At Least He’s Not Your Secretary Of State…

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Not that Sec. Gessler has been a major win for the State of Colorado, and not that he hasn’t tried to step over the line a few times already, but he has nothing on Indiana Secretary of State (for now) Charlie White:

Charlie White [R-Fishers], the recently elected Secretary of State, was indicted for:

     * Voter Fraud (3 counts)
     * Perjury (2 counts)
     * Theft (1 count)

Yes, Charlie managed to prove the Republican mantra that voter fraud does exist in our system.  And yes, Sec. White is supposed to be in charge of Indiana’s voting systems and elections.  And yes, Indiana has one of those ultra-strict voter ID laws that is supposed to catch people committing voter fraud.

(h/t dhonig @ dKos)

So what did Charlie White do to draw 6 counts from a grand jury?

Well, he started as a councilman in Fishers.  After divorcing his wife, he moved to an apartment (re-registering his address properly), and then decided to move to a condo.  Except that the condo wasn’t in the Fishers city limits, which would have meant he would lose his council position.  Simple solution?  He re-registered – using his ex-wife’s address!

Sec. White will continue to do the job he was elected to do, saying

I am humbled by the outpouring of support.

I think he must mean this outpouring of support:

This news is sad and regrettable, but the only course of honor is for Mr. White to step down from his duties, at least during the duration of these proceedings until a verdict is reached.

That would be Republican Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels.  With friends like those…

At Least He’s Not Your Pastor – This Time…

From the bayou country:

The Rev. Grant Storms,the Christian fundamentalist known for his bullhorn protests of the Southern Decadence festival in the French Quarter, was arrested on a charge of masturbating at a Metairie park Friday afternoon.

Storms, 53, of 2304 Green Acres Road in Metairie, was taken into custody at Lafreniere Park after two women reported seeing him masturbating in the driver’s seat of his van, which was parked near the carousel and playground, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office report said.

Of course, you know where this is leading already, don’t you…

[Grant] is especially known for arming followers with bullhorns, Bibles and picket signs to protest Southern Decadence, the three-day gay festival held in the French Quarter during Labor Day weekend. Storms grabbed national attention in 2003 with his failed attempts to shut down what Southern Decadence organizer Chuck Robinson called a peaceful festival that celebrates gay and alternative lifestyles.

More from WDSU:

The Rev. Grant Storms called himself a “hypocrite” because of his Friday arrest on accusations of masturbating in a public park. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputies charged him with obscenity after two women claimed they saw him touching himself while watching children on the playground at Lafreniere Park.

Storms said in a news conference Tuesday that he was not watching the children, but he did have his hand in his pants. He apologized to those he has hurt, and he said he was sorry for targeting Decadence, an annual gay festival in the French Quarter.

Doug Lamborn: Pay China First

(Explain this to Grandma. Or for that matter, your kids. Go ahead. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I feel rather sorry for Cory Gardner getting all the attention for sponsoring extreme bills.  So let me direct your attention to H.R. 421 – “To require that the Government prioritize all obligations on the debt held by the public in the event that the debt limit is reached.”

Doug Lamborn is one of only 15 co-sponsors of this bill.

Just what does the bill aim to do, though?  Isn’t all U.S. debt held “by the public”?

As it turns out, no.  There’s one very important bit of government debt that isn’t considered “held by the public” – the “IOUs” on the Social Security Trust Fund, valued in the trillions of dollars.  These are the funds Al Gore wanted put “in a lock box”, which maintain the security of millions of Americans in their old age.  (Actually, there is one other government-held bit of debt that gets lumped in here – veterans benefits have a fund apparently maintained in the same way.)

This bill, then, proposes to pay our externally held debt – a bit under half of which is owned by foreign governments – before paying the U.S. public which has invested its working-class tax dollars into Social Security Insurance.  The message: China, Japan, and other governments deserve our money more than U.S. citizens.

If anyone has any doubts about the pre-ordained vote to extend the SSI employee tax cut, it seems pretty obvious that at least Doug Lamborn and 15 of his closest House buddies, along with former Club For Growth President turned Senator Pat Toomey and his 18 Senate co-sponsors, are itching for an extension of the cuts, repayment of the fund highly optional.  They want Social Security DEAD, DEAD, DEAD.

Thanks, Rep. Lamborn – but no thanks.  This is out of touch with what Americans want.

Tax cut compromise passes, CO delegation split

Continuing the split started by Mark Udall and Michael Bennet in the Senate, the Colorado House delegation split their vote last night on the way to seeing the 2010 tax compromise passed unaltered.

Representatives DeGette, Perlmutter and Lamborn voted No, while Reps Coffman, Polis, Markey, and Salazar voted Yea.

The bill passed on a highly bipartisan 277-148 vote, with 139 Democratic ‘Yea’ votes and 138 Republican Yeas.  (112 Democrats and 36 Republicans voted against the bill.)

Polis: Legalize Marijuana

In a debate on the merits of HR1540, a resolution declaring that growing Marijuana on Federal lands is an “unacceptable threat to law enforcement and to the public,” our own Rep. Jared Polis spoke up (h/t Raw Story):

“I have no doubt that marijuana plantations, as the resolution states, pose a threat to the environmental health of Federal lands, that drug traffickers spray unregulated chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers, but I submit that the best way to address that is to incorporate this into a meaningful and enforceable agricultural policy for the country with regard to the regulatory structure for the production of marijuana,” Rep. Jared Polis said.

“As long as [marijuana] remains illegal and as long as there is a market demand, the production will be driven underground,” he continued. “No matter how much we throw at enforcement, it will continue to be a threat not only to our Federal lands, but to our border security and to our safety within our country.”

I’d like to extend a hearty thanks to Rep. Polis for pointing out to some apparently single-track thinkers what we knew in 1933 when we repealed Prohibition: making something illegal won’t remove the demand for an item, it will just drive it underground where it will fuel the profits of criminal enterprises.

Also quoted in the article, former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders:

I think we consume far more dangerous drugs that are legal: cigarette smoking, nicotine and alcohol […]  I feel they cause much more devastating effects physically. We need to lift the prohibition on marijuana.

As Colorado Pols pointed out the other day, Colorado is making millions on just the quasi-legalization of pot in this state, while moving growth of the weed away from the control of the drug cartels.  Time to finish the job rather then throwing more money down the rabbit hole of enforcement and punishment.  

DLCC Targets 4 state legislative seats

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The DLCC (Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee) each year picks the top races they feel are key to retaining or gaining control of the various State Legislatures.

Out of this year’s 2010 DLCC Top 40 Races, a full 10% (4 seats) are from Colorado – the most of any state.  They list HD-23 (Max Tyler), HD-27 (Sara Gagliardi), SD-5 (Gail Schwartz), and SD-20 (Cheri Jahn) as “critical” seats.  All are currently in Democratic hands; SD-20 is an open seat race.

They note in their blurbs that Colorado is a top target for the redistricting battle next year, though I think their panic over the GOP possibly gerrymandering themselves a couple of extra seats in the House is slim given our redistricting mechanisms.

Anti-Bennet Ad Campaign Propped Up By Foreign Cash?

(Shouldn’t the “Tea Party” have a rather large problem with this? Bumped on Wednesday by popular demand – promoted by Colorado Pols)

ThinkProgress has a story that shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us in the wake of Citizens United.  It hits hard, and it hits close to home: the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce is funding its massive attack ad campaign this year from its general fund, which includes a lot of foreign money.

The largest attack campaign against Democrats this fall is being waged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a trade association organized as a 501(c)(6) that can raise and spend unlimited funds without ever disclosing any of its donors. The Chamber has promised to spend an unprecedented $75 million to defeat candidates like Jack Conway, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jerry Brown, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), and Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA). As of Sept. 15th, the Chamber had aired more than 8,000  ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates alone, according to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project. The Chamber’s spending has dwarfed every other issue group and most political party candidate committee spending. A ThinkProgress investigation has found that the Chamber funds its political attack campaign out of its general account, which solicits foreign funding. And while the Chamber will likely assert it has internal controls, foreign money is fungible, permitting the Chamber to run its unprecedented attack campaign. According to legal experts consulted by ThinkProgress, the Chamber is likely skirting longstanding campaign finance law that bans the involvement of foreign corporations in American elections.

The USCOC receives membership dues of hundreds of thousands of dollars (each) from foreign-owned companies and various foreign business councils.  All the money goes in a single pot, and out pops $75m in attack ads aimed at Democrats.  Republicans (and the USCOC) can’t very well claim there is good separation between these funds when they’ve been screaming for years how it’s impossible to separate Planned Parenthood abortion funds from their other medical work (even when there are two separate accounts…).

The Chamber has spent at least $250,000 in ads targeting Sen. Michael Bennet here in Colorado, making Ken Buck a beneficiary of this illegal foreign campaigning.  Buck should tell the USCOC to back out of the race until they can set up a donor-disclosed organization through which the Chamber can verify the nationality of its campaigning contributions.

In the meantime, ThinkProgress is asking that the DOJ investigate the Chamber for using illegally using foreign money for campaigning.

Let Me Know When It’s Over

(Come back soon.  Me, I’m voting Democrat this fall. – promoted by ClubTwitty)

I’m outta here, at least for a few days.

I’ve been a regular member of this community for a long time now, and I’ve gone away due to real life scheduling for short stints.  This is the first time I’ve left because the discussion has deteriorated to what I consider to be intolerable levels.

The diary lists are clogged with “Bennet this”, “Romanoff that” tripe.  The front page is being overwhelmed with what I consider to be unworthy and unnecessarily aggressive diaries.  The commenters from both camps are flooding the comments on other diaries and generally being intolerant of each other, even seemingly of people who’ve known each other for years here on this blog.

I don’t need this.

I’ve waded through religious wars on alt.religion.scientology, put up with the USENet flame wars of old, fought the good fight on this and other political blogs, and through it all the conversation has never degraded so rapidly or completely as I’ve seen here in the past few weeks.

So, for now, good bye.  I hope this is all calmed down by next week and that both the winners and losers in this race will accept the election results gracefully and pledge to support our Democratic candidate, whoever that might be.

This has been, for 5 years, the finest multi-partisan blog I’ve found; it pains me to feel I’m being chased away from it by competing mobs of schoolyard insults.  Don’t let a good thing end from a political race gone all out of proportion.  See you, I hope, in a week.

Polis & Lamborn Co-sponsoring a House Rules Change

(And now for something completely different.   – promoted by ClubTwitty)

I never thought I’d see Reps. Jared Polis and Doug Lamborn next to each other on a House measure as co-sponsors.  And what’s more, I never expected I would write the words “I agree with Doug Lamborn”, but I have to do so tonight.

Today, Jared Polis (CO-02) and Doug Lamborn (CO-05) co-sponsored House Resolution 1573, a proposed change to the House Rules, to take effect at the beginning of the next Congress, that would introduce single-subject requirements on all House bills, resolutions, and amendments.

The rule would duplicate a requirement followed quite successfully by the Colorado State Legislature.  Full text and more analysis below the dotted line…

HRES 1573 IH


2d Session

H. RES. 1573

To amend the Rules of the House of Representatives to prohibit bills and joint resolutions from containing more than one subject.


July 29, 2010

Mr. POLIS of Colorado (for himself and Mr. LAMBORN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules


To amend the Rules of the House of Representatives to prohibit bills and joint resolutions from containing more than one subject.

Resolved, That (a) rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by adding at the end the following new clause–

’11.(a) No bill, joint resolution, or amendment to any bill or joint resolution that contains more than a single subject may be received or considered in the House. A question of order on the number of subjects in any such bill, joint resolution, or amendment thereto, may be raised at any time.

‘(b) The single subject of any bill or joint resolution shall be expressed in the title.

‘(c) Paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply to a bill, joint resolution, or amendment thereto that complies, consolidates, revises, or rearranges the statutory law.’.

(b) The amendment made by this resolution shall take effect immediately before noon, January 3, 2011.

The effects of this Rule change would be staggering, and in my opinion welcome.  Consider the following:

  • No more amendments completely unrelated to the subject at hand on a bill that could either poison or sweeten the bill.
  • No more bills constructed with one essential vote with all kinds of less palatable cruft attached.
  • And the Big One: returns initial control of budget bills to the House where it belongs.  This one’s not obvious unless you understand Senate proceedings.  The Senate, constrained by the Constitution from initiating a spending bill, often takes House spending bills and guts them for another spending purpose.  Most recently, the Senate health care reform bill started life as H.R. 3590, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the first-time homebuyers credit in the case of members of the Armed Forces and certain other Federal employees, and for other purposes..  Under the proposed Rule, the House would be unable to accept such a replacement, and the Senate would be forced to start with the original House bill.

Congratulations to Reps. Polis and Lamborn for introducing such a significant yet simple change.  Now I guess it comes down to showing support.

[Update: The Constitution states that the House has sole power over revenue raising bills, but as I note in the comments, it has expanded that interpretation to include appropriations bills by simply refusing to consider Senate-initiated appropriations bills.  The Senate, in turn, often absconds with House-initiated appropriations and tax bills and replaces them with their own text, which the House then does consider to be “in order”]

I endorse…

Well, if it’s time to get off the fence, then it’s time to get off the fence.  And since this is a political blog, I don’t have to deal with the realities of balloting – I can vote on both the Republican AND Democratic ballots.  Sounds fun, eh?  Join in below with your own thoughts, not just of your own party’s primary, but also if you feel qualified pipe up on the opposing primary races.

(My own endorsements below the fold)

(R) Governor:

I have a lot of sympathy for the GOP voters in the state; the Governor’s race was supposed to be the best chance at taking over some part of the government leading up to the 2011 redistricting process, and that chance now seems to be falling apart.  The choices are the inexperienced and under-funded Dan Maes (who seems to have some issues separating personal and campaign expenditures), and veteran pol Scott McInnis (who seems to have several different scandals brewing).  McInnis appears to be the more moderate of the two candidates, with Maes more closely expressing the view of the party base; in the end that may not matter, though – neither seem terribly electable and both are already tagged by some kind of scandal.

My endorsement goes to Scott McInnis, not because he’s the better potential governor of the two (though I think he is by far), but rather because I think he might bow out of the race should he win the primary, allowing the state party to select a better candidate than either of the two damaged choices offered now.

(R) Senate:

Unlike the Republican Governor’s primary, I think there is a clear choice on the Republican Senate ballot.  While both candidates have contested the position strongly, in the end I believe DA Ken Buck has been the most consistent, least gaffe-prone, and at times more insightful campaign (and candidate).  I won’t agree with Buck on many things, I’m sure, but I feel I know where he stands, and I think he’s willing to share his positions openly and that he seems to have the courage of his convictions.  Norton, by contrast, has shifted with the political winds and has been shown a couple of times to be so unsure of herself that she has had to ask campaign staff about relatively common matters.

My endorsement goes to Ken Buck for these reasons.

(D) Senate:  

I initially went to my caucus as an undecided voter for the Democratic U.S. Senate race.  By the end of the evening I was a somewhat wavering Romanoff delegate to my County Assembly (for which I was sick and confirmed the presence of an alternate).  Since then I’ve watched both sides and have been frustrated with each.  In the midst of the vitriol here and elsewhere I’ve found myself both criticizing and defending both candidates.  Both Andrew Romanoff and Michael Bennet seem to be decent enough individuals, though neither is without their flaws.  Similarly, both campaigns have been IMHO flawed and have not shown their candidate to the best potential.  But in the end I find I have to choose someone.  I am an informed voter; I have the information I need to make a decision, and now matter how much an undervote would satisfy my need to send a message to both candidates, I owe it to my community to vote for the person I think is the best choice.

Michael Bennet has been an appointed Senator now for almost a year and a half.  In that time we have been able to develop a picture of his voting record, his views, and his temperament.  During that time he has been a moderate much in the mold of our other new Senator, Mark Udall.  He has voted for the moderate reforms that have come out of the divided (if 59-41 can be called ‘divided’ and not simply gridlocked), but he has not stood out on any issue.  While he did lead the petition drive for a public option, he has not followed through on his promise to bring the PO up for a separate vote – even now that the House has renewed that call.  And he has voted against some of the stronger reform provisions that I believe this country needs if it wishes to truly solve its problems.

Andrew Romanoff has not shown himself to be a leading Progressive, and I do not expect that if he becomes a Senator that he will turn in to one, but I believe he has an interest in doing what is best (but possible) in any given legislative challenge.  Romanoff has stumbled more than I could have imagined getting his campaign off the ground, and it is this more than anything else that has given me pause in supporting him as the Democratic Senate nominee, but his last quarter performance was on par with his Republican opponents, and I believe he can be effective in the run-up to the general election in November.  Romanoff’s ability to put together working partnerships inside and across the aisle, his interest in finding good solutions, and his excellent communications skills show he has what it takes to be a good – and possibly excellent – U.S. Senator.

My endorsement goes to Andrew Romanoff, for what he can bring to the Senate from Colorado, and for the hope of overcoming what I assess to be the lacks in Bennet’s term in office.

(R) Treasurer:

I am undervoting for the Republican Treasurer’s race because I simply cannot decide between Stapleton and Ament and am not informed enough to make a choice on which one is best.

Message to Dem Senate Candidates

Knock it off.  Really.

This recent factually vacuous exchange about Social Security displays the absolute worst of both sides of the campaign – and I’m not talking about the truth of the attacks, either.

First the Bennet campaign goes on the attack and says Andrew Romanoff ‘voted to privatize Social Security’.  The Fort Collins Coloradoan has the analysis: Romanoff voted for one of the Republican ‘gotcha’ votes in 2004 that stated “the members of Colorado’s congressional delegation support optional personal retirement accounts and not support increases in payroll taxes and cuts to Social Security benefits.”  Like so many Republican bills/resolutions that year, this was a question designed to bolster Republican claims while giving potential fodder to the GOP for campaign attacks against Democrats.

Then the Romanoff campaign, bolstered by an independent group, goes on the attack saying Bennet voted against increasing Social Security benefits.  (The official campaign message at least does the courtesy of recognizing that the proposed one-time $250 payout was a stimulus, not part of a COLA increase; the independent expenditure is not so honest.  I’d link to it, but it’s been pulled from the Web.)

To both campaigns: you’re not really good at this.  Stop before you inflict damage on yourselves.

I’d also like to add: Speaker Romanoff, you wanted to get PAC money out of this campaign.  Do you denounce this independent expenditure ad that appears to support your campaign?

Are you tired of the pettiness in this race?

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Gallup: Maybe It’s Not Just Noise

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

One week after Gallup reported a significant bump for Democrats in generic ballot approval, their latest poll shows Democrats maintaining much of that bump.

Democrats continue to hold a narrow 48-44 ballot advantage in the poll, perhaps a sign of the recent passage of the financial reform bill.

I was one of those skeptical of last week’s results.  One bump in numbers (as clearly indicated on Gallup’s chart) does not a trend make.  But two such polls in a row is something to note.

Is this a true trend?

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At Least He’s Not Your State Senate Majority Leader

( – promoted by Middle of the Road)

New York State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada (D-Bronx) is spending his year riding the roller coaster that is NY state politics.

What has Sen. Espada been up to?  Well, for starters:

  • Joining Republicans and the now-expelled State Senator Hiram Monserrate to oust the first Democratic Senate Majority leader in, well, forever “to end the gridlock in state government”.  (A move which ultimately failed, leading to the compromise which put Espada – a freshman Senator – in the leadership role and Democrats back in charge.)
  • Hastily moving in to his otherwise empty Bronx apartment after an investigation showed he apparently lived exclusively in a $700,000 out-district mansion in Westchester County.

But wait, that’s not all…

New York Democrats have known for a long while that Espada was dirty, and they’ve been looking for the opportunity to oust him.  But perhaps they didn’t suspect he was as dirty as the picture now being painted.  Two stories out in the past few days signal the probable beginning of the end of the ride for Espada.

First, an IRS investigation asks how closely Espada is tied to an “A-1 Multi-Service LLC” – apparently a front complete with false mailing address.  A-1, says the IRS, appears to be involved with money laundering and tax fraud; Espada is believed to have used the company to avoid paying taxes.

And now State AG (and runaway Gubernatorial favorite) Andrew Cuomo has filed suit against Espada accusing him of “siphoning $14 million from his government-funded clinic in the Bronx for lavish restaurant meals, trips to Las Vegas and his own campaign.”  Yes, that’s right – $14 million in government money to “run” a community health clinic, taking more than 20% of the clinic’s total budget over a period of five years.  The suit seeks to remove Espada and the other board members and to gain restitution on the misspent government funds.  Of course, should Espada leave his post, his contract with the clinic guarantees a $9 million severance package, which the AP reports is sufficient to bankrupt the clinic entirely.

Good thing he’s got a challenger, Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, a reform activist.

At Least He’s Not Your Gubernatorial Candidate

(Interesting…to say the least. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Meet Carl Paladino, candidate for Governor of New York.

Why is he running?  Paladino says “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”  (Original, no?)

What party does he represent?  Well, with a position that health care reform will kill more people than 9/11, you might guess that he’s going for the Tea Party support base.  You’d be right; Paladino has the support of the Erie County local Tea Party and is running on the Republican ticket.  Of course, this is New York – nothing’s simple when it comes to party affiliation.  Despite some early attacks against his rivals for donating to Democratic candidates, Paladino is also a frequent contributor to Democratic office-holders; and he’s only been a Republican for five years, prior to which he was a long-time registered Democrat.  But wait – that’s not all…  He failed to get the Conservative Party line, prompting him to criticize the undemocratic nature of the party’s endorsement process.

Why does he have a chance?  Well, he’s got $150 million in his personal fortune, and he’s willing to spend $10 million of his own to win the race.  And there’s that Tea Party support (and it looks like the righty bloggers like him, too).

What’s not to like about such a fine candidate, with cross-party appeal, tie-ins to an activist network and so on?

Well, it could be the 10 year old love child he had with an office assistant – that he failed to tell his wife about but did inform his kids of…

Or it could be the white supremacist video of dancing African tribesman titled “Obama Inauguration Rehersal”.

Or maybe it’s the bestiality video of a man and a horse he sent out via e-mail…

Just possibly it could be the picture of the Obamas dresed up as a pimp and a prostitute titled “White House Ball”…

Or it might be the “keeper” video he sent titled “Miss France 2008 fucking”…

Or maybe it’s the image with the caption, “HOLY SHIT, run niggers, run.”

Paladino is unapologetic for his words and actions; he is proud of his up front and controversial nature.  About the revelations of his e-mails, he claims Democrats are just trying to turn from the issues to talking about “having sex with horses”.

No, really.

Gilpin Comm. Jeanne Nicholson Announces for SD-16

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gilpin County Commissioner Jeanne Nicholson announced last weekend (Feb. 26) that she was running for the open SD-16 seat being vacated by State Sen. Dan Gibbs.

From the press release published in the Weekly Register-Call and Gilpin County News:

Today, Senate President Brendan Shaffer endorsed Nicholson and said, “I’m very excited Jeanne has decided to run for the state Senate. Both as a nurse and a Gilpin County Commissioner she has seen first hand the difficulties working people in this state are going through. She’ll go to the statehouse to represent Colorado families, not special interests. I’m proud to support her candidacy.”

Betty Boyd, Colorado Senate President Pro-Tem said in her endorsement, “I have known Jeanne for many years having worked side-by-side in previous campaigns. She represents her constituents well and will be a wonderful addition to the Colorado Senate, particularly given her extensive experiences in health and human services.”

Commissioner Nicholson has extensive knowledge of the district, being extensively involved in Colorado County Commissioners, Inc..  Her work as a County Commissioner earned her the County Commissioner of the Year award from CCCI in 2005.

Her initial endorsement list is huge; she has gained the backing of much of the Democratic side of the Colorado State Legislature and the endorsement of Congressman Jared Polis, who helped kick off her campaign.

She’ll be touring the region in the upcoming months – she’s already been to Summit and Grand County.  In Gilpin County, she runs regular listening sessions outside of the commissioner’s meetings, and she has walked pretty much the entirety of our county – off-the-beaten-track houses included. I’m sure the district will be seeing a lot of her during the campaign season and after she’s elected.

Udall Co-sponsors DADT Repeal Bill

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Almost live from Daily Kos, where our own Sen. Mark Udall has apparently chosen to make this announcement to Democratic on-line folks…

Just minutes ago, I stood with Senators Lieberman, Levin, Gillibrand, and Burris at a press conference and announced that we would be introducing the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010 in the Senate to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

In a time of two wars, any policy that leads to the discharge of talented and capable troops threatens our national security and wastes resources. That’s exactly what “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been doing for 17 years. And that’s why, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and original cosponsor of this bill, I’m proud to be leading the charge to finally — and fully — repeal this unfair and outmoded law.

This legislation accomplishes several key goals:

  1. Full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It will allow the Department of Defense to continue its study to determine the best way to implement the repeal, but ensures that the study remains dedicated to implementing repeal, not considering whether to repeal.
  2. Ends discharges for gay and lesbian servicemembers immediately. While the study period for implementation goes forward, no members of the Armed Forces will be discharged solely for their sexual orientation.

In other words, this bill ensures that we stop harming our military’s effectiveness, but still takes a reasonable approach to ensure that the repeal is done in a responsible way. […]

I’ve been critical of Sen. Udall lately for his apparent inaction on a number of items; it’s good to see him stepping up to the plate – both on health care reform and on this important change.

At Least It’s Not Your Legislation

Be warned, terrorists!  Do not travel to South Carolina without filling out the appropriate paperwork ($5.00 fee applies).

From Fits News:

Every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means, who resides, transacts any business or attempts to influence political action in this State, shall register with the Secretary of State on the forms and at the times prescribed by him.

No, really.  Failure to register subjects you to a $25,000 fine.  The rest of the law can be read from the SC Code of Laws site.

Markey: Remove Health Insurance Anti-Trust Exemption

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Betsy Markey (CO-04) has teamed up with fellow freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (VA-05) to introduce a simple standalone bill to rescind the health insurance industry’s anti-trust exemption.

“I’ve heard from tens of thousands of Coloradans across my district, and though people’s opinions may vary, the common message is clear: the current health care system is crushing our families and businesses,” said Rep. Markey. “Support for removing this unfair exemption cuts across party lines, and is a major piece of common ground that I’ve been working toward in our country’s health care debate. This is about bringing sorely-needed competition back into an industry that has for too long wielded monopoly control over hard-working American families.”

Say what you will about the current Democratic Congressional leadership, they seem to have found their stride when it comes to picking the right potentially vulnerable Representatives and Senators to deliver messages of real reforms.  This is a simple bill that removes a special protection which the health insurance industry doesn’t deserve, and which everyday people can get behind.

Polis Pushes Public Option In Reconciliation

Rep. Polis and other House Democrats are pushing for inclusion of the Public Option in the much-discussed hypothetical Senate reconciliation bill.

House progressives organizing to rescue health care reform are pressuring their Senate counterparts to go back to the provision that has most energized the party and a majority of Americans throughout the debate: The public option.

“The public option,” said Polis, “is not dead.”

The article notes one major problem blocking passage of Health Care Reform as a factor in getting the public option put back in: the House doesn’t have enough votes right now to pass the Senate bill.  Rep. Bart Stupak, who created the (IMHO) odious anti-abortion language that passed the House, has said he won’t vote for the Senate bill; and House Progressives have voiced objection over some aspects of the excise tax and other less-than-progressive Senate provisions.

Since budget reconciliation can’t change the abortion language, it seems the only path to success is to work the progressive caucus and throw them some bones.  The public option is likely to pass under reconciliation rules in the Senate, and would be a huge win for House Progressives who’ve felt shut out.

Congratulations to Rep. Polis for taking the lead here.  If you’re inclined, call your own Rep and get them to sign Polis’s call to Sen. Reid.

Goodbye corporate finance reform

( – promoted by Middle of the Road)

POLS UPDATE: More from The Denver Post. Corporations and labor unions can now spend like Drunken Sailors on elections.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling (PDF) in Citizens United vs. FEC, and it’s a nightmare.

If the analysis I’m seeing is correct, not only did the Court overturn the Federal law restricting contributions, it also overturned State and local laws.  A corporation according to the majority is no different from a real person except that it can’t pull the lever on election day.

From Justice Stevens’ dissent:

In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters. The financial resources, legal structure,and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races.

At Least It’s Not Your State Capitol

(Maybe they can just sell sponsorships – promoted by ClubTwitty)

(And if legislators have it their way, it won’t be theirs either…)

From AZCentral:

Call it a sign of desperate times: Legislators are considering selling the House and Senate buildings where they’ve conducted state business for more than 50 years.

Apparently, the logic is…

“What are our choices?” asked McComish, a Phoenix Republican. “We could cut more, or we could raise taxes more. Borrowing over the long term, we think, is better for the people, better for the economy.”

Nevermind that by borrowing, they’ll have to raise taxes even more to cover the interest.  Why not just issue a bond?

SoapBlox sites going down?

It appears someone has hacked the SoapBlox code and is systematically going through SoapBlox sites and taking them down.

Information is over at Daily Kos, and initial reports are that Paul (pacified) is overwhelmed and possibly calling the whole thing quits on account of the lack of income associated with the whole venture.

Anyone know what this means for Colorado Pols if the hackers reach here?

There are many sites still up, but from the looks of the discussion, sites are still being taken down as this discussion is going on.

This could be a really bad day for blogging.  SoapBlox hosts much of the 50-state Progressive Blogosphere, as well as a number of non-partisan and issue-related sites.

Daschle in as HHS Secretary – And More…

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

No links yet, but CNN is reporting that Tom Daschle has accepted Obama’s offer to become the next Secretary of Health & Human Services.  

Rumor has it that Daschle has also been given the go-ahead to design and push for a universal health care solution.

[UPDATE 2] Roll Call reports that Daschle will also serve as “health care czar”, leading Obama’s transition team on health issues.  AP confirms the transition role but does not yet have the HHS post listed.

[UPDATE 1] Looks like today might be a juicy one for Cabinet appointment information. is now reporting that Peter Orszag will be tapped to head the Office of Management & Budget.  Orszag is a Clinton-era economic adviser.

GovExec is also reporting that announcements on Treasury Secretary and National Economic Council may be forthcoming soon.

[Further updates below the fold…]

[UPDATE 3]More appointments:

Greg Craig, White House Counsel: Craig served as “Assistant to the President and Special Council” under Clinton among other jobs.

David Axelrod, Senior Advisor: Axelrod was, of course, the architect of Obama’s campaign as Chief Strategist.

Lisa Brown, Staff Secretary

Chris Lu, Cabinet Secretary

This is you…

For those Republicans still hanging on to the notion that it’s not the ideas that are wrong, but only the candidates…. This is You:

That is the map of counties voting more Republican than they did in 2004.

To put it in more of a “galaxy with arrow saying ‘You are here…'” perspective:

(Big h/t to Daily Kos for doing this analysis)

Colorado Voting Problems

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Welcome to Battleground Statehood.  You are now a prime target for being misled, disenfranchised, or hacked.

I figured we should probably have a diary for various reports of election mayhem, since it’s bound to happen.


For anyone who would like to report elections problems, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota, or go over to, a service set up by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for the non-partisan Election Protection Coalition.