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Archive for _Colorado Issues

Vote YES! on Amendment 71

sworn enemies 05-01-08

For this cartoon, I’m resurrecting an oldie. I first published this cartoon in 2008! Almost ten years ago, that’s how long I’ve been deeply concerned about this issue. Finally, FINALLY we get to vote on an amendment that proposes to fix this problem.

Our state constitution is the easiest amend in the nation. The problem is, it should be very DIFFICULT to amend. It’s the freakin’ constitution! What we’ve gotten over the past couple of decades is citizen legislation via our amendment process, and it’s created all kinds of problems, not among least are amendments that actually contradict each other. Since our constitution can not be “corrected” without a majority vote of the people, it becomes arduous and cumbersome to fix those mistakes. This is why we have an elected legislature! Budget issues, traditional legislation… these are issues that should have no place in our Constitution.

The other problem is that constitutional amendments have been put on the ballot and passed solely on the support of the urban areas, without any input from the rural areas, ostracizing them from the rest of the state. It allows easy access to cement into our constitution laws that could potentially pit the interests of the urban areas against the interests of the rural.

Amendment 71 will fix that, requiring a small percentage of petitionary support from ALL Colorado counties before it can be added to the ballot. It still allows for the citizen legislature. It just keeps it more fair.

I’m alarmed at the opposition against this amendment, and most of it is based in misconception and falsehoods, obviously being spread by the outside special interest groups who are enjoying tampering with the sanctity of our state. Saw a whole slate of people who said their primary objection is that John Hickenlooper supports it, therefore it must be bad. Yeah, well, so does Bill Owens (Republican, remember him?) and every other sensible lawmaker who has served this state. Others have noticed that conservative groups are backing it, therefore they can’t support it. Soooo… let me get this straight, half of you reject it because some Democrats are supporting it and the other half are rejecting it because a bunch of Republicans are supporting it. Are you guys nuts?!? Perhaps if you could see beyond your partisan loyalty, you’d recognize that maybe the reason BOTH sides support it is because it is a GOOD IDEA!

Others have strongly objected to the idea that it would allow the rural counties to have veto power over the initiative process. Um… yep. It’s exactly that mindset that we need Amendment 71. If you’re trying to ram a BAD law into the Colorado Constitution, then that rural county veto would end up being the only stop gap that we would have. If you don’t want them to veto your Constitutional Amendments, DON’T MAKE BAD LAW!

It’s the exact same reason why our founding fathers assigned two senators to every state, regardless of size. In our republic, the little guys still deserve a voice. That’s why I support Amendment 71 and encourage you to do the same.

Newtonian Physics

Broncos win!

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Day of Rest

Just my feelings after every Bronco’s win this season.

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Jeffco Schoolboard Recall

recall-deconstruction-web

To start out this post, I have to say, I hate recall elections.  They are a blight on the democratic process. I have always been consistent in this. I spoke out when Republicans used the “recall” process to remove two Democrat Senators in Colorado Springs just as strongly as when I spoke out against the Scott Walker recall. It is disgusting, it undermines the will of the people. In the case of the Colorado Springs’ Senators, the excuse was, oh, well, they passed laws that were anti-second amendment. Yes, so did a majority of State Senators, and so did Governor John Hickenlooper. Was it a bad law? Yes, it was a terrible law, but I’m sorry, when you elect anti-second amendment Democrats, that’s what you are going to get. Why should there be any surprise in this?

The same goes for Scott Walker. He spelled out exactly what he was going to do when elected. The people elected him anyway. Then he did exactly what he said he was going to do. And we are shocked, why? Yes, there’s a small minority interest group (with a national, organized powerbase) that doesn’t like what he did, but that should not give them the right to out him like they tried to do.

The same is true for this current Jeffco recall. The conservative school board ran on a platform that included many of the changes they said they would enact. The people who elected them were fully aware that this was the type of board they were going to get. These members did not hide their intentions when trying to get elected. To recall them is to completely disregard the collective will of the people of Jeffco. If they are doing a crappy job, then let that be determined properly and legally, when their term ends and they are up for re-election.

In researching this cartoon, I wanted to get inside of the heads of those behind the recall. I went on their websites. I watched their TV clips. I listened as they spelled out a variety of reasons for the recall.

First, they claim that the state of Jeffco schools is a disaster. I suppose this is subjective, because I, as a Jeffco resident and tax payer, am very happy with the changes. Based upon the increase in higher teacher pay, more local control, and more financial equity among individual schools, to me, it looks like things are actually moving in the right direction.

Secondly, these proponents of the recall kept pointing back to the changing of the AP program and the consequent student walk out. That whole debacle was a manufactured farce to begin with, as I have documented in other blogs. The school board only mentioned they wanted to bring the curriculum up for review, to see if it needed to be changed. The outrage over the review was remarkable. Accountability comes with reviews. To be outraged at the review indicates zero desire for accountability. And of course, the student walk outs, make no mistake about this either, had nothing to do with ideology, and everything to do with taking the afternoon off. Most students, when pressed, could not even answer why they were marching.

Another big claim they make is that the board “broke the law,” in regards to the compensation of the new superintendent. My guess is that these people realized that simple policy differences are not enough to warrant a recall, and in order to get enough signatures to hold the recall, if they added “and they broke the law,” people would sign the petition, most likely without even asking questions.

When you say “broke the law,” the imagery most people get initially is probably going to be something like bank robbers with guns. I have not done enough research into the alleged accusation to know if it is warranted, but from what I have read, it sounds much more of a technical issue than anything else, and the conservative board insists that the charges are baseless. If they truly did break the law, then a prosecutor should have already brought charges. And, in case anybody forgot, this is America, where you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. If they did break the law, a recall is not what you need, you need a trial. Due process is guaranteed to everybody, not just those who politically agree with you.

Finally, there is one website that makes the claim that these school board members should not serve as head of public education because (wait for it)… they are Christian. Well, there you go. Didn’t realize that Christian discrimination is a cause for recall. (Granted, it was a line item among several other reasons, but it still caught my attention.)

The point of the cartoon is, there is a lot of good the school board has done, whether the haters wish to acknowledge it or not. This good has been documented. Some mistakes have been made as well, yes, but if we ousted everybody who made a mistake, no Democrat would be holding office (and to be fair, neither would Republicans). This recall is disruptive and ruinous. Achievement rates in Jeffco have improved since these changes have been implemented. The unions who are ultimately behind the recall are destroying the train of progress that has been established. This recall hurts the children most of all. These conservatives have put a system into place. Let’s let it run its course and let these school board members do their jobs.

In full disclosure, I happen to be good friends with one of the conservative board members. Does this taint my perspective? Of course, and I’m willing to admit it. However, because I do know this individual, I can give personal testimony that this person is a good and decent individual, who desires only the best for the children of Jeffco. None of the villainous accusations made against him are true. He is a family man, a genuine guy, and a true American. 

Jeffco Sick Outs

jeffco-boots-w-caption-web

I was actually working on this cartoon before the fallout from all of the staged protests that have occurred the past week or so. This cartoon was triggered by a video of the teachers union, during a recent conference here in Colorado. In the presentation, the speaker encourages out of state union members to come in and be “boots” on the ground to protest the lawfully elected board members of Jefferson County. This kind of intentional rabble rousing infuriates me. If the conservative right was to protest every single election we don’t agree with, we’d never get any other work done. And certainly when we do finally protest, when things swing too far left, we immediately get tarred and feathered as racist, sexist, pick your own epithet.

But what’s more infuriating is the complete distortion and lies being fed to these high school students about this issue. These kids have no clue about the source of their protests. In order to hide the fact that it’s about disgruntled election results, the unions have convinced the teachers that it’s somehow about pay or the latest, it’s somehow about taking away American history.

I’ve had conservative friends who mistakenly spoke out saying that they support teachers and that if the teachers are protesting then they must have a legitimate beef against the school board. All the school board did, their only pinnable crime, is that they said, “let’s talk about creating an advisory board to review the history curriculum.” And with that, the distortion begins. Kids on streets claiming that the school board wants to take slavery out of the curriculum?! Obviously, these ignorant children have been fed this poison from somewhere, perhaps from the very teachers that we are bending over backwards to protect?

Look, I’m not against the teachers. Some are probably just as hoodwinked by the unions as the kids they indoctrinate. All the board is suggesting is creating a system of accountability over what is being taught to our impressionable youth (and the student protests demonstrate just how impressionable they really are!!!). It is as if you worked in an office and one day the boss says, you know what, I’m going to form an advisory committee that will review employee performance to make sure it is in line with the objectives of the company. Should the employees suddenly protest such a move, what does that telegraph about their performance?

Not that I’m equating the content of the curriculum with the performance of the teachers. No doubt they are doing their very best instructing the kids, but if the material is incorrect or irrelevant, or perhaps too biased one direction, then all of their best efforts cannot overcome this. The fact that these kids believe that the board wants to remove slavery from the curriculum demonstrates just how little they even really know about the subject. If American history was properly taught, they would have learned that the Republican Party was formed as the Abolitionist party!

Seriously, though, I was in high school once. I remember exactly how it was. Any chance to get on TV and get out of class, we would take. We probably couldn’t even care less about what we were protesting. That wasn’t important. What was important is that it was 80 degrees and sunshine on a September day. Hello! Give me some cardboard, I’ll write down something stupid, and then I’m out of here. The real issue is that the media is turning ordinary teenage angst into some sort of deep meaningful, heartfealt protest movement, when in reality, it isn’t.

Day Two at the Colorado House

This was a repeat invitation to come to the floor of the Colorado House and to sketch the proceedings. The first time I was invited, all heck broke loose, as the two sides fought bitterly over a certain partisan issue. Unfortunately, I was also sicker than a dog that day and my productive output was minimum.

On this occasion, I was in much better health. It is a pure distinct privilege and honor to be a part of this revered process. I do not take it lightly. I am so grateful for the Representative from the Colorado Springs who has had me as his guest twice now. There was a time when I was in college that I contemplated the idea of being a courtroom sketch artist. I even took a one day seminar on the subject. Life leads other directions, obviously, but it is still fun to revisit this tucked away passion of mine.

I don’t get paid to be there, but I do get to be witness to things most people will never even see in their lives. I’m actually on the floor itself, along the sides, where the guests and the policy advisors sit. I can hi-five legislatures as they come down the sides if I wanted, that’s how close I am to the action. It would be great to one day rise to the point where I’m paid to be there (oh, the swan song of every artist), but regardless, I enjoy my time thoroughly and it’s a great way to practice drawing from life.

It was pretty much a fairly boring and straight forward session. Most of what occurred was the acceptance of Senate modified bills and so the proceedings moved fairly rapidly. Even still, I managed a few decent sketches. I worked from 9am to 11:30am and the following was my output. Comments are on the sketches.

my day at the capitol my day at the capitol2 my day at the capitol3 my day at the capitol4

What a load of !

what-a-load-of-toon-by-ben-hummel

The Colorado Legislature just banned the future sale of so-called wasteful, inefficient, high volume (in other words, effective) toilets and other plumbing fixtures. Really? Was that really necessary? While that might sound good to some people (yay, we’re saving the planet), what it is not is FREEDOM.

The truth is, the so-called “high-efficiency” toilets don’t always save water. While that may be true for some people in some communities that have high pressure water systems, for the many rural and mountain communities on well water, these toilets are a disaster. They require several flushings in order to properly and sanitarily dispose of the waste. How is this efficient? The rural home owner should have the FREEDOM to purchase whatever toilet they feel best suits their needs and their worldview. You don’t see the mountain man trying to stop an earth lover from purchasing a high-efficiency toilet. To each man his own choice of toilet.

This is a case of “mind your own business” in a huge way. The constant drumbeat by those on the left is “stay out of our bedrooms,” when conservatives try to push sexual morality. Well I say to this, stay out of our bathrooms!

I have a horrific and aggressive auto-immune disorder in which I suffer from major… ahem, let’s call it lower intestinal duress… in other words, poopy problems. I feel as if I can speak with authority about this subject matter. [um… this next paragraph is going to get graphic and personal in a hurry… you had your warning, so like, yeah, move on to the next toon if this is too much for you] The way my malfunctioning gut often works is that it stops for a few days and then in one big movement, unloads drastically. We’re talking it would make an elephant proud. I have been on those high-efficiency pots and it has required the use of coat hangers and several flushings in order for the material to finally be done away with. In my case, the “inefficient” toilet would actually be more effective in the long run! Fortunately, I have one of those at my current residence and am thankful. I should be allowed to choose whatever throne best fits my derrière, as I know my buttom best!

Phew! That said, this legislation stinks like the anti-freedom load of crap that it is.

Western Conservative Summit Review

allen west

 

Western Conservative Summit, was, in a word, pretty dang awesome (okay, so that’s a few words). Just for reference, this past weekend Centennial Institute hosted the fourth annual Western Conservative Summit, a three-day gathering of like-minded conservatives (think CPAC of the West). The house was packed to the gills as we listened to big name guest speakers (like Allen West and Dick Morris) come in and encourage, train, brainstorm, inspire as we work to sway the country for the next few elections.

Most of the speakers were very optimistic about the future of the conservative movement.

Other observations that really stuck out for me:

Despite unfounded accusations to the contrary, the conservative and Republican movement is NOT a racist movement. (Never has been, check the history). This year, much more than last, the summit was an ethnically diverse event. Attendees and speakers were represented by all different races and colors, black, white, Hispanic, Indian, Asian, German, you name it. Not that race is important, as conservatives, it’s all about the content of your character that matters.

The Youth Vote

What WAS still missing was young people. While there was a large student delegation representing CCU, when you removed them, the amount of gray heads in the room was overwhelming. This was an issue that was addressed ad nauseum by many of the speakers. Why are the youth voting Democrat and how do we change this? True, a lot has to do with the liberal brainwashing centers otherwise known as public education, but it’s more than that. Deep down, most young folk are libertarian at heart. Nothing about liberalism is libertarian, except on social issues, and even there, the data is showing that the younger generation is actually MORE prolife than the baby boomers!

The problem is, they are believing the false narrative proclaimed about Republicans and Conservatives by the media, and Republicans do a lousy job at discrediting it. I loved what one student speaker said: Democrats and Liberals show up at college campuses all the time. If Republicans just simply showed up, who knows what kind of difference they could make (and not three months before the election, that comes off as disingenuous.)

And there may be some evidence to this. They shared some polling data from the last election. Overwhelmingly respondents voted Romney as better able to handle everything from the economy to foreign policy. Yet they voted Obama as being more likable and ultimately that’s what guided their vote.

The Third Party

Ted Cruz and several others lambasted the Republican Party for their willingness to cave in to Democrat demands, at the detriment of the country (all for the sake of perceived political gain). A few times the term “Democrat Lite” was used to describe much of today’s Republican leadership and the party in general. If there’s no distinction between Republicans and Democrats on voting day, the public will pick Democrat every single time.

Because of this, a question was posed to Jenny Beth Martin. She was asked if the Republicans continue to look more and more like Democrats, would the TEA Party break off and form a third party. She would not say no.

Use the Force, Luke!

Comic relief was provided by Jonah Goldberg and Bill Whittle. Whittle mentioned that the term “conservative” has a bad connotation for young people, and calling yourself one means instant turnoff. He suggests we change the term to something more appealing, you know, something like “rebel alliance.”

While I laughed out of my seat on that one, it does anger me that our language has to be defined for us. If it has a bad meaning, then we need to be out there changing that meaning. Conservative means freedom, it means liberty, it means charity, it means being allowed to make your own decisions. Whittle also reminded us (and encouraged us to remind our socialist utopian friends) that it’s socialism that has a history of 100 million dead on its hands. History proves that nothing good has ever come from socialism. It goes against basic human nature and requires force to be implemented.

About this illustration

So what does this have to do with the portrait of Allen West you see above, you’ve probably been asking as you’ve slogged through this editorial? I was given the unique privilege and opportunity to create painted caricatures of the speakers. The idea occurred only two weeks before the event, but because of my chalk art gig in Crested Butte the following weekend, I ended up having 7 days to work on this project.

I knew I wanted to develop a new illustration style. I’ve been playing around with a rough and painterly new modern look. I’ve been trying to represent the most amount of information with the largest brush strokes I could. I also start with a textured painted background, which I like to let come in and out of the composition, as I use more opaque paints to bring out the highlights in the foreground.

This new style allowed me to work a little faster than normal. If you do the math, that’s 2 pieces a day. Each piece took an average of 4 hours each. In addition, I still had to keep working on other client obligations. Those 7 straight days I worked roughly 12 hours each and I just cranked out those paintings. I really didn’t have a whole lot of time to think much about the painting. I just had to do it.

Each painting has a story. As I roll out all 14 over the next two weeks, I’ll reveal the story behind each one.

Allen West was the first of this experiment. I decided to add the slight indication of an army camo netting above him as part of the picture.

I then had the opportunity to meet him in person, which was way cool, because I absolutely admire the man. It was a long line, and they were cycling us through fairly quickly, so conversation was out of the question. If you had the chance to say just one thing to one of your heroes, what would you say?

When it was finally my turn I said to him, “Your courage is an inspiration to us all.” Then after the photo, I concluded by saying, “May God continue His blessings upon you.” At that, Mr. West grabbed my hand firmly and looked me straight in the eye and said, “Thank you. That means so much to me. And please, don’t ever forget to pray for me.”

Such is the man, and other events and run-ins with him the next few days solidified just how humble this guy really is. He accepted the above painting with honor, a Benjamin Hummel original, now in the home of former Congressman Allen West.

The Guardrails of TABOR

Yes, I know, Douglas Bruce has had a pretty rough time with the law lately. But that doesn’t mean his ideas or what he stands for are somehow wrong or incorrect. The truth is, a government that is accountable to the people is a better government than one that is not, and that’s what TABOR attempts to do.

 

TAX LIMITATION: THE TIME IS NOW
By Douglas Bruce

Editor’s Note: Coloradans were farsighted when they imposed the nation’s toughest tax limitation almost two decades ago. The dangers of unrestrained taxing, spending, and borrowing are dramatized by the fiscal emergencies now unfolding from California to New York to Greece. In a Patriots’ Day lecture for the Centennial Institute on April 19, 2010, the man who designed Colorado’s fiscal restraints talked about the principles involved and the lessons to be learned.

Why should taxes be limited? To protect freedom. Taxation invokes a choice between self-government and collectivist control. The more you can“vote” for goods and services with your own dollars, the more free you are.

to read more … 

Upgrade

#denverbroncos

I titled this cartoon “Upgrade” because I think that is the big question. If Peyton Manning signs with the Broncos, will it be an upgrade for him? Will it be an upgrade for Denver?

I love this whole saga. Listening to both sides hash it out has become quite entertaining, and the storyline is leaving us at the edge of our seats. Can’t get enough. Personally, I really don’t have a strong opinion one way or another. Twitter has several tweeting heads who are convinced that Manning is a has been, a bag of bones. Perhaps he is. But why are there so many teams clammering to get him then? Others question why you would trade the media darling Tim Tebow for Peyton Manning. Well, for one, Manning does bring his own media clout with him.

I am a huge Tebow fan, but I’m also a Broncos fan. I recognize that should Manning pick Denver, Tebow is probably heading to Jacksonville. Good for him. I know that’s his hometown and I hope he does well, wherever he ends up. Elway thinks that Manning is our ticket to the Superbowl. Who knows? I guess that’s the big question mark. What is the better upgrade?

Tiny Tim

Usually this time of year, I’ll do a cartoon about how we are losing our right to celebrate publically the spiritual meaning of Christmas. But this year, I simply could not pass up the glaringly obvious play on words with Tim Tebow and Tiny Tim.

While it may appear so at first glance, I’m not knocking Tebow. If you have followed previous columns, I’m actually an unabashed fan of Tebow’s and I’m very thankful that the Broncos organization finally gave Tebow his chance. Sure, he looks shaky in the passing game, but I think that’s something that will improve with time and game practice.

What’s really fascinating to watch is the national response to Tebow. He is a man of conviction. He’s somebody who is not ashamed of his beliefs nor is he afraid to espouse them, something that’s rare in today’s politically correct age. And because of this, he has raving fans on one side and haters on the other. Outspoken people, like Tebow, do not elicit nonresponses. You either love him or hate him.

I listened to some of the rhetoric being said about Tebow. One lady called in the radio station and lambasted Tebow for using the public airways to proclaim Christianity. She said that the public airways needs to be guarded against religious speech as it has no place on television or the radio. Soooo… according to her, free speech only applies to inside your home. Or perhaps religious speech doesn’t fall under the banner of free speech. Not quite sure, never really understood that logic.

Another crazy item to observe is the disparity between how Republicans verses Democrats respond to Tebow. According to a Public Policy Poll, Tebow is viewed favorably by 68% of Republicans but only 39% of Democrats. (source: http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_19610585) Sarah Palin even came out with her own endorsement of Tebow. I’m trying to figure out why that many Democrats don’t like Tebow. Do they not like faith? Miracles? Work ethic? Buzz cuts?

Certainly, many of the wins have been nothing short of miraculous. I really don’t think God cares who wins football games. And I don’t think that it is a measure of who has more praying fans. But I do know that God honors those who give Him the glory. And if Tebow winning accomplishes that feat, watch out America.

I’m hoping that the Broncos, my preferred team, starts winning with a little dominance here soon. A playoff run would be nice. Although, since I didn’t predict they would win more than four games this year, what they have already accomplished is more than beyond my expectations. This has been a fabulous ride.

Redistricting

Gotta love it. So the Democrats win this time in Colorado and they win big. With no pretense, the create a map that will replace key Republican seats with Democrat seats, by oozing in Democrat strongholds into other districts and lumping together Republican districts. The whole process they took was disgusting, and of course, it was upheld by our liberal supreme court.

Not that gerrymandering is anything new. Republicans do the same thing when it’s their turn, but this takes it to a whole new level. That’s why party does matter. You may like a particular candidate that doesn’t necessarily share all of your world view. But if he/she is in office when redistricting comes around, the state changes its makeup for the next ten years.

Goodbye lovely purple-ly red Colorado. Hello blue Colorado. Has nobody learned anything from Michigan?

Colorado’s Step Into Art History

Have you ever stopped in your tracks and gazed at the beautiful architecture of a nicely crafted building? Have you ever sat and admired a truly gifted fashion designer mix colors and fabrics and patterns together to craft something amazing? If this generally does not describe you, then I can understand why you may not understand the art of Christo. And if this does not describe you, then you do not have artistic sensibilities and should really not be making judgments on the quality of his work.

Personally, I have read and seen pictures of many of Christo’s works with great admiration, wishing only that I was older in age to have had the opportunity to witness them in person. This past Tuesday, I’ve finally been given a chance to do so. After many 15 long years of fighting with the State ofColoradoand other jurisdictions, Christo has finally been given the green light to move forward on his “Over the River” project, the draping of semi-sheer fabrics over the Arkansas River, down near Salida, Colorado.

This is a victory for the State ofColorado. Christo has aged significantly since the start of this process and he does not have many years left. His wife and partner Jean Claude has already passed away. This may be his last project, makingColoradothe only state inAmericato have had TWO Christo art projects, the first one being the Rifle Gap project. This will give the state ofColoradoa prominent place in art history.

Scores of letters have been written in opposition to this project, many filled with half truths and misunderstandings. So, let’s start with the facts. It’s a temporary exhibit. Some letter writers cried about how horrible it would be to block the sun over theArkansas. Two weeks, folks. That’s it. And in my opinion, not enough time. Also, Christo will be using sheer fabrics, creating a luminous quality. More sunshine will flow through this fabric than on a cloudy day!

Some of the letters I have read ignorantly stated that it is a burden that tax payers should not have to face in this economy. Those people need to read Christo’s proposal, for not a dime of tax payer money will be spent on the project. He funds every single project himself, pays for every worker (upwards to 200, and in an economy desperate for jobs, this is a good thing) himself, recycles all material used, and leaves the area a better place. For a financial standpoint, there are simply no grounds on which to oppose it.

Other letter writers have complained that it would stop the rafting industry. Who would want to raft through a covered river? they ask. I would, and I know many, many fans from around the world who would line up in droves to run the rapids under this historic and temporary monument. It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would not be surprised to see rafting companies selling Christo packages at ridiculous prices.

Overall, if you appreciate his work, you’ll probably be joining me and thousands of others from around the world down in Salida in order to behold this once in a lifetime event. Otherwise, in 2014, it’ll all be over and we can get back to our lives.

The moving discourse of political opinion

Do we allow our opinions to be swayed by other’s distortion of facts? For instance, I noticed a lot of venom against Ken Buck by many of my friends, due to the political ads leveled against him. Yet, many of those ads were wholly false and on the verge of being libelous. So are the uncalled for poisonous feelings toward Buck fueled by those ads or are they justified by them?

Having met him in person, Ken Buck is a decent man and a gentleman. He’s not afraid to speak the truth and to answer questions from his heart, perhaps his downfall as a politician. The same cannot be said of Michael Bennett, whom even my liberal friends have admitted is a bit spineless. (How he beat Andrew Romanoff in the primaries still confounds me. I guess Democrats prefer losers.)

The horrible nature of the attack ads is never justified, and it bothers me that so many place their opinions of individuals on those ads. Another example is the one against John Odom, and I have no idea whether he is a Republican or a Democrat, just that I know that the ad is a mistruth from the start. The ad states he failed to file for a renewal on his business with the Secretary of State and that his business was described as delinquent. Newsflash: Anytime you wish to cease doing business under a certain name in the state of Colorado, all you need to do is not file the following year. When this happens, the business goes into a *gasp* deliquent status, which simply means it is not currently registered. There is nothing illegal, wrong, unethical or immoral about this. In fact, it is common procedure and it can describe hundreds of no longer functioning businesses out there. Yet the ad writers are counting on the fact that the voting public does not know this and therefore would be shocked into voting against John Odom.

What cowardace! Why can’t we run on our accomplishments instead of against fake charges on our opponents? And why can’t Americans see through the falsities for what they really are? The reason attack ads are used is because they work. That’s a sad commentary for our society.

Ed Perlmutter’s ENTIRE campaign was about how Ryan Frazier shipped jobs overseas (itself a gross distortion of the truth). Never once did Perlmutter talk about the legislation he helped pass during his four years. Why not?

Say what you will about John Hickenlooper, but I respect the man and his campaign. Not one attack ad was leveled against Tom or Dan. That’s how a campaign should be run.

Health Care Affordability Act


Colorado just passed the “Health Care Affordability Act.” (I love it
when politicians call a bill something that is the opposite of what it
is.) This bill is tax on hospitals designed to help “fund” the
uninsured by placing that burden on the hospitals. The hospital’s
only choice is to pass that cost down to their consumer, the paying
sick, thus raising health care costs. Analysts estimate that this
will raise individual hospital bills by 5%. For a $10,000 hospital
bill, that’s an additional $500! In essence, it is government kicking
you while you are already down.

This tax…oops… I’m sorry, I keep forgetting it’s a “fee.” If it
were a “tax” it would violate TABOR, but if we call it a “fee,” then
it is okay (even though 40 other states call it a tax). This “fee” is
made even more outrageous by the fact that the legislation does not
allow the hospitals from itemizing the tax on their billing
statements! So much for transparency. Why would the Assembly make such
a provision? For one reason: so that when your hospital bill goes up,
you blame the hospitals and not the government. Being as sick as I
frequently am, this bill irritates me.

To read more on this topic you can go here

Colorado Tea Party


The First Amendment guarantees us the right to assembly. Thus, this Wednesday I’m exercising my First Amendment rights by going to one of the many TEA parties being held across the nation. Naturally conservative in all I do, this is a great stretch for me. But I’m looking forward to having fun and I hope you will join me there.

Earl Grey, with a little milk and a little sugar, and with a touch of vanilla… That’s how I like it!

Defeat HB 1299


Colorado HB 1299 is an extremely dangerous piece of legislation written in part by Democrat Representative Andy Kerr. In essence it would remove Colorado’s current system of awarding our Electoral College votes to the winner of the majority of the people of Colorado, and instead, award our Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

There are obviously many terrible things wrong with this piece of legislation. Let me create a list to highlight a few.

First, it circumvents our national Constitution. Our founding fathers did not come up with the idea of the Electoral College overnight. This was something that was hashed out over many weeks and several debates. They wanted to give smaller states some pull in presidential elections, so that they would not get run over by bigger states. I say, if our founding fathers, who were much smarter than most people I know, thought it a good idea, we should leave it alone.

If this passes, Colorado will be one of the only a few states that has this legislation. This would render Colorado’s importance in any future elections impotent. Our interests and needs will cease to matter to Washington.

Probably the most egregious insult is that the people of Colorado actually voted overwhelming against this type of legislation in 2004 in the form of Amendment 36.

People intent on destroying the Electoral College have not stopped with the state of Colorado. What I find interesting, however, is that you won’t find them wanting to break up the Electoral votes of solidly blue states, such as California or New York. Why isn’t there a big rush to implement these same types of measures in the big blue states?

The biggest argument that proponents of this disaster proclaim is that “every vote should count.” However, purporting this argument will send one on a logical quagmire. For if they truly believed in the legitimacy of everybody’s vote, then they will have to accept the votes of 65% of Coloradans who voted against changing the Electoral College! Their motivation cannot logically be about the will of the people.

If you believe in the integrity of our national Constitution and if you believe in the will of the Colorado citizens, then I encourage you to call Ritter’s office to tell him to veto this bill when it gets to his desk.

Mail
Bill Ritter, Governor
136 State Capitol
Denver, CO 80203-1792

Phone (303) 866-2471

Fax (303) 866-2003

Email Governor’s spokesman evan.dreyer@state.co.us

To read more on this issue go to: http://blog.amyolivershow.com/

Defeated CO SB 57-Transparency


Colorado Senate Bill 57 was a measure that would have required school districts to disclose how they use tax payer money. Who would be opposed to that? Well, unfortunately, enough people to defeat it. To read more go to http://transparency.i2i.org/2009/03/no-sunshine-for-colorado-school-districts/

Trodding Dangerous Ground


The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday, March 16, voted to uphold Governor Bill Ritter’s law to freeze mill levy rates in order to raise property taxes (striking down the decision made by lesser courts). The Colorado Constitution clearly states in the TAx payer Bill Of Rights (TABOR) that the General Assembly and the Governor MUST ask the Colorado Tax Payer before raising taxes. Simple legislation, if you want to raise taxes, ask first. And after Ref C passed, the evidence clearly shows that the Colorado Tax Payer is willing to impose taxes on themselves.

This clear violation of the Colorado Constitution is not an isolated incident. Our Supreme Court has been labeled as one of the most liberal in the nation, and they have continued to rule against TABOR. Many on the left (and some on the right) have suggested getting rid of TABOR altogether. Fine, but that’s a decision that needs to be made by the people, and not the legislators or the courts. However, Amendment 59 this year proved that Coloradans are not quite ready to do away with TABOR yet.

Vote ‘Yes’ on Amendment 47