Election hacking? No biggie. Sen. Cory Gardner votes against funding election security

Chart: The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction

Russia’s campaign to influence U.S. elections and help Donald Trump get elected must not be any big deal to Colorado’s Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who joined Senate Republicans in blocking an attempt by Democrats to include $250 million in the appropriations bill to help states upgrade their election security. The measure would have paid for states to replace their outdated, insecure voting machines, offer security training to election workers, upgrade voter registration software and fund other election security initiatives. All of the Democrats in the Senate voted for the measure, but Senate Republicans, including Cory Gardner, voted it down.

Next time your Republican elected officials boast that they are patriotic and love their country, remember this shameful vote.

 

 

 

 

Documenting hate in Grand Junction

Here are additional recently-spotted signs that bring the hate and racism lurking in Grand Junction right out into the open:

This horrific sticker was spotted on a white Ford pickup truck in northwest Grand Junction on 8/4/18

A “Haji” is a slur for a Muslim, specifically one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. The “ZF” stands for “Zero Foxtrot,” the “U.S. Marine veteran owned and operated company” that sells these shameful stickers.

Sure enough, a wider shot of the back of this truck shows it has U.S. Marine Corps license plates, effectively linking racism and xenophobia with the U.S. Military, specifically Marine Corps veterans:

Billboard raises awareness of Republicans’ dangerous dalliance with Putin

A billboard on I-70 B takes aim at the Republican Party (also known as the  “Grand Old Party” or GOP) which is quickly becoming “the party of Trump.”

The billboard is in front of Rimrock Marketplace on I-70 B and draws attention to Republicans’ alarming acceptance of President Trump cozying up to authoritarian dictators who disregard human rights.

The billboard will soon be moving to an even higher spot where it will be displayed to passers-by 100 percent of the time, instead of in 8-second increments rotating with 5-6 other ads. Stay tuned!

Grand Valley Business Times repels Democratic business owners

Placard proposed to be displayed by businesses that advertise in the Business Times.

The Grand Valley Business Times (GVBT) has long been a source of business news in Mesa County, usually focusing on helpful items like what new businesses are moving in, the newest  soups at Zoup, and which authors will be appearing at the downtown bookstores. In his latest issue, though, the paper’s owner, Craig Hall, used his editorial column to denigrate and insult Democratic and progressive business owners in the valley, and criticize women who seek to control their own reproductive destiny.

More case for gun reform, and fast: Firearms cause massive blaze in Basalt

The Lake Christine fire in Basalt last night, with Whole Foods Market in the foreground. Photo credit: Colorado State Patrol/CBS.

As if firearm massacres occurring regularly throughout the U.S. isn’t enough of a red flag that we need enact gun reform and fast, investigators have found that the massive wildland fire currently raging in Basalt was caused by the illegal use of “tracer bullets” at a firing range.

Tracer bullets have a small pyrotechnic charge  in the base that cause the bullets to leave a bright, burning track of smoke along their trajectory so that when fired, the path of the bullet is visible to the naked eye. The pyrotechnic charge is basically a firework.

Two people shooting tracer rounds at the Basalt SWA firing range caused the Lake Christine fire that is now wreaking havoc in Basalt. It is illegal to use tracer rounds during the current fire ban. The shooters were cited, but that does little to stop the damage their irresponsible use of firearms is causing.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has closed the Basalt shooting range indefinitely.

Massive damage

As of an hour ago, the Lake Christine fire had burned over 2,000 acres, three homes have been destroyed, 500 people have had to evacuate their homes and the fire remains completely uncontained.

Tracer fire at night on Finnish-Soviet border in 1939. (Source: Book Suomi Sodassa, Valitut Palat Oy 1973)

The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun illegally shooting pyrotechnic bullets at a firing range during a fire ban is tens of millions of dollars and thousands of firefighters putting their lives on the line to fight the massive fires they cause.

No further proof is needed that gun ownership rights are misused in a multitude of irresponsible ways on a massive scale in this country. It’s long past time we  did something about it.

To fight efforts to roll back the widespread irresponsible use of firearms in this country and the horrific damage it causes is to be a fake patriot and say you don’t care about America at all.

Western Slope pastor and Mesa County “Patriots” display stunning callousness towards refugees, children

Reverend Babcox, Orchard Mesa Baptist Church

Amid the massive “Keep Families Together” protests in over 750 cities across the country including in Grand Junction last weekend against the Trump administration’s harsh “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated thousands of refugee children from their parents, some Mesa County citizens are publicly denying that any children of refugees have been taken away from their parents, while also denying there is anything wrong with doing it. Others show utter disdain towards immigrant parents for taking desperate measures to get their families out of harm’s way.

Of all people, Robert Babcox, the pastor of the Orchard Mesa Baptist Church, is one of those people.

Republicans urge people to abandon their First Amendment right to petition

Firestone, CO home explosion resulting from abandoned gas lines buried near home, April, 2017 (Photo: CBS)

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits government from “abridging the right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” but this isn’t stopping the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and area oil and gas apologist Keira Bresnahan from trying to talk Mesa County residents into voluntarily giving up their right to even sign petitions to get issues on the ballot, where everyone can have a chance to consider them.

Ray Scott relying on huge amounts of campaign financing from outside Mesa County

Ray Scott’s big smile might be because his campaign is being boosted by lots of money from big corporations based outside Mesa County.

A new campaign mailer arriving in people’s mailboxes takes digs at SD-7 candidate Dan Thurlow in an effort to boost Colorado Senator Ray Scott (R-Mesa County) in the primary election this month.

The pro-Scott mailer was funded solely by a group called “Citizens for Cost Effective Government” (CFCEG), whose address is in an unspecified suite in the 56-story Republic Plaza building on 17th Street in downtown Denver. Citizens for Cost Effective Government’s funding comes from just two sources, neither of which are in Mesa County. $25,000 of their total $45,000 in funding comes from Extraction Oil and Gas Company, which — whoops! — just happens to share the same address on 17th Street as “Citizens for Cost Effective Government.”

The other $20,000 of CFCEG’s funding comes from the Colorado Apartment Association based in Denver’s Greenwood Village, not in Mesa County.

Wondering who to vote for for Mesa County Clerk and Recorder? This one’s EASY.

Are you voting a Republican primary ballot and trying to figure out who to vote for for Mesa County Clerk and Recorder? The race is between two candidates: Tina Peters and Bobbie Gross. Here is a brief rundown on both of them, to help you make up your mind about who is most likely to do the best job. Once you know about them both, the choice is very easy.

State Senator Ray Scott of Mesa County caught double-dipping

A Daily Sentinel article from May 24 details how Republican State Senator Ray Scott double-billed his legislative expense account and his campaign account for over $1,000 in Uber rides, and didn’t correct it until the Sentinel exposed it and questioned him about it. The Sentinel obtained information on Scott’s expenditures through a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request to the state.