Category: Corporations

Beware local sales pitch for a free filet mignon dinner

Postcard mailed out locally that promotes a free meal in exchange for sitting through a financial services seminar.

Have you received a post card in the mail recently promising a free gourmet dinner, with your choice of filet mignon, poached salmon or grilled Portobello steak, at the Ocotillo Restaurant in exchange for sitting through an “informational seminar and insurance sales presentation”?

My first thought upon reading this post card was that given the high cost of the promotion — a sit-down filet mignon dinner at a really nice restaurant — that the company sponsoring this free dinner must be having a VERY hard time attracting customers on the merits of the company alone. I read the postcard thoroughly and squinted to read the mice type, which said “Securities and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services.”

Then I looked into Woodbury Financial Services, and it was no wonder the person putting on this promo buried the company’s name in the mice type.

Grand Junction may soon lose its only secular hospital

A previous blog discussed why Mesa County residents should be glad to have an alternative to a Catholic hospital in the valley and why it is so important to people’s health to have a secular hospital option available for medical care. But our valley’s one non-religious hospital option may disappear, and soon.

In October 2018, Community Hospital and Centura Health Network signed a letter of intent to merge. It provided each party with a 120 day-long window to evaluate the deal and decide whether or not to go ahead and finalize it.

Those 120 days are almost up, and a final decision on the merger must be made by February 10th.

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.

Sen. Ray Scott defends taking corporate PAC money

 

Colorado state Senator Ray Scott came out swinging in a blog posted four days ago defending himself against the hard-hitting new “Pay Scott” video posted online by his challenger, Chris Kennedy, that lists all the Corporate PAC money Scott takes.

Kennedy says he will not take any corporate PAC funds, “period.”

Scott justified his taking corporate PAC money by claiming that the PACs that fund him represent the “hard-working families of Mesa County.”

Ha!

New video highlights SD-7 candidate Chris Kennedy’s promise never to take corporate PAC money

A new video titled “Pay Scott” posted on social media highlights Senate District 7 candidate Chris Kennedy’s promise never to accept corporate PAC money and shows the extent to which incumbent District 7 State Senator Ray Scott is currently relying on corporate donors based outside his district, including big insurance and telecommunications companies, real estate companies and XCel Energy.

 

Oil and gas front group “Protect Colorado” pumps out frightening hype about Proposition 112

Firestone, CO home explosion from oil and gas lines, April, 2017, which killed two people who were in the house. Proposition 112 seeks to prevent against hazards like this posed by oil and gas operations being too close to homes, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, etc.. (Photo: CBS)

At election time we’re always told the same old thing from wealthy business interests: “Ballot measure X is going to wreck our state! Ballot measure X will crush our businesses and cost hard working Coloradans thousands of jobs! Vote NO on Ballot Measure X!”

Now they’re doing the same thing with Proposition 112.

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.

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.

Don’t be fooled. Gun massacres are about GUNS, not mental illness.

Yes, President Trump, it IS a ‘guns situation.’

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, Republicans are claiming that the easy availability of guns in the U.S. isn’t even a factor in our national epidemic of mass shootings. Instead they point to mental illness as the only factor that should be considered.

Hogwash.

Rep. Scott Tipton just voted to end many of your tax deductions

Colorado House Rep. Scott Tipton

Republican western slope House Representative Scott Tipton just voted to increase the national debt by more than a trillion dollars and alter the federal tax code in ways that will likely create hardship for many of his constituents. Every Democrat and thirteen Republican House members voted against the bill, but Tipton wasn’t one of them. The vote was a relatively close 226 in favor to 205 against.

Tipton voted to pass HR-1, the Republican “tax reform” bill which ends many of the deductions people have long used to help reduce their taxable income. Here are some of the things the bill will do:

XCel will raise your gas rates every year for the next three years unless you say something NOW!

This is really short notice, but if money is tight in your household you need to know that the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is holding a meeting tonight at the Mesa County Public Library to solicit public comments on a proposal by Xcel Energy (pdf) to raise natural gas rates by $139 million over the next three years.

The public comment hearing is today, November 2, at the Mesa County Central Library, 443 N. 6th St., in Grand Junction starting at 4 p.m. and continuing until 7 p.m. You can drop in any time during those hours, or submit comments by snailmail or email. 

The dark money groups, shady astroturfers and wealthy locals backing Measure 1A, the public safety sales tax

Tim Pollard of “Back the Badge’s” board is the brother-in-law of Josh Penry, who, with Penry operates the astroturfing group EIS Solutions, which is pocketing much of the money raised to promote 1A

Ballot Measure 1A will increase the sales tax in Mesa County by 0.37% to fund the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office.

It sounds like a good idea, but much of the money behind 1A is coming from unaccountable sources, and the astroturfing groups promoting it may give some people pause. In particular, one big-money donor backing 1A is an aggressively pro-gun group that refuses to reveal its funders and works to push lawmakers out of office who support policies to reduce gun massacres in the U.S., like the one that occurred in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017.

A Solution to the Palisade Gas Station Sign Dilemma

You’ve seen these signs. They’re big and bright and everyone looks for them on I-70 when they need gas, food or a rest stop.

Palisade residents are gearing up to oppose a 60-foot tall, lit gas station sign that Golden Gate Petroleum, the owners of a proposed 11-pump gas station and convenience store to be built at the Exit 42 offramp in Palisade.

Current town code limits signs to 20 feet in height.  Golden Gate says people on I-70 won’t be able to see a 20 foot sign. The Palisade Town Council has already bent the rules and handed the company a variance to build a 60-foot sign, but they shouldn’t have caved so easily. Their town is really worth the fight.

Tipton Votes to Block Consumers’ Right to Sue Big Banks

House Rep. Scott Tipton (R) sided with big banks in a vote that ends Americans’ right to sue big banks that defraud or abuse them.

Pay attention! One of your elected officials voted to take away your  right to access the court system.

Your House Representative, Scott Tipton (R-CO), voted today to block Americans from suing big banks that defraud or abuse them. Tipton voted to  repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule that keeps banks from forcing customers to give up their right to access the courts whenever they sign a contract to open a bank account. The banks seek to force customers into arbitration as the only way to deal with disputes. Arbitration typically results in fewer decisions in customers’ favor and in lower payouts. Rep. Tipton’s vote sided with the big banks.

Cell Tower to be Built in North Grand Junction Neighborhood Without Public Hearings

 

The spot where the proposed cell phone tower is to be located, in the field at 26 1/2 and G Roads, across the street from Holy Family School

If you live in the area of 26 1/2 and H Roads, a big change is coming to your neighborhood, and it may not be a change you’re going to like.

Verizon Wireless has submitted plans to the Grand Junction Planning Department to build a cell phone tower in a field right near the corner of 26 1/2 and H Roads, in the city-owned cornfield known as “Saccomano Park.”

State Senator Ray Scott’s Flawed, Nasty Source of Info on Climate Change

CO State Senator Rep Ray Scott (R), climate change denier and citer of foul-mouthed climate change denial author

Three days ago, Colorado State Senator Ray Scott (R-Dist. 7) posted a link on his blog to a Forbes article titled “’97% of Climate Scientists Agree’ is 100% Wrong.”

Scott posted the article as a way to tell his constituents who value the environment, “Ha! I told you so! Global warming is fake!”

The author of the article is Alex Epstein, who has a BA in philosophy from Duke University, but no scientific background. Epstein is a staunch, paid philosophical defender of the fossil fuel industry. His biggest claim to fame is a book he authored in 2014 called “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” which seeks to make a philosophical case for fossil fuel use, evidently because a valid scientific case for continued fossil fuel use can’t be made.

Rep. Scott Tipton Faces Upset Liberal Crowd at Montrose Town Hall


The western slope’s U.S. Congressional Representative Scott Tipton (R) faced a packed and overwhelmingly liberal/progressive crowd in the gymnasium at Montrose High School Friday evening, April 7, 2017, at his town hall meeting. Citizens came from Montrose, Crawford, Paonia, Ouray, Grand Junction and other locations. They asked Rep. Tipton about topics including where he stands on health care, why Congress is failing to recognize that the existing for-profit health care system isn’t working, why he hasn’t introduced any legislation to deal with climate change, where he stands on plans to de-fund the EPA, U.S. involvement in foreign wars without Congressional approval, the threatened end to student loan forgiveness promised to people who went to work in the public sector after graduation, the $3 million per weekend it costs taxpayers to protect President Trump on his golf trips to Mar-A-Lago, and more.

Overall, it appeared the audience was decidedly unhappy with Rep. Tipton’s responses, in which he stated that health care in the U.S. was a privilege, not a right, that he sided with big corporations and businesses and the oil and gas industry when it comes to climate change. When asked about the tremendous expense to taxpayers of President Trump’s many weekend golf trips to Mar-A-Lago, Rep. Tipton won howls of anger from the crowd when he said merely that the same protection was afforded to President Obama.  There was plenty of booing and foot stomping in response to Rep. Tipton’s answers throughout the town hall. A lot of people came equipped with (and used) signs that said “Disagree” and “Answer the Question!”