all spending on TV ads should be public info-or so I’ve heard–so that any ordered ads, the dates, time-segments, networks, and total expense, are all considered public info as soon as an ad is placed.

Where should I go, or who should I call, to find out how much airtime a campaign bought in a given market, time-period, etc?

Sometimes the local media reports on these ad buys, and sometimes the buys are announced in press releases. But if you want to find out yourself, you should call the particular TV stations that interest you. If it’s a cable TV buy, then things are a bit more complicated. You can probably get the buy for Comcast cable, but DirecTV is done nationally and is thus likely more difficult.

2. Any idea if Primavera will run again in ’12?

The last we heard, Primavera was definitely considering another run in 2012, but it’s too early to say for sure. Republican Don Beezley narrowly defeated Primavera in November, but this district is one of those in northern Colorado which has seen the highest population growth in Colorado, and it could look a lot different after redistricting.

3. Is Max Tyler term-limited in ’12 or ’14-which?

Actually, neither is correct. Former Rep. Gwyn Green retired in April 2009, and Tyler was selected by an HD-23 vacancy committee soon afterwards to replace her. Because Green was less than a year into her term when she retired, Tyler is limited to three full terms. He can run in 2012 and 2014, but not again in 2016.

Galapago Larry asks two very different questions:

1. Why do some cheeses melt, and others don’t?

According to Polster Diogenesdemar, the reason some cheeses melt and others don’t has to do with “fat and moisture content versus milk-solids content…as affected by aging (aka ‘drying’).” That all sounds scientific and fact-based, but the answer to your question also depends on your definition of “cheese.” You can melt the crap out of Kraft singles, but if those little square bastards are really considered “cheese,” then we might as well start calling Twinkies “bread.”

2. Who are the most powerful non-office holding, behind-the-scenes, Democratic decision makers? We got a peek inside the Republican tent in the maneuvering among Maes/Tancredo/Wadhams; who would have been mentioned if something similar were to have surfaced in the Dem. party? (Not that it would, of course, because Dems are so much better organized, on message and managed but ….)

The behind-the-scenes power players in both political parties (see, blogs can use alliteration just like those fancy real media folks!) generally fall into the same category-the big donors and the people who advise those big donors. Because of Colorado’s Amendment 27 and our relatively small contribution limits, elections are often won or lost by the “527” political committees that can spend unlimited cash, so you need those folks behind you if you are going to have a chance at winning. On the Democratic side, the names would vary a bit depending on whether it was a federal or state race, but either way, Al Yates and Ted Trimpa would be at the top of the list.

Middle of the Road asks:

How many people contribute under the umbrella of Colorado Pols name? We all know better than to ask who you actually are but how many contributors post for you under your blog name?

The answer to that question depends on fat and moisture content versus milk-solids content…as affected by aging (aka ‘drying’).

MADCO asks a multitudinous amount of questions, which we’ll take one-by-one:

1. Why do H-Man and GopWarrior believe it’s ok to post lies?

It’s not a lie if you really believe it. You’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you.

2. What would it take to eliminate sales taxes in Colorado?

Colorado doesn’t have enough money for basic services now, so any effort to eliminate sales taxes would have to be part of a larger package to overhaul Colorado’s tax system in general. Dumping the sales tax could be a chip used to negotiate for something like eliminating the Gallagher Amendment, but it couldn’t happen on its own.  

3. Why do local school district residents pay taxes to fund schools statewide?

The aforementioned Gallagher Amendment takes some of the blame for this, for which Great Education Colorado has a good summary:

K-12 public schools in Colorado are primarily funded through a combination of local property taxes and state revenues. Historically, local property taxes have made up the majority of funding. However, since property taxes have decreased and will continue to do so based on the impact of the constitutional Gallagher Amendment, the state has been required to fill in the amount that property taxes used to cover.

The other reason that tax revenue from one district is spread out elsewhere is because population shifts have made it impossible for some rural areas to continue to adequately fund their local schools.

4. How is it the fault of teacher’s unions that the graduation rate is less than we would prefer?

We could answer this in one word: Ignorance.

This happens for the same reason it was the unions’ “fault” that the automotive industry collapsed, even though they had nothing to do with misreading the market and deciding to build SUVs that nobody wanted. You need a foil to make any argument look better, and labor unions make a great “bad guy.”

For a variety of reasons, labor unions are not particularly well-liked in many areas of the country, including Colorado. A lot of that has to do with the fact that labor unions are not well understood. Colorado is not a state that has a high density of union members, so most Coloradans have no exposure to it; most people don’t know anybody who is in a union, so the only thing they hear about unions are the bad stories that pop up from time to time in the media. This makes it easy for critics to blame the teacher’s unions for poor graduation rates, because they don’t know what the union does and they’re already pre-disposed to disliking them. Critics also like to blame the teacher’s union because, let’s face it: they don’t have a real answer of their own. The union might be a part of the problem, but they’re certainly not the problem; if you dissolved the union tomorrow, and did nothing else, would graduation rates rise in two years automatically? Of course not.  

5. Is the Oglalla aquifer really going to go dry this century?

It will if you don’t stop taking three bubble baths a day.

6. Why doesn’t Rep. Tipton outline how to cut the federal budget in half?

Our Scott Tipton impression: Why must everyone keep reminding of my pledge to cut the federal government in half? Don’t you people understand that I was just telling the Tea Party what I thought they wanted to hear? I was a STATE Senator at the time, people! How was I supposed to know that more than 60% of the budget is tied up in military spending, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?

And let me be clear on this: I pledge to protect Social Security, Medicare and military spending!

7. Why is whatshisnametad still in the penalty box?


8. Why is anyone a “conservative”? Do they all mean the same thing when they claim to be?

They are all triguardian.

9. Shouldn’t people who believe in the rapture not drive their car at all since they can’t know when they will go?

They can just say that they made a quick run to the store to make sure they had a new toothbrush before they were raptured. God will understand.  

10. Will Dan Caplis ever run for elected office? (And the corollary- why does he suck so much?)

No, Dan Caplis will never run for elected office. He will, however, continue to float his name on his radio show every two years and tell both of his listeners that he is “considering” running for Senate or Governor. It’s not even his fault, really. Dan’s mouth has been on autopilot for 10 years while his brain works on a devious plan to take over the Frank Azar empire. In fact, we’d almost guarantee that Dan will talk about running for Senate next year, even though there is no election for Senate or Governor in Colorado in 2012.  

11. Has the domain Hickinlooper4President been reserved yet?

Nope. The domain name that spells his name correctly is still available, too.

PERA Hopeful asks a couple of questions, including another union query:

1. Whatever happened to Troy Eid?

After stepping down as U.S. Attorney (before he could be officially replaced by President Obama), Eid went back to work at his old lawfirm of Greenberg Traurig. He’s been biding his time until late 2011, at which point he’ll continue his lifelong quest to be mentioned as a potential candidate for every political office in Colorado. With no statewide office up for grabs in 2012, we imagine it will be a tough time in the Eid household because of the limited number of offices to pretend he might target. Eid will definitely float his name for CD-7 at some point, but after that, it’s anyone’s guess!

2. When is Shawn Mitchell term limited, and will he run for AG then?

Mitchell has had one of the more bizarre periods of elected office in recent memory. When he began his legislative career, he was considered a rising star for the GOP…and then he started losing track of his marbles. It was well-known that Mitchell’s ultimate dream was to run for Attorney General, and he was apoplectic when Republican John Suthers was nominated to replace Senator-elect Ken Salazar in 2004 and was allowed to run for two full terms as AG. Since then, Mitchell has gone on a series of weird rants, including open attacks on his fellow Republicans, while also turning into a bodybuilder, or something. He’s term-limited in 2012, but his political career is basically done. Both Democrats and Republicans think Mitchell is a clown, and he couldn’t even get out of the primary if he ran for AG in 2014.  

3. How long do hot flashes last? I’ve had them for years and am ready for them to stop.

Hot flashes are an uncomfortable problem, but there’s good news ahead! [answer redacted by Colorado Pols’ attorneys for grievous misuse of Wikipedia in attempt to offer medical advice].

4. I think we can all agree that Ritter’s executive order that allowed state employees to unionize but not bargain on any financial issues was a meaningless sop thrown to the unions.  I mean, yippee: they got to bargain over break times and vacation schedules.  Since that is the case, why are people all wound up about it?

See our response to MADCO in Answer #4 above.


28 thoughts on “Colorado Pols Mailbag #2 (Part 1)

    1. He was so warm when he left the bar. It was a 2 mile walk to his trailer.

      I felt horified when I found him. I was particularly feeling bad because I had replaced his snuff with wet sawdust the previous day. His last name was Olsen.

      Stay home in these frigid temperatures.

  1. Several years ago I tried to get information on a radio ad ran by a candidate who reported no expenditures for it. I contacted the radio station. They said the candidate paid “full rate,” not a “political rate,” and therefore that information was not in their “public file” and they wouldn’t give it to me. I trying to confirm that this was a campaign reporting violation.

    What can you tell me about requirements on media outlets in reporting in situations like this. Can someone hide expenditures this way?

      1. The ad was the candidate’s voice asking for support. It was not reported on his campaign report. I did not find anything that seemed to fit in any outside group’s report. And the station manager acknowledged “he” (the candidate) had made the buy, he just wouldn’t show me the documents.

    1. It’s up to the candidate or committee.

      Before last year, lots of candidates and committees used to hide their media buys by hiring a “consultant” who did the buys, and the candidates or committeess would book the expense as “consulting fees.”

      I think there was a change made to rule 4.25 that requires that expenditures through intermediaries be itemized, but that might just be wishful thinking.

      1. was that if the buy had been at the “political rate,” he would have given me the information.

        Did requirements–or at least enforcement–to make the information available get thrown out along with the Fairness Doctrine?

  2. and timely given the cold snap the past few days.  I had heard or read somewhere that it takes something like 3 consecutive days of subzero temperature to kill pine beetles off.

    Is there any truth to that ?  Is there hope ?

    1. Extreme cold temperatures also can reduce MPB populations. For winter mortality to be a significant factor, a severe freeze is necessary while the insect is in its most vulnerable stage; i.e., in the fall before the larvae have metabolized glycerols, or in late spring when the insect is molting into the pupal stage. For freezing temperatures to affect a large number of larvae during the middle of winter, temperatures of at least 30 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) must be sustained for at least five days.

      Bolding is mine.

      And they aren’t talking about windchill- that’s ambient temp 62Вє below freezing. Sustained.

      1. The best bet for beetle kill is the unbolded part of MADCO’s quote – hope for a snap deep freeze during the fall or spring; it only takes a couple of days at -20 or so to kill them off when they aren’t expecting it.

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