Senate Memorial 003…Ugh.

I felt utter disgust when I heard that this piece of tripe had reared its ugly head.”Rights of Conscience”? You’re kidding, right? The Blunt Amendment failed–and now Colorado attempts to pass its own version? What rot.

I have several objections to this nonsensical bill. The first thing that came to mind is this quote from Jamie Raskin: “Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You didn’t place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”

Exactly.

Raskin is correct, yet Colorado’s Republican Senators seem determined to ignore that. Rather than listening to their constituents, even Republicans such as myself, woe is me, they are bending to the heavy pressure from religious organizations that nag their parishioners to pester the Senators. A firm-minded Senator would inform the nag that there is separation of Church and State, and that is what our Founding Fathers intended. Instead, they apparently crumble like stale cookies.

Another strong objection that I have is that, quite simply, I don’t care what “moral conscience” an employer has. My view of “conscience” is that I live my life so that when I die, I face my Maker and He will judge whether I am worthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What I do on Earth is MY business, because God gave us free will.

An employer should not, under any circumstances, obstruct a woman’s access to health care and particularly to birth control. HER family, her finances, her choice. I have two planned and much-loved children, thanks to birth control. Not ten. And the pills were covered by my employer, first, and later, my husband’s. That is the way it should be, and always remain. Family planning should be left to women. We know what is best.

And I won’t even get into the obscene invasion of privacy that this bill would involve, other than to say it is a potential nightmare. A woman would need to EXPLAIN why she needs a prescription? To her EMPLOYER? NO. None of their business. That is between a woman and her doctor. Tough noogies about the employer’s “moral conscience.” You do NOT get to impose your conscience on someone who works for you. At the end of the day, employees go home. Basically, this is another sickening example of an attempt to control and humiliate women, and punish them for having sex that is not purely for procreation. End of story.

 

Anti-U.N. and anti-government paranoia

It was my reporting in April on a Tea Party rally where J Paul Brown spoke that led to Brian O’Donnell to ask Brown some rather pointed questions during Saturday’s debate in Durango. While today’s ColoradoPols diary scratches the surface regarding some of the far-out rhetoric Brown engaged in (as did Joe Hanel’s article on Sunday in the Herald), those diaries only scratched the surface: what I quoted brown saying back on April 15 in Pagosa Springs was too rich to ignore. For example:

Brown continued with statements that are often staples of Tea Party speeches and Internet legends. Regarding the student loan provision in the health care reform act he said, “They’re going to take over all student loans … now, I wonder why? They want to control our kids.”

What that provision did, in fact, was remove third-party lenders from the process, for an estimated $61 billion in savings over 10 years.

Brown also pointed to a provision in the act that would activate 6,000 medical workers and emergency responders in the event of a national emergency. “Section 5210 established a ready reserve corps. That’s Obama’s private army.”

Speaking to one of the Tea Party’s biggest issues – gun rights – Brown said, “Can you imagine what Barack Obama would do if we didn’t have guns? No telling what he’d do; this guy’s after power, let me tell you, and they want to take away our guns.

“Hillary Clinton is talking about a treaty with the U.N. to do exactly that,” Brown continued, referring to a United Nations small arms treaty agreed upon last fall. Setting international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons, the treaty would allow nations to remain in charge of arms export control arrangements, but would legally oblige countries to follow terms set forth in the treaty.

“I tell you what I know, that you guys will stand right with me. It’s going to be civil war when they try to do that,” Brown added, his statement met with a loud, “Amen!” and applause.

“The United Nations is not going to tell us what to do with our guns and they’re not going to with our land, and they’re trying to do that all the time, right now,” Brown said.

While the treaty would set controls for the import and export of conventional weapons between nations, the treaty would not subject citizens of one nation to the laws of another. Furthermore, in 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (in District of Columbia v. Heller) that, “(T)he enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”

This morning, O’Donnell called me to say that Brown had denied saying anything “Obama’s personal army,” asking if I had indeed recorded the rally; not only had I recorded the entire rally, I also took copious notes.

As you pointed out, Brown’s stances should make for an interesting legislative session, if he gets elected. What is more interesting is the fact that O’Donnell is holding Brown accountable for the things he said in April (which I reported) and now Brown is either walking back or flat-out denying (and thus, lying).

Ken Buck: Pro-life extremist

Note: This diary was revised after it’s initial publication. I took my opponents’ legitimate objections to heart and made some corrections.

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In a recent interview by Colorado Pols blogger David Thielen, CO Senate Republican candidate Ken Buck reiterates his statement that he does not believe in abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.

Thielen’s interview quotes Buck as saying:

Ken then talked about the effort he is involved in to provide a place for pregnant women to stay while they take the baby to term and then keep it or put it up for adoption.

Mr. Buck is running for a seat in the United States Senate, not for president of his church. The interview with Thielen discusses his plans if elected Legislator at the highest level in our nation’s capitol. Building a home for unwed mothers (if that is what he is referring to here) is a noble endeavor as a pastime or hobby for the average person, but does mentioning it in this interview constitute a policy proposal — one that addresses taking away the right to medical self-determination for just over half of the US population?

Buck says he is not running on the issue of abortion. Can voters trust someone who praises tea-partiers for their support, and is not afraid to say such misogynistic things as people should vote for him because he is “not wearing high heels”? What Buck’s supporters are not admitting is that a US Senate seat is for six years, and a great deal can happen in even a year. Remember a few years ago when people said, “Health care reform will never pass. America is not ready for it”? Here we are, less than six months after the largest health care reform legislation ever.  

Imagine for a moment, if you will, what could happen if Ken Buck went back on his word to blogger  David Thielen, and chose to vote his conscience and the teachings of his faith. Imagine other anti-choice candidates like Buck being elected in 2010, as well. In fact, that is precisely what the right-wing extremists are trying to do. What would Buck and the tea-partiers offer in place of legal pregnancy terminations to women and young girls who have been raped?  

Would Buck suggest these women hide away to have their babies in shame the way they did in earlier generations in our nation’s history? Should they go away from their homes to “care for a sick Aunt in another city” the way many women did three-quarters of a century ago?

Would the pregnancy facilities he says he supports be like homeless shelters, only for pregnant women thrown out of their homes with no income and no one to help them? If that is the case, would they need to become pregnant first to qualify?

Would these pregnancy centers (camps? dormitories? homes? institutions? villages? projects?) house women against their will to make sure they did not terminate their pregnancies?

What about divorced or abandoned mothers who have other children? Who would pay their mortgages, feed their children, send them to school, clothe them, help them with their homework, and raise them, while their mothers would be away at “pregnancy camp,” especially if Dad is already a dead-beat?  

What about children who are raped or molested by an uncle or cousin or neighbor or stepfather? Would they be forced to leave school, their families, and all they knew to go to these “pregnancy centers?

Who would pay for these pregnancy facilities — the medical bills, the counseling bills, the guardians, the overhead? Would there be tutors available for the underage women who are missing school?

Would Ken Buck support increasing taxes to finance these facilities?

Who would raise all of the babies of twelve and thirteen year old girls who are raped or molested, if their options were taken away? Would Mr. Buck find homes for all of their infants?

Would all of the pregnant females who have their babies in pregnancy centers go home immediately after giving birth? What if there was no home to go back to when they were no longer pregnant?

Anti-abortion candidates like Buck must answer tough questions like these if they are to quell our fears, or publicly denounce the desire to challenge Roe vs. Wade. I invite Mr. Buck to tell us more about these “places for pregnant women” he supports, or to come up with a realistic plan to address the consequences of such radical legislative policies. Colorado voters need to listen carefully to his response, and think about what could potentially happen to their wives and daughters and sisters and nieces and mothers, if Mr. Buck and people like him got their way. Real lives of real women, and other family members are at stake here.

Incidentally, I have not historically been an outspoken champion for abortion. As a mother of three children, I have felt genuinely conflicted on this issue. There was a time in my life I may have even agreed with Mr. Buck. After many years of observing people, however, I’ve discovered that loving babies sometimes means preventing their birth to people who do not have the resources to care for them adequately.

I look forward to someday becoming a grandmother, but not anytime soon. I’ve raised my children to be responsible and conscientious. I hope and pray my family will never be faced with such a decision, but as an educated woman and as a voter, I must stay informed, and always be on guard against those who wish to pry into other families’ private decisions.

I applaud Mr. Buck for his interest in community service, if the “effort”he mentions is to offer another alternative to safe and legal abortion in his hometown. If Mr. Buck thinks building homes for pregnant women would justify taking away a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, and is suggesting it as a model for public policy, I have grave concerns about his candidacy. Without good alternatives for radical changes, voting for any pro-life candidate for the US Senate is simply too risky, even if he is successful in leading us to believe he would never vote his conscience.

High Heels, Manhood & Bulls**t

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Gender politics are a kissing cousin to racial politics. Just scratch the surface on this topic and emotions and anger burst forth. U.S. Senate candidates Ken Buck and Jane Norton are engaged in a battle of the sexes that has not exactly focused on intellectual issues.

Norton fired the opening salvo in this battle when she ran an ad accusing Buck of not being “man enough” to criticize her directly, because an independent political group was running ads doubting her conservative fiscal credentials.  Sensitive to his manhood being questioned, Buck’s now infamous response was: Vote for me “because I don’t wear high heels.”  Buck went on to point out that his footwear of choice was cowboy boots with bulls**t on them. You get the idea, not exactly the stuff upon which to base your Ph.D. thesis – or your vote.  

Buck was speaking to an ultra-conservative crowd and made the remark in that “it’s just between us folks” manner that people have when they are telling an insensitive joke. I have to admit, I laughed. Political gender correctness aside, I laughed out loud because it is amazing to watch a candidate for the U.S. Senate – a body known for its deliberative nature – utter something so outrageously lame on the campaign trail.

It is just not smart to mess with Colorado women and politics. In 1893, Colorado was the first state in the nation to give women the right to vote at the ballot box. We elected the first female state senator in the country. As recently as two years ago, Colorado had the highest percentage of female state legislators in the nation.

Historically, more women than men vote in Colorado. It is no secret that women often hold the key to statewide races. And I suspect that a bunch of those women have a pair of high heels in the closet. For that matter, a chunk of them probably own a pair of cowboy boots too.  

It’s doubtful that many Colorado women will base their vote in Tuesday’s primary election solely on shoe choices.  The more substantial issues that influence women’s votes are typically the economy and jobs, schools and health care.  

Jane Norton wants to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education; Ken Buck wants to gut it. Both Norton and Buck favor the so-called “personhood” amendment that gives constitutional rights to fertilized eggs, a misconceived amendment backed by an extremist group, rejected in a 3-to-1 margin by Colorado voters in 2008. Both candidates support corporate interests that plunged our country into this recession. Those are the issues that should be the deciding factors for Colorado women.  

That’s the real bulls**t on Jane Norton’s high heels and Ken Buck’s boots.  

Email from Josh Penry answers Denver Post poll

In his best Insert politically correct impression, Josh Penry addresses the GOP masses via email:

In our own internal polling, for example, Jane Norton claims a lead when a broader sample of voters is polled. More precisely, when asking a wider sample of primary voters (those who voted in a primary in 2006 OR 2008), Jane is winning.

Penry goes on to play the role of pot calling the kettle charlie Black:

Buck’s supporters have been playing hardball on good days and downright dirty on others. Most recently a Ken Buck supporter filed a frivolous lawsuit to keep Jane off the ballot altogether. The lawsuit has no merit and no chance in keeping Jane off the ballot, but it’s emblematic of the brass-tack tactics the Buck campaign has employed.

Norton’s campaign seem to assume that the only information being consumed by Republicans is propaganda disguised as emails. Or perhaps Jane Norton, who is known to become forgetful (Cinamon, Josh, anything else?) forgot about her camp firing the first shot in the use of lawyers.

This week she (Norton) has embraced a complaint filed with the Federal Elections Commission by a former Owens administration official that alleges Buck colluded with former employer Jerry Morgensen, CEO of Hensel Phelps, to skirt campaign finance rules.

The campaign finance complaint detailing the theory was filed by Charles Grice, like Norton, a former official in the Owens administration. Owens and Grice asupport Norton in her race against Buck.

http://coloradoindependent.com…

I certainly understand the necessity of a campaign to administer immediate life saving techniques. It is expected. What I do find odd is my receiving Norton’s propaganda.

I have been a very vocal supporter of Ken Buck and have never hid my identity. You would think Penry who has boasted, Norton will not unilaterally disarm, would remove me from his BFF email list. He boldly challenged Buck’s campaign via email and proudly sent a copy of the challenge to the Denver Post. Since that boast Norton’s numbers have tanked. Not only was she overtaken by Buck but her numbers continue to shrink against Bennet and Romanoff.  

Needless to say I will be anxiously awaiting the next email from Baghdad Bob.

Bad News for Ellen Roberts

As reported in today’s Cortez Journal, Montezuma County voted against an increase in the property tax rate for the county hospital.  More disturbing, the voters rejected de-Brucing the hospital district as well.

The vote had a decent majority against even the de-Brucing.  From the Journal:

Voters on Tuesday shot down the Montezuma County Hospital District’s question to raise its mill levy from 0.761 mills to 3.5. Referendum 5A asked electors to allow the district to “deBruce,” which would have waived limits on property-tax collection. Referendum 5B dealt with approving or disapproving the mill-levy request.

Question 5A failed 53.2 percent to 46.7 percent. The final tally came in at 2,681 to 2,354. Referendum 5B was denied with further opposition, 57.3 percent to 42.6 percent. It’s vote total was 2,904 to 2,161.

The reason this should be disturbing for Roberts is this rejection of even de-brucing.  Montezuma, always a conservative county, seems to be going along with the tea partier line, voting down allowing the hospital district to even keep taxes at a rate already approved.  Since there will be a Republican primary for the State Senate nomination, she has no room to move to more progressive positions.  It will be interesting to follow the primary campaign this summer.  One good hope for her is, like most voters, the local newspapers will largely ignore the primary and not carry information for positions she may well take in order to compete.

Sadly for our representation, Roberts is between a rock and a hard place.  I will be interested in how the campaign develops.

Colorado Tea Parties Make National News: Dislike McInnis.

(This is a fascinating post – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month or so, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the “Platform for Prosperity” and understand the dynamics that led to its construction. Conservatives were weary of Scott McInnis and the notion that he’s a squish bag moderate parading as a true conservative long enough to fool the activists until he is elected. Let’s be honest for those that supported Josh Penry’s bid for governor, this platform as well as the reality of the Republican nominee for Governor in 2010, is a little hard to swallow. No wonder the 9/12 groups and Tea Parties are up in arms about this recent development. But just how mad are they? The Wall Street Journal Reports,

“To the consternation of Republican leaders, tea-party activists are jumping into primaries for U.S. Senate and other races, promoting their own candidates to challenge Republican front-runners in Kentucky, Florida, Illinois, California and elsewhere.”

What I don’t understand is all the flack that Jane Norton is getting due to Scott Mcinnis’ strong-arm move. Norton and McInnis should not be viewed as the same. Jane is a true conservative and is BY FAR the better choice for the 9/12 groups and Tea Parties than Tom “I have a bankruptcy and steal from charities http://coloradopols.com/showDi… Wiens or Ken “I’m quitting the race, wait I’m still in the race” Buck. Norton is the favorite to win this seat; and if the Tea Parties and 9/12 groups truly want their values represented in the Senate, they should support Norton.

Ok! 9/12 groups and Tea Parties, we hear you! You don’t want another John McCain RINO that’s not going to embody any of your values, but it seems YOU WANT TO LOSE ANOTHER ELECTION! Yes I said it; your actions are a recipe for disaster. If you want to win back the Senate seat and have someone who embodies what it means to be a Conservative, you’re going to have to stop acting like children.

Even a Broken Watch is Right Twice a Day

(Some Republicans in the state legislature apparently more on board than some Democrats in DC… – promoted by ThillyWabbit)

Schultheis Endorses Obama Plan

That’s a tweet by Republican Senator Dave Schultheis, whose previous comments on healthcare reform included a suggestion that babies should be allowed to get HIV/AIDS in order to teach their promiscuous mothers a lesson.

Apparently he’s had a change of heart and now endorses President Obama’s health insurance reform plan. Which is odd, because just two days before he tweeted that “AARP is betraying Seniors by supporting Obama’s sick healthcare plan,” asking ” Who says AARP is concerned for SRs?”

And just before that, referring to Members of Congress who support reform, he tweeted that “many congressmen probably went to public schools…thus…they can’t read.”

Well, Senator Schultheis has never been known for his even keel, but it is nice to see him come on board the Obama plan, even if for a moment.

Perhaps if the good Senator had gone to public school, he would have better comprehended the “Bible-believing Christian who loves Jesus” whose tweet he immediately parroted after endorsing the Obama plan: “RT @Mom4Freedom: Goto Obama Tweet Ur Senator site, tweet NO HC. B Sure 2 change form tweet 1st! Go get ’em. h ttp://bit.ly/37KBG #tcot #redco” (emphasis added).

What’s clear when you follow the conversations that Senator Schultheis has on Twitter with fellow right-wing activists is that they don’t want reform. Period. “NO HC” is the clarion call. Re-tweeting the Douglas County GOP, Schultheis says, “if thr rlly is a Fedral law which says hospitals cnt turn ppl away, let’s get a legislator 2 change that ridiculous law …”

The fact is that we need reform, and we need it now. Colorado, like the rest of the country, can not afford to wait. No matter what the health insurance lobby and Senator Schultheis (until recently) and the rest of the dwindling right-wing minority say.

Cross-posted from ProgressNow Colorado.

Penry’s Shame

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

If there were ever a time in the Republican Party for a Sister Souljah moment, this is it.

With Schultheis and Renfroe serving as the local public face of the party and Rush Limbaugh as the national head of the Republican state, the party has gone completely off the rails. Once known for his death grip on the message, Dick Wadhams seems to have been forcibly retired in all but title as the puppets of industry and the religious right have moved front-and-center.

There’s not much Penry can do about Limbaugh, but he is the guy who theoretically controls the message of his party within the State Senate. But instead of showing leadership, he put out a milquetoast response about disagreeing with Schultheis on HIV testing but defending Schultheis’s self-annointed position as the spokesperson for Senate Republicans.

Penry is no leader. He should go back to Grand Junction in shame. Saner voices within the Republican Party (they actually do exist) need to stage a coup. Extremists are going to get elected and re-elected. That is just a fact. But they should never be allowed to control the message, because extremism really displeases the 1/3 of Coloradans who are independent, not to mention moderate Republicans and Democrats. Even the extremists know that.

Penry should resign. And if he doesn’t, his caucus should make that happen for him before it’s too late.