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February 15, 2011 10:36 PM UTC

Wes McKinley to Colorado: You know what we need more of in this state? Cruelty to animals.

  • by: ProgressiveCowgirl

(We think she means it – promoted by Colorado Pols)

As a progressive cowgirl (it’s not just a username!) I never really expected to find myself furious with a Colorado Democrat who happens to have a ranching background. But here I am, posting my first diary, and it’s about Wes McKinley (D-Walsh), a rancher who has accomplished the difficult task of being fiscally irresponsible, soft on crime, hard on cops, outrageously tone-deaf, and quite possibly in lockstep with special interests, all in one little bill.

HB-1063, “Concerning Laws Related to Animal Welfare,” might as well be titled, “Just How Powerful a Constituency are Animal Abusers, Anyway?” The entire bill is a giveaway to people who would like to abuse and neglect pets and/or livestock in the state of Colorado. From the asshole on your block who won’t bring his dog inside when it’s twenty below zero to large-scale illegal puppy mills, anyone who mistreats domestic animals has something to gain should this bill pass.

The progressive cowgirl also happens to be a former pint-sized rescue worker who’s been along for the ride on a few cruelty investigations, so I’ll walk y’all through this legislation–and its impacts on you, your neighborhood, and your own family pets.

Let’s get something straight, right off the bat: Animal welfare laws aren’t animal rights laws. Cruelty to animals is a bad thing for our communities not because puppies and kitties are cute and huggable (well, that too), but because of the harm done to human beings by a permissive approach to animal abuse. What do you think happens to your home’s value when your neighbor has a yard full of starving dogs? And how do you think the rancher who beats his horses treats his wife? That latter question isn’t rhetorical–Colorado’s own Ed Perlmutter, my favorite Congressman, appeared in a BBC documentary exploring the proven and well-researched connection between mistreatment of animals and mistreatment of humans. (The transcript calls him “Pullmeta.” Damn Brits.)

Now, about HB-1063: The most publicized and most damaging thing about this legislation is that it completely removes nonprofit organizations’ authorization to investigate cruelty to animals. That means you can no longer call the Dumb Friends League if you see a starving dog. Instead, you can look forward to long hold times and enormous variability in expertise and responsiveness with municipal animal control services. Not only that, but expect higher dog licensing fees in all municipalities to subsidize a service currently being provided to the state free of charge by donation-funded, highly trained experts.

I’ve been along for the ride on cruelty investigations. The Dumb Friends League will not and cannot show up at your house to take your dog away because they don’t like you. Colorado’s animal cruelty laws define cruelty in a very specific way. If you’ve ever seen the television show “Animal Cops,” the ASPCA investigators in New York City play a similar role to the DDFL here–except our DDFL investigators actually have less power to seize animals.

The bottom line is: We’ve got free investigators with specialized training and expertise willing to help Colorado and its billion dollar budget deficit. McKinley wants to give them the pink slip and either abandon enforcement or pass its costs on to taxpayers.

There are several other nasty things in this bill, intended to disable rescue agencies and prevent our highly effective nonprofits from reducing cruelty to animals in Colorado by placing additional financial and procedural burdens on any nonprofit willing to care for impounded animals.

Section three of HB-1063 prevents impound agencies (that’s a rescue organization which takes on the burden of caring for an impounded animal pending a cruelty investigation–an animal which, under this legislation, the rescue organization would not have had any involvement in choosing to seize) from recovering their expenses for the care of the animal from its owner unless the owner is convicted of specific animal cruelty offenses. So if an animal owner abuses a pet and the Dumb Friends League pays for expensive vet care to save it, they may then be required to return the animal to the abuser and absorb all costs incurred if the abuser gets a plea deal that involves pleading guilty to a lesser offense.

As an interesting note, a later section of the bill provides for the stripping of an Animal Control officer’s commission if the officer pleads nolo contendre (no contest) to any charge of “moral turpitude.” But in the case of impoundment and costs of animal care, only a conviction counts–it’s okay to plead no contest to animal cruelty and get your pets back, with all costs of their care landing squarely on an overburdened nonprofit.

In Section 11, owners judged to be capable of providing for an animal that has been impounded, as well as fit to care for it, get their animals back free of charge–the requirement that they reimburse the impounding agency for costs of care is repealed. That goes for convicted animal abusers who make a deal to get some of their animals back, too.

Cruelty investigations and trials can drag on for months or years. Meanwhile, the agency caring for the animals seized can’t adopt them out and can’t euthanize them, unless it’s to relieve specific types of suffering or because they’re dangerous to humans. The rescue agency caring for impounded animals may in some cases receive a small stipend from the county, but will absorb additional costs, often including steep veterinary expenses.

Then–and I’ve seen this personally on more than a few occasions–all too often, a deal is struck where the suspect is convicted but the judge does not order forfeiture of his or her animals. If this bill passes, they get the animals back (again, even if CONVICTED of abusing them) without reimbursing the organization that has cared for them for any portion of costs incurred.

There are other ugly things in this bill, but this diary is getting long and vituperative already, so I’ll leave you with this:

Right now, an animal can be seized if “adequate veterinary care” is not provided. If you walk your dog and see someone else’s pet in their yard that obviously has a contagious, untreated disease, today you could call the Denver Dumb Friends League. They would investigate, and if indeed seriously ill without treatment, the animal could be removed from your neighborhood and treated.

If McKinley gets his way, you’ll be waiting on hold with an overburdened animal control department. You, a law-abiding citizen, will have paid a hefty dog license fee for this privilege, since the department isn’t getting free help anymore. If after a few weeks of waiting for an ACO to show up the dog is still alive, it might be removed and impounded at your local shelter, which will pay for its veterinary care. A few months later, your neighbor may well get the dog back to continue refusing to vaccinate it, endangering your family and pets, and your local animal shelter will be stuck with the bill for nursing it back to health.  


131 thoughts on “Wes McKinley to Colorado: You know what we need more of in this state? Cruelty to animals.

  1. is the additional burden being added to local and county animal control, which due to budgeting cuts, are overextended and unable to keep up with current complaints. Animals are going to die of neglect or abuse if this passes and their owners are going to get off scott free because there won’t be the time or resources for animal control to investigate.  

    1. If I went over to Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue right now, there’d probably be a single common factor in every seizure case on the property: “Neighbors reported them a dozen times before anything was done.” Or often it’s, “Animal control didn’t respond for months, but after a few died they offered the owner the option of surrendering the animals voluntarily to avoid prosecution.”

      The system is overburdened already because Colorado is a ranching state that requires specialized enforcement resources, including investigators trained to assess the body condition scores and overall health of livestock as well as companion animals. Denver ACOs don’t have livestock to deal with, but they have a breed ban taking up their resources; they spend a lot of time on Pit Bull seizures, something nonprofits already aren’t allowed to handle, and they rely heavily on the DDFL for cruelty issues.

      If this passes, municipalities will have choice between slightly more than zero enforcement (but not enough enforcement to make a dent) or adding fees for residents, which passes the burden of enforcement specifically to proactively law-abiding citizens who will voluntarily comply with dog licensing and similar regulations. Nobody who has starving dogs taken away has their licenses paid up.

      1. This IS an excellent diary.  My question to you is, WTF was Wes McKinleys motivation in introducing this bill in the first place ? Is it something to do with his ranching background, and maybe him not realizing the effect it would have on animals other than cattle ?

            1. into the thread (I’m short on time), I want to compliment you, Ms. Cowgirl, ma’am, on a fine..I said fine…diary. Animal cruelty qualifies, in my book, as a heinous crime. Thanks for bringing this bill to our attention.

              As for Wes (want some peanuts?) McKinley, I have sat across the table from the Honorable Rep. on a number of occasions. I can tell you this:

              quite possibly in lockstep with special interests

              should be changed to: almost certainly in lockstep with special interests.

              Sold out to oil and gas…sold out to big ag…there’s a difference?

              1. I agree about the heinous crime–and I agree McKinley is almost certainly a sellout… but what did he get out of it, I wonder? His biggest donor is the Colorado Education Association. Is he somehow just serving his own ranch’s interests? Angling for a business deal?  

          1. Here’s a better way:

            If you look at those who lobbied in support of last year’s bill, CO HB 1124 and compare it to those monitoring this year’s HB 1063, you will see the overlap. Last year, they also used McKinley to get their bill in. If this bill passes the Ag committee, then you will see “the monitors” may move to the supporters column, as they did last year.

            Who’s watching this bill? The usuals who stand to gain a lot of dough if they don’t have to slow down long enough to prevent cruelty: cattle producers, egg producers, etc.

            Who will suffer unnecessary pain if they are successful in getting cruelty investigations down 75%? Not just livestock, but also potentially millions of family pets, in the future.

            Anyone have a link to who McKinley’s campaign donors are?  

              1.         * VP of Governmental Affairs at CO Association of Commerce & Industry

                       * Government Affairs Director at Colorado Rural Electric Association

                       * Queen at Mikron Corporation

                This raises a huge question:

                Just how does someone get the job of “Queen”?

                I want that job! Ask my family. I am very qualified!

                1. That’s just the Senate intern program, apparently. So, Moody doesn’t seem to be the problem.

                  So why is McKinley sponsoring yet another bill that is objectionable to everyone who seems to care about animals in this state?  

      2. don’t have them vaccinated or neutered/spayed, either. I work with our local Pet Association (Estes Park’s version of the Humane Society) and neglect on every level goes hand in hand with shitty owners.

          1. in the last couple of years, especially in puppies. If you can’t afford to vaccinate a puppy (which requires multiple rounds of vaccines and can be expensive) then here’s a suggestion…don’t get a dog. Buy a picture of Lassie and hang it on your wall.  

            1. I’m a fan of modified vaccination schedules for my own pets, but that takes MORE work and MORE money than just the standard recommended schedule and dosage. It’s not THAT expensive to vaccinate a puppy properly, but it’s not cheap either.

              Hell, people worried about the vaccine costs can get an adult dog, already vaccinated, from the nearest animal shelter, but they still need to give boosters! Wish they wouldn’t get dogs at all, but I can’t judge too much since an unforeseen change in life circumstances once put me in the spot of raising an expensive, destructive puppy when I was making $7.25 an hour.  

              1. and I do distemper every 3 years after the age of 5. Once they reach ten, we’re done with the Distemper combo altogether. I’m not big on over-vaccinating and there are a lot of vets out there that push vaccines, like giardia, which has since been pulled off some markets.

                1. I do titers, raw feeding, limited vaccination (except what my pooch is required to have for his Flyball club, unfortunately they don’t accept titers as an alternative to bordatella vax) and I only ever do one vaccination at a time. No 3-in-1 or 5-in-1 shots for my animals. My two indoor cats are vaccinated only because they had to be introduced to each other; if I start fostering again I’ll keep them UTD, but until that happens no more shots for them. Too many vaccine-linked sarcinomas in cats for my tastes. I spay/neuter late, too, for the anti-cancer benefits, but then I’m capable of handling an intact pet without “accidents.”

      3. What constituency does this serve besides people who don’t know how to treat animals humanely?  if there has been an epidemic of nice people having their pets or livestock confiscated for no good reason it certainly hasn’t been reported. On the other hand, plenty of instances of the most repulsive abuse of animals from puppy mills to starving livestock pop up in the news all the time. Just what is the problem for which the measures in this bill are supposed to be the solution?  

        1. …and dog breeders who don’t believe pet overpopulation exists, don’t think any regulation of animal ownership is appropriate, and are willing to throw local shelters under the bus to give HSUS and PETA the finger. They resent “Animal Cops” being seen as heroes, because there is this mythology where the cruelty investigators just don’t like animal breeders and take away their show dogs for shits and giggles (because shelters have SO FEW dogs, right? They need to steal more!) to discourage breeding.

          A vocal minority of people really involved in animal husbandry over time become hoarders and eventually have animals seized from their property. A common trait among these people is they’re really smooth talkers who can convince people the humane society is tyrannical and evil and nothing was really wrong with the animals. Happens in the horse world every other week, it seems like.

    1. I might just weigh in more often. This whole “promoted” thing, and the “positive comments right off the bat from two of my favorite Polsters” — I could get used to it.

      As an aside, I’m trashing a Democrat on the front page of CO Pols. And you ARE a Democrat. Are we officially living in Bizarro World now?

      PS. Hey email me that thing already! Promise some good reading material and then keep me waiting, I see how you are.

    1. This bill ruined my day for a little bit, but the comments here have cheered me right up–we can knock this thing down if we get organized around it, and maybe it’ll remind rural Dems that they don’t belong in the pocket of special interests over the interests of the average constituent who wants to live in a state where laws are enforced effectively AND cost-effectively, neither of which could happen under this bill.

  2. Thank you for writing this. I am also furious about this bill. Anyone who cares about animals should stand in protest of Wes McKinley’s dangerous bill.

    Rep McKinley, which large agri-businesses are behind this bill to weaken laws to protect innocent animals?  

          1. I looked around. It is agri-business, just as I suspected. People with no hearts, no souls, no conscience, no humanity. People who will hurt anyone, kill anyone, bleed anyone… for a dollar. In other words, no surprises.

            1. I don’t think the problem is Rep. Wes McKinley having to pay back a campaign contributor. On another line of this thread, Neon Nurse says she knows him personally and says he is a good guy. Others have told me that as well. If you look at his contributors, they’re the same ones you’d expect to see giving to a Democrat — unions, teachers, individuals, stuff like that.

              Could it be a good guy got duped by corporate bottom-feeder lobbyists, again (he presented a similar bill last year for them)?  

              1. If it’s personal. As a rancher he could well know someone who had livestock seized. He takes pains in the bill to specify no nongovernmental LIVESTOCK inspections, when he’s already yanked nongovernmental inspections in a separate paragraph.

              2. If it’s personal. As a rancher he could well know someone who had livestock seized. He takes pains in the bill to specify no nongovernmental LIVESTOCK inspections, when he’s already yanked nongovernmental inspections in a separate paragraph.

                  1. I love how the Schmenver Toast blogger is obviously on our side here, though, with how she describes the bill.

                    And by the way, about horses with mud on their feet? If it’s up to their knees, as often is found in neglect seizures, it can kill them by rotting their feet off.  

        1. Basically, if you put in last year’s bill CO HB 1124, you will see who supported the bill. The same folks are simply monitoring this year’s bill 2011’s HB 1063. In other words, if it passed committee, you might see their names under the supporting column very soon. Another big supporter last year was “Political Action Trust and Committee” — I am guessing their the money behind it.

          I don’t know any of these people. I just smell rotting fish we’ve smelled before.

          1. But then, horse organizations often are only right on land use, and wrong on everything else. I won’t renew my membership and I’ll be very sure to tell them why, should they make any moves to support this!

        2. is corporate-speak for “we’re not going to take a position on this unless we’re pretty damned sure it is going to cost us money.”

          In other words, it means they’re worried about it, but not worried enough to use up chits if they don’t need to.

    1. 🙂 We should definitely talk about how to get the word out. DDFL and Larimer Humane have already started mobilizing their contact lists, but it’s going to take more.  

    1. For adding his contact information. The other members of the committee (House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee) hearing this bill on Monday:

      Representative Sonnenberg, Chair

      Representative Baumgardner, Vice-Chair

      Representative Fischer, Ranking Democrat Member

      Representatives Brown, Coram, Jones, Looper, McKinley, Ryden, Scott, Vaad, Vigil, Wilson

      Anyone reading this thread–if any of these happen to be yours, please call! If none are yours, please pick one or more and call anyway.

        1. He is very much opposed to this bill and said it is also opposed by Dept of Agriculture. Who can blame them? Dept of Ag has two inspectors for the whole state–they are absolutely overwhelmed.

          Randy fought against this last year and said to tell folks that he will do everything he can to keep it from passing out of committee.

          So, no need to call Randy Fischer. Let’s focus on some of the other folks on this committee and find out where they are on this bill.  

        1. I JUST saw her in person, too. Damn! Didn’t know about this bill then, but I will definitely call her, and the others if it looks like it has a chance.

    1. A lot of animal cruelty related issues in CO trace back to, as Nancy mentioned, agri-business. Our cruelty against animals laws cover livestock (but of course exempt necessary treatment for slaughter and processing) and periodically some hackles get raised after a seizure of horses or, worse yet, cattle that are mistreated on a big ranch. I did hear whisperings that there was a controversial seizure of horses in Douglas County in the last week or so, but this bill has probably been in the works for a lot longer than that.

      There are also the anti-HSUS/PETA people in play. Colorado has a large community of dog breeders and exhibitors who happen to be property rights advocates with a major bone to pick with HSUS and PETA (not that I’m a huge fan of PETA myself, and I’m divided on HSUS) to the point that they are willing to hurt local shelters if it gives them a chance to stick it to the big animal welfare groups. Someone could have sold McKinley on this by convincing him that DDFL and similar are animal rights nuts who want to take away people’s right to own animals. His language in a 9News article about this bill is suggestive of this theory; he calls rescue organizations “special interests” with an “agenda.”

      I saw this mentality in action at a Perlmutter town hall a few years ago. Someone stood up and swore up and down that there are no stray pets in Colorado and DDFL is grubbing for money by shipping them in from other states and Mexico.  

  3. Did the HSUS take away his neighbor’s dog or something? I’m really struggling to understand any upside to this bill.

    In any case, I seriously doubt it will make it past committee, much less pass House and Senate votes. Republicans in the House are never going to support a bill moves a function that is handled well by the private sector and put the burden 100% on the state.

    1. Which I answered in more detail, but I suspect either ranching business interests (and he’s a rancher, so maybe the HSUS took away HIS horse at one point! If he wasn’t charged we’d never know) or the people who have SUCH a vendetta against HSUS and PETA that they don’t mind killing local shelters to get their point across. Any suggestion that animals are feeling creatures as well as property rankles in some circles.

      I hope you’re right about the future of the bill.  

  4. This bill is scheduled to be heard before the Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources on Monday, February 21, in HCR 107.

    You can listen to HCR 107 on the Legislature web site

    The hearing starts at 1:30.

    McKinley’s bill is last on the calendar, so you’ll have to sit through some other bills or take your chances on missing it.

    I’ll already be listening, because I’m following HB11-1150, a genuinely bad Jon Becker bill that will loot license fees out of the Division of Wildlife and use them to build water storage projects.  It’s up next to last, right before the McKinley bill.

    1. There goes my Monday afternoon productivity, and here’s hoping I manage to avoid cussin’ out loud if it gets out of committee. Thanks for adding that information. I’ll mention 1150 too as I call the committee members.  

      1. It’s a Republican-sponsored bill.  And Sonnenberg, committee chair, is a co-sponsor.

        It cloaks itself as a bill to provide habitat, but it’s all about building dams.  Trout Unlimited has already come out against it.

        It’s up to the Senate to kill it.


    Yes, phone calls are more effective, but a lot of your friends and neighbors who are not political junkies feel funny about calling their representative.

    The DDLF action page also lets you forward a plea for help to your contacts. They have listed a handful of HDs where they especially need help.

    Know people in the following districts? If so, please help us spread the word and forward this alert by putting in their e-mail address below.

    57(Garfield Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt), 58(Delta, Dolores, Montezuma Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel), 53(Larimer), 12(Boulder), 19(El Paso), 36(Arapahoe), 54(Delta, Mesa), 65(Logan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Weld), 48(Weld), 62(Alamosa, Conejos Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache), 61(Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Pitkin).

  6. But can I make a suggestion? Remove the quotation marks from your heading, as it would make it appear that McKinley actually said exactly those words, and that’s a potential libel issue.

    (In case you’re unaware, you can edit your own diaries.)

    1. looks around the thread for other usernames with the initials PC

      Sheesh, a girl might get into the habit of writing diaries around here, with reactions like this! I’m humbled to be found worthy of praise by the Great and Powerful MADCO, and I promise to tell my horse to bite HMan until he pays up.  

      1. And I am not the Great and Powerful – that guy was an asshat. Even though I’m confident he doesn’t owe me money.

        ANd don’t say “sheesh”. Or gosh or golly. And never, ever say more than one.

        Meanwhile- know that writing is hard. (Writing comedy is really hard.) So I always appreciate the work of the well written.

  7. In 2010 many of you voiced your opposition against legislation in Colorado, HB-1124, that would have made animal cruelty investigations more difficult and more costly. Because you spoke up for the animals, a bi-partisan group of legislators defeated HB-1124 on the House floor.

    That bill is back, under the name House Bill 1063, with additional provisions that target animal care and control agencies and make animal cruelty investigations more difficult.

    HB-1063 will:

       * Keep animals in abusive situations and prevent them from receiving the help that they need and deserve

       * Prohibit humane societies from investigating animal cruelty and limit the ways municipal/county animal cruelty investigators can protect animals suffering from abuse and neglect

       * Create a financial burden for the state, cities, counties, and animal welfare agencies that will limit their ability to care for more homeless and needy pets in the community

       * Put barriers in place that will prevent people from reporting incidents of animal cruelty

       * Eliminate jobs for cruelty investigation staff at animal welfare agencies

       * Weaken animal protection laws in Colorado

    Please contact state representative Randy Fischer by email or by phone at 970-215-7898 and ask him to vote “no” on House Bill 1063 when it is heard by the Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee on Monday, February 21.

    A sample email is provided below for your use. For a full list of members on the Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee, visit the Vote Smart website.

    Please read the fact sheet or review the bill draft to learn more.

    Fact Sheet:


    Thank you for all you do for the animals.


    Judy Calhoun

    Executive Director

    Larimer Humane Society


    Dear [Your legislator’s name],

    Please help animals that are subjected to cruelty and the agencies charged with their protection by voting “no” on House Bill 1063 when it’s presented to the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee on Monday, February 21.

    HB-1063 will:

       * Keep animals in abusive situations and prevent them from receiving the help that they need and deserve

       * Prohibit humane societies from investigating animal cruelty and limit the ways municipal/county animal cruelty investigators can protect animals suffering from abuse and neglect

       * Create a financial burden for the state, cities, counties, and animal welfare agencies that will limit their ability to care for more homeless and needy pets in the community

       * Put barriers in place that will prevent people from reporting incidents of animal cruelty

       * Eliminate jobs for cruelty investigation staff at animal welfare agencies

       * Weaken animal protection laws in Colorado

    Please vote “no” on HB-1063 and ask your fellow legislators to do so as well.

    Thank you for your consideration.


    [Your Name]

    [Your Address]

    [City, State ZIP]

  8. This bill seems both needless and terrible.  Even ignoring the obvious animal welfare issues, it seems to put more strain on our overburdened state resources.

    Can anyone here explain why it might be a good idea?  I’m honestly curious to hear an argument in favor of this.

    1. In other words, on paper, it saves money for the State.

      It costs local governments more than $300K, but that’s not important to the Legislature, only to its constituents.

      Read the Fiscal Note.  It explains a lot.

      1. I hadn’t really thought of the whole state v. local cost issue.  I guess I thought of it as one, but that does make a lot of sense…not that I think it’s a good idea, but that is eye opening.

        1. Click on House Bills.

          Click on the numeric range that finds the bill you’re looking for–they display in pages of 50 bills.

          Find the bill you care about.

          You’ll see a column for Fiscal Notes.  Click on the Fiscal note to read it.

          1. Although we might all get along better if we were sitting in a library reading hard copies of public records, I suppose. Though Beej would end up with his mouth duct taped shut, right quick.

        2. The Fiscal impact is not negative, but it is miniscule.

          The Fiscal note says:

          “This bill increases state revenue by $11,550 in FY 2011-12 and $1,925 in FY 2012-13 to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Identification Unit Cash Fund”

          It goes on to say:

          “The Department of Agriculture requires at total of $19,652 for FY 2011-12 for computer programming costs.”

          But then it says:

          “Local Government Impact

          This bill creates a fiscal impact for county governments and non-governmental agencies involved in animal control; however, the impact will vary by county…

          …The statewide cost for all animal control agents to obtain the training required by the state is estimated at $340,000.”

          It looks like an unfunded State mandate to me, and that might be the way you beat it.

          1. How dumb IS this McKinley guy, anyway? And/or how much did he get paid for this? Who the hell is touching “unfunded state mandate” with 10-foot pole this year?

            $340,000, and that’s just for training, right? That’s not even covering additional staffing!

          2. Thanks so much for making it so easy for the rest of us to find all the sources we need so easily! And once again, Cowgirl, looks like your first diary is a smash runaway spectacular hit, not to mention that it will (already has) absolutely mobilize opposition to a bill many  wouldn’t have paid all that much attention to  if it weren’t for your efforts.  Congrats all round.

            1. DDFL and Larimer Humane Society are putting a lot of resources behind opposing it (I learned of it from DDFL) and there are now 124 people in the Facebook group Nancy started to oppose it, and we have confirmation two on the committee will oppose (Brown and Fischer) so things are looking good, IMO.  

  9. I can’t say I know the man really well. I’m just from his district, and thus have seen and talked to him at quite a few events in the past six years or so.

    I believe he has done some good things, such as his unrelenting advocacy for protecting Pinon Canyon. (That’s not all, just the first thing that pops to my mind.)

    However, in the past few years he has taken some stances and said some things that made me uncomfortable. It SEEMS TO ME that his pride in being known as an onery ol’ cowpoke has…begun to mean more to him than being known for ordinary common sense.

    I have no way of knowing that is for sure the case, or what might be the cause of it if it’s true. I do know from observation that he seems to be feeling some effects of age. (I was surprised this year to see him walking hesitantly, like he was in pain, afraid of tripping, or both.) I also know his wife has been dealing with a serious health challenge, and that certainly has an effect on a spouse.

    Finally, I am fairly certain he is term limited, and won’t be able to run for state rep again. This may be making him lean towards doing whatever he damn well pleases, believing he has no future need to appeal to his constituents.

    Again, the above is my personal speculation, not proven fact. But in case it might be of some use to someone, I decided to share it.

    1. It’s easy to forget that our legislators are people, too. I maintain, of course, that McKinley is wrong, appallingly so, and in somebody or other’s pocket with this unrelenting battle in support of animal abuse at the expense of an existing system that provides effective and cost-effective enforcement. But it’s interesting to see another side to him, too.

      They’re all just people, when you get right down to it, and most of them probably breathe a big sigh of relief when term limited at McKinley’s age. Much as I loathed former President GWB, I could feel his gratitude from here when he finally got to go home to Texas, and that made me empathize a wee bit with him.  

      1. about why you come here. I can’t overestimate the value of the education I have received on these pages.

        I was fortunate (?) to have spent about 5 years visiting the Capitol in Denver many times each session. I was working as a citizen advocate, and for a short time a paid lobbyist, for sensible O&G regs (we won..Yay!!). It was there I met and interacted with McKinley.

        It’s easy to forget that our legislators are people, too.

        This is so true. I personally respect the fortitude and thick skin it takes to do a legislators job. It ain’t easy.

        But, the human being who gets placed in such an influential position cannot stop being human. That leads to a phenomenon I also observed on a few trips to DC for federal level O&G stuff.

        I will go out on a limb and say a majority of the decisions made in government are made for the wrong reasons…and it’s usually personal.

        Personal wealth…personal turf…personal ideology…and on. The benefit to the citizen at large usually falls way down the list of reasons why.

        Sorry if that sounds cynical, but that is my personal observation.   🙂

  10. first diary. Not that I wasn’t expecting top work from you, PC, given your insightful, inciteful, and witty record of comments.

    Let’s kill this bill. (Is it OK if I picture you dressed all in yellow?)

    1. What kind words. I’m blushing!

      You can picture me in yellow if you like, but I have the full outfit (sword too) from the last scene of the second movie–with the blue skirt, when she finally DOES kill Bill. I like a little Tarantino in my Halloween.

  11. Called Max Tyler and spoke to Austin.  Austin felt that Rep Tyler would be against the bill.

    Called Rep Sonnenburg and spoke to an assistant.  Her impression was that he was leaning against the bill.

    Called Rep Baumgartner and spoke to an assistant, who said He would “look at both sides”

    Called Rep Mckinley and left him a voice mail.  She is very passionate about animals, as am I. I suspect that her voice mail to him probably wasn’t very sweet.

    Tomorrow we are going to tackle the rest of the committee.  This link takes you to the committee page which will give you telephone and e-mails.  She said that two of the people she spoke with said that phone calls get more attention.

    I guess I am addressing this to the lurker/learner community more than the regular posters. I suspect there are a lot of us. This is an opportunity  for  us to be politically active.  I would urge each of you to call your Rep and the members of the committee and let them know how you feel on this issue.

    Colopols, I hope this post is okay.  I don’t intend to offend.

  12. My black lab isn’t my best friend, she’s a part of my family. Your diary made me angry then sad, then angry again. I have called and will continue to call the Reps on the committee and ask them to kill this disgusting bill. I have always believed that how you treat an animal is a direct reflection of your values. I live in a neighborhood where nearly everyone has a dog. You better believe I will be letting each and every neighbor, regardless of party, know about this bill. I can’t think of a single neighbor who wouldn’t call DDFL if they saw a mistreated pet.

    Congratulations on a successful first diary. More importantly, thank you so much for the information and starting a very informative conversation….and for your passion in protecting those who can’t protect themselves. My beautiful Abbie-dog thanks you too.  

    1. I feel the same way about my pup. If it weren’t for the role of nonprofits in investigating cruelty, his parents would never have been rescued from a hoarding situation, and he never would have been born. (Things happen when you remove 70+ intact animals from the crates they’ve lived in their whole lives and move them around a lot… some of those things, if someone looks away for just long enough, eventually result in puppies.)

      I will be attending the hearing tomorrow, it having been fortuitously scheduled on a holiday from work for me. Please do keep calling right up until it starts. I know three on the committee are opposed for sure so far and only one–McKinley–can be assumed to be definitely in favor. Here’s hoping things go our way! I’ll report back.

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