Rep. Scott Tipton votes to continue government shutdown, keep federal workers unpaid

House Rep. Scott Tipton voted to keep inflicting financial pain on government employees to help President Trump extort American taxpayers for $5.6 billion to pay for a 2,000 mile wall between the U.S. and Mexico. (Chart courtesy of the Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction.)

The western slope’s House representative in Washington, D.C., Scott Tipton, voted AGAINST a bill on Jan. 6 to end President Trump’s shutdown for most federal agencies.

The bill, HR 265, passed the House by a wide margin — 243 to 183 — and would have funded most of the parts of government that are shut down, including food safety inspections, child nutrition programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program), rural utilities programs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Farm Credit programs and other crucial agencies and functions on which Americans depend.

Currently over 800,000 federal employees are furloughed or working without pay due to the shutdown, negatively impacting commerce across the country.

Trump tells Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on December 11 that he is “proud to shut down the government” for a border wall. (Screencap from YouTube.)

President Trump said he would accept personal responsibility for the government shutdown in order to force American taxpayers to pay $5.6 billion to construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump called Mexicans “rapists,” “drug dealers” and “criminals” and repeatedly promised his supporters (video) that he would build a “great, great wall,” and “make Mexico pay for the wall.” Trump has been unable to get Mexico to pay for his wall, is now demanding American taxpayers pay for it and is holding the country hostage as a way to get the funding.

Recent polling, however, shows that about 69% of Americans (pdf) say a border wall should not be a priority for the federal government.

 

 

Ridgway passes single-use plastic bag ban

Autumn Sagal, Indigo Krois, Elani Wallin and Maizy Gordon (Photo: Telluride Daily Planet)

On December 12 the Ridgway Town Council passed an ordinance (pdf) banning single-use plastic bags and urging residents to curtail their use of other single-use plastics like straws, single-use food take-out containers, coffee stirrers, soda bottles, disposable water bottles, eating utensils and food packaging.

The ordinance states single-use plastics have “severe negative impacts on the environment” on both a local and global scale, that they “contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, litter, atmospheric acidification,” and cause problems with water sources and harm wildlife. Ridgway’s Town Council also passed the ordinance to help reduce the amount of waste going into the town’s landfill.

New form of harassment: weaponization of classified ads

Online version of the malicious Nickel ad

Utilizing a novel form of harassment, someone put a malicious classified ad in the January 3 edition of The Nickel Classified Ads saying our house was for sale “by owner” at a lowball price, and that there will be an open house Jan 11-13. Whoever placed the ad used our numeric street address and included a verbal description of our home. They did not include a phone number in the ad.

We found out about it after a realtor came to our house with the hard copy of the ad in The Nickel in hand and showed it to us.

Ray Scott deceives constituents by strategically omitting key info from social media post

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott tried to deceive his constituents in a recent Facebook post.

In the post, Scott pointed to a recent Denver Post article about how Colorado’s marijuana tax revenues are being used, and used the benefit of a sharply truncated headline and added an ominously intro to create the perception that the legislature is misusing marijuana funds. About marijuana tax money, Scott wrote, “If you thought it went to schools this will enlighten you”.

Below is Scott’s actual post (forwarded to me by a friend, because Ray Scott blocks me from his Facebook page):

Atheist billboard graces entrance to Grand Junction for Christmas

WCAF’s 2018 winter billboard in Grand Junction, up now in front of Hobby Lobby on I-70 business loop (on the board facing west).

The non-profit group Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) has a digital billboard up on I-70 Business Loop in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A for Christmas that says “Make Christmas great again. Skip church!”

The sign is a reminder that the holiday focus should be more on kindness, humanity and ethical treatment of others than on organized religion, which has been proving problematic lately, and to a horrific degree.

Leon’s Mexican restaurant robbed

Leon’s Mexican Restaurant at 507 30 Rd. at I-70 Business Loop was robbed and vandalized sometime between closing last Wednesday night, 12/19, and Thursday morning, 12/20. The criminals broke into the restaurant, took money from the cash register, drank some of the restaurant’s vodka and other hard liquor, stole beer and vandalized the restaurant by cutting hoses on their soft drink machine and cutting the wires to the video surveillance cameras and stealing the cameras. Leon’s employees discovered the damage and theft when they arrived at work Thursday morning.

Leon’s is an unpretentious, single-location Mexican restaurant owned and operated by a hard-working local family that has been serving the community consistently great food for years. They have been at their location for many years and are known for their signature dish, their famous Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. Leon’s started as a little seven-table restaurant almost eighteen years ago. Most of their staff has been with the restaurant for many years and the family considers many of their customers friends.

If you know anything about the vandalism and theft from Leon’s, please call the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department right away at 970-244-3500.

 

How Matt Soper can solve his problem (Hint: It’s not by staying silent.)

Matt Soper (right) and Yeulin Willett (left), who endorsed Soper to run for his seat in the Colorado House of Representatives

Republican Matt Soper has been oddly silent about the legal challenge to his residency requirement to serve as District 54’s House Representative in the state legislature.

Soper hasn’t responded to journalists’ questions about his residency, nor has he challenged the conclusion that he didn’t actually reside in District 54 for the required 12 months prior to the election. Reporters noted that Soper didn’t show up for freshman orientation at the Capitol last week, and a Colorado Public Radio reporter was unable to find him at freshman orientation this week. He isn’t answering phone calls or emails, and there’s no evidence he’s moved into the 10 Hartig Drive house that he claimed was his legal residence, even after he had the occupants of the house evicted as retribution for telling the Daily Sentinel Soper didn’t live there with them.

No one seems to be able to find Matt Soper, much less get a comment out of him about his predicament.

So does his radio silence indicate guilt?

Probably.

Edwards formally challenges Soper’s residency and legality of his election to HD-54 seat

Republican Matt Soper had the Carreon family evicted from the 10 Hartig Drive house where he claimed he had lived for 12 months prior to the election, after the actual residents of the house told the Daily Sentinel that Soper never live in the house with them.

Former Palisade Town Trustee Dave Edwards filed a formal petition (pdf) yesterday with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and the state legislature officially disputing the legality of Matt Soper holding the Colorado House District 54 seat.

District 54 comprises the western portion of  Delta County and much of Mesa County outside the boundaries of the City of Grand Junction. 

Edward raised enough money to formally serve the petition directly to Soper and fund the bond that the Colorado Revised Statutes require be posted in such disputes.  The bond money is apparently to help prevent frivolous challenges to election results.

In this case, the challenge is far from frivolous and could end Soper’s political career.

Matt Soper’s legitimacy as Colorado House District 54 Representative is challenged

Dave Edwards

Former Palisade town trustee Dave Edwards is seeking to formally challenge the legitimacy of Matt Soper being seated as a Representative for Colorado House District 54.

Palisade is in House District 54.

Soper, a Republican, was elected to the HD-54 seat in November, but the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel ran a series of articles before the election that charged that the residence Soper had listed on his official Candidate Affidavit was not his true residence. If it wasn’t, Soper may not have met the legal residency requirements to run in District 54. 

To qualify for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives, a candidate must have lived in the district for 12 months prior to the date of the election.

What’s Up With That Pervasive, “Too Much Big Government” Theme?

An example of pictorial anti-government propaganda. Corporations have applied the anti-big-government theme for decades to avoid government regulation.

This column was originally published August 26, 2012. It was revised on 12-30-2016 and again on 11-26-2018 to include some new graphics. It’s explains how Americans came to hate our own government, and is still as true as ever.

We hear it everywhere, all the time, like a mantra.

Candidates, TV pundits and political ads tell us we have “too much big government!” Candidates portray virtually any attempt to regulate or tax any industry as a government intrusion into our lives. Candidates are always for “less government.”

What’s up with this pervasive, anti-government theme? How and why did so many self-professed “patriotic,” flag-waving, red-blooded Americans start hating their own government?

“Government intrusion” is a powerful propaganda theme that has been around for a long time, and it’s an argument big businesses often use to subtly manipulate public opinion. As with so many other corporate-derived propaganda tools, the anti-government theme originated largely with the tobacco industry, which has relied on it for decades to get its way in public policy.