My Free Speech Zone: From Sea To Shining Sea

Yesterday afternoon, I headed north to Loveland to join a small but dedicated group of protesters outside Donald Trump’s rally at the Budweiser Events Center–located on the grounds of the The Ranch (Larimer County Fairgrounds).

I’ll let the Loveland Reporter-Herald’s Pamela Johnson explain what happened next:

Larimer County sheriff’s deputies escorted one protester from the Donald Trump rally in Loveland on Monday after he led people with signs out of an enclosed “free-speech area” to stand on the sidewalk so people driving past could see their signs.

Alan Franklin, political director with ProgressNow Colorado, as well as a handful of other protesters said the deputies and mounted members of the Sheriff’s Posse corralled them away from the curb, coming very close to them with their horses, and threatened arrest if they didn’t return to the fenced-off free-speech zone.

“I consider this to be a very big violation of the First Amendment,” said Franklin after he was kicked off the grounds of The Ranch events center complex. “These folks done screwed up.”

He was the only protester forced to leave, though others were threatened with arrest if they did not return to a designated free-speech area, which they did.

So, here’s the deal: unbeknownst to myself or other non Trump supporters who showed up outside his rally, the Larimer County Sheriff’s office had set up a “free speech area” completely removed from the scene. This small fenced-off area was 20 feet or more from the sidewalk next to the access road for the event, and so far from the line for rally attendees that a bullhorn wouldn’t even reach them.

This wasn’t an acceptable situation, so I proposed to the few folks then in attendance that we walk down to the sidewalk where more people could see us. Pamela Johnson picks up the story from there:

He and a handful of other protesters walked about 20 feet from the free-speech area to the sidewalk along the road that leads to the parking lots inside the events center complex. That is where deputies and posse members ordered them back to the protest area.

Several protesters said the officials told them they had to be in the designated area because it is on “private property” and “private public property,” which fired up Franklin. The protesters, he said, were being peaceful and not belligerent when deputies confronted them.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not really familiar with this concept of “private public property” the Larimer County Sheriff and posse kept insisting applied to our situation. I didn’t have a chance to discuss it with the deputy the posse called in, though, as apparently his only job was to enforce the “request” from the horse-mounted posse that I completely exit the “private property” of the Larimer County Fairgrounds.

But as it turns out, and as I explained to every cop on the scene that I was pretty sure of, that’s not right:

Deputies on scene would not explain why they asked Franklin to leave or answer the question of why they would say the county events center is private property. They referred inquiries to Sheriff’s Office spokesman David Moore, who said Sheriff Justin Smith would answer questions Tuesday.

County Commissioner Steve Johnson, however, when reached by phone, looked into the private-public property issue. The Ranch is public property, he said…

“So while I agree with the deputies’ actions and believe the time, manner and place of assembly can be regulated reasonably … the justification that it is private property, if that is in fact what they said, does not conform with our understanding,” Johnson said after consulting with County Attorney Jeannine Haag.

The problem is, the assertion we were on “private property” was the only pretext for ordering us back into the “free speech area.” No one was obstructing vehicle or foot traffic. The armed volunteer horse-mounted posse assigned to patrol the “free speech area” were openly hostile–they might as well have been wearing Trump buttons. The Sheriff deputy who threatened me with arrest for trespassing and escorted me to my car was polite, while repeatedly insisting that free speech is important. His actions spoke much louder.

Obviously, this is a pretty large problem and I’m considering the next steps. Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, a politically activist conservative elected sheriff with (I assume) a well-formed opinion on the presidential race, needs to fully explain the actions of his deputies and the policy that was followed in my case (or not followed).

Freedom of speech and assembly is about as fundamental as it gets, and those rights do not appear to have been respected yesterday.

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Donald Trump and the recalled Jeffco school board: you won’t believe this

In 2015, I was proud to join my Jefferson County neighbors as we reclaimed our school board from far-right radicals who took control two years before. We literally made #JeffcoSchoolBoardHistory. After watching the school board attack the teachers and schools that make Jeffco one of the best places to raise a family in America, by an overwhelming 65% margin, we ended the ability of Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams to play ideological games with Colorado’s finest public schools–recalling them and replacing them with a clean slate that restored dignity and community respect to the Jeffco school board.

Unfortunately, Ken Witt, president of the recalled board, isn’t finished trying to harm public education in Colorado just yet. Last week, Donald Trump announced that Witt is the Trump campaign’s state “education coalition co-chair.”

Sign our petition: tell Trump to dump Ken Witt right now.

If there was anyone left in Jefferson County undecided about Donald Trump, choosing Ken Witt as his education co-chair in Colorado should settle the question. Trump couldn’t pick a more divisive figure of his campaign for our state if he tried. Witt’s disastrous tenure as president of the Jefferson County school board was beset with allegations of bullying students, hostility to teachers, breaking promises to voters on spending tax dollars, and dubious “reviews” of history curriculum to ensure what’s taught in the classroom doesn’t offend conservatives.

Tell Donald Trump to cut ties with Ken Witt for the sake of every child in Colorado.

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Laura Woods and her friends are lying to you

Dear Neighbor,

I live just down the road from you here in Colorado’s Senate District 19. You may not know it but we live in one of the most important and competitive state senate districts in all of Colorado.

That’s why the negative campaign lies are already flying fast here in Arvada and Westminster. Supporters of Laura Woods, the far-right radical activist who barely won control of the senate seat in 2014, are pushing completely false claims about Woods’ progressive opponent–claims that were in fact debunked years ago. [1] It’s against the law to make blatantly false statements in a political campaign in Colorado, but Woods’ supporters apparently don’t care.

Send a message to Laura Woods right now: tell her to put a stop to the lies her friends are telling about Rachel Zenzinger.

The truth is, Laura Woods is one of Colorado’s most wildly out-of-touch lawmakers. Woods has no business representing the moderate middle-class families of this district. Woods is an “anti-vaxxer” extremist who vigorously fought against any attempt to improve Colorado’s dismal vaccination rates for school-age children. Woods is a pro-gun radical who opposes background checks on gun sales–checks that have stopped thousands of criminals from buying guns. And Woods is trying to impose her values on Colorado and prevent all women from getting an abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.

The reason Laura Woods and her friends are telling blatant lies about Rachel Zenzinger is simple: they don’t want to talk about Woods’ disastrous record in the Colorado Senate. In 2014, a right-wing “wave year,” Woods won this seat by fewer than 700 votes. In 2016, Woods is considered the most vulnerable lawmaker in the Colorado legislature. And with your help, we’re coming for her.

Tell Laura Woods and her friends that you’re not buying the lies. We’ll make sure she gets the message.

Thanks for standing up for honesty in our elections. It matters now more than ever.

Sincerely,

Alan Franklin

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Time To Ban Autoloading Firearms In America

(Greg Brophy’s head just metaphorically exploded – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Semiautomatic guns for sale.

Semiautomatic guns for sale.

I’m going to seriously piss off the ammosexuals today.

Gunnies keep asking me what law would prevent San Bernardino, or would have prevented the Planned Parenthood attack. It’s like a dare. Well okay. I’ve given some thought to what law might really make a difference to stop mass shootings like Columbine, Aurora, San Bernardino, Planned Parenthood. What can we really do?

I respect the rights of American civilians to own guns for hunting and defense. Period. The Supreme Court has upheld those gun rights. The Heller decision says guns in “common use” are legal. So let’s change what’s in “common use.”

Today I am calling for a ban on the sale of autoloading firearms in the United States. I want a ban on autoloading guns, and an orderly phase-out of their legal possession. I would allow a rimfire exception, and I would allow double-action revolvers. That’s it. Keep your bolt actions, lever actions, pump actions, and break actions.

Killing machines off the streets.

Mass shootings even as crime rates have fallen in recent years mean it’s time for change. The simple fact is that automatic weapons put too much killing power into one hand. In real defense situations, shot placement is what matters, not spraying bullets.

America doesn’t need high-cap nines. We don’t need 5.56mm tumbling rounds to stay safe.

As a gun owner and proud American, I am calling for this to protect my rights and my safety. The “good guy with the gun” can’t stop these horrific mass shootings. We have to do something to reduce the harm potential from modern military weapons used against civilians.

Do you support a ban on autoloading firearms in the United States? Because I am ready to.

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My son deserves a school without hate

A banner hangs in the entrance to Pomona High School, where my son is a freshman this year: “A school without hate.” It’s a basic value he and his friends believe in.

In Jefferson County, those values are under attack. Click here now to find out how you can be part of the solution.

Right now, my neighbors in Jefferson County and I are working on recalling members of the Jefferson County school board who don’t believe in schools without hate. Each year, Jefferson County schools participate in a “Day of Silence” protest against bullying on campus. In response, board member Julie Williams posted a link to a protest against the Day of Silence, which referred to this important anti-bullying awareness event as “perverse indoctrination.”

That’s not who I want in charge of my son’s high school education.

It’s time for a school board in Jefferson County that truly cares about every student. Over the next few weeks the campaign to inform voters about the upcoming recall election is kicking into high gear. And we need your help to ensure success.

Click here to visit Jeffco United’s website and volunteer to help the recall campaign. The campaign needs volunteers for a variety of important jobs, from knocking on doors to answering phones. And of course, please donate whatever you can today.

The eyes of the nation are on Jefferson County today, but for me, it’s personal. This recall is about my son’s education, and over 85,000 kids who attend Jeffco public schools with him. This is about my son’s good teachers in Jeffco who are being driven out by a board that doesn’t value their work. And it’s about making sure that far-right political ideology doesn’t dictate what’s taught in our classrooms.

Thanks for standing up when it matters most. Right now.

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11 Downright Wacky Things Colorado’s Republican Candidate For Governor Said

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Politics in Colorado are never boring, but 2014 is shaping up to be one of the craziest elections we’ve ever seen in the Centennial State. We’ve got a strip club owner running for office who just released a campaign ad about marijuana with Wyclef Jean and a candidate running for the state house on a platform of demon exorcism.

But perhaps the craziest of all the candidates we’ll see on the ballot in Colorado this year is the Republican candidate running for Governor named Bob Beauprez. Here’s a list of the ten wackiest things Beauprez has said on the record. Once you read it, we think you’ll agree Beauprez is the craziest Republican America has never heard of.

11. Beauprez said climate change is “at best a grossly overhyped issue and at worst a complete hoax foisted on most of the world.”

Climate change. Facebook fees. Any questions? Source

10. Beauprez supported northeast Colorado secessionists: “maybe we ought to just go our separate ways. Why don’t you run your state and we’ll run ours.”

Then why does he want to be governor of THIS COLORADO at all?! Source

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Pro-recall operatives try and fail to get counterprotesters arrested

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This morning, I joined dozens of my neighbors out in support of Sen. Evie Hudak, who is targeted by the extreme right as part of yet another costly and unnecessary recall election. I've known Sen. Hudak for many years. Back in 2007, my son was a student at Weber Elementary when the school fell victim to an arson attack. Evie Hudak, then a member of the Colorado Board of Education, attended every meeting of parents during that traumatic period as we figured out what this all meant for our children's education. Sen. Hudak is a caring public servant who has faithfully represented the people of Senate District 19, my neighbors. She deserves better than the right's shameful political opportunism.

Today, Evie's friends struck back, and the right wing was not happy. At 80th and Wadsworth in Arvada, a group of five or six people holding "decline to sign" and "Stand with Evie" posters kept a respectful distance from the pro-recall crew's table. But that apparently wasn't enough: we were angrily notified by the pro-recall folks that we were breaking the law, violating a "150 foot limit" they believed we were obligated to stay away from their table. They then called the Arvada police to the scene. Here's the video I shot, and you can hear me speaking to both police and pro-recall operatives:

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Did “Lyin’ Ryan” Really Climb Forty Colorado Fourteeners?

( – promoted by ClubTwitty)

POLS UPDATE #2: We’ve found several news reports specific on the claim that Rep. Paul Ryan has climbed “40 out of 53” (or 54 depending on the criteria used) of Colorado’s “fourteeners,” peaks higher than 14,000 feet high: here’s one from the Denver newspaper, and one from 5280 Magazine. And don’t forget former Colorado Senate President John Andrews’ recent column titled “Paul Ryan, mountain man” enthusiastically celebrating Rep. Ryan having climbed “40 of the state’s 54 peaks over 14,000 feet.”

The claim appears to originate in a 2009 interview of Rep. Ryan by Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who updates that story today after the somewhat ambiguously-worded quote in question drew “media attention.”

Question: “How many fourteeners have you climbed? Or how many times?”

Ryan: “38. I think that’s my last count.”

Question: “Those are just climbing peaks that are 14,000 feet?”

Ryan: “I’ve done it 38 times. … I’ve done 38, but I think the number of unique peaks is something like twenty… no, no it’s like thirty or something like that. I counted it up a year or two ago.” [Pols emphasis]

Question: “Most of those in Colorado?”

Ryan: “All of them are in Colorado. So I think I’ve climbed like 28 (peaks), and I’ve done it 38 times, because I’ve done a number of them a few times. So I was, you know, kind of into that stuff.”

It would be easier if Ryan had, you know, picked a number and stuck with it, but there’s no question he claims to have climbed a whole lot of Colorado fourteeners.

—–

POLS UPDATE: With the story apparently blowing up nationally, the Romney-Ryan campaign responds via The Atlantic’s James Fellows. Do you buy this explanation? Developing…

We’re not sure where this started, but he’s not said 40 different peaks, its nearly 40 climbs [Pols emphasis] – with a number of peaks climbed more than once.  He’s been doing them for more than 20 years. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article from  ’09 doesn’t say 40 separate summits, but instead “He is fairly careful about what he eats, performs an intense cross-training routine known as P90X most mornings, and has made close to 40 climbs of Colorado’s “Fourteeners” (14,000-foot peaks).”

—–

Ryan Fourteener 1
ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin on the summit of Pikes Peak yesterday. Click here for a high resolution photo.

Ryan Fourteener 2
ProgressNow Colorado producer Jen Caltrider on the summit of Pikes Peak yesterday. Click here for a high resolution photo.

Lying about running a marathon in under three hours, when your actual time is over four hours, is bad enough. But lie to Coloradans about how many fourteeners you’ve climbed and you’re crossing a line–and not just the tree line.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan claims to have climbed 40 of Colorado’s 53 fourteeners.

We think he might have done some of his patented “Paul Ryan Math” on that number. Tomorrow Paul Ryan heads to Colorado Springs in the shadow of Colorado’s most famous fourteener, Pikes Peak, and Coloradans deserve to know the real sum of his summits.  

As questions grow about Paul Ryan’s truthfulness on a wide range of issues, we’re calling on Ryan to prove his claim of having climbed 40 of Colorado’s 53 fourteeners. And we’re asking you to send pictures of empty chairs (see photos) on the summits of Colorado mountain peaks to help us illustrate Ryan’s questionable claims.

Send your photo to info@progressnowcolorado.org. We’ll share them with the press and our thousands of members across the state.

Coloradans take a lot of pride in our fourteeners. We prefer the thin air of our tallest peaks to the hot air of lying politicians. A few days ago, Paul Ryan was forced to correct his boast of having run marathons in under three hours. [1] The truth is, Ryan only ran in one marathon, and it took him over four hours. What about Ryan’s claim to have climbed 40 of Colorado’s 53 fourteeners? Is that another patented Paul Ryan lie?

Last week at the Republican National Convention, Ryan gave an acceptance speech that has been widely criticized as factually inaccurate. Demonstrably false statements about Medicare, the 2011 battle over raising the federal “debt ceiling,” and the closing of a General Motors assembly plant, among others, have raised serious questions about Ryan’s honesty. [2]

After embracing lie after lie at the Republican National Convention last week, and then being forced to retract wildly exaggerated claims about his performance as a marathon runner, Colorado voters deserve to know the truth about Ryan’s climbing record in our state. We’re calling for Ryan to release photos, summit logs, and any other evidence he has to back up his claim that he climbed 40 of our state’s highest mountains–or come clean with Colorado that he’s lying about his “peak bagger” record too.

Send your photo with Paul Ryan’s “empty chair” on a Colorado peak to info@progressnowcolorado.org. And thanks for asking for something better than the usual politician dishonesty.

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Progressives Call on Coffman to Stop Hiding

Mike Coffman Hides
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) ponders how to evade ProgressNow Colorado members outside a fundraiser in downtown Denver.

ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, and allies appeared yesterday outside a private fundraiser hosted for Republican Rep. Mike Coffman near Coors Field sponsored by the Western Energy Alliance and Newfield PACs–both funded by major oil companies.

ProgressNow Colorado was joined by a genuine Big Oil Fat Cat outside 1899 Wynkoop St. in Denver near Coors Field to tell Rep. Coffman to stop hiding from his constituents.

“A few weeks ago, video surfaced of Coffman questioning the citizenship of President Barack Obama during a fundraiser this past spring, repeatedly claiming the president ‘is not an American,'” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Joanne Schwartz. “Since that ‘loose cannon’ moment, Coffman has virtually disappeared, holding no public events–the only exception apparently being fundraisers where well-heeled supporters pay for the privilege of meeting with him.”

“Coffman’s constituents have been asking for a town hall for weeks, and they should be able to meet with him for less than $1,000 per person,” said Schwartz. “Most of the voters Coffman represents don’t have that kind of money to spare.”

Coffman has carried numerous pieces of legislation in support of Big Oil. The latest example of Coffman’s special interest pandering: legislation that would create penalties for public participation in decisions to lease or drill on our public lands. H.R. 4383 would create a terrible burden on agencies while taking away their discretion in many drilling cases. This bill would force new leases to be granted for financial and speculative reasons, even though there are thousands of unused drilling permits in Colorado and around the county.

“While Mike Coffman hides from the voters he represents in Congress, his cozying up with wealthy donors in downtown Denver only adds insult to injury,” said Schwartz. “We’re calling on Rep. Coffman to start representing his district instead of special-interest campaign contributors. To simply stop hiding from the voters he represents would be a great start.”

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Coloradans Demand Romney Disclose Full Financial History

Colorado progressives demand real accountability from Romney, shades of Scott McInnis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

DENVER: Responding to the limited release of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s tax returns for 2010 and 2011, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded that Romney immediately disclose years of tax returns and financial history–going back to his time as CEO of the Bain Capital private equity firm. Reports today that Romney has released only the last two years of tax returns are nowhere near satisfactory.

“Watching Romney evade accountability over his financial records is enough to give any Coloradan a sense of deja vu,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Joanne Kron. “In 2010, this organization led the campaign to force then-gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis to release his tax returns and other financial records. McInnis’ foot-dragging on financial disclosure did serious damage to his credibility and public trust, and now Romney seems determined to repeat McInnis’ same mistakes.”

“It was reported widely yesterday that Romney turned over more than two decades of his tax returns to the McCain campaign when he was being considered for vice-president in 2008–a position he didn’t get after they saw the records,” said Kron. “Why did the McCain campaign get more than two decades of tax returns, while the American people get just the last two years? What does Mitt Romney have to hide?”

An April, 2010 editorial from The Denver Post stated that “with concerns about government spending occupying marquee territory…voters deserve as much information as possible about how candidates make and manage their own money.” Then-member of The Denver Post editorial board Chuck Plunkett went further in a separate opinion column, saying “voters have to wonder whether the forms McInnis is hiding conceal something. Did the lawmaker make his millions from sweetheart deals and political payback?”

“Every unanswered question stemming from Scott McInnis’ reluctance to disclose his tax returns and more detailed financial records applies at least equally to Mitt Romney,” said Kron. “Like Scott McInnis, Mitt Romney doesn’t seem to understand that the voters expect transparency–and in the case of a man who has made untold millions while laying off thousands of working American citizens, full disclosure going back to that time is even more important.”

“You don’t get many better examples of what not to do in politics than Scott McInnis,” said Kron. “Mitt Romney will either learn these lessons the easy way, or the way McInnis learned less than two years ago.”

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Thousands of Coloradans Tell Gessler: Serve Colorado or Resign

ProgressNow Colorado delivers names, comments of nearly 5,000 citizens demanding Gessler give up irresponsible “moonlighting” plans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 27th 2010

DENVER: Responding to the week-long controversy over Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s decision to continue working part time for his law firm while he serves, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, today delivered a petition signed by nearly 5,000 citizens to Gessler’s office–demanding that Gessler abandon this irresponsible plan.

“The response to our call for Gessler to give up his ‘moonlighting’ plans was overwhelming,” said Kjersten Forseth, Executive Director of ProgressNow Colorado. “What you’re seeing today is an outraged answer from both sides of the aisle to an irresponsible and hopelessly conflicted situation. It’s time for Gessler to listen to what the people of Colorado are very clearly saying, or step down.”

Gessler’s law firm the Hackstaff Law Group, formerly Hackstaff Gessler, has represented some of the most politically controversial right wing groups and candidates in the state. Gessler has asserted that he will not take cases that could conflict with his duties as Secretary of State, but leading ethics watchdogs such as Colorado Ethics Watch have denounced Gessler’s decision, noting that he would be shielded from many necessary disclosures by attorney-client privilege.

The Denver Post, the Boulder Daily Camera, and the Grand Junction Sentinel have all published editorials this week condemning Gessler’s plan. As of Thursday afternoon, 4,916 people have signed ProgressNow Colorado’s petition–with more continuing to come in.

“Thousands of ProgressNow Colorado members signed this petition, but also many more who received it from friends and colleagues, or found it online through a variety of sources,” said Forseth. “Colorado citizens understand clearly that Gessler’s previous work for this law firm creates a massive conflict of interest with his duties as Secretary of State–potentially endangering free and fair elections here. They are appalled that Gessler claims he ‘can’t survive’ on an income significantly higher than the average in Colorado, and they cannot reconcile his claims with his right wing colleagues in the Colorado legislature who just voted to cut school breakfast funding for poor children.

“They also understand that Gessler did win the election, and he is Colorado’s Secretary of State,” concluded Forseth. “That is why we are calling today for Gessler to do the right thing, put an end to this distracting controversy, and agree to put the interests of Colorado first as he swore to do just a couple of weeks ago. Colorado needs a full-time Secretary of State, whose interests will not be subject to continuous second-guessing due to an avoidable conflict. It is only if Gessler cannot do that should he be asked to resign.”

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Tell Scott Gessler: Serve Colorado or resign

Before his election last November as Secretary of State, Scott Gessler was a partner in one of Colorado’s most politically connected law firms. He represented some of the state’s most controversial right wing political groups and candidates. Some of Gessler’s clients have been disgraced by campaign finance disclosure complaints, allegations of unlawful false statements against their opponents, and other alleged election law violations.

Despite Gessler’s record, he promised on the campaign trail last year that he would set aside his past associations, and serve the state of Colorado without the conflicts of interest that would seem obvious given his history. But today, The Denver Post reports that Gessler wants to remain employed part time by his old law firm while he serves as Secretary of State.

Colorado’s Secretary of State, the state’s chief elections official, moonlighting at a law firm that specializes in elections? This is completely unacceptable. Sign our petition now, demanding that Gessler immediately abandon this absurd plan. And if he can’t, Gessler should immediately resign his position as Secretary of State.

Gessler is telling reporters he won’t take on cases that pertain to elections, business registration, gaming, charities, or any of the long list of issues the Secretary of State’s office oversees. But according to Colorado Ethics Watch, the state’s leading government ethics watchdog group, attorney-client confidentiality prevents the public from even asking questions about Gessler’s moonlighting–let alone getting real answers! (Colorado Independent, 1/21/2011)

This is not a case of a public servant who simply needs a better income. For one thing, Gessler knew perfectly well when campaigning for this job what it paid–just under $70,000 per year. And this is no ordinary “second income,” this is a situation which opens the door to the kind of backroom dealing and favoritism of his old political pals that Gessler’s opponents always feared. What’s more, the state Attorney General’s office is now tasked with “working with Gessler” to prevent conflicts of interest. How much staff time and expense will that take up?

Tell Gessler right now: this is not acceptable. Sign our petition demanding that Gessler give up his plan to moonlight for his old law firm; and if he can’t do that, to immediately resign from his office. We’ll deliver your names and comments to Gessler’s office, other officials, and the media at the end of next week.

Colorado needs a full-time Secretary of State–but above all, Colorado needs a Secretary of State we can trust, and Scott Gessler is failing that test.

Cross-posted from ProgressNow Colorado

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Tell Udall and Bennet: No Deal

The headlines from Washington this morning are absolutely infuriating. It’s time for progressives to stand up and fight.

The U.S. House has passed legislation that is critical for America’s long-term security and solvency: ending the Bush tax cuts for Americans who make over $250,000 per year. Ending these 2003 tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans will raise $700 billion dollars or more to reduce the federal deficit over the next decade, and meet our obligations to future generations.

As usual, Republicans in the U.S. Senate are standing in the way–and worse, Democrats in Washington are reportedly considering giving in to their irresponsible grandstanding (New York Times, 12/6/2010).

Send a message to our Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet right now: tell them NO DEAL. No more extensions of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Colorado progressives are tired of watching Democrats in Washington cave in to the right wing. Poll after poll shows the American people–and the people of Colorado–overwhelmingly support ending the Bush tax cuts for those earning $250,000 or more per year. We can all agree that the economy hasn’t gotten better since 2003, so what have the Bush tax cuts even accomplished?

Both Udall and Bennet have said they would prefer to only continue these tax cuts for the middle class and working families, but progressives need more than talk. What America needs are principled leaders who will take a stand for what they claim to believe. If Mark Udall and Michael Bennet really view deficit reduction as a priority, ending Bush’s irresponsible tax cuts for the rich–while preserving them for those who truly need relief–is the place to start.

And the time is now. Thanks for standing up for our common interests, and for reminding our elected officials that we sent them to Washington, as opposed to their opponents, for a reason.

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“Angel of Death,” Reloaded

Over at ProgressNow Colorado, we were a little shocked by the recent “Angel of Death” video released by the campaign for the “Personhood” birth control and abortion ban, Amendment 62.

Our second thought was, “wow, this is really spoofable.”

We asked our members to take a look (you may have gotten this email), as it’s a disturbing window into the minds of proponents of Amendment 62, but also to get ideas for how to have some fun with it.

Vote NO on Amendment 62! For more information, visit NOonthenumbers.com.

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Join the UN Bicycle Conspiracy

Denver has a great new bicycle-sharing program-you may have heard of it, or seen those red bikes with evil capitalist advertising on them. Tea Party candidate Dan Maes says it’s a giant conspiracy to turn Denver into a “United Nations community.”

So we thought, why not? Every United Nations community has to have a uniform. So we made these handsome t-shirts to kick off our U.N. Bicycle Ambassador program.

Contribute $25 and get one today!

“This is all very well disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes said. So we’re blowing the lid right off this conspiracy. Get your sublime azure blue, 100% cotton U.N Bicycle Ambassador t-shirt today.

Dan Maes says this plot is “bigger than it looks like on the surface.” And you will be too, in a fantastically slimming U.N. Bicycle Ambassador t-shirt!

This limited edition t-shirt is available in men’s and women’s sizes. Get yours now! As soon as Glenn Beck finds out, the gig is up!

You will join the U.N. Bicycle Ambassadors.

In solidarity,

Alan Franklin

Maximum Proconsul, United Nations Bicycle Ambassadors

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Get your McPlagiarism Pen today!

Scott McInnis has embarrassed the entire state of Colorado. Media outlets from across the state, as well as politicians on both sides of the aisle and thousands of ProgressNow Colorado members have called on McInnis to withdraw from the gubernatorial race. But, McInnis has convinced himself that his plagiarism of water essays by a Colorado Supreme Court Justice-in order to falsely represent himself as a ‘water expert’-is no big deal.

McInnis is wrong. As The Denver Post said in a recent editorial, “the plagiarism and other issues have cumulatively so damaged McInnis’ credibility that we do not believe he can be an effective governor.”

Show your friends that Scott McInnis doesn’t represent you or Colorado. Get your Plagiarism Pen today–only a $5 donation including shipping. Hurry, limited quantities available. When they’re gone, he’s history!

http://mcplagiarist.org

We’re delivering a Plagiarism Pen to Scott McInnis’ office, but we’ve saved one for you! The McInnis Plagiarism Pen is a fine black pen with a rubber comfort grip, perfect for studying in school or writing the next Great American Novel. Best of all, the user will be constantly reminded of the importance of intellectual honesty.

Update: Now endorsed by The Atlantic’s Josh Green!

Tomorrow is the moment of truth for Scott McInnis, the Republican gubernatorial hopeful in Colorado who got tripped up by a plagiarism scandal–and if you act now, you can own this handsome commemorative pen to mark the occasion. That’s right: for a short time, the Scott McInnis Plagiarism Pen  is available and it can be yours! The Plagiarism Pen comes loaded with many state-of-the-art features, like ink. It also has a rubber grip, so your fingers won’t slip while you’re appropriating someone else’s intellectual property as your own. It will also help you grow hair…

*Hair growth claim has not been evaluated by the FDA.

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Norton staffer: Obama “forced” BP into “$20 billion slush fund”

Sometimes, people send out emails that they realize later they should not have, and when that happens there’s a “recall” procedure in some email clients you can try. It usually doesn’t work, in fact it often makes people more likely to open the email they don’t want you to open.

I have to imagine that the mood at RNC headquarters was pretty grim after the BP “$20 billion shakedown/slush fund/etc.” talking points the GOP handed out on Thursday morning turned into a disaster. I’ll bet they hit the ‘recall’ button.

Unfortunately, says the Denver Post, Jane Norton’s press aide didn’t get the message!

http://blogs.denverpost.com/th…

A press aide to Republican Senate candidate Jane Norton said today that President Obama had forced BP to create a $20 billion “slush fund,” and that Obama is heading toward “autocracy.”

Coming on the heels of another Republican’s apology to the giant oil company, the remarks quickly drew a rebuke from Democrats and a distancing from the rest of Norton’s campaign.

At a Colorado Republican Business Coalition luncheon at Brooklyn’s restaurant, Aindriu Colgan introduced himself as a press aide to Jane Norton, and then said, “Apparently, in the past few weeks, America has turned into an autocracy rather than a democracy or a republic. The president thinks he can unilaterally decide that ‘Ok, we’re not allowed to have drilling in the Gulf anymore.’ He can force BP to put $20 billion in a slush fund. And he can do whatever he wants without congressional approval.”

The remarks were captured on tape by ProgressNow Colorado, a liberal watchdog group that frequently sends monitors to public forums to follow candidates. ProgressNow Colorado executive director Bobby Clark said the latest defense of BP shows Republicans in general are more interested in defending large corporations than in helping people hurt by BP’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill…

The full story: http://blogs.denverpost.com/th…

Here’s the recording of Mr. Colgan’s remarks, note how he introduces himself as a representative of Norton’s campaign, and ends with a request to sign Norton’s circulating clipboards:

You’d think what happened to Joe Barton after his “apology” was enough of a warning. It could be that Mr. Colgan gets a forwarded copy of RNC talking points, and they arrive a day or so late. Normally that’s not a big deal, but this time it undeniably would have been a problem.

Or it just might be the case, we at ProgressNow would ask you to consider, that Republicans are more interested in defending large corporations than in helping people hurt by BP’s oil spill.

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Stop this man!

(Who needs Dr. Evil when you have Doug Bruce? – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The city of Colorado Springs is the adopted hometown of right-wing crusader Doug Bruce. Thanks in part to local ballot initiatives sponsored by Bruce, restrictions on the ability of the city to meet basic needs have seriously harmed Colorado Springs–and adversely impacted the quality of life of every resident. The area’s chronic shortfalls for basic services like health inspectors, police and fire, and even streetlights have repeatedly made national news.

Now, we’ve learned that Bruce wants this reality for all of Colorado.

Last week, a judge found that Bruce has been deeply involved with three controversial initiatives proposed for this November’s ballot (Colorado Springs Gazette, 6/11/2010). Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101 are some of the most radical and destructive changes ever proposed for our state. A product of simpleton "drown government in a bathtub" ideology, these initiatives would slash taxes and vehicle registration fees to unsustainable levels and make it virtually impossible for state and local government to finance new construction. They have been denounced as dangerous and irresponsible by virtually every local government and fiscal policy group in the state, as well as leaders from across the political spectrum.

We don’t know what will happen in court. What we do know is that everyone–Republicans and Democrats, liberal and conservative–must join together to stop these destructive initiatives. Start by signing our pledge to OPPOSE Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101:

http://progressnowcolorado.org/StopBruce

Doug Bruce doesn’t want you to know he’s behind these initiatives. For weeks, Bruce has made a mockery of the law, actually hiding from process servers to avoid being compelled to testify. It’s gone so far that even Colorado’s Republican Attorney General is seeking a contempt of court citation against Bruce. Despite his comical attempts to evade the law and obfuscate the truth, the court has found that Bruce was intimately involved with the planning and collection of signatures to get these initiatives on the ballot.

Bruce’s surrogates are believed to have broken the law getting these initiatives on the ballot. Despite the large and costly petition-gathering campaign that was clearly employed to obtain the number of signatures required, none of the campaigns involved ever reported any expenses! It’s another shocking display of flagrant contempt for the law. But nobody ever accused Doug Bruce of being stupid, and until the legislature can put real teeth in Colorado campaign finance law, we have to assume that the fight is on all the way through to November. Take the first step: sign our pledge to OPPOSE Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101 today.

http://progressnowcolorado.org/StopBruce

We will keep you up to date with the progress of court battles over these initiatives, and provide you with ways to take action to protect your community.

We can’t lose this one. If the unthinkable happens, and any one of these destructive ballot measures is passed into law, Colorado will be irreparably harmed. These initiatives are not intended to solve any problems, they are only meant to do damage. That is not a responsible way to confront the issues we face, something both liberals and conservatives should be able to agree on.

Thank you for standing up when it matters most. This is one of those times.

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3,300 Teachers

Unless you act now, our children will bear another burden of the economic crisis brought about by the failed policies of George W. Bush.

Our kids need your help. Thousands of Colorado teachers are facing layoffs, and students from all across the state could be forced into larger classes with less personal attention, fewer course choices and even cuts to instruction time.

Add your name to our petition asking Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet to stand up for Colorado’s students, teachers and schools and support the Keep Our Educators Working Act. Senators Udall and Bennet have been true champions for public education. We need their proven leadership now more than ever.

http://www.progressnowcolorado…

The Keep Our Educators Working Act will provide desperately needed money to Colorado school districts, save or create over 3,300 jobs in Colorado and ensure our public schools, one of the most important factors in a sustained economic recovery, remain strong and able to provide a top-notch education for our kids.

Sign our petition today: Tell Udall and Bennet you support this bill.

http://www.progressnowcolorado…

Your voice can have a big impact in making sure our schools remain strong and our students have the best chance for academic success. Take two minutes and add your name in support of the Keep Our Educators Working Act – we’ll make sure Senators Udall and Bennet hear loud and clear from you.

http://www.progressnowcolorado…

It only takes a moment to help keep Colorado’s schools strong. Please sign on in support of the Keep Our Educators Working Act and we’ll make sure Senators Udall and Bennet get your message about the importance of standing up for Colorado’s students. Thanks!

Update: Thank you Sen. Michael Bennet, who has expressed strong support and signed on this month as a cosponsor of S.3206.

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Winners and Losers of the 2010 Colorado legislative session

With the 2010 Colorado legislative session coming to a close, here is a list of winners and losers among your Colorado State Representatives and Senators–who stood up to do right by their constituents and our state’s future, versus those who devoted the session to pandering and disingenuous partisan politics. We are proud of the hard work done by our progressive majority this session, from renewable energy and clean air to improving health care. Please enjoy this brief summary of those you have to thank–and those you don’t.

WINNERS

Gail Schwartz – The Green Machine

An undisputed leader on green jobs bills this legislative session, and a key supporter of renewable energy and clean air legislation. Gail Schwartz’s bravery in 2010 will benefit all of Colorado for generations to come.

Bruce Whitehead – Freshman of the year

Sponsor of two of the most important bills in recent memory, the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act and House Bill 1001 (renewable energy standards), Bruce Whitehead has emerged as an inependent power in the Senate–and forceful advocate for his Southwest Colorado district.

John Morse – The most courageous man at the Capitol

Senator John Morse carried legislation to bring health care jobs to underserved communities. He was a strong advocate for criminal justice interests. And above all, Morse was fearless in calling out the right wing on their disingenuous tactics and misrepresentations throughout the session.

Sara Gagliardi – The best friend of health care jobs

Three bills sponsored by Rep. Gagliardi this session: HB10-1138 and SB10-058, concerning student loan reimbursement for health workers, and HB10-1415 in support of health worker safety, demonstrate her commitment to protecting patients, health care workers, and the industry as a whole.

Dianne Primavera – Cancer fighter extraordinaire

Rep. Primavera sponsored HB10-1252, which mandated that mammograms be made available to all women regardless of age. She sponsored legislation to better cover medication for specific cancers, and above all sponsored Senate Bill 10-002, fighting insurance company claim denials.

Debbie Benefield – Education specialist

Rep. Debbie Benefield has sponsored too many excellent education bills to count over the years. This session, her work on early childhood education and preserving K-12 funding in the present recession were as much as her constituents could ever ask for. And her popular gift card consumer protection bill shouldn’t be overlooked, either.

Max Tyler – The House’s freshman star

Rep. Max Tyler has quickly established himself as one of the most thoughtful and articulate members of the Colorado House. His leadership on House Bill 10-1001, the renewable energy standards bill, was key to its success.

 

Al White – The Budget Pragmatist

Republican Sen. Al White, a member of the Joint Budget Committee, dramatically pled with fellow Republicans to support the hard choices made to balance this year’s budget. White ultimately did not succeed in convincing his colleagues to put principle over partisanship, but he deserves credit for trying.


LOSERS

Senate Minority Leadership

Under Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry’s leadership, what might have been a useful and constructively engaged minority turned into cynical right-wing "no" chorus. The Senate Minority is now composed of ideologues who came over from the House–Dave Schultheis, Bill Cadman, Kevin Lundberg, and Ted Harvey, together with the new generation of crazy, Scott Renfroe and Mike Kopp. Add that to Penry’s pandering, trafficking false information and extremism, and endless invective at the majority on the taxpayer dime, and you’ve got the whole sorry picture.

Cory Gardner – The "King of Self-Inflicted Wounds"

Cory Gardner seems to be too busy jetting off to Washington D.C. for fundraisers to represent his constituents this year. Gardner missed at least six days of the legislative session in order to campaign for office. Of course, When Gardner does manage to show up, it’s not much better for his rural Eastern Plains district, as with his vote to cut the already-underfunded Agriculture Department.

Ellen Roberts – Damage Control #FAIL

Ellen Roberts is a politician who tries, and fails, to be everything to everyone. Faced with a challenge from her right, Roberts sponsored a terrible bill from the insurance industry that would have stopped attempts by other legislators to improve health care in Colorado. Despite her pandering to the far right, Roberts is still in danger of losing to a Tea Party candidate.

Kevin Lundberg – Worst Poster Child Ever

Lundberg needs no introduction. One of the Colorado General Assembly’s most outspoken climate change deniers and general purpose right wing radicals, Lundberg had a big legislative session this year–trashing the League of Women Voters, defending Xcel Energy (a monopoly) in the name of the "free market," and condemning as "socialism" a budget that was in fact cut by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Spencer Swalm – "Mr. Compassion"

Known in the legislature as the #1 water carrier for the insurance industry, insurance agent-by-day Spencer Swalm never missed an opportunity to fight against improving access to health care, and even suggested that instead of a tax break for the poor, we should tell them to not "have babies out of wedlock."

Dave Balmer – Returns (some) calls

Dave Balmer has one of the more interesting backgrounds of any of the right wingers in the legislature, but as an elected official in Colorado’s legislature he has proven to be shamelessly corrupt and beholden to the interest he raises money from. This year, Balmer actually interrupted a hearing to call a major donor on his cell phone for advice on a vote.

Shawn Mitchell – The "Beavis and Butthead" Prize

No list of "losers" from a Colorado legislative session is complete without Shawn Mitchell. Starting with disruptive and unstatesmanlike behavior during the Pinnacol hearings late last year–even making degrading remarks about the underwear of female Senators–to his insistence on dragging petty electioneering onto the floor of the Colorado Senate, Mitchell takes "boorish" to new and truly embarrassing levels.

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Keep Our Educators Working!

As we slowly pull back from Colorado’s most severe budget crisis in generations, we need to continue looking for solutions to protect the things that matter most–like our public schools and teachers this Teacher Appreciation Day.

In Colorado, we have a paradox with regard to education: home to a highly-educated workforce and some of the nation’s premiere research and educational institutions, Colorado ranks near the very bottom of education funding. Our students are not getting the education they need to compete for good paying jobs because years of budget cuts have damaged our ability to compete. Worse, it has led to teachers losing their jobs, a blow to hard-working educators and their families across the state.

In just three states–California, New York and Illinois–60,000 K-12 teachers face layoffs. Job cuts of this magnitude threaten to stall Colorado’s economic recovery and damage our educational system by forcing larger class sizes, fewer elective courses and reduced services for all students.

When schools get cut, it’s more than just students, teachers and their families who suffer. The entire community pays a price, too. Businesses have long said they invest in communities with strong services, and that includes good schools. 21st century companies won’t invest in places where schools are crumbling and students, cramped into crowded classrooms, are denied a world-class education.

That’s why Colorado’s congressional delegation needs to put partisan politics aside and put our students and teachers first, by supporting S. 3206, the Keep Our Educators Working Act. This important bill will provide millions of dollars for Colorado, to ensure that teachers can stay on the job and students can get the world-class education our economy needs to compete.

Keep Our Educators Working will provide $23 billion to keep the successful State Fiscal Stabilization Fund under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) going for another year, providing continuing relief to state education budgets just now beginning to recover from the recession. Please–say thanks to your teacher this week by calling your Senators and congressional representatives, and urging support for the Keep Our Educators Working Act.

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Call for Gardner to Repudiate “Col. Birther”

Responding to a controversy in Weld County this week over an Army officer “refusing to deploy” based on discredited questions about President Barack Obama’s citizenship, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on state Rep. Cory Gardner to firmly repudiate the officer’s statements.

“What Lt. Col. Terry Lakin has asserted in the past week is an embarrassment to residents of the 4th Congressional District, and Colorado as a whole,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Bobby Clark. “These ridiculous conspiracy theories about President Obama’s citizenship are beneath contempt, have been examined all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and discredited repeatedly.”

The Colorado Independent reported Monday that state Rep. Cory Gardner’s campaign “declined to comment” on the Lakin affair, after having made several confusing statements about President Obama’s citizenship last August. After a congressional candidate forum in Ft. Collins where Gardner would only affirm that the “White House claims he is a citizen,” Gardner’s campaign manager said that the representative “finds it very curious that this could all be ended if he just released the long-form birth certificate and put it to bed.”

This Friday, Gardner is holding a fundraisier at the Brown Palace in Denver featuring Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Blackburn was profiled last summer by Salon.com in an article titled “The Birthers in Congress,” and a co-sponsor of legislation in Congress meant to encourage “birther” conspiracy theories (Salon.com, 7/28/2009). Through a spokesperson, Rep. Blackburn claimed that ‘constituents’ were ‘surprised’ “candidates don’t have to establish that they meet the constitutional requirements for the office.”

“Cory Gardner has tried to have it both ways on this issue from the beginning,” continued Clark. “When in front of ‘Tea Party’ and other far-right groups, he doesn’t want to say outright that they are embracing racist nonsense, even though he knows that’s what this is. Only when pressed by major news outlets like the Denver Post will he concede that Obama ‘is a citizen.’ Now, his vague pandering to extremist fiction is giving license to an Army officer to reject civilian authority. That’s wrong, and we are calling on Gardner to speak out against this: as a state representative, a congressional candidate, and a patriotic American.”

ProgressNow will conduct online outreach and advertising campaigns in the coming weeks, urging Coloradans to expect better from public officials, and to demand Gardner make a clear statement, one way or the other, on Col. Lakin’s allegations.

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Colorado’s 2010 “Egregious Eight”

(It’s the scowl-offs – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Update: Ladies and gentlemen, the “Foul-Mannered Four”–with a twist!

* Dave Schultheis – 45 votes (20.74%)

* Doug Bruce – 40 votes (18.43%)

* Kevin Lundberg – 25 votes (11.52%)

* Jane Norton – 22 votes (10.14%)

* Scott McInnis – 22 votes (10.14%)

That’s right, Jane Norton and Scott McInnis tied for the 4th spot! I admit I didn’t actually plan for that, we’ll have to resolve it somehow. Congratulations, as in the first round, to the reigning train wreck of Colorado right-wing politics, Dave Schultheis. It looks, as hard as other contenders try, like he’s going to be tough to out-extreme. Stay tuned!



The “Egregious Eight,” left to right: Scott “McLobbyist” McInnis, Shawn “Creepy” Mitchell, Cory “The Birther” Gardner, Dave “Pure Evil” Schultheis, Scott “Leviticus” Renfroe, Doug “The Kicker” Bruce, Kevin “It’s a Myth” Lundberg, “Puppet” Jane Norton.

After narrowing the field from last week’s “Extreme 16,” here are your contenders for this week: the “Egregious Eight.” GOP state Sen. Dave Schultheis received the most votes last round, with his trademark “babies get AIDS” alley-oop that leaves opponents positively speechless. Close behind Schultheis is the man who calls TABOR the fruit of his loins, Doug “The Kicker” Bruce. Noted climate change denier and general-purpose radical rightie Kevin Lundberg rounds out the top three vote-getters from last week.

The field is certainly clear of all but the truly extreme among Colorado conservatives, so we’re expecting very close results! Any of them are completely capable of taking it to “the limit” (in some cases, well past the limit), it’s just a question of who wants it more! Will Cory “The Birther” pull out his tricky double-fake “Tea Party” moves, or will he play it safe? Can Scott McInnis avoid another tragic John McEnroe style freak out? Stay tuned!

In today’s poll (below), vote for four contenders to advance to the “Foul-Mannered Four.” I’ll announce the winners tomorrow at 9PM, and we’ll be well on the way toward selecting 2010’s Colorado Extreme Champion! This is the last poll in which you’ll be voting for more than one contender, we’ll settle the rest with head-to-head matchups. Happy voting!

[poll id=”1106″]

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Does John Suthers speak for you?

Just hours after Congress passed health insurance reform, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers foolishly joined a partisan lawsuit to block it. He joined 11 other attorneys general, 10 of whom are Republicans, who are pledging to “take it to the Supreme Court” if necessary. The Denver Post says that Suthers’ lawsuit is “without merit,” and “looks politically motivated.” (Denver Post, 3/24/2010)

Suthers is using our tax dollars to sue the federal government in an effort to block health care reforms that offer huge benefits to the people of our state. What’s more, the overwhelming majority of legal experts say he is wasting money on a fool’s errand. Who is he representing?

We know Suthers isn’t representing the thousands of Colorado residents with pre-existing conditions who will be guaranteed coverage, or the small businesses who will receive tax credits and other assistance to help them afford coverage, or the hundreds of thousands who will receive improved Medicare benefits, or the rest of us–residents with health insurance who are now protected from arbitrary premium hikes and insurance cancellations if they get sick.

Does John Suthers speak for you?

If you don’t want Suthers to press this suit in your name, now is the time to speak out! We need Suthers to hear from thousands of people across the state: don’t sacrifice Colorado’s health for partisan politics. Please click on the link below to sign our petition.

http://progressnowcolorado.org…

This reform will benefit nearly every family in Colorado. A congressional analysis found that this bill will provide this year:



   * Tax credits for small business to purchase health insurance for their employees.

   * Children can no longer be denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition.

   * An end to lifetime limits and most annual limits on benefits: the lives of Americans no longer have a cost/benefit ratio.

   * A temporary high-risk insurance pool for Americans uninsured due to a pre-existing condition will be immediately established, and immediately begin saving lives.

   * Individual policyholders can no longer be dropped by their insurer if they get sick.

   * New health insurance plans must cover preventive care and immunizations without undue burdens on the insured.

   * Immediate lowering of prescription drug costs for seniors, the much-maligned “donut hole” begins to close.

   * Expanded coverage of dependent children through age 26.

   * A new appeals process for claims that puts patients first.

   * Real disclosure of how much of your premium dollar goes to “administrative costs” instead of health care.

And that’s just the beginning. Despite these benefits for the people of Colorado, John Suthers is putting partisan politics above good policy by trying to maintain the status quo of our broken health care system. We need him to hear from thousands of people across the state: don’t sacrifice Colorado’s health for partisan politics, and don’t waste taxpayer dollars on frivolous grandstands. As former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Jean Dubofsky wrote in a detailed memo this week (Colorado Independent 3/25/2010), Suthers’ lawsuit is seriously deficient from a legal perspective, and experts around the nation agree the effort has almost no chance of success.

Help us make sure Suthers understands that he does not represent the people of Colorado if he continues to pursue this suit. Please click on the link below to sign our petition, and then forward it to your friends.

http://progressnowcolorado.org…

We’ll share it with Suthers, the media, and other elected officials. Thanks for standing up to defend a victory we have all fought so hard for.

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