Category: Crazy Republicans

Republicans have one last-ditch chance to save themselves, and the country

The President’s defenders deny any reason exists to remove Donald Trump from office. There’s nothing to see here. Everything is fine and normal, the President’s call with Ukraine President Zelinsky was “perfect” and he did absolutely nothing wrong. The impeachment is all a big hoax.

Meanwhile, House Impeachment Managers have presented days worth of detailed evidence, including the President’s own damning words, testimony from alarmed government employees, timelines and tweets detailing the totality of the President’s corrupt behavior, how he put his own interests above those of the country, intimidated witnesses, hid evidence of his wrongdoing, invited foreign governments to influence our elections, violated the Constitution and his oath to protect national security.

The difference is stark.

In the words former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele:

“When national polling shows that these folks think that Donald Trump was a better president than Abraham Lincoln, you know this is fucked up.”

State Senator Ray Scott (R) attends Denver rally opposing childhood immunizations

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

You can judge legislators by the company they keep.

The Colorado Times Recorder reported that Mesa County’s State Senator Ray Scott attended a rally on the state Capitol steps January 8 in which two thirds of attendees displayed signs opposing immunizing children against disease. Yes, you read that correctly: this was a crowd of people who oppose immunizing children against disease. Other points of view represented included opponents of public health, opponents of equal rights for LGBTQ persons, gun rights and anti-tax activists.

Also attending the rally were members of the white nationalist group the Proud Boys, designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Ray Scott is planning on abdicating his seat in the legislature to run for Mesa County Commissioner this year, a position that pays three times what he currently makes as a state senator.

Citizens protest Pendley at new BLM office in G.J.

Protest Jan. 2 at BLM’s new offices on Horizon Drive.

About 35 people turned out in 27 degree weather to protest a visit from Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) William Perry Pendley, a right wing anti-government zealot who was appointed to head the BLM without Senate approval.

Pendley was scheduled to visit the new Grand Junction BLM office on the morning of its first opening day.

The protest was at the BLM’s new offices at 760 Horizon Drive, which is also the same building that houses the corporate offices of oil and gas purveyor Chevron.

Pro-impeachment rally most raucous in G.J. history

A rally at 5:30 p.m. yesterday (12/16) in front of the federal building at 4th and Rood Ave. to support the impeachment of President Trump turned out to be the loudest, most energetic rally in the city’s history as some raucous Trump supporters turned out to counter the demonstration.

About 200 sign-and placard-holding impeachment supporters were met by about 40-50 raucous “Bikers for Trump,” State Representative Janice Rich and other assorted self-styled “Deplorables for Trump” on the steps of the federal building at Rood and 4th Street. Trumpers amplified the volume of their comparatively small crowd by using bullhorns to try to overpower the pro-impeachment chanting, to no avail. Their actions just energized the impeachment crowd even more, who yelled ever more loudly and in unison chants like “Impeach Trump!,” “Lock him up!” and “Flush the turd!” At one point, the entire crowd started chanting “USA! USA!”

Why Trump is being impeached: a helpful explanation for western slope Republicans

President Donald J. Trump

The large number of Trump supporters living on Colorado’s western slope no doubt vehemently oppose his impeachment. This blog is to help them understand why impeaching the President is imperative to protect our country, our democracy and our national sovereignty.

Trump has broken important U.S. laws, multiple times. In so doing, he has demonstrated that he poses a profound threat to our country. One of the laws he violated protects our country from foreign interference at very high levels of government:

Soliciting foreign interference in our elections

Trump has repeatedly invited foreign interference in our elections to benefit himself, an act that violates 52 U.S. Code § 30121, titled “Contributions and donations by foreign nationals.” This law states it is illegal for a person to solicit or accept “a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value” from a foreign national, “or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election” with a foreign national.

Proposition CC on the state-wide ballot aims to end the failed TABOR experiment

Gold colored counties are all the counties in Colorado that have de-Bruced.

Proposition CC on the November 5 ballot, if enacted, will let state and local governments keep all the revenue they generate through taxes and invest it to improve communities. It would effectively “de-Bruce” the whole state and end what amounts to a failed conservative social experiment.

What is “de-Brucing?”

De-Brucing means ending the effects of the TABOR Amendment, a 1992 amendment to the state constitution that effectively created a permanent revenue shortage for the state. TABOR was essentially an experiment in tax limitation that took taxing power away from the legislature and put it exclusively in the hands of voters. Over the decades, it has damaged the state in many ways.

State Senator Ray Scott cites full-on wacko nutbag source in tweet on climate change

Ray Scott’s September 17, 2019 tweet citing NaturalNews.com, a conspiracy-theorist website that rivals InfoWars

One of the most dangerous things about Colorado State Senator Ray Scott is that he can’t tell the difference between credible sources, authoritative sources of information and paid promotional research or websites known for trading in wacky conspiracy-theories.

Case in point: On September 17, 2019 Senator Scott posted a tweet saying “NASA admits that climate change occurs because of changes in Earth’s solar orbit, and NOT because of SUVs and fossil fuels.” To support this claim, Scott cites an article published by a website called “NaturalNews.com.”

So… what’s the problem?

NaturalNews.com is not anywhere close to being legitimate scientific website. In fact, it’s the polar opposite. It is described as “a conspiracy theory and fake news website” that hawks dietary supplements, promotes alternative medicine,” makes “tendentious nutrition and health claims,” promotes “fake news, and espouses various conspiracy theories.” NaturalNews.com is as far from an authoritative, legitimate science-based website as you can get.

One more thing about commissioner candidate Janet Rowland…

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) advocated a program that paid women with drug addictions $300 to get sterilized

Former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who has already had two terms in the recent past and is now running for a third term, has given Mesa County voters plenty of reasons not to elect her again, but here’s another one, and get ready. This one is kind of creepy.

In 2008, Rowland promoted a program that paid drug-addicted women $300 to get sterilized so they couldn’t reproduce. The program, called Project Prevention, targeted its advertising mainly at women, and 37% of the women who had been sterilized under the program were African-American. In 2009, African-Americans made up just 12.4% of the U.S. population.

BLM to G.J.? Moving federal offices out of D.C. is a way to dismantle them, Mulvaney tells Republicans

 

Don’t cheer the relocation of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) out of Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction until you understand the Trump administration’s real motive behind moving federal agencies out of Washington. Hint: It’s not to help them, and it’s not to help us.

The real motive for moving agencies out of Washington is to hobble and destroy them.

Uprooting federal agencies and moving them out of D.C. into “red” areas is a method the Trump administration is using to pressure skilled federal workers to leave by attrition and destroy federal oversight agencies. Republican Senator Cory Gardner, all three of our Republican Mesa County Commissioners (John Justman, Rose Pugliese and Scott McInnis) and Trump administration employees have all been telling the public that moving the agencies out of Washington is a way to streamline them, and make them more efficient and responsive to the people and industries they oversee.

Hogwash.

State Senator Ray Scott lied to the Daily Sentinel about social media blocking case

Full disclosure: I was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado brought against State Senator Ray Scott for blocking constituents from his official social media accounts.

On August 31, 2019 the Daily Sentinel printed an article about the settlement we reached in the case.

Had the Sentinel contacted me for this article, I would have let them know that Ray Scott lied to them about several specific pieces of information regarding the case.

Ray Scott’s first lie:

Scott told the Sentinel that he blocked people from his social media accounts “only if someone posted a profane or inappropriate comment.”

That is absolutely false.

Beware electing Janet Rowland as county commissioner again

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) once compared same-sex marriage to bestiality on a state-wide talk show, drawing condemnation from around the nation.

Janet Rowland is running for Mesa County Commissioner.

Yes, again.

She’s already been a Mesa County Commissioner — from January, 2005 to January, 2013 — but that doesn’t mean her being commissioner again is a good idea. It arguably is not a good idea. From her previous two terms, we have an abundance of experience with her and know what is in store if Janet Rowland gets another chance to be Commissioner. 

So let’s take a look at the past and see what it tells us.

Morally and ethically challenged

Certainly Janet has done some good things through her career, like trying to address child abuse and finding homes for foster kids. While those endeavors are laudable, we also need to take into account all the things she’s done that have set a poor example for kids, and our entire community and that have harmed the County.

Plagiarism

Shortly after losing statewide election for lieutenant governor as Bob Beauprez’s running mate in 2006, and while she was previously Mesa County Commissioner, Janet was a guest columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press, at the time a competing newspaper to the Daily Sentinel. She wrote several articles for the Free Press until one day a sharp reader noticed Janet had lifted most of one of her columns word for word from a government-published pamphlet, and brought this information to the attention of the Free Press’s editor.

 

Feb. 3, 2007 column in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about Janet Rowland plagiarizing a guest column she wrote for the G.J. Free Press.

The Daily Sentinel reported on Rowland’s plagiarism on February 3, 2007:

A Mesa County official has plagiarized a government substance abuse booklet in her two most recent columns in the Grand Junction Free Press, that newspaper’s editor confirmed Friday.

The majority of Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s Feb. 1 column in the Free Press, titled “The importance of a strong parent-child bond,” was lifted verbatim from a 2006 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism publication titled, “Making a Difference: Talk to Your Teen About Alcohol.”

A reading of Rowland’s unattributed column and the text of the booklet revealed the two are virtually identical. The only differences were found in the column’s first sentence and its lead into several bullet points.

The editor said if Rowland had been a staff writer, she probably would have been fired.

 

Janet’s first reaction to the plagiarism charge was to claim she couldn’t even remember writing the columns. (Denial.) When that failed to tamp down the controversy, she next said the information she used in her columns had been intended for “mass duplication anyhow,” adding that if people wanted to make what she did out as something evil, that was THEIR prerogative. (Sour grapes.) Next, she blamed the plagiarism on others, saying she had included the necessary attributions in her column, but Free Press staff had edited them out. (Lying and blaming.) Free Press management quickly produced the emails that contained the articles exactly as they had received them from Janet for publication, showing that they contained no references or attributions.

Job openings with the county pay $87,500/year plus benefits and require no experience

Salaries for each of the three Mesa County Commissioners for the month of June, 2019

Mesa County has two job openings right now that pay $87,300/year gross salary with additional generous perks and benefits, and that require absolutely no experience and no required level of educational attainment. That’s a pretty good wage in Mesa County for someone with no experience and no particular educational attainment, since the wages here are so low compared to the rest of the state. (The average weekly wage in Denver in the last quarter of 2018 was $1,414. In Mesa County it was $895). The opening is for two new county commissioners. The only requirements to be county commissioner — literally — are that you have to be a minimum of 18 years old and have lived in either County Commissioner District 1 or District 3 for at least one year. That’s it. In case you don’t believe me, the photo above gives the salaries for each of our three county commissioners for just one month — the month of June, 2019. The information was printed in the legal notices in the Sunday, August 11, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel. You can see the minimal requirements for the job yourself posted on Mesa County’s website. Multiply the above salary by 12 to get your new annual gross salary if you land this job ($87,500/year). Oh, and did I mention it’s also free to apply? You can even have a criminal record and it’s okay. This position can be held for up to 8 years.

It’s time to admit Republican firearm policies have completely failed America

Open Carrying US states map.svg

 

Americans young and old are getting slaughtered every day just going about their daily lives shopping in supermarkets, attending concerts and movies, going to services at churches, mosques and synagogues, going to school, going to work…

How did America get here?

Decades of Republican-backed liberal firearm policies have gotten us here. Republicans say they value freedom, but the people of this country no longer feel free. We live in fear of getting gunned down just living our lives every day because of the cumulative effects of liberal Republican gun policies.

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

Sen. Ray Scott sponsors bill to eliminate price break for low-income energy consumers

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

Last week State Senator Ray Scott embarrassed Mesa County residents and made a fool of himself by actually saying out loud on the Senate floor that climate change has led to “massive improvements” in our climate.

Now Scott is co-sponsoring a bill, SB 19-250 (pdf), that will deal a blow to low income people served by Black Hills Energy, the gas and electricity provider for residents of Pueblo, Canyon City, Ordway and Westcliffe. Scott’s bill would do away with a two-tiered rate structure Black Hills Energy put in place in 2017 to help low income energy consumers by giving them more protection from a state-approved rate increase that happened that same year.

Lessons from the Shutdown

Donald Trump just put America through the longest federal government shutdown in history, single-handedly keeping over 800,000 federal workers from being paid for over a month, hobbling law enforcement agencies and airport security, blocking immigration proceedings, causing delays in airline flights across the country, forcing hundreds of thousands of people into having to make hard decisions between paying their mortgages, buying their medicine or feeding their kids.

In the end, neither Mr. Trump nor the country gained anything at all from this exercise, but we did learn some important lessons from it.

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.

Limited time to submit complaints about Republican Matt Soper’s allegedly fraudulent address

Map of Colorado House District 54, which is all the light colored area. It includes most of Mesa County outside of the City Grand Junction and the western portion of the City of Delta.

Constituents in House District 54 have just 10 days after the election — this Friday, 11/16 — to submit complaints to the Colorado Secretary of State about whether Republican HD-54 candidate Matt Soper committed voter fraud and/or election fraud by listing his residential address as a house in which he didn’t live. Soper used an address at 10 Hartig Street in Delta for purposes of voting and qualifying to run for office in HD-54, even though he didn’t actually live at the address. Soper actually lived with his girlfriend on Clearview Drive in Delta, but told the Sentinel the 10 Hartig house was his home “in his mind.” Soper started listing the house as his residence in November of 2017, since a candidate must have resided in the District for 12 months in order to qualify to run for office in that district. The house actually belongs to Soper’s mother, who was renting it out to another family.
The Daily Sentinel reported extensively on Soper’s address controversy in multiple articles leading up to the election.  After the articles were published, Soper quickly evicted the tenants who lived at the address where he had claimed to live so he could move into the house at the last minute. Three of the tenants are disabled, according to the Sentinel. Despite the controversy, Soper won the election.
HD 54 comprises everywhere on the above map that isn’t the green-colored center around the City of Grand Junction. If you live in HD 54 and want to submit a complaint about possible election and/or voter fraud by Mr. Soper, you’d better hurry. Following is a link to information on how to submit a complaint to the Colorado Secretary of State: