Cowliphate Goes Full Sovereign Citizen – With CO Ties

(It was probably inevitable that #YallQaeda would try to invent their own legal system — promoted by Colorado Pols)

Judge Dredd is not really a judge.

Judge Dredd is not really a judge…or a real person, for that matter.

According to local paper The Oregonian, the bunch of yahoos staking their claim on the Malheur Wildlife Refuge have now found themselves a self-proclaimed “United States Superior Court Judge.” Bruce Doucette has arrived from Littleton, CO, where he supposedly has “retired” as a “judge” to do computer repair work.

Doucette claims the Bundy Bunch have shown him “significant” evidence of crimes committed by the Federal government, and that he will certify the charges after they’ve been formally brought by a “grand jury” consisting of members of a local committee that’s been formed called the “Harney County Committee for Safety”.

All of this, of course, is udder cow-patty nonsense. There is no US official titled ‘Superior Court Judge’, and Doucette has no law degree nor even a lick of common sense. He does, however, have an interesting history as a “judge”. His name turns up on a number of Sovereign Citizen blogs and even news posts – always with the same “Superior Court Judge” title he’s claiming now.

He has appointed himself to defend Sovereign Citizen “Judge” Steve Curry of Montrose, who “filed” a $249 trillion “US gold dollar” lien against the American and International Bar Associations as well as the US Government. Curry was jailed for selling fake meteorites on eBay with claims that they were 80% tax deductible (and also making a supposed $58 million donation of “meteorites” to the local historical society) – not sure how the lien thing fit in with Doucette’s representation of him – the blog post was more interested in the so-called lien…

Doucette also offered to “represent” landowners in Costilla County this year over off-grid residency. He was brought in by another convicted thief (and child abandonment convict), Rodger Marsh, founder of a group called Operation Patriot Rally.

It’s not much of a surprise that the clueless yahoos currently involved in the armed takeover of Federal property in Oregon are aligned with the Sovereign Citizen movement. Even before this development they were “somewhere along the sliding scale” that leads toward the bamboozling Sovereign Citizens. Doucette’s arrival and acceptance by the group does little more than cement just how far down the scale they are…

Tom Tancredo Leaves the GOP – Again

Breitbart News has the scoop:

In a panel discussion at the University of Colorado after the recent Republican debate, I was asked by a student why she should be a Republican. The question forced me to ask myself the same thing.

I gave the young woman the standard talking points–that Republicans believe in smaller government, individual rights, fiscal responsibility, and free enterprise. But as I drove home, her question–and my inability to respond with any level of real conviction–got me thinking: Does the Republican Party leadership fight for these values and principles today?

After much thought, I reluctantly concluded that the answer is “no.” The proudly socialist Democrats are full of passionate intensity, while the Republican leadership is full of pathetic excuses. After this week’s House GOP “budget deal,” which betrays nearly every promise made to grassroots conservatives since 2010, I have decided it is time to end my affiliation with the Republican Party.

Former GOP Representative and professional PITA Tom Tancredo says that Republicans no longer stand for those things he believes in – so he’s going to turn independent and spend his time stumping for Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, “the only candidate who both understands the left’s agenda and has demonstrated the courage to fight for our liberties, our sovereignty, and the survival of constitutional government.”

Colorado BOE Chair Marcia Neal Resigns

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Chalkbeat Colorado:

Neal’s departure comes at the same time as education Commissioner Robert Hammond is preparing to leave the department. He announced his retirement, effective later this month, in late April.

The composition of the seven-member board and the tone of its meetings changed after new members elected last November took their seats in January.

The new members were Republican Steve Durham of Colorado Springs and Democrat Val Flores of Denver. Neal, a Republican from Grand Junction, was re-elected to a second six-year term last November.

Neal was elected chair in January. Democrat Angelika Schroeder of Boulder was elected vice chair, something that didn’t sit well with the board’s three other Republicans, Durham, Pam Mazanec of Larkspur and Deb Scheffel of Parker. The vote for vice chair was by secret ballot. Because there are only three Democrats on the panel, one Republican – presumably Neal – voted for Schroeder.


The Paper That Shall Not Be Named reports that Marcia Neal, chair of the state Board of Education, has announced her resignation effective July 31. In her resignation she calls the current board “dysfunctional” and their recent decisions “baffling”. She also cites health concerns that are making it harder for her to fully participate.

From her resignation letter:

Past protocols were very effective with regard to communicating and the sharing of information. Those protocols are now largely ignored by several board members.

She also writes that the Board is spending little if any time discussing how to improve our schools, and is being held hostage to “both the far right and far left who share the same goals of no standards, no accountability, and no teacher quality efforts”.

The scariest part IMHO: a Republican vacancy committee (CO-03 BOE) gets to choose her replacement. My guess is they’ll choose one of those far right types, like freshman board member Steve Durham, who would rather pick 100 people out of a phone book than have a selected group of subject matter experts determining what is important in our social studies testing.

At Least It’s Not Your State Legislature…

Well, then. US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara has set his sights pretty high.  After indicting NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver the other week, news is leaking out today that his next target is NY State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau). If true, it would expose the breadth of the corruption in the NY State Legislature – Senate and Assembly, Democrat and Republican – with two of the "three men in a room" who control NY politics under indictment.

While Bharara's office won't confirm the news, Bharara has made it clear that Silver's indictment was only the tip of the iceberg. After he announced Silver's indictment he said "Stay tuned," and he's also been quoted as saying "If ever there was a moment for real reform, I think it’s now […] If there was ever a time for New Yorkers to show their trademark impatience with the status quo and to show it loudly, I submit now’s a good time for that." Clearly he believes that the corruption on Albany is both deep and broad.

Could this lead back to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office? It was Gov. Cuomo who suddenly disbanded the commission investigating corruption, and Cuomo counts both Skelos and Silver as allies. At the very least it sounds like he tried to bury the truth.

Hickenlooper Apologizes for Sand Creek

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Image via Facebook

Posted today on Gov. Hickenlooper's Facebook page – and, I imagine, on other websites as well…

Today, as runners complete the 16th annual, 180-mile Sand Creek Spiritual Healing run, marking the 150th anniversary and commemoration of the Sand Creek Massacre, I offer something that has been too long in coming.

On behalf of the state of Colorado, I want to apologize.

To the runners, to the Tribal Leaders and to all of the Indigenous people and the proud and painful legacy you represent…

On behalf of the good, peaceful and loving people in Colorado, I am sorry for the atrocity that our government and its agents visited upon your ancestors. I want to assure you that we will not run from this history, and that we will always work for peace and healing.

This is, as the governor notes, a long time in coming – too long. Thank you, Governor.

Supreme Court Won’t Take Up Gay Marriage Appeals; Colorado to Begin Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

POLS UPDATE #4: More reaction, Sen. Mark Udall:

"We are a stronger, better state when all couples are able to publically affirm their shared commitment and responsibilities to one another through marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court's move to let the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in favor of marriage equality stand is a win for all Coloradans," Udall said. "We should celebrate what this will mean for so many of our friends, family members and neighbors. And while this is an important milestone for our state and for other states around the country impacted today, we still have work to do to ensure equality for Americans nationwide."

Udall has been a vocal advocate of striking down misguided laws that discriminate against committed, married gay couples at both the state and federal levels. Udall last year helped to pass in the U.S. Senate the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. However, the U.S. House of Representatives has refused to act on the legislation. He also led the successful effort to repeal the harmful and discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

The Colorado House and Senate majorities in a joint statement:

"The Supreme Court's decision to let the lower-court rulings stand vindicates a lot of work by a lot of people over a lot of years," said Speaker Mark Ferrandino, the House sponsor, with Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Wheat Ridge), of the 2013 Colorado law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples. 

"It's gratifying that this moment came before my time in the legislature ends," the term-limited Speaker Ferrandino said, "but what really matters is that our state and our country will finally offer equal treatment under the law to all loving couples." 

"We knew this day would come," said Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), who with Senate President Pro Tem Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) were the Senate sponsors of the 2013 law. "The only task left for us is to fix the obsolete Colorado laws now on the books and make them constitutional according to the decisions handed down by the courts, particularly the 10th Circuit." 

"The majority of Americans, and a majority of Coloradans, support marriage equality," Sen. Guzman said. "This is about families, and Coloradans know that families are the backbone of a strong, healthy state. This decision provides further opportunity for all families to succeed under the law." 


POLS UPDATE #3: The Denver Post reports that Pueblo County is now issuing same-sex marriage licenses, the first jurisdiction in Colorado to do so after the Supreme Court's action today.



POLS UPDATE #2: Colorado Attorney General John Suthers concedes the obvious. From the Denver Post:

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers on Monday said all 64 county clerks must begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear all appeals on gay marriage bans.

Suthers' announcement is an abrupt and unexpected resolution to the legal battles in Colorado, including the attorney general's previous successful efforts to stop to county clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses this past summer…

…"By choosing not to take up the matter, the court has left the 10th Circuit ruling in place," Suthers said in a statement. "We expect the 10th Circuit will issue a final order governing Colorado very shortly. Once the formalities are resolved clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples."


POLS UPDATE: Our friends over at "The Fix" sum up today's decision quite nicely:

The Court's ruling (or lack thereof) is expected to extend gay marriage to 30 states — and it's easy to imagine a number of other states will follow suit in seeking legalization since there will be no pending legislation in front of the Court to keep them from doing so. Will there eventually be a challenge to the legality of same sex marriage in front of the Supreme Court? Yes.  Does the makeup of the Court make some difference in how that decision turns out? Also, yes. But, by not acting on the current challenges, the Court has allowed the massive momentum in favor of gay marriage to continue. And not just to continue, but to grow.

Original post follows…


(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

What will Colorado's Attorney General do now?

The news out of Washington, DC this morning is that the Supreme Court has denied the appeals from opponents of marriage equality this morning: (AP News blurb). With the announcement, the stays of various Appeals Courts are vacated and gay marriage is now legal in all jurisdictions where appeals courts have found in favor of marriage equality!

AG Suthers said he wanted the courts to wait until a decision was handed down by the Supreme Court. This is the decision: the Appeals Courts are unanimous so far – gay marriage is a fundamental right! Will Suthers abide by the decision and ask for his stays to be lifted so that GLBT couples can join in the celebration of marriage? Or will he continue to delay and obstruct?

What Military Gear Did Your Police Department Purchase?

Do you want to know what military surplus equipment your favorite law enforcement division picked up under the 1033 program? Well, you're in luck! NPR has published its research in nice easy-to-search files on Google Drive. According to their analysis, only three percent of the transfers under the program were weapons – but there are still a lot of weapons in the bunch.

Is your city or county police department suddenly flush with bayonets? (Yes, I'm looking at you, Englewood and La Plata – WTF do you need with dozens of bayonets?!?!?) Did your county sheriff's office acquire more M16A1's and M14's than it had officers? (That might be you, El Paso County, with 44 M16's and 4 M14's…) Did your city find itself severely short of M16A1s the last time it had to control protesters (Colorado Springs – 140 M16's and 14 M14's)?

Or perhaps your department opted for a robot bomb disposal unit (we got a few, but let's give a special shout out to the bombing hotspots of Mesa and La Plata counties for picking up three each!), or what appears to be serious amounts of firefighting equipment (Archuleta seems like it went on a particular spree with intrenchment tools and packs…), or maybe just some utility vehicles.

Colorado's list is all here, sorted by organization. If you'd like it split out differently, or want to peruse other states' data, the complete data set is also available.

At Least He’s Not Your (Soon-to-be-former) Congressman

No, I'm not talking about Eric Cantor. And I'm not talking about Cory Gardner, either.

Tonight's diary award winner is blowhard Texas Representative Steve Stockman. Stockman challenged Sen. Jon Cornyn in his state's primary and lost, which means that – fortunately – he won't be haunting the halls of Congress next year.

But today we get news that the Office of Congressional Ethics has found Stockman illegally received donations from his Congressional staff and then made a (poor) attempt to cover it up.

How poor?

Apparently each of the two staffers had parents who decided – on the same night – to donate $7500 apiece to Stockman's campaigns (he was running three campaigns, so he had three times the normal $2500 limit). When OCE investigated, the parents could not remember making those donations, so…

Stockman's campaign filed an amended report stating that the donations came directly from his staffers. But Federal employees are forbidden by law from donating to their employers, so…

10 months after the date of the donations, Stockman filed employment papers with the Congressional employment office stating that his two staffers quit the day of the donation – of course before the TIME of the donation – but then decided to come back to work the next day.

Yep. Nothing to see here, folks. Move on…

Study Shows Colorado Schools Fail Those From Poorly-educated Backgrounds

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A new study from Harvard takes a look at the math and science scores of various states and compares them to those of other countries. It also breaks down the results by the educational background of school childrens' parents. And what it says about Colorado is what we've all known for a while: that Colorado doesn't do well by its disadvantaged children.

Overall, Colorado does pretty well. We're between Ireland and New Zealand in overall Math proficiency (with Ireland ranked 14th and New Zealand ranked 15th among countries), and we're 7th place among the states. (The USA comes in overall at 27th place.)

However, when children are separated by the level of education of their parents and those from the least educated backgrounds are evaluated, Colorado drops significantly to 33rd among the states, between the Czech Republic and Greece (28th – 29th among the 34 OECD states participating in comparative testing). (The USA rises to 20th place in comparison).

The trend continues looking at those of moderate education (Colorado is in 10th place among the states) and high levels of education (where Colorado ranks 4th among the states).

As I said, this is what we've known for a long time: Colorado's disadvantaged students – often those in rural areas and those in poverty in the cities – are not given the same advantages that those in well off areas with high concentrations of educated people. This is the root of the Lobato lawsuit and our state's current education funding crisis – that the state's funding formula places exceptional and disproportionate burdens on those children in less well off areas.

NY Gun Control Case – 1st Post-Sandy Hook Law Review

A Federal judge for the Western District of New York issued his ruling on NYSRPA v. Cuomo – a challenge brought against the NYSAFE Act – on New Year's Eve 2013, providing the first big legal review of gun control and safety laws enacted since the Sandy Hook shooting.

In his ruling, Judge William Skretny (nominated to the bench by GHW Bush in 1990) upheld the vast majority of the law, striking down four provisions. Notably, the judge upheld background check provisions, bans on assault style weapons (and weapons with assault rifle features), in-person only ammunition sales, and a 10 round magazine limit.

The four provisions struck down were:

  • • Limiting the number of loaded rounds to 7 (even if the magazine could hold 10). The judge found this additional restriction arbitrary and without any rational purpose.
  • • An unintelligible drafting of one paragraph dealing with large capacity magazines of a certain manufacture date. The main portion of the section remains intact, but a portion of the section was invalidated because the judge ruled there was no functional way to read it.
  • • A misuse of the word "break" instead of "brake" in limiting muzzle brakes. The provision banning muzzle brakes was struck because of the repeated misuse of "break" instead.
  • • An attempt to ban semi-automatic versions of automatic weapons. The judge ruled in this case (sadly, IMHO), that simply specifying "semi-automatic versions of automatic weapons" was too vague for the ordinary citizen, who might not know that a rifle or pistol was based on an automatic version. This is the major loss of the case, IMHO, because our Federal assault rifle ban was riddled with holes based on this or that gun that wasn't explicitly listed, but was functionally equivalent to a banned rifle.

On the other hand, the judge explicitly ruled in favor of the following that might be of interest to Coloradoans:

  • • "Readily adapted or converted." The judge ruled that this terminology had been accepted since the 1994 Federal assault rifle ban and that it had been ruled acceptable in several cases previously.
  • • Shotgun tube magazine limits. Likewise, the judge ruled that despite the variability of shotgun shell lengths, there was a relative standard that could be applied that would make sense in applying these limits.
  • • Large capacity magazine limits. The judge ruled that, even considering the "in standard use" standard of the Second Amendment, that there was an adequate and well-demonstrated public safety need that outweighed the Constitutional right (similar to limits on yelling "fire!" in a theater), and that said safety need met the requirements of Heller.

Of course, this is a regional district court in a different federal circuit, but you can expect that the legal reasoning used in this decision will be given substantial weight in any challenges brought against Colorado's new gun laws.

The full court decision can be read via Google Docs thanks to the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, which largely lost its case

Civility And The Death Of Good Ideas

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This month marks the end of an experiment for the online edition of Popular Science; the editors there have decided after a lot of agonizing internal debate to end their reader comments feature. Why? Because several online studies have determined that the tone of debate could negatively affect a reader's opinion about an issue, more than the debate itself.

Their reasoning is sad, but sound:

Simply including an ad hominem attack in a reader comment was enough to make study participants think the downside of the reported technology was greater than they'd previously thought. […]

Another, similarly designed study found that even just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers' perception of science.

If you carry out those results to their logical end–commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded […]

A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to "debate" on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.


Coffman votes against saving money; for ineffective camo

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

As reported by, the House Armed Services Committee today voted to approve an amendment to the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act (the bill that funds the military for the year); the amendment would end the practice of allowing each branch of the Armed Services to contract for branch-specific camoflage uniforms, forcing the branches to share camoflage patterns and uniform cuts.

The amendment comes after a debacle in the Army with the proven-ineffective "Universal Camoflage Pattern" and a proliferation of patterns – there are currently three universal patterns, three woodland patterns and two desert patterns. For each pattern, the military has to buy corresponding battle armor, backpacks, and other gear camo covers, costing millons and perhaps billions of extra dollars.

Mike Coffman (CO-06) has the unfortunate distinction of being against the amendment, saying that savings would be miniscule and the "morale-boosting" effects outweighed the savings.

Really, Rep. Coffman? How significant is the morale boosting effect of wearing Army camo vs. Marine camo? I'm guessing most of our military would rather not get shot because they have the most effective camo rather than having that extra stylish flair from their service-specific version.

Civil Unions: Automatic Upgrade to Marriage?

There's lots of news to be had today on gay rights.

First, the Colorado State House Judiciary Committee today heard arguments on the Civil Unions bill. The bill is expected to pass easily through committee votes and then on the floor with some Republican support.

But the big news for Coloradans looking forward to more gay rights in the state may have come from the U.S. Department of Justice's amicus brief today in the Supreme Court review of California's Proposition 8. In it the Obama Administration argues that denying the name "marriage" to gay couples while providing domestic partner benefits equivalent to marriage fails any test of scrutiny the Court might choose – essentially, that marriage status should be conferred in states who offer civil union status to LGBT couples. Now, Amendment 43 bars this recognition, but presumably that would be overturned if the Supreme Court agrees to the Administration's argument.

At Least He’s Not Your Assemblyman

(promoted by PCG for being genuinely worse than any of our reps even on a bad day.)

Nevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks (D-Las Vegas) is no longer welcome in Nevada's legislative chambers and has been ejected from the Democratic Caucus following a series of violent outbursts…

Raw Story tells the tale:

Brooks was arrested January 19 on a felony charge after allegedly threatening Assembly Democratic Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, then detained by police several days later on a domestic disturbance call at his grandmother’s home.

[…] officers arrested Brooks on Sunday outside his wife’s Las Vegas home. A police report claims he attempted to choke her and threw punches at police, then threatened his wife as he was being taken away.

Way to go, soon-to-be-former-Assemblyman Brooks. Threatening your wife, your grandmother, and the state Assembly Speaker all within a month – takes real skill and courage… Jerk.

Colorado Joins S&P Fraud Lawsuit Bandwagon

(promoted by PCG)

The Associated Press (via the Houston Chronicle) is reporting that Colorado Attorney General Suthers has filed suit on behalf of the state against Standard & Poors for fraudulently inflating the ratings of risky derivatives investments in the years leading up to the Great Recession.

Colorado joins the Federal government and at least twelve other states in filing lawsuits against the ratings agency today. Colorado's suit was filed in the Denver District court.

The article claims that the Federal government seeks at least $5 billion in damages from S&P, but reports yesterday are that the government was negotiating for at least $8 billion when talks broke down. No details are provided on additional state damage amounts.

DC Circuit Court Overturns Recess Appointments

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a move that is sure to have repercussions down the road, The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has invalidated the appointments of three National Labor Relations Board members – and, essentially, all of the decisions made by the board in the past year.

The ruling, unanimously issued by a panel of three conservative jurists, states that the recess appointment is limited to the period of time after Congress has recessed for the remainder of the session (once every two years before the next session is sworn in) – i.e. almost never in today’s Congressional schedule. It further limits recess appointments to those positions that open up during the recess. (more…)

Can We Talk About Gun Violence?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tomorrow – Tuesday – the President’s gun violence task force led by VP Biden is scheduled to unveil the results and recommendations of its work. At this point, no-one really knows what might be in the proposal, but we have a few vague clues.

In advance of the announcement though, we might have a glimpse of some of the possibilities. The Center For American Progress today released its own report on gun violence prevention (PDF) with a list of 16 recommendations – a mix of things that require the attention of Congress, plus a few things that the President might be able to do via Executive Order.

What do you think? Do you have anything to add to the mix? What could we take from this report to use in Colorado without waiting for the Federal government to act?

The report groups recommended actions into three categories, and then further divides each category into Congressional action and Executive action. I’ve purposely made these points brief and will leave discussion to the comments.

Category 1: Improve Background Checks

  • Universal background checks (Congress)
  • Improve background check data (Congress)
  • Broaden the cefinition of “Stalker” (Congress)
  • Restrict firearms purchase by those on the Terrorist Watch List (Congress)
  • Restrict DOJ grants to states that do not contribute data to the NICS system (Executive)
  • Ensure Federal agencies are contributing all appropriate data to NICS (Executive)
  • Order the ATF to perform background checks of gun store employees when performing audits (Executive)

Category 2: Weapon Restrictions

  • Reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban, or some modern variant thereof (Congress)
  • Ban high-capacity magazines (Congress)
  • Broaden reporting of multiple-gun sales to include assault style weapons (Executive)

Category 3: Use The Data

  • Eliminate various riders restricting use of gun data from future appropriations bills (Congress)
  • Increase penalties for gun trafficking and background check violations (Congress)
  • Absorb ATF duties into the FBI (Executive)

Which ideas sound good to you?

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RIP Sen. Daniel Inouye

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

This will be a brief hit:

Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye has died at the age of 88 after a battle with a respiratory illness.

His last words are reported to have been “Aloha”.

No Love For Gessler Voter Fraud Witch-hunt At FOX

( – promoted by ProgressiveCowgirl)

[Major Update]: As I was contemplating this in the solitude of a car drive in the mountains, I realized that FOX might have buried the lede on this story, and that I followed right along…

Did Sec. Gessler induce citizens to unregister as voters? This story was based around the 3903 letters sent out to “potentially illegally registered voters”, of which we Colorado Pols readers know that Gessler claims 141 responses were sent back asking to be voluntarily unregistered. This story mentions that of those 141 responses, 35 voted in past elections, and that the Denver Clerk’s office found that all eight of those voters registered in Denver were citizens.

The FOX story doesn’t note this fact – perhaps because they aren’t sure of the significance of those 141 people. But my read of this is that Secretary of State Gessler through his very well documented actions caused citizens through perhaps misleading or intimidating means to unregister themselves as voters. That could be a Federal no-no.

Surfaced at Google News, from FOX News:

Election Officials Who Vowed War On Voter Fraud Find Little Proof Of It:

Last year, Gessler estimated that 11,805 noncitizens were on the rolls.

But the number kept getting smaller.

After his office sent letters to 3,903 registered voters questioning their status, the number of noncitizens now stands at 141, based on checks using a federal immigration database. Of those 141, Gessler said 35 have voted in the past. The 141 are .004 percent of the state’s nearly 3.5 million voters.

Even those numbers could be fewer.

The Denver clerk and recorder’s office, which had records on eight of the 35 voters who cast ballots in the past, did its own verification and found that those eight people appear to be citizens.

The folks here at Colorado Pols will, of course, find this as no surprise at all.  Secretary of State Gessler’s manufactured crisis, about which he testified in front of Congress, turns out to be nothing but vapor.

Which of course begs the question of Scott Gessler…

What question does it beg?

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At Least It’s Not Your GOP State Convention

(Yowza – promoted by Colorado Pols)

There are no words for this.

At the Louisiana state GOP Convention, Ron Paul supporters claim to have had a strong majority (they dominated the state’s caucuses back in April, giving them the most delegates to the convention). But the establishment GOP refused to recognize the convention’s election results and instead had the newly elected Rules Committee chair (and subsequently elected and ignored State Party Chair) hauled off by the police.

Both of the Paul chairs were injured in the process of being evicted from the convention.  The RNC now gets to decide (not based on facts, naturally) who runs the Louisiana GOP and whose delegates get to go to the national convention.

At Least She’s Not Your State Supreme Court Justice (And Family!)

(Walker Stapleton, eat your heart out – promoted by Colorado Pols)

From the Pittsbugh Post-Gazette

State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin surrendered to authorities this afternoon to face nine criminal counts pertaining to her alleged use of state resources for campaign purposes. […] Justice Melvin was identified as a target of the grand jury in December. The charges include three counts of theft of services, two counts of criminal conspiracy to commit tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, two counts of official oppression and one count each of criminal conspiracy to commit theft of services and misapplication of entrusted property of government.

“It now appears that not only was Justice Orie Melvin directly and knowingly involved in using state paid staffers from both the judicial and legislative branches of the Pennsylvania government in her political campaign activities, but it also appears that she was aided in those endeavors by two accomplices, co-conspirator and siblings — Janine Mary Orie and [State Sen.] Jane Clare Orie,” according to the presentment.

Her sister, State Senator Jane Orie, was convicted in March on 14 counts for her own misuse of state resources (and apparently the cover-up that followed).

“Political Issues” Costing CO Taxpayers $165k Daily

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: Full release from Colorado House Democrats after the jump:

“The House Republicans are always talking about respecting taxpayers,” Rep. Pabon said. “I’ve asked the Republican leadership more than once to move this bill. It’s simply absurd to let it just sit there, when everyone knows it’s costing our local governments tens of thousands of dollars every day.”


Good reporting by The Paper That Shall Not Be Named, which reports today that “Political Issues” are causing a hold-up in the state House that is costing taxpayers nearly $165,000 daily.

The held up bill is House Bill 1005, a bill to loosen the investment terms for local and county governments.  Colorado it seems is the only state in the nation that requires its municipal governments to invest in nothing with fewer than 2 triple-A ratings.  But since Republicans staged their brinksmanship last year, U.S. government-backed securities no longer hold that rating, and so money that could be invested for a period of time is now essentially sitting under the county mattress.

As you might guess, this critical adjustment has bipartisan support, including that of Treasurer Walker Stapleton.  The bill passed out of the House Finance Committee on a unanimous vote back on Groundhog Day, but it has been stuck ever since.

House sponsor Rep. Pabon (D-Denver) asked the Republican leadership what was holding up the bill, he was told “there were political issues that had to do with supporters of the bill”, with no further explanation.  What exactly those issues are, no-one is willing to say, but House Speaker Frank McNulty is apparently among the obstructors; his spokesman is quoted as saying simply: “Different bills move at different paces.”

(h/t to RSB’s ghost)

The Clock Is Ticking

Pabon’s Bill Saves Colorado Taxpayers $164,383 a Day, But GOP Isn’t Acting on It

Feb 29, 2012

(Denver) – Despite broad bipartisan support and the fact that it saves taxpayers more than $164,000 a day, a bill changing how Colorado counties and cities can invest their savings languishes on the House calendar because the Republican leadership refuses to bring it to a floor vote. HB12-1005, sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) and Sen. Ted Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch), would allow counties to invest public funds in securities that have less than two triple-A ratings.  Without that flexibility, counties and local governments are forced to put their public funds in accounts with a lower interest rate. Their hands are tied, and Colorado taxpayers are footing the bill.

GOP dithering is costing Colorado taxpayers $164,383 a day, according to an estimate by the nonpartisan Colorado County Treasurers Association cited today in an article by Tim Hoover in The Denver Post.  

“The House Republicans are always talking about respecting taxpayers,” Rep. Pabon said. “I’ve asked the Republican leadership more than once to move this bill. It’s simply absurd to let it just sit there, when everyone knows it’s costing our local governments tens of thousands of dollars every day.”  

The bill was approved unanimously by the House Finance Committee on Feb. 2. It has sat on the calendar for four weeks. The Republicans’ 33-32 majority in the House means they alone control which bills are scheduled for committee or floor debate.  

“It’s unbelievable how the political games that are being played around here are hurting the people of Colorado and costing taxpayers money,” said Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver), the House Democratic leader. “I hate to sound like a broken record, but the GOP leadership needs to put Coloradans first.”

Who is Perry Haney?

According to the Colorado Statesman, one Perry Haney, Chiropractor, is talking about entering the CO-06 Democratic primary, and he has at least one of Steny Hoyer’s ears…

Just days after former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff made it clear he isn’t jumping into the race for the newly competitive 6th Congressional District seat, wealthy chiropractor Perry Haney has been making the rounds meeting key Democratic players. At the same time, his backers are letting word leak out that the candidate intends to spend what it takes to win the nomination.

“Send a Chiropractor to Congress,” reads campaign material available through Haney’s website. “There’s nothing wrong with Congress that a spine doctor with backbone can’t cure,” says one side of a brochure under a Haney for U.S. Congress logo.

(h/t Daily Kos daily election roundup diary for this catch…)

So I have only one question: who is Perry Haney?  I’ve not heard of him and I’d love comments from anyone within the party who can speak a bit on this potential bid for the nomination in this new district.

Gessler Gets One Right?

Today the Colorado Court of Appeals issued its ruling in a case filed by Aspen 2009 Mayoral hopeful and election activist Marilyn Marks.  Marks sued under Colorado’s open records act to gain access to the electronic images of ballots from the 2009 election which she lost.

Although the suit was filed against Gessler in his role as Secretary of State, Gessler has stated in the past that he believes making voted ballots part of the public record would increase transparency and voter confidence – and IMHO, he’s right.

Today’s Court ruling affirms that view.  Voted ballots (and/or electronic images) should be made available to the public provided the voter’s identity cannot be matched to their ballot.

The County Clerks opposed this suit, probably because it could impose a significant burden on their offices.  However, even as someone critical about the lax security we now place around our voting systems, I cannot see any other downside to the ruling.

At Least He’s Not Your State Senator

(“I agree with Hitler” might be #1 on the list of things you should never say if you’re a politician. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I’ve been writing a few “At Least He’s Not…” diaries lately, but this one I think is destined for an award of some sort.

New Hampshire, like most states, is facing some painful decisions on budget cuts this year.  One thing being cut is medical aid for mental health.

A mental health worker, concerned about the cuts, made a call to her state Senator, one Martin Healy (R-Barrington).  His response to her request is unbelievable.

From the Concord Monitor:

Barrington Republican Martin Harty told Sharon Omand, a Strafford resident who manages a community mental health program, that “the world is too populated” and there are “too many defective people,” according to an e-mail account of the conversation by Omand. Asked what he meant, she said Harty clarified, “You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions – the defective people society would be better off without.”


Omand says Harty then stated, “I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population.”

Omand said Harty appeared to be serious. After Omand responded that his idea sounded like what Adolf Hitler did in World War II, Omand said Harty responded, “Hitler did something right, and I agree with (it).”

There’s really not much I can add to that.  Harty, who is 91, admits to the first quote but says he was joking about Siberia.