At least he’s not your legislator…or your gynecologist!

In Virginia, they got this wimmin's rights thing all figgered out!

A pregnant woman is just a "host" that should not have the right to end her pregnancy, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin (R) wrote in a Facebook rant defending his anti-abortion views.

Martin, the former chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, wrote a lengthy post about his opinions on women's bodies on his Facebook wall last week in response to a critical Valentine's Day card he received from reproductive rights advocates.

"I don't expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive," Martin wrote. "However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it."

You're not even a mother anymore, ladies! Now you're just the "host." Sounds sci-fi, doesn't it?

Denver Post attempt to politicize Clements murder backfires

(This merits an explanation – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

My friends know I am quite critical of the Denver Post. Some of the things that have upset me most about the Post's journalism have come from this blog, things that I don't think anyone would know about if Colorado Pols didn't publicize them: the Senate GOP rally that compared contraceptive coverage to the Nazis, or the interview with the NRA president where the guy lied about the NRA's support for post-Columbine gun control bills.

On Friday, the Denver Post's front page screamed this headline:

2011 law got Ebel out early

The front page story from the Denver Post Friday claims that a 2011 law, sponsored by Sen. Morgan Carroll and Rep. Claire Levy and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, allowed the suspected killer of Colorado Department of Corrections director Tom Clements to be released early:

Evan Ebel, the man suspected of killing Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements, probably would still be behind bars were it not for a law approved by legislators and Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2011.

This law, which allowed inmates to earn time off their sentences for time spent in solitary confinement. The hundred some-odd days that Evan Ebel earned are supposedly what allowed him out of jail to commit two alleged murders, including Clements.

Senate Bill 176, which changed administrative segregation, was introduced in the 2011 session by two Democrats, Sen. Morgan Carroll of Aurora and Rep. Claire Levy of Boulder.

This comes across like a damning attack on Colorado legislators and Gov. Hickenlooper. According to the next day's Denver Post, though, it's complete bullshit


At least he’s not your Congressman

(He…didn't know this was an insult? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Full retreat, reports ABC News this afternoon:

“I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska,” Young, R-Alaska, wrote in his second statement of the past 24 hours. “There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words.”

An earlier statement from Young excused his use of the smear as “a term that was commonly used” during his days growing up on his father’s ranch in central California, but the 21-term congressman’s second statement leaves no ambiguity about his remorse.


NBC News:

"My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes," [GOP Rep. Don] Young [of Alaska] said in an interview with radio station KRBD. He was discussing the number of jobs that have been made irrelevant due to advances in automation.


While the veteran congressman wasn't referring directly to immigration reform, his remarks certainly cut against the broader Republican effort to repair the party's dismal image with Latino voters.

Rep. Young says he he didn't know "wetback" was an insult. Seriously.

Republicans have a problem with Latinos, all right. Every time they open their mouths.

Chutzpah: GOP Senator blames GOP budget cuts for fewer cops

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Think Progress reports on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in today's gun control hearing in Washington. Speaking to the police chief of the city of Baltimore, Maryland:

GRAHAM: The point is, we have different perspectives on this. The reason I will oppose the legislation, Chief Johnston, is because i respect what your do as a lot — what you do as a law-enforcement officer. Has your budget been cut?


GRAHAM: Do you think it be cut in the future?

JOHNSON: I am optimistic that it is not.

GRAHAM: Well I hope your right, but I can tell people throughout this land, because of the fiscal state of affairs we have, there will be less [SIC] police officers, not more, over the next decade…I honest to god believe that if we arbitrarily “say nobody in this country can own a 10-round magazine in the future, the people who own them are the kind of people we’re trying to combat to begin with.” There can be a situation where a mother runs out of bullets because of something we do here.


Republicans: we’re not the problem

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you were hoping Republicans might get the message after 2012's defeats and change course, I'm about to dash those hopes.

The party’s main problem, dozens of Republican National Committee members argued in interviews over three days this week, is who delivers its message and how, not the message itself. Overwhelmingly they insisted that substantive policy changes aren’t the answer to last year’s losses.

Moderation, at least at this stage, is no virtue at the RNC.

“It’s not the platform of the party that’s the issue,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said Friday after being easily reelected to a second, two-year term. “In many cases, it’s how we communicate about it. It is a couple dumb things that people have said.” (JeffcoBlue emphasis)

A slide presented during a closed-press strategy session said that Mitt Romney might be president if he had won fewer than 400,000 more votes in key swing states.

“We don’t need a new pair of shoes; we just need to shine our shoes,” said West Virginia national committeewoman Melody Potter.

Fellow Democrats should be ecstatic if Republicans are already rationalizing away all of the problems 2012 revealed for them. The Republican Party's problem is much more than a "couple dumb things people have said," it is that they have become the party of people who say dumb things. Their shoes don't need a shine, their entire platform must adapt to the modern age, or die like other political movements that ended as anachonisms. For too many years, the GOP has won ideological battles whether or not they were in the majority. Now, they're running out of excuses as the consequences of their ideology show up everywhere.

But forget that. It's time for more denial…

Colorado ASSET: What progressives need to know

I just got this email from ProgressNow Colorado. Excellent information:

coassetfacts.jpgToday, the “Colorado ASSET” bill, which will allowВ allВ qualified Colorado resident high school graduates to attend college at in-state tuition rates, is expected to pass its first test in the Colorado Senate Education Committee.

There is a great deal of misinformation being put out about this important legislation by opponents, and we as progressives have an obligation to help set the record straight. Here are some basic facts aboutВ Senate Bill 13-033: learn the truth, thenВ contact your Colorado Senator and urge them to SUPPORT this important bill.

The Facts About ASSET

The fact is, we have already invested thousands educating all of the children who will benefit from Senate Bill 13-033. We have invested in their K-12 education, and these students have responded by succeeding academically in Colorado schools. By providing a path to these bright students to continue their studies, all we’re doing is following through on an investmentВ we’ve already made.

Colorado has a constitutional obligation, backed by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, to provide a K-12 education to every child in our state regardless of their documentation or immigration status. It therefore makes no sense to create barriers for children who have demonstrated academic success in Colorado schools to completing their education. By making college an attainable goal for all Colorado students, ASSET will increase revenue for our cash-strapped institutions of higher education.

Remember, Colorado ASSET will only allow the children affected by the bill to pay in-state tuition at Colorado colleges and universities provided they can meet the following criteria:

  • The student must have already attended a Colorado public or private high school for a minimum of 3 years.
  • The student must have graduated from a public or private high school in Colorado, or received their general equivalency diploma (GED)–here in Colorado.

And of course, the student must meet all of the academic requirements and be admitted to a Colorado institution of higher education.

Many of the currently undocumented students who would benefit from Colorado ASSET are already working their way through the U.S. immigration system and are able to be legally employed. All other students who might benefit are required to seek lawful presence as soon as possible.

Please help us spread the truth about this important legislation.В Click here to send a message to your Colorado Senator right now, urging them to support the Colorado ASSET bill. And forward this message to all of your friends and neighbors so they can get the facts as well.

Thank you. This is legislation that we expect to pass with at leastВ someВ bipartisan support, but it’s critical that we as progressives do everything we can to educate our friends and neighbors, and dispel misinformation. We support Colorado ASSET because it’s the right thing to do, and the right thing for Colorado’s competitiveness in a global economy.

And working together, our great state is going to take this positive step.

Read the full text of the Colorado ASSET bill as introducedВ here.

ICYMI: President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Washington Post reports on the President's inspiring second inaugural speech:

After his oath, Obama gave a 19-minute address that, at times, had the itemized, politicized feel of a State of the Union speech. He mentioned tax reform, Medicare, Social Security, and Newtown, Conn., where December’s shooting rampage spurred Obama’s new push for stronger gun laws.

Obama also invoked a theme from his re-election campaign: that of patience exhausted. The president said that the gridlocked capital–and, implicitly, the Republicans who have fought his ideas–was moving too slow in an urgent moment.

“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” Obama said. “We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.”

President Obama has won the last election he will face. Now, he will be judged by history, as will his opponents. Although there are many progressives who are dissatisfied with Obama, I have tried the last four years to see the challenge he has faced, and the ruthless determination of Republicans to antagonize and obstruct Obama. Obama has negotiated to no avail, and if anything, he has tried too hard to work with men who were not interested in working with him.

For me, this means my dissatisfaction is not with, and will never be with Obama. And instead of giving up on the President because all of my aspirations haven't been met in four years, it's time to fight all the harder on his side the next four.

Great idea! School security guard leaves gun in bathroom

Raw Story has a story that’s so funny it was almost a tragedy. It’s not the whole reply, but here’s one to mention when you debate your gun nut relative next time:

A prosecutor in Lapeer, Michigan says, “No harm, no foul,” after a charter school took the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) advice and hired a armed security guard who promptly left his handgun unattended in a student bathroom.

Chatfield School co-directors Matt Young and Bill Kraly announced last week that they had hired retired Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. firearms instructor Clark Arnold as a security guard in response to the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.


Wednesday, the school had admitted to The Flint Journal that the retired firearms instructor had made a “made a breach in security protocol” and left his unloaded handgun unattended in the school restroom “for a few moments.”

“The school has put additional security procedures in place that follow local law enforcement practices and guidelines,” a statement from Young said. “At no time was any student involved in this breach of protocol. We will continue to work on improving school security.”

Amway wins Michigan’s race to the bottom

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

You’ve all seen the news:

Michigan enacted far-reaching legislation Tuesday that threatens to cripple the power of organized labor in a state that was a hub of union might during the heyday of the nation’s industrial dominance.


The new law comes nearly two years after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) began a push to curb collective bargaining rights for public employees. That effort ignited huge protests from union and liberal activists and triggered a failed effort to recall Walker.

At the same time, a well-funded campaign to curtail union power swept through several other Republican-controlled states in the industrial Midwest.

The passage of “right to work,” or as Democrats call it, “right to work for less,” in Michigan is a terrible blow, especially after Michigan’s GOP governor said for years it was not on his agenda. The campaign to pass “right to work” in Michigan was spearheaded by two groups, Americans for Prosperity, and the Michigan Freedom Center funded by Dick DeVos.

DeVos, who unsuccessfully ran against Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm a few years ago, is the son of the founder of “multi-level marketing” giant Amway. Amway has a long relationship with the Republican Party, especially in Michigan. Amway is sold as a business opportunity to individuals with little capital, means or financial sense. Recruits are told of fabulous riches that await them as an Amway distributor, then hard-sold their own “independent business.”…

In reality, the average Amway “business owner” makes about $100 a month, but have switched their own personal consumption of products that Amway sells to them. This is how Amway makes its money. If Amway’s promises of exponential growth since its founded had proven true, Amway would now be larger than the entire U.S. economy. What Amway really does is create a willingly captive market for their overpriced products. It’s a pyramid scheme. (or just Google “Amway scam”)

And now, Amway profits have been spent successfully busting Michigan’s unions!

Greg McNeilly, who heads the Michigan Freedom Fund, a group backed by multimillionaire conservative activist Dick DeVos that spent millions pressing for passage of the legislation, called their success a potentially decisive hit against organized labor.

“I think today is their Waterloo,” McNeilly said.

Like my grandmother used to say, “the rats are in the corn.” It’s even worse than it looks.

Welcome Back, Todd Akin!

(You wondered what would happen? You can stop wondering – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Hey, ladies! Remember when the Republican Party came close to showing an ounce of humanity by shunning Todd Akin after he told a reporter that cases of “legitimate rape” rarely result in pregnancy? Remember when you thought there was still a line of decency that Republicans couldn’t cross without consequences?

So much for that! The line has officially disappeared.

“There is no question that for Missourians who believe we need to stop the reckless Washington spending, rein-in the role of government in people’s lives, and finally focus on growing jobs in this country, that Todd Akin is a far more preferable candidate than liberal Sen. Claire McCaskill,” NRSC executive director Rob Jesmer said. “As with every Republican Senate candidate, we hope Todd Akin wins in November, and we will continue to monitor this race closely in the days ahead.” (JeffcoBlue emphasis)

The NRSC said after Akin’s controversial comments about “legitimate rape” last month that it would not spend money on his behalf this fall. The hope at the time was that the threat would force Akin out of the race and Republicans could replace him with a more electable nominee.

It didn’t work, though, and the deadline for Akin to exit the race passed Tuesday. That means he will now officially appear on the ballot and Republicans have to deal with the situation as it stands.


Other Republicans have clarified that they support Akin, including Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who had been charged with trying to get him out of the race.

Republican Party, your moral bankruptcy is now complete.

“Breakin’ The Law” with Garfield County commissioners!

(Edited for Front paging – promoted by ClubTwitty)

The party may be over for the Garfield County, Colorado commissioners, as local residents have filed a lawsuit against the county for violating open meeting laws and passing an illegal resolution. 

On March 27th of this year, the Garfield County Commissioners took part in a secret meeting in Vernal, Utah with oil shale lobbyists and other elected officials from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.  At the meeting, a plan was developed to back a radical proposal for oil shale speculation that could negatively impact the quantity and quality of our water resources.

Now, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky has admitted that they failed to properly give notice of the meeting to the public, which led to the commission rescinding their illegal resolution. However they have yet to admit that their participation in the secret Vernal meeting was illegal.

The public was blocked from participating in the meeting – despite the fact that public business was discussed in a public building, and on the taxpayer dime. Colorado’s Open Meeting Laws clearly state that elected officials need to conduct public business in public.

The commissioners are performing their new song, Breakin’ the Law, on demand!

The Garfield County residents acted after months of public outcry and calls for the commissioners to pledge to never again meet in secret, closed-door meetings on public business went unheeded. In fact, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky’s response to a constituent’s request that he pledge to stop meeting illegally with oil shale lobbyists was to call a constituent arrogant.  

This from a commissioner caught lying in the news about his level of involvement in the illegal, secret meeting with oil shale lobbyists.  Initially, Jankovsky claimed that he was just a listener at an informational meeting and that they weren’t there to make any decisions.  But, documents obtained through an open records request from Colorado Common Cause showed that not only was Jankovsky a co-organizer of the meeting – responsible for personally inviting several oil shale lobbyists – but he also sent an email on March 18th to an oil shale lobbyist stating that “Our goal is to come up with a statement that all the counties…can sign off on and send to the BLM.”

Friday Jams Fest

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you didn’t care what happened to me,

and I didn’t care for you,

we would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain,

occasionally glancing up through the rain

wondering which of the buggers to blame

and watching for pigs on the wing

Shawn Mitchell: Your Consoler-In-Chief Is “Unamerican”

(I never thought Shawn Mitchell would do something more disgusting than that time he showed his loosey-whities… – promoted by ProgressiveCowgirl)

Yesterday, President Barack Obama flew to Colorado to comfort the victims of Friday morning’s tragic mass murder in Aurora and their families.

At the same time President Obama was getting ready to head out to meet with victims of the Aurora theater shooting and their families, Colorado Sen. Shawn Mitchell wrote this on Facebook.

It’s bad enough that Mitchell uses very similar language to what Rep. Mike Coffman repeatedly apologized for, calling Obama “Unamerican.” Mitchell is doing so deliberately, with the obvious intent of rendering Coffman’s statements less controversial through repetition.

The problem is, Obama wasn’t here this weekend to campaign. Obama has shut down his ads in Colorado for at least several more days in the aftermath of the theater shootings, as has his opponent Mitt Romney. Obama came here yesterday on a nonpolitical mission to console and reassure our neighbors, victims of a terrible act of pointless gun violence.

Senator Mitchell, if you can’t put your hatred of the President aside long enough to let him comfort your fellow Coloradans in their darkest hour, you are beneath contempt.

Joe Coors: not a beer! The theories continue

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Is he a Desert Eagle .44?…

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is announcing its endorsement of Joe Coors for U.S. House of Representatives in Colorado’s 7th District in the November 6 general election.

“Joe Coors is committed to protecting our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA-PVF.  “Because of his strong support of our rights, Joe Coors has received an “AQ” rating and endorsement from the NRA-PVF.  We urge all NRA members and gun owners in Colorado’s Seventh District to vote Joe Coors for U.S. House of Representatives in the November 6 election.”

Joe Coors is a member of the (wait for it!) Coors family, whose family philanthropic foundations (Coors Foundation et al.) have given huge sums of money to right-wing groups and causes like the National Rifle Association for decades. So if it’s a news story any time one of the many conservative groups funded by the Coors family endorses Joe Coors, there are gonna be a lot of news stories. It would be easier to write one story saying “here are all the groups funded by Coors,” and then people will just know when they get the press releases what’s up with that.

COMING UP: Joe Coors: not a beer…is he Mr. Drummond from Diff’rent Strokes?

Or a lawnmower?

…and much more!

Media ignores Colorado connections to overturned Arizona immigration law

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I was dismayed this morning to see that the Denver Post, and for that matter all Colorado major media that I have found so far, have failed to interview any Republicans regarding the “SB-1070 copycat” bills introduced in the Colorado legislature after Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation was passed in 2010. In August of 2010, Republican legislators traveled to Arizona for meetings with the backers of SB-1070, and in both 2011 and 2012 the GOP introduced numerous pieces of legislation described as duplicates in whole and in part of SB-1070.

Now that the major pieces of SB-1070 have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, Republicans who tried to bring SB-1070 to Colorado should be made to answer for their campaign to do so, even if that complicates the GOP’s push to win Hispanic voters.

As one example, Rep. Randy Baumgardner introduced a bill in 2011 that according to the Durango Herald would “direct local police to try to determine whether a person entered the country illegally, require immigrants to carry their alien-registration documents and make it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or apply for a job in Colorado.” In the same Herald story, it’s reported that Sen. Kent Lambert introduced a bill “that allows police to stop people they suspect are illegal immigrants. Federal courts blocked that part of the law as well.” These were both provisions of Arizona’s SB-1070 that were overturned by the Supreme Court yesterday.

Why the hell isn’t that a story?

The closest I’ve found to any coverage of Colorado’s connections to Arizona’s immigration bill is a CBS 4 story that briefly touches on legislation passed in 2006:…

Colorado’s law mirrors the Arizona provision often referred to as “Show Me Your Papers.” It requires police during stops or arrests to check a person’s immigration status if they suspect the person is in the country illegally. With Tuesday’s ruling it is a law other states will likely adopt.

It was the most controversial provision in Arizona’s law. The provision triggered protests across the country and calls to boycott the state. It’s a provision Colorado has had in place for six years.

This is Senate Bill 06-090. This bill did pass and was signed into law in 2006 by GOP Gov. Bill Owens. It had both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors. But the similarity with Arizona’s law ends there. Colorado’s law only requires arrestees to be reported to federal immigration authorities if they are arrested for a separate criminal offense. Immigration status is not in itself an arrestable offense in Colorado. SB 06-090 appears to conform to the Supreme Court’s guidance on this issue, which substantially restricts Arizona’s law.

Look, I’m not happy with the way Democrats handled anti-immigrant hysteria from the Tom Tancredo crowd in 2006. I thought this bill, and others from the 2006 regular and special sessions were stupid election year mistakes. If you must know, I blame Andrew Romanoff. But for this to be the only historical news coverage of immigration policy in Colorado after the SB-1070 ruling is extremely misleading. This is such an important issue in this election that for the press to ignore it, or try to go back to 2006 while ignoring 2011, reeks of partisan considerations.

Every Hispanic voter needs to know that after SB-1070 was passed in Arizona, Colorado Republicans tried to bring everything the Supreme Court threw out yesterday to our state. Period.

If the Colorado press doesn’t tell this story, they’re not doing their jobs.

Joe Coors: not a beer! But what is he?

(Joe Coors falls victim to a self-inflicted meme – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Ever since I first saw Joe Coors’ “not a beer” ad, I’ve been trying to finish the sentence for him. Joe Coors is not a beer, that’s established.

But what is he?

Is he a Pabst Blue Ribbon? There are those who argue PBR is not beer either.

Maybe not a beer. Is he a yacht?

How about a pile of money?

Or a ball peen hammer?

Or a juicy pork chop?

Or a motor scooter?

Or L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology?

Take a look at my numerous theories for what Joe Coors is, if not a beer, at my new Tumblr blog, Joe Coors: Not a Beer. I doubt I’ve explored all the possibilities for what Joe Coors is, so please send me your suggestions, either on my Tumblr or comment right here!

With Photoshop’s help, we’re going to solve this mystery.

But Hick says you can drink it, right?

(It tastes sort of like Tab – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Update: KJCT reports up to 2,000 gallons of tasty, refreshing frack fluid may have spilled.

KREX Grand Junction Channel 5:

A tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of fracking chemicals rolled over on Highway 139 at mile marker 32 Monday afternoon.

Trooper Nate Reed with the Colorado State Patrol says the driver of the tanker truck was headed south on Highway 139 toward Grand Junction when he lost control, causing the truck to flip onto its right side.

Officials with the Lower Valley Fire District say approximately 50 gallons leaked into a nearby stream before they dammed the area to prevent it from being contaminated any further.

The EPA is on scene according to KREX, and they seem to be taking this very seriously for a substance Gov. John Hickenlooper says you can drink and that he has personally taken a swig of. Why doesn’t Hickenlooper head to the scene of this fracking fluid spill for a taste test?

But then he might have to explain how there are lots of different kinds of fracking fluids, and most of them aren’t the Potemkin drinkable CleanStim fluid that Halliburton executives take shots of with gullible governors. I doubt Hickenlooper will be taking any swigs of the fluid they actually spilled.

Sorry, I know he still deserves praise for holding his ground on civil unions, but Hickenlooper’s fracking foolishness should not be forgotten. We need leadership on many issues.

Coloradans For Freedom’s other duty: apologetics

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I’d like to begin by offering genuine thanks to Mario Nicolais, Kelly Maher, and the other Republicans who formed Coloradans for Freedom for the purpose of providing a “conservative case” for passing civil unions legislation. I believe that their efforts were sincere, and that they really did want civil unions to pass this year with GOP support.

But civil unions did not pass. The GOP killed it again. Coloradans for Freedom did not succeed.

Today in the Denver paper, Mario Nicolais wrote a post mortem of the battle over civil unions from his perspective. I see no reason to link to the Denver paper; you can find his guest column in the Perspectives section. While he pledges to continue supporting civil unions next year, the point of his op-ed is to cover for fellow Republicans despite the killing of civil unions at Republican hands. While I respect Nicolais for his personal support, that’s simply not acceptable.

Republicans are the reason civil unions died, and they will pay for it in November.

While defending fellow Republicans from the consequences of their failure to pass civil unions, Nicolais makes a large number of factual errors that call his judgment into question.

Nicolais blames Democrats for not bringing up civil unions when they were in charge of the House. In addition to unwittingly admitting that Republicans consistently oppose civil unions, Nicolais forgets that 2006-2010 was the immediate aftermath of the failure of 2006’s Referendum I. Democrats worked on other legislation such as designated beneficiaries during this period, because the GOP would have castigated them for trying to pass civil unions “against the will of the voters” – which the GOP DID ANYWAY in 2012. Polling on civil unions shows the dramatic changes in support for civil unions have occurred in just the last few years.

Also, under this logic, why does the GOP keep trying to repeal Obamacare after Colorado voters rejected Amendment 63 in 2010? IOKIYAR, Mario!

Nicolais says that he will “work to ensure…Republican majorities include pro-equality majorities,” calling out hopeful examples in the Republicans who did support civil unions this year: BJ Nikkel, Don Beezley, Cheri Gerou, and the three women GOP Senators who support civil unions year after year. In addition to these, there are at least a few other Republicans, like Robert Ramirez, who would have voted yes if the bill had gotten to the House floor.

Even dyed in the wool partisans like me have to acknowledge it: there are Republicans who support civil unions, and their numbers are growing.

But this year, the fact that there were enough Republicans in the House to pass civil unions, in committee and on the floor, didn’t matter. It didn’t matter because those same House Republicans elected leadership that refused to allow the will of the majority of this chamber to be carried out!

For me, that’s the end of the line for Nicolais’ pro-GOP apologetics. Yes, there are Republicans who realize that their current course will permanently sever their party from the mainstream. Yes, there are Republicans who will do the right thing, for political or even moral reasons.

None of it matters if the Republican leaders they choose stop them cold. If civil unions does cost the Republicans seats and control of the House, some of the Republicans who lose their jobs might have voted yes on the issue that will defeat them. Think about that.

Sorry Mario, but this session proved a Republican majority and equality for LGBT citizens of Colorado are indeed mutually exclusive. By attempting to shield his party from this reality, Nicolais does Republicans, and the issue of LGBT equality, a terrible disservice.

I know what it will take to pass civil unions. It’s not excuses for a GOP majority that refuses to.

Second Sine Die

(It ain’t over ’til it’s over, then started again, then over again. – promoted by ProgressiveCowgirl)

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s full statement on the end of today’s special session.

DENVER ­- Wednesday, May 16, 2012 – Gov. John Hickenlooper today thanked the General Assembly for using the special session to successfully address unfinished business that died last week without debate or consideration by the House of Representatives.

Lawmakers this week passed a water projects bill that will create jobs in communities across Colorado and an Unemployment Insurance bill that will assist business in saving money and improving the program. Lawmakers also passed a law to cut red tape for businesses, and they appropriately had the opportunity to fully consider other important legislation.

“It was important for the General Assembly to finish consideration of important bills that died last week when the House recessed to avoid voting on civil unions,” Hickenlooper said. “With the exception of civil unions, each of the bills we put on the special session call received an open debate and a final vote just like they deserved.”

Three important pieces of legislation were approved this week by the General Assembly:

A water projects bill

The legislation will create jobs and protect water supplies for towns and agriculture through $61 million worth of loans and grants from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB).

“These projects are critical to communities and regions across the state, and we commend lawmakers for their broad support,” Hickenlooper said. “This bill pays for a variety of projects that improve existing reservoirs, secure and protect water rights for Colorado and assist in flood prevention, among other important work. The measure also translates to good jobs in many rural communities.”

The measure appropriates $6.6 million for grants to 11 programs and studies affecting water supplies and flood prevention statewide and $55 million for water infrastructure projects and water purchases in the San Luis Valley, the Animas-La Plata project near Durango and at Chatfield Reservoir southwest of Denver. Passage of the bill also leverages additional funds from water providers and other organizations necessary for completion of the projects.

Dollars granted for programs and studies in the bill account for nearly 50 jobs, while more than 100 additional jobs are tied to the water infrastructure projects.

“Passage of the water projects bill was imperative for Colorado. Sustenance of our diverse economy and growing population depends on our ability to continue addressing our needs for water, whether it be for our strong agricultural sector, our world-renowned environment and wildlife or for our vibrant cities and towns,” said CWCB board chairman John McClow. “We thank state lawmakers and Governor Hickenlooper for ensuring the success of this bill, and the investment of severance tax and Construction Fund dollars in these absolutely vital areas.”

“It is extremely important to the water community that the projects bill passed, because of the various components of the bill and their importance to so many stakeholders,” said Eric Wilkinson, General Manager of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. “Those include, among others, the restoration of the various operating funds for flood monitoring and stream gauging, and the landmark cooperation between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and private reservoir owners to better manage the water supplies in the San Luis Valley.”

One major piece of the projects bill includes funds for rehabilitation of the Rio Grande and Beaver Park reservoirs in the San Luis Valley. Travis Smith, a member of the Colorado Water Conservation Board and Superintendent of the San Luis Valley Irrigation District, said passage of the bill was “essential” in acquiring the funding that solidifies a partnership between the irrigation district, which owns the Rio Grande Reservoir, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which owns Beaver Park Reservoir.

“It’s the model of the public-private partnership in getting existing reservoirs rehabilitated for multiple beneficiaries,” Smith said. “It maintains compliance with the Rio Grande Compact, helps the agricultural communities and the water users and has benefits for recreation, the environment and sportsmen.”

An unemployment insurance bill

The legislation will help return Colorado’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to solvency by allowing employers to receive credit within their individual accounts for repayment of principal-related bonding amounts. The rationale for proceeding with this bond issue is that the state stands to benefit financially from the favorable differential between the low interest rates which would be paid on the bonds and current federal rates.

“The people of Colorado, employers and employees alike, expect an efficient, well run, and dependable Unemployment Insurance program,” Hickenlooper said. “While more remains to be done to improve the UI program overall, passage of HB 112S-1002 is a key first step in ensuring that Colorado employers receive the benefit of positive experience rating and premium rates for pitching in to return the UI Trust Fund to financial solvency.”

This legislation was supported by the business community.

“HB 1002 will ensure that bond repayments will be reflected on an employers’ experience rating to allow for lower premiums. It is important to CACI that Colorado employers see relief in their UI premiums based on the huge increases they have experienced during the last 3 years. This bill will provide some much needed relief,” said Loren Furman, senior vice president of state and federal relations for the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry.

“Passage of this bill ensures the state can maintain solvency of the unemployment insurance trust fund in the most cost effective fashion for Colorado employers,” said Kelly J. Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“We are pleased that the administration and legislators are working with the business community to save Colorado employers millions of dollars in aggregate through prudent management of the unemployment insurance trust fund,” said Sara Cassidy, director of the Colorado Competitive Council.

A bill dealing with Special Mobile Machinery Fleets

The law changes registration procedures for Special Mobile Machinery Fleets to allow owners of 10 or more pieces of rental special mobile machinery to register their fleet once per year.

“This legislation cuts red tape for business by creating a streamlined collection process for counties,” Hickenlooper said.

The General Assembly also rejected some bills after finally being able to fully debate and vote on the proposed legislation, specifically: penalties for persons who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; creating “benefit corporations” in Colorado; and submitting to the registered electors of the State of Colorado an amendment to the Colorado Constitution repealing provisions deemed obsolete.

The bill to authorize civil unions died again without debate or vote in the full House, despite clear indications that a majority of state Representatives supported the measure.

“We wanted to see a debate about civil unions on the floor of the House and a vote by all the legislators,” Hickenlooper said. “That’s what Coloradans deserved and would have kept faith with our constitutional obligation to support equal rights. We are disappointed that didn’t happen.

“It is also perplexing that a simple measure to clean up language in the Constitution died in the House after receiving a two-thirds vote in the Senate.”

The special session was paid for with General Fund dollars. In the current fiscal year, the Legislature had set aside approximately $350,000 for 15 days of special session if needed. A bill that originated in the House this year (HB 12-1301) sends any unspent and unencumbered General Fund dollars appropriated to the Legislature to a Legislative Department Cash Fund. This cash fund can be used only for general expenses of the Legislature, as well as for redistricting purposes.


Santorum, Paul GOP delegates revolt against Romney at county conventions

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

SATURDAY POLS UPDATE: Pro-Mitt Romney shenanigans alleged at the state GOP convention today–below you can see photos of a flyer circulated in support of a “Conservative Unity” slate of GOP delegates. As our reader explains below from the Durango Herald’s report, “Conservative Unity” is the name used by the coalition of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum supporters who denied Romney backers many delegate slots at county conventions yesterday.

Today, “Conservative Unity” is the name affixed to Romney’s preferred slate of delegates:

Needless to say, this has the real “Conservative Unity” slate a bit apoplectic.

Developing, original post follows…


Poor Mitt Romney can’t get a break, even after he’s “won!” If you needed any more evidence that Romney hasn’t won the hearts and minds of the GOP base, fresh off the Durango Herald:…

Conservatives unite to block Romney’s preferred delegates

Although Mitt Romney is confident that he has all but won the Republican nomination for president, Colorado conservatives are not ready to give up the fight.

Supporters of Texas congressman Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum banded together today to support each other as delegates to the Republican National Convention in August.

Santorum dropped out of the race this week, just days before the assemblies in Denver today and Saturday that will determine Colorado’s 36 delegates to the national convention. But instead of getting behind Romney’s official slate of delegates, Santorum’s state chairman and key supporters formed an alliance with Ron Paul activists to support their own slate of delegates.

“The Romney campaign and the Republican leadership had no clue this was going on,” (JeffcoBlue’s emphasis) said Sean Conway, Santorum’s delegate coordinator for Colorado. “If our slate wins, it shows you how out of touch they are with the party right now. And they’re going to need us to win.”

Full story (read it):…

Even though it was reported that Romney campaign representatives were everywhere at today’s GOP county conventions, they were apparently caught flat footed by better organized Santorum and especially Ron Paul delegates. “Conservative Unity” slate, thy name is 50% spot on!

Ryan, Call your office…

Sandra Fluke heads to Denver, no word yet from Greg Brophy

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: FOX 31’s Eli Stokols:

When asked about comments by Limbaugh and others – Colorado state Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, echoed Limbaugh a week later and Tweeted that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for a woman’s “birth control, Spring break or booze” – that portray birth control as an unnecessary, hedonistic luxury, Fluke frowned.

“It’s definitely quite upsetting and it’s disrespectful to women,” Fluke said. “It just conveys a level of ignorance, frankly.”

Ultimately, however, Fluke believes that such comments only underline the importance of more women following her lead and standing up for their reproductive rights.


A huge announcement this morning from Know Your Care, thank goodness I already RSVP’ed!

The moderator for today’s event will be award-winning columnist and editor Diane Carman.

Our panelists today include:

· Anna Benyo, National Women’s Law Center

· Congresswoman Diana DeGette

· Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth, Denver Health

· Sonji Wilkes, mother of a son with a pre-existing condition and

Sandra Fluke

Sandra Fluke is a student at the Georgetown Law School.  Her personal story about women’s health has received national attention and is inspiring others to share their story as well.

At today’s event, please consider sharing your personal health care story with Know Your Care and our partner groups.  At the event you can tape a video of your health care story, write it out for us, or simply leave us your contact information so we can follow up.

Today, March 23rd is the 2nd Anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act-a law that is helping millions of Americans get the health care they need.  But there are still many women who are unaware of the life-saving consumer and patient protections of the new law.  Today, we hope Ms. Fluke will inspire you to share your story and help educate Coloradans about the new life-saving options available under the Affordable Care Act.

Please thank and support the partners who helped make this event possible:

Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (C.O.L.O.R.)

NARAL Pro Choice Colorado Foundation

National Women’s Law Center

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains

Progress Now Colorado Education

Sorry to say today’s event at the Colorado History Museum is full and SRO: I got on the RSVP list earlier in the week before it was announced that Fluke would be there. Obviously I can’t wait to hear her story – and to hear if Ms. Fluke has anything to say to or about Sen. Greg Brophy, who gratuitously smeared her for testifying in favor of birth control coverage. My hope is she will.

I’ll be back this afternoon with word of how it went!

Gardner’s hypocritical Solyndra skating

(We shouldn’t be picking winners and losers* – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I posted in late September about the bankruptcy of solar-electric array manufacturer Solyndra, and subsequent feeding frenzy by Republicans desperate to pin President Barack Obama in his first scandal. Even though the Solyndra loan application was initiated during the Bush administration, and the loan program a product of the Republican Energy Act of 2005, opportunistic Republicans like Colorado’s Cory Gardner have waded into the Solyndra bankruptcy with the most investigative zeal seen from the GOP since Monica Lewinsky disclosed the existence of a soiled blue dress.

In mid-October, the Longmont Times Call reported “Colorado solar industry growth leads nation.” That story featured Abound Solar, a company in Gardner’s district that the good representative regularly holds up as an example of a successful company in his district. In this story, Solyndra is mentioned, but Gardner doesn’t attack Obama’s adminsitration directly, simply mentioning that Solyndra was “unfortunate.”

Because Abound Solar received a $400 million loan guarantee from the same federal program as Solyndra! Abounds VP says that loan will be “instrumental” in “remaining competitive” while their new manufacturing line is built. Meaning the funding will keep Abound afloat until they’re ready to survive in the market. Abound is a big problem for Gardner’s Solyndra scandal TPs.

The reason Solyndra went bankrupt is not waste, or bad management, or any of that. It was Solyndra’s copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) solar cells. CIGS is high tech and more efficient than regular silicon panels, but not competitive to manufacture after the price of silicon crashed in the Great Recession. Ultra-cheap solar panels from China dumped in the United States have made it hard on all solar manufacturers to compete, but it was harder for Solyndra.

In any new market for a product, there are going to be failures. Some of the failures will be big, and some small. Some won’t be considered failures at all in 10 or 15 years, after the technology is used elsewhere and succeeds. The point of a federal loan guarantee is to make capital available to these emerging technologies, when risk might deter investors otherwise. For every one that fails, like Solyndra, you can show many more success stories like Abound Solar. Republicans knew this is what would happen when they approved the Energy Act of 2005.

Today, The Denver Post has another story about Rep. Gardner, Solyndra, and the companies in his district he celebrates that have benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars of Energy Department loan guarantees. The Times Call story was weak and unquestioning of Gardner, but I think Allison Sherry of the Post is not buying Gardner’s doubletalk. I don’t see where even Gardner tries to resolve the double standard between the way he treats Solyndra vs. Abound Solar.

I’ve heard of political football, but how do you play both sides in football?

Perry makes his first smart move?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Honestly, I’m not sure what to think of this. CNN:

After a string of disappointing debate performances, the presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry is signaling that Perry might be dialing back his participation in several planned televised Republican presidential primary debates.

The new tack raises the question: Can a major candidate with a track record of weak debate performances pass on nationally televised debates?

“I don’t think Perry can avoid (debating),” CNN contributor and tea party activist Dana Loesch said, “because the debates are where he has received a lot of his criticism.”


The Perry camp said the heavy debate schedule is taking Perry away from spending time with voters.

“(T)here have been eight Republican debates so far, five since Gov. Perry got in,” spokesman Ray Sullivan said Wednesday. “We certainly respect the process, but when you’ve got eight or nine candidates and 30 seconds to a minute (to answer a question or provide a rebuttal), it takes valuable time away from campaigning in Iowa as those elections approach.”

If the rest continue to debate without Rick Perry, is this the kiss of death for the governor of Texas? On the other hand, will more debate disasters seal Perry’s fate equally? It’s hard being a totally unqualified stuffed suit governor or Texas who wants to be President, but that’s a recipe that’s worked before. Answer my poll: what’s the best path forward for Rick Perry?

What should Perry do?

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