About kwtree

Retired teacher, aspiring writer, doting grandma. Nosy, curious, persistent.

Vote the Jeffco Kids Slate!

Three Jeffco Slate candidates

Danielle Varda, Mary Parker, and Paula Reed – the “Jeffco Kids Slate” School Board candidates

On November 2, Jefferson County voters will elect three School Board Directors to fill vacancies for Districts 1, 2, and 5. I ask you to vote for Danielle Varda, Paula Reed, and Mary Parker. They are running together as the “Jeffco Kids Slate” of candidates with similar agendas and complementary skillsets, who will be able to work cooperatively to move Jefferson County Schools forward.

Contending with Conspiracists

This year, Jefferson School Board meetings have already been disrupted with activists pushing the conspiracy theories that masks, vaccinations, and testing for unvaccinated students are unnecessary and oppressive to students. These activists are also upset about “critical race theory” (CRT) , which is not taught in K-12 schools, including Jeffco schools. The critique of critical race theory is aimed at shutting down multicultural teaching. A curriculum that includes diverse writers and history from multiple points of view is somehow designed to make white people feel bad, in the view of anti-CRT conspiracists.

At the last September 2, 2021 meeting, rowdy anti-mask activists hijacked the board’s agenda in order to protest Jeffco Schools’ compliance with CDC’s Public Health Order, including mask mandates and testing of unvaccinated secondary students. Public comment starts at 3:30 in the video stream.

Board Director Schooley testified (at 1:49 in the video) that she had received threatening letters at her home; one included her child’s picture taken at her home. This was clearly done to intimidate Schooley and make her resign or back down from implementing the mask mandate. Schooley, while visibly “shook” in the video, shows no sign of doing either.

This bullying  is not limited to Jefferson County. School board meetings across Colorado (Cherry Creek, Denver, Douglas County) and across the country have also been disrupted. Well-funded right wing groups have trained activists to disrupt school board meetings, and to intimidate board members, around the issues of mask-wearing and “anti-CRT” polemics.

According to former Trump campaign manager, fraudulent fundraiser and conservative commentator Steve Bannon: ““The path to save the nation is very simple — it’s going to go through the school boards.” Electing extremist candidates in moderate urban districts is unlikely. So disruption and intimidation are the go-to tactics, in order to flex right wing political muscle, to intimidate the moderate opposition, and to provide grist for the all-important fundraising.

Our Jefferson County School Board must be able to stand up to these bullies, complying with current science and public health orders to keep students and staff safe, and continuing with Jeffco Schools mission to treat all students with equity. Let’s meet the three women that are volunteering for this mission.

The candidates

I met the candidates at the Slate kickoff meeting at the Lakewood Links on August 22, and asked them to choose from five possible interview questions. Here are their responses:

Dr. Danielle Varda https://daniellevardaforjeffcoschools.com/

Dr. Danielle Varda

What are some of the best practices to keep Jefferson county staff and students safe and healthy?

Our most important priority is the health and safety of our kids, teachers, and staff in schools. Safety is a concerning topic for many parents, as instances of violence have continued to occur and rise among schools. As a parent, I am deeply saddened that our children, teachers, and staff must experience constant drills and training on dealing with the possibility of a school shooting. Jeffco Schools are doing a great job keeping our kids safe, including securing access to buildings, providing training and resources for teachers and staff to prepare our kids, and staffing personnel whose job it is to keep kids safe. We need to continue to invest in the staff and infrastructure to maintain safety for kids, including bringing new partnerships and innovation into the schools on this topic. For example, attention to conflict resolution may serve as a mitigating factor leading to school violence.

What unique strengths would you bring to a seat on the Jefferson County school board?

I have a breadth of experience working across sectors. As a tenured professor at the University of CO in the School of Public Affairs, I have experience thinking about teachers from their perspective, the needs of students, and how to create pipelines to successful careers and higher education opportunities. I can bring this expertise to the Board. I am also a small business owner. I started a health technology startup three year ago and have successfully scaled the company to 20 employees, and growing. At Visible Network Labs, we focus on strengthening supportive connections so that kids and parents can thrive. I believe I can bring that research, technology, and innovation with me to address the problem of social isolation, loneliness, and connectedness within our student, teacher, and family population. And finally, as a mother to three girls in Jeffco schools, the Chair of the Weber Elementary School Accountablity Committee, and a regular volunteer in the classroom (pre-COVID), I have a lens and understanding of the schools that I will be able to bring.

What are some of the weaknesses and strengths of Jeffco schools now?

We are doing a great job at keeping our kids in school, safely for uninterrupted learning right now. We have an energetic staff across the district that love our kids and are working hard to meet all their needs. We have great programming in arts, science, technology, and sports. However, one of the most critical priorities in the district is the teacher and staff shortages. Teachers are leaving for other districts, and also leaving the district altogether. We often cannot find substitutes for our classrooms. These are indicators that we must pay attention to better support and pay for teachers. We need to find ways to be competitive with other districts and ways to incentive employees, from teachers to bus drivers to staff to cafeteria employees. We also need to agree to our values and policies to address equity issues our kids and families face, and make a commitment to how we are going to get all our kids to reading levels and graduation rates that we are proud of.

 

Paula Reed

Paula Reed https://www.paulareedforjeffcoschools.com/about-paula

Paula Reed

Paula Reed is a Jeffco graduate and the mother of two Jeffco graduates. She taught at Columbine High School for 30 years where she coached speech and debate and taught in an at-risk intervention program. She now works in her husband’s small business. 

What are some of the best practices to keep Jefferson county staff and students safe and healthy?

The most important thing we can do is to listen to our county public health experts. Not only do they have the training and experience to deal with public health crises, they have the most current data regarding our county, and that is the data that matters. Jeffco Public Health specializes in just that, the health of the general public. Of course, the school board’s job is not just to look after the health of our community, but the education of our children.

I want our kids in school, in-person, without interruption, as safely as possible. I believe we can attain this if we work closely with Jeffco Public Health every step of the way.

What are some of the most pressing financial needs in the district, and how do these (lack of funds) affect student outcomes? Compensation remains an issue. This year’s budget has improved pay, but those efforts have brought our salaries to the point of simply being minimally adequate. I’m not sure we want to be attracting and retaining minimally adequate employees. We have been riding on the loyalty of our educators and support professionals for a long time, and the structures of pay across the state have kept many mid- and late-career educators with us despite pay issues. What we are creating is a system where our most effective educators are reaching retirement age, and too many young teachers are not applying to Jeffco, leaving Jeffco for greener pastures, or leaving teaching altogether! These are the people who most affect student outcomes. High turnover and recruitment issues affect the outcomes in any industry. Education is no exception.

What unique strengths would you bring to a seat on the Jefferson County school board? I am a retired teacher with 30 years of school-based experience, including high school and elementary. I have taught in programs that drew some of the most driven students and some the most challenged, as well as everything in between. I spent time as a dean of students and gained perspective as an administrator. It is critical that a school board understand the impacts of its decisions on schools–the educators and students who make our mission possible. I am now working in private industry, and this has given me a different perspective on how other industries manage finances, employees, and company outcomes. I can combine these experiences as a school board director.

Mary Parker https://www.maryparkerforjeffcoschools.com/

Mary Parker

We all know that Jeffco schools don’t actually teach “critical race theory”.  How and why should inclusive history and literature be taught, in your opinion?

I hadn’t even heard of “critical race theory” until a few months ago but just from the name I expected it was something significant and divisive.  After researching it, I discovered that it is an academic theory examining the intersection between race and law.  It is more than 30 years old and was taught in universities, most often at the graduate level.  So why are people up in arms and demanding that Jeffco schools stop teaching something that they have never taught?  After speaking with some of my conservative friends, I found that they are concerned about how we teach history and social studies in K-12.  Specifically, they don’t want our children to be taught that white children are privileged and that black children are oppressed.  They don’t want white children to feel responsible for things that happened in the past or to feel guilty for things that are still happening today.  Furthermore, they feel that black children will feel like victims and will resent white children.  My rebuttal to these concerns is that all history and literature should be taught accurately and comprehensively, without any cherry-picking of facts to bias the presentation in any direction.  Teachers should never teach any subject in a way that would shame or humiliate any student.  This is the very heart of training on diversity and equity that our educators receive.

What unique strengths would you bring to a seat on the Jefferson County school board?

I have 2 daughters who are teachers in Jeffco schools, and 4 grandchildren who have graduated from or are currently attending Jeffco schools.  I taught parenting classes for 20 years, teaching helicopter parents, soccer moms, and parents who were court ordered to attend.  For the past 14 years I have been a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) working with neglected and abused children.  I worked as a Systems Engineer at Hewlett-Packard where I taught classes in Problem Solving and Decision Making. In addition, my husband and I own a Human Resources Consulting business specializing in Compensation, Compliance, and Pricing.  I have strong, relevant business experience combined with volunteer activities in support of children and families, which I am eager to use as a member of the Jeffco School Board.

What about the other candidates?

I will try to interview some of the other candidates running for the Board, for a later diary.

Jeffrey Wilhite is an ardent supporter of charter schools, and former Vice President of the Colorado Charter School Association. He is running against Danielle Varda in District 1.

Theresa Shelton and David Johnson are running against Paula Reed for the District 2 spot. David Johnson was the chair of the District Accountability Committee. His priority seems to be staying within budget constraints, and running the school district like a business.

Kathy Miks is running against Mary Parker for the District 5 position. On her website, Miks refers to “the right of parents to direct their children’s education”, which I interpret as a veiled reference to either an anti-sex education agenda, or a swipe at “critical race theory”. I’ll ask her about it, if I get the chance. Miks also advocates running the school district along a business results-oriented model.

Stick with the Slate for the win

However, the “Jeffco Kids Slate” candidates profiled in this diary, I believe, will give Jeffco school stakeholders (families, students, staff, community) the best value if we elect them as a team. We need all of their expertise: Dr. Varda’s higher education and health industry background, Mary Parker’s empathy , advocacy for abused children, and parent education experience, Paula Reed’s thirty years as a classroom teacher at all levels, and her experience of surviving the Columbine shooting.

These women won’t waste time on conspiracy theories, Facebook  “science” or quibbling about curricular details, although they’ll certainly listen and respond appropriately to the concerns of their constituents about health and safety practices. Seasoned teachers and advocates for children, they will bring compassion and competence to the job.  These three women can support each other and stand strongly for shared beliefs, creating conditions for Jefferson County Schools to achieve its mission: providing a quality education that prepares all children for a successful future.

Support them! Donate to and volunteer for all or any of the candidates at the Jeffco Kids Slate website: https://www.forjeffcokids.com/

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Enter the Money Badger: Green Mountain Water District Recall

(Where there’s a recall, there’s a Gessler — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

It’s a basic maxim of plumbers that “Shit flows downhill.” An epic battle over whose shit will flow downhill from the foothills of western Jefferson County, through the scenic Rooney Valley area, to the Denver Water Treatment plant, and where and when said shit will flow, has been raging in western Lakewood since 2018. This battle over sewer rights in Rooney Valley development has been fought, not in the Lakewood City Council chambers, where the Rooney Valley Commission meets, but in the halls of the Green Mountain Water and Sewer District., which plans where and how the shit flows…..and who pays for it to flow. At a recent, unpublicized Green Mountain Water District (GMWD) meeting, three board members who are facing a recall election fired existing counsel, and hired Scott Gessler at much greater expense, to represent GMWD against a developer lawsuit to keep a sweet sewer deal going.

Satellite view of Rooney Valley Area

Aerial satellite view of Rooney Valley area

The IGA and lawsuit

The battle of the sewer pipes for planned development in Rooney Valley has been fought by stealth and subterfuge, with secret meetings, shouting matches, shifting alliances, dramatic turnarounds, slander and betrayal of allies. Financial reports were not filed, minutes of meetings were not published, lawyers were hired and fired in secret, and the Green Mountain water customers in general did not know what would be happening with their water bill monies and whose poop would be flowing down what sewer lines….and who would pay for it. The prior board of directors made an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with a consortium of developers. The IGA expanded the GMWD sewer area,  but did not specify who would pay for the infrastructure costs. When these costs are undefined, rate payers pick up the bill. That is why voters in the district voted out the prior board of directors in 2018.

However, the new “reform” board of directors refused to honor the IGA and terminated that agreement, leaving the district open to a $150 million lawsuit from the developers who now wouldn’t get the freebie poop pipes in their brand new “special district” added on to the existing Green Mountain Water District area. The lawsuit was dismissed when the water district’s counsel, Jo Timmons, made a winning argument based on TABOR- the district’s ratepayers had never had the opportunity to vote yes or no on the special district, increased infrastructure costs,  and the sweet deal for developers. The court dismissed the developer’s lawsuit on May 6, 2021.

 

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Jeffrey Sabols, Jeffco insurrectionist, in newly released, brutal January 6 video

(“These were peaceful people, these were great people” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Video of Indian Hills resident Jeffrey Sabol dragging an officer down the Capitol steps on January 6 has been released by the Justice Department on Friday, and has been featured on multiple news outlets since ( WUSA9 is here.) MSNBC‘s is here.. The bodycam video is disturbing to watch; an officer is dragged out of the line of his fellows, and down the steps, where he is beaten with flags, hockey sticks, fists, and feet. Sabol, in his distinctive #orangeandteal outfit, can be seen in the melee about halfway through.

Here is a tweet from Blossom Culp, featuring Parler video clip showing Sabol charging up the steps on January 6.

Until he became infamous for assaulting a Capitol police officer, Sabol  had lived a quiet life in Indian Hills, Colorado. He had no big social media footprint. Like many other insurrectionists, he had a history of domestic violence, leading to abuse charges, divorce and estrangement from his teenage son.  Local journalist Melanie Warren interviewed Sabol’s friend,  John Shepard, in an in-depth piece on Politico. An accurate photo of Sabol’s face is featured; Twitter had various posts incorrectly identifying Sabol.

Sabols was arrested on January 11 in Boston, trying to flee to Switzerland. He has been held in a psychiatric hospital until recently. His lawyer had petitioned for his release, which was denied by Judge Sullivan because Sabol is still considered dangerous, and, obviously, a flight risk. Sabol himself has claimed that he was trying to “protect” the officer, when he held the officer’s baton above his neck. He’s also blaming Trump in the now-common ” I was only following the President’s orders” defense.

UPDATE: Judge Sullivan again denied Sabol’s lawyer’s request that Sabol be allowed to go home on house arrest, rather than remain in detention. Defense is still denying wrongdoing, even though Sabol came prepared with zip ties in his backpack, like every “tourist” attending a “peaceful rally” does.

Nine other Colorado insurrectionists have been arrested in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol. It’s worth noting that at least two of them had direct contact with Lauren Boebert – Gieswein, who took a photograph in front of Boebert’s Shooter’s Grille business, and Croy, who responded to Boebert’s tweet urging people to show up to the Capitol for Trump on January 6.

Undoing the Trump Autocracy and Unifying the Country: What are the first steps?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Morgan Carroll, Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, is asking  on Facebook: What are your ideas for how you would bring the country together in the post-Trump era?

Ideas from commenters repeat common themes: Fix or replace the ACA with Medicare for All. Form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Start a new Civilian Conservation Corps. Time and Wine.

My answer to Morgan’s question: 1. Beat COVID. That’s our country’s unifying moon shot. We need universal vaccinations and public health measures. 2. This requires funding, so –  Undo the Trump tax cuts and enforce existing tax law so that there is revenue to rebuild social infrastructure.

3. Then focus on creating equality of opportunity. End structural racism and obviously discriminatory laws: Muslim ban, DACA deportations, stop and frisk laws that target people of color, end qualified immunity for police, rescind the transgender ban, codify respect for tribal law and treaty rights for Native territories,and finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Restore the Voting Rights Act and implement  national fair voting standards.

4. And somewhere along the way, do what they did in the 1930s: Argue about what Democracy means, and why it is / isn’t worth saving.

1930s forum picture, Library of Congress

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress; flyers for the public forums of the 1930s

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Pols Election Night Zoom Meetup

Hi, y’all.

Hope to see some of you on Karen and notaskinnycook’s fabulous Zoom meeting tonight from 5-10 pm. If you’re a Zoom newbie, you’ll have to download the free app onto whatever internet-connected device you’re using.

Pols is doing a live stream of the GetMoreSmarter channel, with all kinds of legislators and pundits, with the ability for polsters to comment. No link yet, but I’m sure it will pop up soon.

Folks, please pop in and say “Hello”, introduce us to your favorite drinking game with the beverage of your choice. We’ll jump onto the Pols live feed, too, whenever they get it going.

Image is from Wikimedia commons, the Hebrew Wikipedia 17th birthday celebration.

a zoom screen

Grassroots Action at a Lakewood Intersection near you

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

As usual, I heard many car horns honking as I pulled up to the intersection of Alameda and Wadsworth last Saturday, October 17, 2020. But it wasn’t an accident,  sports fans, or a wedding parade – it was the usual coterie of local Lakewood activists that have been demonstrating at various intersections each week since last spring.  I tapped out a quick “Shave and a haircut” on the horn and hurried to park and join about 70 of  my friends and comrades in peaceful protest.

Since spring of 2020, Lakewood Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) has been organizing “pop-up” protests during rush hour at  high-traffic intersections in Lakewood. The group’s founders, Christopher Arlen,  Zenat Shariff Belkin, and others  had felt compelled to do something when George Floyd was publicly murdered by police last May, and cities were convulsed with protests and brutal reaction. They wondered if people would come out for quick one hour protests to create a visible nonviolent presence in Lakewood. They recruited their friends,  neighbors, families, church members, and Democratic colleagues to stand during rush hours on Tuesdays for 16 weeks. For months, “Black Lives Matter” was the focus of the signs and of the one hour  vigils. Protesters generally avoided partisan messages, focusing on the issues of racism and violence in policing.

But in October, with the election underway, and a Republican court-packing maneuver in progress, many of the protesters were the same, but the subjects of the signs were different. Signs praising the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, signs affirming women’s right to abortion and reproductive freedom, a Trump puppet figure, and plenty of American flags and Biden / Harris 2020 signs were on view from 2-3 pm. Brenda Bronson organized the Lakewood action as one of hundreds around the nation in solidarity with the Washington Women’s March 2020.

Protesters 10 17 20

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Pols Virtual Meetup Friday 4/3 5 pm

(Reupping since this is coming up later today – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Update: Time set for Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5 pm. Michael will post a link that anyone can click on to  join. You can be anonymous or not- it’s up to you. Harrydoby, Jason Salzman, MADCO, Dio, Miguel, Gertie, Voyageur, Duke, R&R, deathpigeon, Curmudgeon, Pseudonymous, Canines, TooJung, Neon, Whisky Juliet, nancycronk, Awen, Erik M, ParkHill,itlduso, Pear, Elliot, DeadGuvs,  many others….You’re welcome and invited. Hop on to the meeting and say “Hi”.

People chatting on computer
Polsters! Want to Have a conversation about politics and share your La Rona survival strategies….or talk about anything but politics and coronavirus? Has sheltering in place turned into climbing the walls? Want  to have a social conversation with someone you don’t live with, take for poop walks, or see in the mirror every morning?

Want to put a human face on that person whose posts you like or dislike?

Now’s your chance. Michael Bowman has agreed to host a Zoom virtual meetup for Coloradopols readers, writers, editors, administrators, lurkers, trolls, and anyone else. He can host up to 100 people at a time, and said that he’s flexible about when the meetup happens, but would prefer evenings or weekends. I care for a wannabe toddler most mornings, but other times are ok. Please respond in comments with level of interest, and best times to meet.

Logistics

You will need to decide what device to use- and then download the Zoom ap on that device. Business Insider has a how-to page, that is actually better than Zoom’s own.  You can choose to show live video of yourself, or an image or avatar. Others will hear your voice, but the label  attached to it is up to you. It will use the camera and microphone of your device. For all devices- download the ap, then click on the link to “join a meeting”.

You don’t need a Zoom account to join a meeting- but you do need the app.

Most Denver school districts to close buildings, begin “remote learning” to slow coronavirus spread

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Coronavirus By CDC

Coronavirus, from the Center for Disease Control. Image Free to use or share

Most Denver area school districts will close buildings for “in-person” education, starting next week on Monday, March 16, in order  to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Jeffco, Aurora, and Cherry Creek public schools will effectively start spring break a week early, from March 16 until March 27, 2020. Denver Public Schools, which has at least two students diagnosed with coronavirus, will be closed March 16 to  April 6.

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Jeffco Dems to Host Democratic Senate Candidate forum in Evergreen

US Senate Democratic Candidate Forum

December 12 6:30 PM- 8:30 PM (Meet and Greet starts at 5 PM)
El Rancho Brewery, Evergreen, Colorado

Three months before the March 7th, 2020, non-Presidential caucus, the Jefferson County Democratic Party will host a US Senate Democratic Party Candidate Forum. The Democratic party has held other US Senate candidate forums around the state and this is the first forum in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County is the 4th most populous county in Colorado and faces specific challenges in terms of wildfire mitigation, preserving open space, and maintaining enough affordable housing. In addition, voters recently failed to pass 1A, which would have allowed the county to reinvest revenue over the TABOR cap back into essential county services, so the county must work within TABOR limits and make 16.1 million dollars in cuts to public safety, transportation and other departments.

RSVP: 303-237-1359 / office@jeffcodems.org
Press contact: Rob Eadie 303-618-7581

Suggested donation: at the door $10 to Jefferson County Democratic Party

The forum will be held at the El Rancho Brewery, 29260 US-40, Evergreen, CO 80439

Meet and Greet starts at 5 PM. Candidates will speak from 6:30 -8:30 PM. The forum will be moderated by Mr. Christopher Arlen.

The Insult Thread

The purpose of this thread is to provide a virtual “room” for those who want to attack each other verbally, and for those who find this virtual blood sport to be entertaining.

The rest of us, who like to discuss politics with varying degrees of civility and a spectrum of opinions don’t have to have every topic thread cluttered up by your personal feuds.

So  have at it, folks.

Housing Growth Cap (Q200) wins in Lakewood special election

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Final update until July 11, when military, overseas, and “cured” ballots will be counted (but  probably not change results much) : Question 200, the Lakewood Growth Cap, won by 52.60% to 47.40%. Turnout was high for a municipal election: about 35%.

What this means: Growth in Lakewood will be held to 1%, and housing projects of over 40 units will have to go through citizen review.

From the Jeffco Clerk’s website:

Lakewood Special Election Results  – City of Lakewood Ballot Question 200

Shall the City of Lakewood limit residential growth to no more than one (1) percent per year by implementing a permit allocation system for new dwelling units, and by requiring City Council approval of allocations for projects of forty (40) or more units?
Yes (FOR THE ORDINANCE): 18,771  (52.60%)
No (AGAINST THE ORDINANCE): 16,913 (47.40%)
Total Votes Cast: 35,684 (35.81% of Lakewood’s 99,638 eligible voters)

A special election was held in Lakewood, Colorado on July 2, 2019. The all-mail-ballot election allowed voters to decide whether Lakewood will have a housing growth cap, which would limit density for new housing. It also mandates a more active role for community and local governments; units of over 40 apartments have to be approved by citizen and Council panels.

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Brian Watson, GOP Treasurer candidate: “Teachers just collect government checks.”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Brian Watson, candidate for Treasurer of Colorado, is kind of a jerk. He demonstrated that recently in a Club 20 debate with his Democratic opponent, Dave Young,  captured on video by Colorado Education Association. Dave called out Brian Watson for owing nearly a million dollars in unpaid taxes and loans for seven years: “How can you manage our state’s finances if you cannot manage your own?,” Dave Young asked.

Watson replied, ” I’m so glad you asked that question. Because while you were a junior high math teacher, collecting a check from the government, which you have done your entire career, <snip>, we job creators were on the front line.”

Watson is a “job creator”? He’s a real estate developer, and pledges that he won’t take a salary if elected to the Legislature. (Hint: he plans to moonlight at Northstar Commercial Partners, the company he founded, which owns buildings all over Colorado. Watson doesn’t need a treasurer’s $68K a year salary )

Watson, like Trump, loves debt, and spins his deadbeat history as a net positive:

I’ve restructured complex debt….I’m battle – tested

But since Watson has a history of unpaid taxes and liens, Watson has been a net drain on the economy. He finally paid off his business debts right before the Republican primary in 2012. The contractors who had to wait for payment, or had to write off debts, were probably unimpressed by Watson’s “battle testing”.

Can you say, “Conflict of interest”?

As Treasurer, Watson would be making decisions and helping to make policy that would directly impact his company’s bottom line. For example, included in Northstar’s portfolio of buildings are several renting to charter schools in Colorado. As Treasurer, Watson’s business stands to profit by renting to charter schools, which are generally taxpayer-supported public schools, while he continues to work at his real estate investment company – just like the current Treasurer, Walker Stapleton, who continued to collect a $150,000 salary consulting  at Sonomawest , / Stapleton Acquisitions), all while “moonlighting” as Colorado’s Treasurer.

At least, if elected, Watson could take a lunch break at one of the buildings his company owns near the Capitol.

For a longer , higher quality video of the two Treasurer candidates debating, see the Aaron Harber show, Parts 1 and 2.   I’ve highlighted their statements about PERA below.

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Lock Kids Up – Trump’s Border “Solution” for Prison Profits

LL at ICE protest

“Lucia” (not her real name)  speaks about the pain of being separated from her children by ICE. Photos by Amalthea Aelwyn, used with permission

Lucia’s* voice is cracking. She can’t hold back the tears as she describes being incarcerated in the  GEO Group ICE detention facility,  where a crowd is gathered now to hear her.

“Lucia”* fled her father’s abuse and horrific civil war in Guatemala to come to the US in 1998. She went to school here, but had to drop out of high school when her mother died of cancer.

“Lucia” has raised a family, worked, and made a life here, but when her husband was pulled over at a traffic stop, both were incarcerated in the ICE facility in Aurora. For a week, her  children had no idea where their parents were, or if they were alive or dead. They finally were able to post $1000 bond each, and are now working their way through the system, trying not to be deported, trying to keep their family together.

Cristian

Marguerite and Cristian addressing the crowd at Families Belong Together rally. Photo by Amalthea Aelwyn, used with permission

Cristian from Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is a vibrant young man with a wide smile.  He is a student leader at his college.

But Cris is a Dreamer, and if DACA protections are rescinded, he could be deported at any time.

He tells the story of how his mother carried him and his young sister over the border, and how she has worked ever  since  to maintain the family.

“My mother has been on that waiting list (for citizenship) since 1999,” he said. “My whole family pays local taxes, we pay into Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security, we pay Federal taxes, local taxes, sales taxes. We pay for programs we will never benefit from. We’re helping to take care of our nation’s children, of our senior citizens. We are not a burden. The real burden is the moral burden Trump is imposing on this country with these policies.”

Marguerite, from Colombia, said,“ I see this building behind you and it pains me. It hurts. Because I would have to wait in line to see my son. He waited for months there to be deported back to Colombia.  There is no illegal human being on this earth. The only way we can become illegal is to break our laws and hurt each other. But we’re not doing that.”

Lucia, Cristian, and Marguerite are speaking to a diverse crowd of about two hundred people,  gathered in front of GEO group’s vast, windowless, grim ICE facility in Aurora on June 14, 2018, to protest the Trump administration’s new policy of separating families who are crossing the border.

I am part of this protest. We are here  because we feel that we must “do something” to stop the atrocity of tearing families apart and incarcerating the young children of families who come here seeking asylum.

Over 11,000 children have been separated from their families while crossing the southern border since March, according to NPR. About 46 kids a day are being torn away from their parents. This is not including the unaccompanied minors who were already showing up at the border by the thousands.

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Voter Suppression, not 3rd party voters, elected Donald Trump

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Voter suppression got Trump elected in 2016. Third party voting was one factor, but not the critical factor.  This was the first Presidential election not under the supervision of the Voting Rights Act, and Republican officials took full advantage of this lack of oversight to disenfranchise thousands of voters. Voters who couldn’t vote elected Donald Trump.

Voter ID required - New Hampshire

NH Polling Place sign – from Wikimedia Commons

Below is a table with vote totals from four states, which Trump won electorally  in 2016. Vote totals were taken from official state canvasses, completed in December 2016, after all provisional ballots had either been counted or found ineligible.

They show that 3rd party voters (Johnson & Stein) voted in numbers exceeding the DJT – HRC margin, but that in most cases, the number of voters prevented from voting far exceeded these numbers.

Pundits: Stein didn’t cost Clinton the election

Political pundits such as 538’s Nate Silver , WSJ’s Tau, and  TheHill’s Jeffries point to Gary Johnson’s taking equally from Clinton and Trump, and say that there is no realistic scenario in which Stein voters cost Clinton the Presidency.

If only 90% of the extra Stein voters had voted for Hillary while the rest voted for Trump or stayed home, Michigan is the only state that would have flipped. In none of these scenarios did Jill Stein voters cost Hillary Clinton the presidency.

It’s harder to say who Johnson hurt more since he tended to pull more evenly from both sides of the political divide.

Nate Silver of 538 combs through the weeds in his piece, Jill Stein – Spoiler or Scapegoat?. Even the New Yorker’s Toobin, no friend of “narcissist” Jill Stein, writes 

It’s difficult to count uncast votes, but there were clearly thousands of them as a result of the voter-suppression measures.

Voter ID laws were passed in these (and many other) states which disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of poor, elderly, students, and people of color. This was intentional – and done in order to keep Democrats from voting. 

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Colorado Democratic Assembly Results

Colorado Democrats assembled at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield from Friday, April 13, to Saturday, April 14, 2018. The crowd of almost 4,000 Democrats were enthusiastic, engaged, yet civil (in contrast to the stunning back-stabbing and skullduggery at the Republican assembly) . The CDP Assembly was superbly well-organized, with balloting completed in about a half hour, and counted in less than two hours.  Kudos to Chair Morgan Carroll and all of the CDP staff and volunteers.

All of the  congressional districts held their own assemblies; many candidates had primary challengers or Democratic challengers to Republican incumbents. In this “blue wave” year, no office held by the GOP can be considered to be off-limits. Democrats in Colorado put forward a slate of phenomenal candidates.

The official results from the Colorado Democratic Party (CDP) for statewide offices are:

CU Regent-at-Large
Lesley Smith: 3,229 votes (100.00%)

Based on these results, Lesley Smith has qualified for the Democratic primary ballot for CU Regent-at-Large.

Treasurer
Bernard Douthit: 1,074 votes (31.50%)
Charles Scheibe: 557 votes (16.34%)
Dave Young: 1,778 votes (52.16%)

Based on these results, Bernard Douthit and Dave Young have qualified for the Democratic primary ballot for Treasurer.

Secretary of State
Jena Griswold: 3,352 votes (98.44%)
Phillip Villard: 53 votes (1.56%)

Based on these results, Jena Griswold has qualified for the Democratic primary ballot for Secretary of State.

Attorney General
Amy Padden: 360 votes (10.54%)
Joe Salazar: 1,249 votes (36.58%)
Phil Weiser: 1,805 votes (52.87%)

Based on these results, Joe Salazar and Phil Weiser have qualified for the Democratic primary ballot for Attorney General. Amy Padden can qualify for the ballot if the Secretary of State determines that she has collected the requisite number of valid signatures.

Governor
Cary Kennedy: 2,101 votes (61.65%)
Jared Polis: 1,120 votes (32.86%)
Erik Underwood: 187 votes (5.49%)

Based on these results, Cary Kennedy and Jared Polis have qualified for the Democratic primary ballot for Governor.

NOTE: These are not all of the candidates that are running for these particular offices. Some candidates have chosen to qualify for the ballot by submitting petition signatures instead of going through the caucus-assembly process.

Here are the CD results in order: ( rounded to nearest 1%). I’ll update this list with numbers as I find them.

I’ve included my notes on the assemblies I attended and on the speakers I heard.

CD1: (Denver metro)Diana Degette – 61% . Her primary opponent, Saira Rao , got 37%, and  will be on the ballot. Rep. Degette has been a reliable Democratic vote for many years in a safe district – I think Rao’s candidacy will be a needed wake-up call to be more progressive and to offer better constituent services. Rao is sharp, a great speaker, and has energized the progressive base. Degette attended her CD1 assembly on April 13 , did not attend nor speak at the state assembly April 14.

CD2: (Boulder area – Jared Polis vacated the seat to run for Governor) Joe Negeuse – 91% Joe gave a helluva speech, as he always does. His personal story touches many people. Boulder will be well represented by him, as he’ll certainly win the primary, and almost certainly the general election. His primary opponent, Mark Williams, did not make the ballot.  The GOP has put up a couple of “Nicks” against Neguse: Nick Thomas and Nicholas Morse. I don’t know who won the GOP assembly vote, but they won’t beat “the Goose”.

CD3: (most of the western slope and SW CO – currently held by Scott Tipton) Diane Mitsch Bush had the highest delegate vote with 56%; Karl Harlon also cleared the 30% threshold with 41%, and will be on the ballot.

CD4: (Mostly NE CO – current incumbent Ken Buck) The Doctors were in the house! Veterinary doctors Karen McCormick and Chase Kohne each had throngs of energetic supporters on stage for their nominations. Each gave a rousing speech:

Kohne’s best line, in my opinion: “If you want to shoot an AR15, go down to the recruiting office and join the military.”

McCormick’s nominators are emphasizing Dr McCormick’s support for Dreamers and immigrants. Karen McCormick emphasized Cannabis, immigrant rights, healthcare, union support, bipartisan cooperation to get laws passed. Full disclosure: I live in CD4. I’m voting for McCormick, will be fine with Kohne as well.

CD5 (El Paso area, currently held by Doug Lamborn) Stephany Rose Spaulding won the delegate count and will be on the ballot. I don’t know about the other CD5 candidates, whom you can read about at the EPCO Young Dems site.  It’s great to see so many young Democrats running from what has6been the Tea Party GOP’s bastion in Colorado.

CD6 Aurora / Arapahoe County area, currently held by Mike Coffman. Jason Crow won top ballot with 64% , while Levi Tilleman will also be on the ballot with 35%. I saw Crow speak to the assembly, and found his persona to be authentic and appealing. PPP surveyed 761 voters, and found that Crow polled 44-39 against Coffman in Febrary 2018.

CD7 Ed Perlmutter, the Democratic incumbent, did not attend the Assembly as far as I know. Ed, a very popular Congressman in his district,  is not  being primaried in this election.

 

Author’s note – this diary started as an open thread based on my  live blogging at the Colorado State Assembly. I’ve updated it with ballot results.

 

 

Assembly Weekend Polsters Meet-Up Thread

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

If you’ve been off-planet, or not paying attention, you might not know that the Colorado Democratic State Assembly will be held this Saturday in Broomfield.

Some of us are delegates, and some of us are interested in meeting up with others who post or read Colorado Pols.

At least notaskinnycook and I are. Maybe Davie, possibly MADCO, and we don’t really know who else might show up for a Pols meetup.

So consider this to be an open invitation. Who all wants to get together with Polsters on Friday the 13th evening after the multi-district assemblies? What about Saturday the 14th at lunch? Sunday brunch?

Why? ….because…..It’s just fun to be able to put a face to people’s posts. Last time, Jason S, Canines, Davie, cook and Mrs. cook, Voyageur, and I met in Denver at Jezebel’s. We had a great time. V and I didn’t even get into a bar fight, which possibly disappointed some. We could try again, V. 😉

But there are plenty of you I’d like to meet.

We could see if wishful drinking works at all:

Infographic by Detox.Net, on Newsweek 6/17

So leave a note on here about if you’re interested  ( or not interested) in a Pols meetup, and if so,  what day/ time / location you prefer. I’m personally partial to Indian food, and there is a Yak and Yeti at 88th / Sheridan close to the convention site. Or for just basic food and drink, I believe that there are several restaurants / concession stands that serve alcohol within the 1st Bankconvention complex.

 

Stormy Daniels 60 Minutes Interview Open Thread

(Obligatively promoted by Colorado Pols)

Did you watch Stormy Daniels’ interview with Anderson Cooper on “60 Minutes” tonight? Probably. I did.  You can see video highlights on CBS 60 Minutes Overtime here:

Wikimedia Commons Stormy Daniels

By Toglenn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

I  was frankly impressed with Stephanie (“Stormy Daniels”) Clifford.  I found her story to be believable. She did not claim victimhood, took responsibility for her own decision to go alone to Trump’s hotel room, was frank about seeing her involvement with Trump as a business decision.

Her description of the threats against her and her daughter were chilling, and also quite credible. We know that the President is a ruthless man.

 

We know he surrounds himself with ruthless and truthless people, who by some saving grace are also mostly incompetent at their jobs.

It seems likely that it all went down as “Stormy” said it had, and that the subsequent Non-Disclosure-Agreement, hush-money coverup, and legal brangling had also happened  as she recounted.

Expect Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer and attack dog,  to be the next person thrown under the Trump bus. (If he doesn’t turn against Trump first) Since he paid out $130,000 to Ms. Clifford, why did he pay it? If there was no affair, as Trump says, then why pay?

Since no one who signed the NDA was using their real names, does it have any force in law? Is it a legally binding document?

Was the $130,000 a campaign contribution from Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen to the Trump campaign? If so, why wasn’t it reported? And why was it paid to a pornographic movie actress?

Prosecutor Mueller will likely be investigating these and related questions. Cliffords’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said on Twitter: “Tonight is not the end — it’s the beginning.” – CNN

Meanwhile, here’s the “money quote” (pun intended) from Ms. Clifford, on the occasion of her declaring intent to run against Louisiana Congressman “Diaper Dave” Vitter:

“Daniels said she has been a registered Democrat throughout her life. ‘But now I cannot help but recognize that over time my libertarian values regarding both money and sex and the legal use of one for the other is now best espoused by the Republican Party’.”[25]

Con Man Chaps Interviews CD6 candidate Roger Edwards

Roger Edwards, Colorado Polster and candidate for Congressional District 6, was recently interviewed on Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt’s Pray in Jesus Name online “news” program.

Screenshot, Pray in Jesus Name program 12/21/17

Edwards should be more careful about the people he associates with; Chaps is a known nutcase, homophobe, and a con man who has made millions by exploiting the hopes and fears of his gullible subscribers.

Klingenschmitt’s nonprofit, “Persuade the World Ministries” declared income of $1,362,548 in 2016, while making no charitable grants whatsoever. (2016 990 form, from Propublica Nonprofit Explorer) In 2016, Klingenschmitt was still employed as the Representative for HD15, and attempted to run for Senate District 16.  And he wasn’t too fussy about keeping his political and religious finances separate.

Klingenschmitt: You, Too, Can Discern Demons

How did Klingenschmitt make 1.3 million dollars?  By selling such gems as his $99 “Discern the Spirits” program.

Screenshot – Youtube video of PJIN program

That’s right, for only $99, Chaps will teach you how to see demons and angels. This would be just another laughable claim by a religious fanatic –  if not for the political applications of Chaps “discernment”. He famously tried to exorcise a demon from President Obama, and claimed that gay and transgender people were inhabited by demons.

Also possessed by demons, according to Chaps: Zales ad execs, and anyone who criticizes him.

On the same 40 minute PJIN progam, at 19:11, Chaps promotes his petition to protect the altars of military chapels from the “desecration” of being used for “homosexual wedding ceremonies”. Because, of course, this is a legit national security concern.

Chaps Facebook page is a compendium of conspiracy theories (How Planned Parenthood Killed Toys R Us!!), Trumpism, and fundraising appeals for his various campaigns against gays and abortion, Mexican and Muslim immigrants, etc.  This is how he has become a millionaire. People donate to his “ministry”. A lot.

Edwards: Gays OK to keep their jobs

Chaps’ interview with candidate Roger Edwards starts with the standard biographical questions. Then the two proceed to check the right boxes: Anti-abortion / Pro Personhood? Check. Pro Concealed Carry? Check. Trump voter? Check.

When Chaps probes to find out what policies Edwards is for, the best Edwards can say is that he is “Not Mike Coffman”. There are no specific policies on Edwards’ campaign website, either. Sample: We must recognize that evil exists in the world. 

To Edwards’ credit, at 25:11,  Edwards  declines to denounce the ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act), which protects gay people from employment discrimination. Edwards refuses Chaps’ request to get on the homophobic bandwagon against ENDA, and says that gay people should be able to keep their jobs. Edwards says:

I believe in religious freedom, but I also believe that, if you’re a gay person,. . .that you should have equal opportunity to have a job and work a career that you want to work in.

I’m sorry that we live in a world in which we should be grateful that an aspiring politician declines to discriminate against a tenth of the population. Edwards does say that he thinks that Jack Phillips, the baker who wouldn’t make the gay cake, probably did the right thing for “artistic freedom”. So he checked that box for Chaps.

Roger Edwards is trying to establish himself as a legitimate, electable candidate in CD6, a diverse district. The Adams County Republicans endorsed his candidacy over Coffman’s. It does not serve Edwards well to associate with opportunistic right wing hucksters like Dr. Chaps.

In the unlikely event that Edwards defeats Coffman in the primary, Dr. Chaps’ blessing of Edwards will serve the likely CD6 Democratic candidate, Jason Crow, very well, indeed.

Somebody please run against Jerry Sonnenberg

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Jerry Sonnenberg is winding up his first term in the Colorado Senate. He is up for re-election in 2018, and no one has stepped up to run against him.  Sonnenberg ran unopposed for his first Senate term, and for all four of his previous House terms, until he was termed out in 2014.  No wonder he doesn’t return liberal constituent’s phone calls – he feels pretty safe ignoring their concerns. What are they going to do, run a Democrat against him?

Sonnenberg has referred to a fellow female Senator as”eye candy” and tweeted that he’d like to lube his assault rifle with “Obama tears”. He legislated against eminent domain for water pipelines, and for eminent domain for oil and gas companies. He sponsored legislation to prohibit protesting at oil  and gas sites, and he is a climate science denier.

In an excellent piece by Win the Fourth (WTF),  the author makes the case for fielding a Democrat to run against Sonnenberg.

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Protesters Greet Senator Gardner on New Year’s Eve in Yuma

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Hey folks we are having a house party at Cory Gardner's house in Yuma, Colorado! #ADAPTandResist #FreeOurPeople #DIAToday #SaveMedicaid

Posted by Carrie Ann Lucas on Sunday, December 31, 2017

Video from  New Years Eve visit to Senator Gardner’s home in Yuma

On New Year’s Eve 2017, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado had some unexpected visitors outside his home in Yuma, Colorado. Twelve protesters and supporters from Atlantis ADAPT  braved the bitter cold to hold a “house party” on the sidewalk outside Gardner’s home, asking for him to come out and talk with them about how the tax legislation he supported would affect their lives. (about 23:00 minutes in to the video) They chanted:

“Cory Gardner, come on out! We’ve got something to talk about!” and “New Year’s Resolution – Uphold the Constitution!”

However, Senator Gardner declined to party with the protesters, and never spoke with them, although, according to a police officer in the video, he was at home at the time.

Carrie Ann Lucas, a member of the Atlantis ADAPT board, and a candidate for the town board of Windsor, posted live video of the protest. I asked Ms. Lucas to comment on the events.

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Where Are They Now? department: Jennifer Kerns 3.0 edition

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The “Hot mess” from California just got owned by Joy Reid.

The 12/23/17 AMJoy Show featured Jen Kerns attempting to distract from the Russian collusion scandal by rehashing the Uranium One “scandal”. This was round two – after Jen Kerns U1 talking points  were dissected by Reid on October 30.

In Colorado, we’re used to Kerns lying, just making stuff up – and getting away with it, for the most part.

In 2013, Jennifer Kerns emerged as the spokesperson for the recall effort against Senators Giron and Morse. The recall,  ostensibly for the Senators’ so-called “anti-gun” votes, almost shifted control to Republicans in the Colorado Senate.

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Minnesota RWNJ Avoids HS Dems Club, Blames #MeToo

On Friday, December 15, 2017, the Alexandria Area High School Democrats Club invited their Minnesota State Representative Mary Franson (R)  to speak with them. Rep. Franson declined, saying first that she wouldn’t meet with a “partisan group”.

Screen cap of Rep. Franson's reply to AAHS students

The students called  ten times, tried to set up meetings at Franson’s office and elsewhere, but she kept refusing to meet with them. They were constituents, they said, who wanted to discuss issues of concern: college tuition and climate change.  Then, Franson brought a whole new level of ugly to the exchange by claiming that she could not be alone with minors because of the #metoo movement.

In the face of Franson’s increasingly snarky and contemptuous refusals, the students decided to share their exchanges on Twitter.

The exchange went viral, and is now a national story. Franson finally met with several of the students, but deleted her Tweets to AAHS from her Twitter history. However, screen captures preserved it for posterity.

Congratulations to the AAHS Dems. Your perseverance and savvy on social media paid off. Now, would you mind coming to Colorado? We have a few Senators that share Franson’s attitudes about meeting with constitutents….

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Felon Elected to Greeley City Council – Opponent Sues

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Eddie Mirick was just elected to the at-large seat on Greeley’s City Council.  Mirick  has a 1978 felony conviction for forgery, which he lied about when he filled out the paperwork to run for City Council.  The charter of Greeley, a “home-rule” city, specifically does not allow anyone convicted of a felony to be elected to City Council. Yet Mirick was elected, and City Council members have seated him, and are letting the court decide whether he will be allowed to serve.

Mirick’s eligibility to serve on City Council will be decided in District Court, pending the result of a lawsuit filed by the campaign manager of Mirick’s opponent, Stacy  Suniga.

Mirick (3rd from left) on Greeley for a Stronger Economy’s FB ad

The makeup of Greeley’s City Council will affect the balance of power between oil and gas interests vs. the public health of residents, in one of the most fracked cities in America.

Mirick is a veteran, and lives with physical disabilities. He is active in charities and community groups. And he strongly supports oil and gas development in Greeley.  Mirick benefitted from over $65,000 spent for cable TV ads from a shadowy Denver group: “Greeley for a Stronger Economy (GSE)*”.  Mayor John Gates, and two other candidates for Greeley City Council:   appointed member Brett Payton, who won his seat against opponent Lavonna Longwell by a grand total of 2 votes. (after recount), and Ward 3 candidate Michael Fitsimmons were also promoted by GSE advertising.

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Dr Chaps celebrates Roy Moore Week – and blames leftists for church shooting

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gordon Klingenschmitt spent a week in Alabama promoting his old friend, Judge Roy Moore.

Screenshot of Klingenschmitt’s interview with Moore on Pray in Jesus’ Name program 10/5/17.

Former HD15 Representative Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, working his $1.3 million* a year hustle, alt-right “news program”, Pray in Jesus’ Name News, ran a 5 part series promoting his old friend and mentor, Alabama Senate candidate and accused pedophile Judge Roy Moore. Chaps campaigned for 5 days  with Roy Moore in Alabama last October.

For those with strong stomachs, here is the entire series:

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No Nibiru, just rural Democrats causing trouble.

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

So the world didn’t end today (yet). I  bet a 6th grader a chocolate bar that we’d still have class Monday.  His older brother had told him for sure that September 23 was it. Young students are all on Facebook, gobbling up and sharing every bit of fake news and conspiracy theory out there.

The eclipse, the hurricanes, and the earthquakes proved that doomsday was at hand.

This didn’t happen. Nibiru hitting earth, debunked on Snopes.com

My more sciencey students rushed to debunk this: “If there was a planet about to hit the earth, we would have seen it coming! Planets don’t just jump out of their orbits and go wherever they want! NASA says it’s not true. ”

I love that they’re paying attention in science class, and using evidence-based arguments.

But, no Nibiru in sight. Just another day, living the dream in northeast Colorado. Something else surprising is happening, though….Democrats are organizing in Northeast Colorado, and in rural counties all over the state.

At Octoberfest, it was chilly and drizzly. Felt like fall.  The Morgan County Democrats were boothed next to the American Legion, so we had lots of opportunities to chat while we waited for people to stop by.

I quickly found that we could talk about anything as long as I didn’t directly criticize the President. They could criticize him, though, and did. “Needs to take a Speech 101 class,” said a spry old gentleman who later showed off his world-class polka moves. “He’s embarrassing us with all the tweeting,” confided a lifelong Republican.

Democrats were zeroing in on us, too. “You have a booth? Here? How many Democrats are in Morgan County?” Turns out, about 3,000 registered Dems to about 6,000 registered Republicans, with ~4,500 unaffiliated. Dems have kept rather quiet until now, what with that 2:1 disadvantage.

But those days are gone. Dems had big, loud, crowded floats in all of the recent town parades.

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