Thursday, June 28, 2007
Musgrave Tells About Earmarks
June 24, 2007 (News, Congressional District 4)
CD-4 Representative Marilyn Musgrave has actually released her list of earmarks in this year’s budget. So, in the interest of fairness, I’ll publish it below. I hate it when that woman does the right thing (rather than the right thing).
Colorado Dept of Transportation (CDOT) I-25 North of SH 66 $4,000,000
CDOT US 40 / US 287, Kit Carson $4,000,000
CDOT I-70, Burlington $4,000,000
Greeley-Weld County Airport Authority - Greeley-Weld County Airport - Air Traffic Control Tower $6,000,000
Fort Collins / Loveland Airport Runway Rehabilitation $3,000,000
Colorado Youth Outdoors Handicap Pathways for Education Center $200,000
Harvest Farm Drug Rehabilitation Program $1,000,000
North Range Behavioral Health Mental Health Services Outpatient Facility Construction $2,000,000
CDOT US 287, Lamar Relief Route $3,000,000
Northern Larimer County Health District Larimer County Acute Mental Health and Detoxification Facility $1,000,000
CDOT I-76, Colorado’s NE Gateway $4,000,000
Colorado State University - Russian Wheat Aphid Resistance, Stress Tolerance, and Quality Enhancement of Wheat $425,000
Colorado State University - Program of Economically Important Infectious Animal Diseases (PEIIAD) $950,000
Central Colorado Water Conservancy District Northeast Colorado Surface Water/Groundwater Conservation $1,000,000
Colorado Sugarbeet Growers Association CRIS Project: Nonchemical pest control and enhanced sugarbeet germplasm via traditional and molecular technologies $300,000
Colorado Association of Wheat Growers USDA-ARS Central Great Plains Research Station at Akron, Colorado - Plant breeding for oilseeds, on-farm bio-diesel development, drought mitigation research in alternative dryland cropping systems (this is seeking an increase of $900,000 to the station) $900,000
U.S. Canola Association National Sclerotinia Initiative $2,000,000
National Barley Improvement Committee Regional Barley Gene Mapping Project $700,000
Colorado State University National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) $1,800,000
American Veterinary Medical Association National Veterinary Medical Service Act $1,000,000
National Onion Association - Onion Iris Yellow Spot Virus / Thrips Research Initiative $1,500,000
Colorado State University Global Change/Ultraviolet Radiation $2,425,000
Banner Health / Northern Colorado Medical Center Colorado, Wyoming, Western Nebraska and Western Kansas Telemedicine Infrastructure Upgrades $1,000,000
Colorado Wool Growers Association USDA APHIS Wildlife Services Funding for Colorado $711,455
National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance National Forage Research Program $3,000,000
U.S. Canola Association National Canola Research Program (NCRP) $850,000
ENERGY & WATER
Colorado State University Sustainable Biofuels Development Center $1,000,000
Colorado Community Colleges Northern Hemisphere Pierre Auger Observatory $5,000,000
National Sorghum Producers Sorghum to Ethanol Research $1,000,000
Excel Energy Colorado IGCC Power Plant CO2 Sequestration $3,000,000
Colorado State University Smart Grid Simulation Laboratory $750,000
PureVision Technology Biotechnology Process to Manufacture Ethanol $3,750,000
COMMERCE - STATE DEPT. – JUSTICE
Eastern Colorado Plains Drug Task Force $350,000
Weld County District Attorney Weld County Gang Task Force $250,000
Larimer County Sheriff’s Department Specialized Prosecution Unit and Digital Recording Equipment $275,000
SHARE, Inc. Morgan County Domestic Violence Program $200,000
Crossroads Safehouse Advocacy for Domestic Violence Survivors $60,720
Town of Eckley - Town of Eckley Water Project $150,000
Central Colorado Water Conservation District NE CO Surface Water/Groundwater Conservation Program $1,000,000
Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District Arkansas Valley Conduit $675,000
Colorado Forest Restoration Institute - CSU Colorado Forest Restoration Institute $1,700,000
University of Colorado Renewable and Sustainable Energy Initiative: Energy Transformation and Innovation $1,500,000
LABOR DEPT. - HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
UNC National Center for Nursing Education $2,363,450
CureSearch Children’s Oncology Group $1,000,000
CSU PET/CT Imaging Scanner $1,200,000
Healing Tree Addiction Treatment Solutions Northeast Colorado Substance Abuse Collaborative $1,691,140
Advocates for Children in Therapy Attachment Therapy Educational Documentary $150,000
Plains Medical Center/Community Health Center Low-Income, Working Family, Healthcare Facility in Strasburg $250,000
Denver Rescue Mission Drug Rehabilitation/Homeless Literacy and Education Center $250,000
Hospice of Metro Denver Life Quality Institute (Palliative Care Education) $300,000
Colorado Youth Outdoors Conservation and Outdoor Education Pavilions at Swift Ponds $200,000
Aims Community College Specialized equipment for use in training health professionals $300,000
Colorado State University & DoD Department of Defense Center for Geosciences/Atmospheric Research researching priority environmental problems and questions of concern to the Army, Navy and Air Force $3,000,000
Banner Health & Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center
Telehealth Access and Infrastructure Expansion telemedicine upgrades through the US Army Medical Research and Material Command $6,000,000
Colorado State University and Colo School of Mines Rapid Detection of Bacterial Pathogens bio-terrorism detection research technology $3,500,000
InPhase Technology & Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center
Medical Image Database Holographic Archiving Library Systems the storage, retrieval, distribution, analysis, and archive of medical imaging and related documents for soldiers and veterans $5,000,000
Center for Space Entrepreneurship an industry/university partnership to develop viable space technologies $2,000,000
Colorado State University Sustainable Biofuels Development Center $1,000,000
Thanks for letting us pleebs know what you’re doing in Washington, Marilyn. We’ll chat about how you like to support business with tax dollars later.
Monday, June 25, 2007
In a 5-4 decision that has emboldened opponents of campaign finance restrictions, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday added wiggle room to a key provision of the landmark 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
The decision dealt with a provision of the law preventing corporations or unions from airing certain types of ads in the run-up to Election Day. Though the Court upheld the provision, it narrowed the types of ads to which it could be applied -- and set the stage for a vigorous debate and possibly new federal rules about which ads can air when.
At a minimum, the ruling could pave the way for outside groups to air millions of dollars of hard-hitting ads, naming specific candidates, in the weeks leading up to Election Day 2008. It will also inspire further challenges to the provision as a whole, as well as other parts of McCain-Feingold, which is despised by the political parties because it hinders their ability to raise and spend large sums of money, and by activists at both ends of the political spectrum, who assert it infringes on their free speech.
"This is a step toward restoring the rights of citizens of every political affiliation to vigorously engage in political debate, whether the government agrees with them or not," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who had filed a brief supporting the Wisconsin anti-abortion group that challenged the provision.
Advocates for limiting the role of money in politics generally bemoaned the decision, though they noted the court left alone the core pillars of McCain-Feingold.
"It did open a significant loophole in the law. However, that inevitably will be exploited by moneyed special interests," said Laura MacCleery, of the nonpartisan group Public Citizen.
The provision in question barred ads paid for by corporations or unions and broadcast on television or radio within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election, if the ads named federal officeholders or candidates.
Wisconsin Right to Life sued the Federal Election Commission, asserting the rule violated the group's freedom of speech by preventing it from airing ads urging its members to lobby Congress on matters of interest to them.
A three-judge district court panel in Washington sided with the group and the Federal Election Commission appealed to the Supreme Court, making it the first significant federal campaign finance matter to come before the high court since the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
Roberts and Alito joined Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in upholding the lower court decision. The three justices also co-authored a concurring opinion urging colleagues to overturn part of the court's 2003 decision that upheld the constitutionality of the provision against a broad challenge by McConnell.
The main opinion, by Roberts and Alito, though, asserted the Wisconsin case was narrower and could not be used to revisit the McConnell ruling.
But Justice David Souter, writing for the four dissenting justices, said Monday's ruling effectively and "unjustifiably" overruled the 2003 decision in the challenge brought by McConnell.
The Wisconsin ads overstepped by naming Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), wrote Souter, whose opinion was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens.
The Wisconsin Right to Life ads, which began airing before the preelection blackout, implored state voters to call their U.S. senators, Feingold and Herb Kohl, also a Democrat, to urge them to end a Senate filibuster of President Bush's judicial nominees.
Since Wisconsin Right to Life -- like many interest groups -- is incorporated, it had to pull the ads during the blackout period. And it sued the FEC, claiming the blackout violated its members' freedom of speech by preventing them from airing their views while Congress was considering matters of interest to them.
The FEC could commence a rule-making process to define which types of ads would be exempted from the provision, though Chairman Robert Lenhard, a Democratic appointee, wouldn't commit to that.
"We're still looking through the decision and thinking through its implications," he said.
Without a narrow definition, former FEC Chairman Michael Toner said "the court's decision has the potential to open up an important new avenue of interest group advertising in the final weeks before an election."
Toner, a Republican appointee who started an election law practice at Bryan Cave after leaving the commission, said the decision could embolden narrowly defined challenges of other McCain-Feingold provisions, including its ban on soft money contributions to parties.
The ruling "further underscores the hostility of the new Roberts court toward congressional attempts to restrict core political speech," Toner said.
CCP Commentary: The whole thing needs to be gutted or there needs to be a special provision to stop 527's. This is a step in the right direction.
"When buying and selling are controlled by the legislature, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." — P.J. O’Rourke.
Money spent on special interest lobbying at the State Capitol jumped 14 percent this year over last, despite measures like the so-called "Ethics in Government" Amendment 41.
Lobbyists’ contracts generated more than $11 million in just the first four months of 2007, according to a recent Denver Post report — the twelfth straight year that lobbying expenditures exceeded the previous year.
But before you fall prey to the common misconception that there’s too much money in government, take a step back.
If government didn’t control so much money and make so many laws that reach into our everyday lives, would these so-called "special interests" be spending so much money to influence lawmakers?
Of course not.
Most of us would prefer to keep our distance from government unless our families or livelihoods are threatened. However, the ever-expanding size and scope of government mean that far more people either rely on government or find that its creeping inconveniences are becoming increasingly intolerable.
Combining the coercive power of government with the corruptibility of human nature is a recipe certain to produce abuse. Any system that not only possesses the power to tax, but also to arbitrarily compel citizens to engage in certain transactions while forbidding others, has completely emasculated the disciplines intended to harness those excesses.
The way to take "big money" out of politics should be painfully obvious: reduce the size and scope of government.
In Washington, the federal government is now 250 times larger than it was a century ago. Without reform, inflation-adjusted spending will equal $26,000 per household in only ten years.
Here in Colorado, spending is on the rise and the tentacles of state and local government are expanding into the private lives and businesses of Colorado taxpayers in ways that were unfathomable even 10 years ago.
Neither the constitution nor the courts represent any meaningful protection against populist whims or political expediency. Even if government doesn’t seize your property, the Legislature seemingly has no compunction against micromanaging your business or dictating picayune details in the workplace.
In Washington, most politicians have abandoned the principle that Congress has only those powers specifically listed in the constitution. Instead, they prefer an expansion of Congress’s regulatory authority over interstate commerce to govern activities that never cross stateliness. Instead of adhering to federalist principles, they hijack education or health policy to pander to poll numbers. Instead of tending to the business of government, they "investigate" professional sports.
But it’s not politicians alone who shoulder the blame; they merely reflect what voters seem to want.
Candidates rarely exhibit Barry Goldwater’s courage when he said that his interest wasn’t to streamline government or promote welfare but to defend the liberty of citizens. Voters seem interested in liberty only when they perceive that their own is threatened — not when someone else’s liberty is at stake.
Too many of us have grown to believe that the purpose of government is to solve problems that we do not comprehend or cannot control – expanding government’s mission exponentially. Principles of limited government are virtually forgotten in public schools and, therefore, foreign to most voters.
John Adams warned, "Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people."
Limited government is a principle worth advancing – even at political cost. It’s principles, when adhered to, deter corruption and protect individual liberty against populist whims and political ambition.
Limited government promotes personal responsibility, self-reliance and tolerance by recognizing that not every problem demands a government "solution."
Thomas Jefferson noted, "The natural progression of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."
As government grows, the temptation to misuse it for personal or political gain multiplies. Preserving meaningful limits on the size and scope of government protects taxpayers and protects politicians – from themselves.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Whenever it seems like there is nothing to report, we just fall back on the detectives at Blogs4Brownback. Up and coming Nancy Drew author Sisyphus exposed The World is Flat against all scientific reasoning. The Flat Earth Society’s website offered Sisyphus all the evidence necessary to throw out scientific fact, photos, and hundreds of years of science…one bizarre website as a matter of fact.
Nothing that they say or do can change the Truth one jot or one tittle, however. The world is flat, my friends. God has made it thus, and Man cannot unmake it.
The post goes on to say:
What has any of this to do with the Brownback campaign, you ask? President Brownback will control our education department. Unless Brownback wins the election, and radically alters America’s course in favor of Christianity, Justice, and Truth, millions of children will continue to learn the lies and fallacies of the left: that the world is round; that scientists invent things without God’s guiding Grace; that the Earth orbits the Sun…
Kind of scary isn’t it. Reminds us of the Taliban.
(PPH totally nails it, any time I get bored I know I can always check and see what either Brownback or Cox supporters are up to!)
Originally reported at WideStreets
Musgrave 2.0 is a Democrat
Alright, the headline is a bit of a stretch, but let’s look at a historical perspective, and then, I think you will agree, Marilyn Musgrave’s new persona is not that of a nasty, in-fighting, Republican. I also don’t think we’ll be seeing her pull a negative Nighthorse-Campbell.
For her entire time in the House prior to the 2006 election, it is generally agreed that Musgrave 1.0 did nothing except make things difficult for herself and, by extension, her constituents. Whether Rolling Stone was calling her one of the most corrupt congresspeople, or she was accepting contributions from Jack Abramoff, or buddying up to Tom Delay, she didn’t get a lot done. Hell, I’ve even heard a story of how she alienated the chair of Transportation, and made it difficult for her to get road money for CD-4.
But, that’s all over now, she would have us believe. Now she legislates with her hand across the aisle, and she walks about in her district, shaking hands and pouring coffee. Hell, she even voted against the Pinon Canyon army expansion. Not only that, but she voted for some things that passed unanimously. At the rate she’s going, she’ll have a walk in 2008, since she will be able to talk, for the first time in her career, about how she’s actually doing her job.
But, the most important thing that this demonstrates is not that Musgrave 2.0 is doing better, but how the new Democratic House is totally buggering things. The Republicans let some of the more political bills out of committee so that they could pin Democrats with their votes. I have been seeing a lot of uncontroversial bills going to the floor, but I haven’t been reading about many controversial Republican-sponsored bills getting any floor time.
At the end of the day, Nancy Pelosi is making it hard to get rid of Marilyn Musgrave.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners criticized the National Rifle Association for cutting a deal with the anti-gun advocates in Congress. In an email Dudley Brown, Executive Director for RMGO, exposed the NRA’s sell out of our 2nd Amendment rights.
According to the Post, "Senior Democrats have reached agreement with the National Rifle Association on what could be the first federal gun-control legislation since 1994, a measure to significantly strengthen the national system that checks the backgrounds of gun buyers."
The email goes on to say, This system, which assumes you are guilty and requires you to prove your innocence before exercising a God-given, Constitutional right, has delayed and denied countless Coloradans attempting to make legal firearms purchases.
If Congress and the NRA have their way, things are about to get a whole lot worse. In a deal the Post calls "a marriage of convenience for both sides," and NRA lobbyist Chris Cox calls "good politics," the failed National Instant Check system is poised to be expanded even further.
Too many people believe that whatever the NRA says is gospel, and nothing could be further from the truth. So we asked Dudley Brown to explain what separates the RMGO from the NRA.
“In short, it can be summed up that the NRA likes to kiss politician butt and RMGO likes to kick it.”
He went on to explain why the RMGO is a no compromise gun advocacy organization while the NRA is a political operation.
The NRA raises money by talking tough against gun control all the while they support it, and the candidates who vote for gun control.
Undoubtedly, there are good NRA programs. But their political division -- ILA, or Institute for Legislative Action – is the reason most people join the organization. That division, however, is one of the main reasons America has an expanding list of gun controls today.
Here are thethee main points some people call the NRA the "largest gun control organization in America":
1. The NRA supports Gun Control
The NRA, while being known as the flagship group to defend gun rights, has been involved in gun control at the margins for decades.
Of the major federal gun control legislation that controls/regulates firearms today, the NRA has openly or privately been involved in passing the legislation:
1934 National Firearms Act - Puts incredibly onerous restrictions on the purchase and possession of "machine guns", suppressors, etc. (which are now termed "NFA weapons"). The NRA actually wrote this legislation.
1968 Gun Control Act - Created the morass of paperwork a firearms purchaser must now undergo, as well as dug the ATF deeper into an area our constitution prohibited it from going. http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=3247 has quotes from NRA's own publication.
1986 McClure-Volkmer - Misnamed the "Firearms Owner Protection Act", this law stopped firearms manufacturers from transferring any fully auto weapons into citizens hands. To buy a machine gun in America (there are currently 366,000 legally owned select fire weapons in private citizens' hands in America), you must now pay a minimum of $10,000 (for an m-16), whereas previous to this supply limiting act you could buy one for $200. Again, this was an NRA-supported and created act.
1994 Brady Act - Some give Sarah Brady the credit, but they should chalk this Gun Owner Registration System to the NRA. http://www.rmgo.org/brady.shtml has a synopsis.
2. The NRA supports anti-gun candidates
In Colorado, this is as easy to prove as looking at the NRA's ratings each election. Former Republican State Senator Dottie Wham, who killed every concealed handgun bill she came across as chairman of the Senate Judiciary, received the NRA's "A" rating. In 1995 Republican State Rep. Russ George ran a bill (with Sen. Wham) to make carrying concealed without a permit a felony (it is now a class 2 misdemeanor). As a reward (for that gun control and for voting against the two concealed carry bills offered in 1995), George was given the NRA's highest rating and asked to carry their concealed carry legislation.
In recent elections, the NRA endorsed State Rep. Dale Hall in a primary against Scott Renfroe (now Colorado's most conservative State Senator) for St. Sen. District 13, despite Hall running a bill to give the federal ATF more power to make arrests based on state charges.
3. The NRA often opposes true pro-gun legislation
Then-State Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (now chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus in Congress) was threatened with lowering her legislative grade by an NRA lobbyist who didn't want a vote on Vermont concealed carry legislation (i.e. no permit
required, which is law in Vermont and Alaska).
While we at CCP will not endorse a candidate for the 08 GOP nomination, Mr. Gilmore is one fo the few conservatives in the race and would make a fine POTUS if he were elected.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Scotland edging toward knife control
The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the best summations of individual rights in history. It clearly lays out the colonists’ case against the tyranny of King George III in words anyone can understand. It also defines what the signers were laying claim to: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Most Americans are as familiar with these words as they are their own names. But do they understand the implications of the stated rights?
Take the right to life. That’s pretty straightforward; no one has the right to deprive you of your life except under the most extreme and specific circumstances. That implies a right to self defense. Restricting how you provide for your own defense is a limit on your right to life. That’s what gun control advocates either don’t understand or don’t care about.
They cloak their rhetoric in terms that make their goals seem acceptable; they don’t want to ban guns, just put “reasonable” restrictions on ownership, how often one can buy a firearm and what type it can be. That’s not unreasonable, is it? Let’s take a short trip abroad and see how this is playing out in one of the bastions of peace and tranquility the gun banners often point to as an example.
The United Kingdom has long had many restrictions on the type of firearms citizens may own. After the schoolyard massacre of 16 children and a teacher in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, private ownership of guns was restricted almost to the point of an outright ban. That should have reduced violence to the point where police could keep it in check, right? Not hardly.
Remember how gun-control advocates want “reasonable” restrictions? That’s just the first step. That’s how things started out in the UK, but that didn’t stop people from attacking and killing each other. Now, Scotland Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson is going after knives. But not all knives, of course, just the really dangerous ones. According to Jamieson, “Sharp items continue to be the most common method of killing in this country, consistently accounting for around half of all murders each year.”
We won’t argue with the minister’s statistics, they make sense in a society where firearms aren’t very common. But her rhetoric sounds familiar to people in this country who have heard similar arguments for restricting firearms.
Jamieson admits that banning knives outright would help solve her problem, but realizes that knives also have “legitimate” uses. “The vast majority of people use knives in the home responsibly and safely every day,” she notes. She’s going after “non-domestic knives,” those with “a blade or sharp point, and which is not designed only for domestic use, or only for use in the processing, preparation or consumption of food.” Those words are very similar to the language of several laws and proposed laws around the U.S. that seek to ban firearms that don’t have a “legitimate sporting purpose.” H.R. 1022, a bill that would reinstate the so-called assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, would give the U.S. attorney general the sole authority to decide which firearms fit the “sporting purpose” definition gun control advocates claim they don’t want to ban.
We worry about giving the government that kind of broad power. Jamieson doesn’t seem to believe self defense is a legitimate use of knives. She said in a statement, “Knives can be lethal weapons and to carry them for ‘protection’ or as a status symbol is not something which we can tolerate.” We’re don’t think government officials who don’t believe in basic rights is something the people can tolerate. [Emphasis Added]
Please check out Colorado for Family Values' website.
*Please note I've added them as a link under our "Defenders of Liberty" section.
...there are growing signs of push-back from conservative party elements because of his stand in favor of abortion rights and statements in favor of gun control and civil unions for gay couples."
The Conservative Declaration of Independence "announced the addition of 27 new signers from West Michigan." Group co-founder/party issues ctme chair Tom McMillin: "The debates removed any question that Giuliani is a pro-abortion candidate with a liberal agenda." [Emphasis added]
Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) "said he considered Giuliani's campaign 'dead' citing his stand on abortion and the fact he is twice divorced."
Even in liberal California:
Giuliani's "pro-abortion rights and pro-gay rights positions have some in the party looking elsewhere for a candidate." Yorba Linda resident Harry Shapiro: "Abortion is a deal breaker for me. I really feel (Giuliani) doesn't follow Republican policies and that if he wins he'll deviate from the Republican way."
and from Catholics:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogs that Macon atty Steve Dillard, the 37-year old self described "grandfather of conservative Catholic bloggers," will launch a CatholicsagainstRudy.com website 7/4. Dillard was "a chief Internet advocate for Judge Wiliam Pryor." A convert to Catholicism, Dillard says "we need to tend to our own house. And we need to hold Republicans to the same standard that we did John Kerry." The site will be family friendly. Dillard: "You won't see the picture of Rudy in drag on my web site. You're not going to see the video of him kissing Donald Trump. I'm not even getting into the divorce stuff. I want it to be on his stated public policy. I don't want this to be a 'I hate Rudy' web site." Dillard said he currently leans toward supporting Fred Thompson (6/10).
...firefighters and unions:
The Westchester Journal News' Blain profiles Sept. 11 Firefighters and Families for the Truth, a group dedicated to dispelling the "myth of Giuliani's much-praised response to the attacks on the World Trade Center". Rosaleen Tallon, a leader of the group whose firefighter brother was killed on 9/11: "I think if they knew the truth (people) wouldn't vote for him. We haven't had a chance to go national, but we will. You can bet on that." Tallon and her group argue that Giuliani didn't do enough as mayor to fix longstanding radio communication problems. Ex-NYC Fire Commiss. Howard Safir, responding on behalf of the Giuliani campaign, "downplayed the protests" and said, "the fact is that nobody cares more about firefighters than Rudy does." More Safir: "the fact is that to this day there are not adequate radios. Radio signals do not go through steel and concrete." Although Tallon's group has "only a few dozen active members," Giuliani's troubles with firefighters extend to other groups including the Int'l Assoc. of Firefighters. IAFF officials "also faulted Giuliani for limiting the number of firefighters involved in the search for victims at Ground Zero and rushing the cleanup at the expense of finding human remains." The IAFF is "producing a six-minute video to distribute to its member unions around the country detailing Giuliani's failures," though a spokesman for the IAFF declined to comment when "asked about the organization's efforts concerning Giuliani." Qunnipiac's Maurice Carroll argues that it may be hard for outside groups to impact the well-established image of the ex-mayor. "Giuliani, he personificed what was going on that day for people who were home watching on television. Can they tear that down? I don't know"
...and African-Americans (this certainly does a lot to dispel the Rudy "elect-ability" myth):
Washington Post'sBacon writes about Giuliani's troubled relationship with African Americans as mayor of NYC. Giuliani "cites his achievements in turning around New York as one of the main reasons he should be elected, specifically highlighting a dramatic reduction in crime." Even so, his tenure was "marked by an almost toxic relationship with African Americans in the city." When he was re-elected in '997 with more than 55 percent of the vote, "he received just 20% of the black vote." Since few GOPers are African American "any lingering tension is unlikely to have any direct effect" on his ability to get the GOP nod. But, his reputation as a "polarizing force in his home town could undermine his image as a unifying figure in American politics" (6/10)
Read the full post here.
TOM COLE, M.C.
I have exciting news.
I just spoke with Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and she has agreed to run for reelection in 2008 and is already laying the groundwork for a successful reelection campaign.
I have committed to Marilyn that I will support her re-election this cycle.
Ensuring proven candidates like Marilyn run for re-election is critical as we lay the groundwork to retake the Majority in the United State Congress.
One of my key tasks as Chairman is to support great, established candidates like Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave early this election cycle -- to dissuade formidable opponents from challenging our incumbent Members -- and to give our candidates a financial advantage if a formidable challenger steps forward.
That’s why I am so eager to help Marilyn Musgrave right now.
Re-electing Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave is absolutely vital to retaking our Majority in the House.
Today I’m asking you to make a major financial commitment to her campaign by contributing $500, $250 or even just $100 as soon as possible.
I hope you will look back at what you’ve invested in the past to help elect Congresswoman Musgrave and go ahead and do so again this quarter if at all possible.
Congresswoman Musgrave is one of our hardest-working Members at all aspects of her job: legislative, campaign and fundraising. The Leadership knows we can count on Marilyn to reliably and steadfastly support open markets, low taxes, smaller government and the other hallmarks of GOP economic policy.
Marilyn was reelected with a 3% margin in one of the worst political environments for the GOP I have ever seen. And despite the millions of dollars spent against her by the radical 527s and the DCCC, Marilyn’s hard work, determination and commitment to Republican principles won out over the negative ads and misrepresentations she endured.
Considering all the factors – I consider Marilyn’s re-election last year a remarkable accomplishment.
And helping re-elect Marilyn to Congress again is one of my top priorities.
Marilyn needs all of our support and I am asking for you to contribute $500, $250, $100 or whatever possible to the Musgrave for Congress campaign.
Marilyn needs to show a strong cash position to ward off potential liberal, Democrat opponents. With your help, we can make sure she is in a strong financial position.
Thank you in advance for your support and participation in this important event.
Tom Cole, M.C.
Today's (6/10/07) Washington Post has reported that the NRA has, once again, cut a "deal" with the anti-gunners in Congress over your gun rights.
According to the Post, "Senior Democrats have reached agreement with the National Rifle Association on what could be the first federal gun-control legislation since 1994, a measure to significantly strengthen the national system that checks the backgrounds of gun buyers."
As many Oregon residents have learned, the background check system, a prior restraint on your rights, is a failure.
This system, which assumes you are guilty and requires you to prove your innocence before exercising a God-given, Constitutional right, has delayed and denied countless Coloradans attempting to make legal firearms purchases.
If Congress and the NRA have their way, things are about to get a whole lot worse. In a deal the Post calls "a marriage of convenience for both sides," and NRA lobbyist Chris Cox calls "good politics," the failed National Instant Check system is poised to be expanded even further. Furthermore, the proposed legislation will punish states that do not supply all the private mental health records the Feds will be demanding.
Cox reportedly said "if the legislation becomes a 'gun-control wish list' as it moves through Congress, the NRA will withdraw its support and work against the bill." But this is the same line they used on their second attempt to pass liability protection for gun dealers and manufacturers. That bill became a "gun control wish list" and the NRA not only supported it, but demanded that it pass with all the gun control that was tacked on to it.
What do gun owners get in return for this vastly expanded intrusion into their privacy? According to the Washington Post "Individuals with minor infractions in their pasts could petition their states to have their names removed from the federal database, and about 83,000 military veterans, put into the system by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2000 for alleged mental health reasons, would have a chance to clean their records. "
Individuals with minor infractions, and military veterans don't get their names removed from government "no-buy" lists, they get the "chance" to "petition" to have their names removed.
We are quite confident predicting that process will be a nightmare if it can be done at all. The recent implosion of the passport issuing system is a perfect example of the kind of morass that all government databases become.
According to the Washington Post "Under the bill, states voluntarily participating in the system would have to file an audit with the U.S. attorney general of all the criminal cases, mental health adjudications and court-ordered drug treatments that had not been filed with the instant-check system".
If that does not terrify you it should. The current background check system is an intrusive, error-riddled mess. Now NRA and the anti-gunners in Congress want to expand a system that can't keep criminal records straight, and add vast new amounts of data about people's "mental health" records. The abuse and misuse of people's private information is nothing new and it's a very short trip from "court-ordered drug treatments" to "has attended an AA meeting."
No one supports arming people who are a danger to themselves or others, but adjudicating someone's mental health is an inexact science at best. And there is no reason to believe that this latest attack on your right is going keep dangerous people from getting guns.
One of the legislators responsible for this "deal," anti-gun Congressman John Dingell (who has voted with his anti-gun colleagues 96.8% of the time), said "No law will prevent evildoers from doing evil acts, but this law will help ensure that those deemed dangerous by the courts will not be able to purchase a weapon." But of course, that's preposterous. All this law will bring us is more invasions of our privacy, more government databases, and more denied purchases.
There was a little snafu somewhere in there with an ill advised campaign logo on the website, but overall the talk of CO politics has been Schaffer, and that talk has been good.
Udall still has the money on his side, but as I have wrote about earlier that is not as big a deal as everyone has made it out to be. At Udalls current rate he should break the $2 million COH mark right around 2016.
I wish I was joking about that one.
If the Bob Schaffer for Senate campaign can keep up with it's current pace and Mark Udall keeps up with his lack thereof then this race won't be as competitive as many had assumed.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
By ROBERT TANNER, AP National Writer
Anti-death penalty forces have gained momentum in the past few years, with a moratorium in Illinois, court disputes over lethal injection in more than a half-dozen states and progress toward outright abolishment in New Jersey.
The steady drumbeat of DNA exonerations — pointing out flaws in the justice system — has weighed against capital punishment. The moral opposition is loud, too, echoed in Europe and the rest of the industrialized world, where all but a few countries banned executions years ago.
What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.
The reports have horrified death penalty opponents and several scientists, who vigorously question the data and its implications.
So far, the studies have had little impact on public policy. New Jersey's commission on the death penalty this year dismissed the body of knowledge on deterrence as "inconclusive."
But the ferocious argument in academic circles could eventually spread to a wider audience, as it has in the past.
"Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it," said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. "The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect."
A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. "The results are robust, they don't really go away," he said. "I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?"
Statistical studies like his are among a dozen papers since 2001 that capital punishment has deterrent effects. They all explore the same basic theory — if the cost of something (be it the purchase of an apple or the act of killing someone) becomes too high, people will change their behavior (forego apples or shy from murder).
To explore the question, they look at executions and homicides, by year and by state or county, trying to tease out the impact of the death penalty on homicides by accounting for other factors, such as unemployment data and per capita income, the probabilities of arrest and conviction, and more.
Among the conclusions:
• Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14).
• The Illinois moratorium on executions in 2000 led to 150 additional homicides over four years following, according to a 2006 study by professors at the University of Houston.
• Speeding up executions would strengthen the deterrent effect. For every 2.75 years cut from time spent on death row, one murder would be prevented, according to a 2004 study by an Emory University professor.
In 2005, there were 16,692 cases of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter nationally. There were 60 executions.
The studies' conclusions drew a philosophical response from a well-known liberal law professor, University of Chicago's Cass Sunstein. A critic of the death penalty, in 2005 he co-authored a paper titled "Is capital punishment morally required?"
"If it's the case that executing murderers prevents the execution of innocents by murderers, then the moral evaluation is not simple," he told The Associated Press. "Abolitionists or others, like me, who are skeptical about the death penalty haven't given adequate consideration to the possibility that innocent life is saved by the death penalty."
Sunstein said that moral questions aside, the data needs more study.
Critics of the findings have been vociferous.
Some claim that the pro-deterrent studies made profound mistakes in their methodology, so their results are untrustworthy. Another critic argues that the studies wrongly count all homicides, rather than just those homicides where a conviction could bring the death penalty. And several argue that there are simply too few executions each year in the United States to make a judgment.
"We just don't have enough data to say anything," said Justin Wolfers, an economist at the Wharton School of Business who last year co-authored a sweeping critique of several studies, and said they were "flimsy" and appeared in "second-tier journals."
"This isn't left vs. right. This is a nerdy statistician saying it's too hard to tell," Wolfers said. "Within the advocacy community and legal scholars who are not as statistically adept, they will tell you it's still an open question. Among the small number of economists at leading universities whose bread and butter is statistical analysis, the argument is finished."
Several authors of the pro-deterrent reports said they welcome criticism in the interests of science, but said their work is being attacked by opponents of capital punishment for their findings, not their flaws.
"Instead of people sitting down and saying 'let's see what the data shows,' it's people sitting down and saying 'let's show this is wrong,'" said Paul Rubin, an economist and co-author of an Emory University study. "Some scientists are out seeking the truth, and some of them have a position they would like to defend."
The latest arguments replay a 1970s debate that had an impact far beyond academic circles.
Then, economist Isaac Ehrlich had also concluded that executions deterred future crimes. His 1975 report was the subject of mainstream news articles and public debate, and was cited in papers before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing for a reversal of the court's 1972 suspension of executions. (The court, in 1976, reinstated the death penalty.)
Ultimately, a panel was set up by the National Academy of Sciences which decided that Ehrlich's conclusions were flawed. But the new pro-deterrent studies haven't gotten that kind of scrutiny.
At least not yet. The academic debate, and the larger national argument about the death penalty itself — with questions about racial and economic disparities in its implementation — shows no signs of fading away.
Steven Shavell, a professor of law and economics at Harvard Law School and co-editor-in-chief of the American Law and Economics Review, said in an e-mail exchange that his journal intends to publish several articles on the statistical studies on deterrence in an upcoming issue.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
The group published a full-page ad in the USA Today calling on Congress to repeal the so-called "Tiahrt Amendment" which prevents the anti-gunners in BATFE from colluding with local police departments to create a national gun registry.
From the RMN:
The mayors' battle is against the Tiahrt Amendment, named for Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kansas. He inserted a clause in the 2003 Department of Justice spending bill restricting local government and police access to a federal "gun trace" database. The law has been reauthorized every year since then.
The database is collected by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives...
Amendment supporters say the law protects gun owners' constitutional right to bear arms and shields the identity of undercover officers.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
On June 5, the third Republican presidential debate will be held in New Hampshire and will be televised by CNN.
In these final days and hours before the debate, the Big Government Republicans are expected to put intense pressure on the three sponsors to drop Ron Paul from the panel of debaters.
Don’t let this happen! Sign the petition to keep Ron in the debate, and send the petition to your friends!
This petition is not an endorsement of Ron Paul for the presidency.
It says: “Whether we agree with Ron Paul’s viewpoints or not, we believe that Republicans—and all other Americans—deserve a real debate with more than one viewpoint. Keep Ron in!”
Ron Paul has become the lightning rod in the presidential debates by expressing his conservative opinions. Let’s not let the Big Government Republicans silence him!
Go to www.KeepRonIn.com NOW to keep Ron Paul in the June 5 New Hampshire debate!
Be sure to visit KeepRonIn.com!
Monday, June 04, 2007
White is registered as a Republican, but is FAR more likely to be found voting with the Democrats than his Republican colleagues.
White supports extra-constitutional rights for guys, supports gun control, raising taxes, and consistently votes to expand the power, authority and size of state government.
When he is called out on his horrible voting record he whines to the GJS:
“I don’t think we in the Republican Party should try and identify those of us who are Republican enough and those of us who are not Republican enough,” White said. “Nor should we have discussions about purifying our party, as I have heard several members suggest.”
White said discussions about Republican purity “sounds very Adolf Hitler-ish to me.”
Who is Al White to call ME "Hitler-ish"?!?! Yes, this man is an elected official. More:
“There are suggestions that by getting rid of the likes of Al White that the party would be better off,” White said. “And my point would be that if you get rid of Al White, you’re going to end up with a Democrat, and that Democrat is going to vote for Democratic leadership.
“Al White, regardless of what you think of his votes in support of his district, will continue to vote for Republican leadership in those votes when they come up.
Anyone who talks in the third person needs to have his head examined. What's worse is that House Minority Leader David Balmer comes out and strongly defends White.
However, Assistant House Minority Leader David Balmer, R-Centennial, said he has not heard any rumblings of discontent within Republican circles. “Al White is somebody who has sacrificed for many years to serve our state and our Republican Party,” Balmer said. “He has labored in the trenches, and I really appreciate all he has done. Everybody in our caucus appreciates the many hours Al White has put in to serve as a (Joint Budget Committee) member, which is often a thankless job.” Balmer said the Republican Party respects its own diversity and would not force anyone out of its caucus.
However, Assistant House Minority Leader David Balmer, R-Centennial, said he has not heard any rumblings of discontent within Republican circles.
“Al White is somebody who has sacrificed for many years to serve our state and our Republican Party,” Balmer said. “He has labored in the trenches, and I really appreciate all he has done. Everybody in our caucus appreciates the many hours Al White has put in to serve as a (Joint Budget Committee) member, which is often a thankless job.”
Balmer said the Republican Party respects its own diversity and would not force anyone out of its caucus.
Joining the off-key chorus is party Chairman Dick Wadhams:
Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said that even if party members were upset with White, voting for the governor’s “property tax increase” is hardly grounds for political exile. “He’s a great legislator and he’s a very good Republican,” Wadhams said. “I do not question his loyalty to the Republican Party at all.” Wadhams acknowledged that the mill levy vote could be an issue in a Republican primary if White runs for term-limited Sen. Jack Taylor’s seat in 2008, but one vote “does not disqualify Al from being a Republican legislator at all.”
Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said that even if party members were upset with White, voting for the governor’s “property tax increase” is hardly grounds for political exile.
“He’s a great legislator and he’s a very good Republican,” Wadhams said. “I do not question his loyalty to the Republican Party at all.”
Wadhams acknowledged that the mill levy vote could be an issue in a Republican primary if White runs for term-limited Sen. Jack Taylor’s seat in 2008, but one vote “does not disqualify Al from being a Republican legislator at all.”
And Democrat Governor Bill Ritter:
During a bill-signing ceremony in Glenwood Springs this week, Ritter commended the Republican lawmaker’s support of a controversial property tax measure. “He is a person who takes the real issues of his constituency to heart and works really hard to make sure he’s working on behalf of the people he represents and, again, works across party lines and gets a great deal done,” Ritter said. Following a bill signing in Grand Junction, Ritter reiterated his appreciation for White’s style and promised to always bear in mind the Winter Park lawmaker’s politically risky vote of support. “Al White showed a great deal of political courage and it is something that I will remember for a long time to come,” Ritter said. So Bill Ritter, Dick Wadhams and David Balmer all agree that Al White is a swell guy, and should be rewarded with a State Senate seat. This kind of thinking, of blind loyalty to anyone who claims to be a Republican is what got the Republican party in it's current mess. It is unfortunate that party leaders like Wadhams and Balmer have missed this important lesson. Support of candidates like Al White will lead to another horrible election year for Republicans.
During a bill-signing ceremony in Glenwood Springs this week, Ritter commended the Republican lawmaker’s support of a controversial property tax measure.
“He is a person who takes the real issues of his constituency to heart and works really hard to make sure he’s working on behalf of the people he represents and, again, works across party lines and gets a great deal done,” Ritter said.
Following a bill signing in Grand Junction, Ritter reiterated his appreciation for White’s style and promised to always bear in mind the Winter Park lawmaker’s politically risky vote of support.
“Al White showed a great deal of political courage and it is something that I will remember for a long time to come,” Ritter said.
So Bill Ritter, Dick Wadhams and David Balmer all agree that Al White is a swell guy, and should be rewarded with a State Senate seat.
This kind of thinking, of blind loyalty to anyone who claims to be a Republican is what got the Republican party in it's current mess.
It is unfortunate that party leaders like Wadhams and Balmer have missed this important lesson. Support of candidates like Al White will lead to another horrible election year for Republicans.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo had a nice write-up in the Chicago Tribune:
While Tancredo's Republican bid is widely regarded as a long shot, the reaction he has received so far in Iowa shows his campaign can't be entirely dismissed, political analysts say.
He hasn't left much of a footprint in Congress, and yet, driven by an anti-illegal immigrant wind, he audaciously has become a single-issue candidate for president, his fists bared as he derides a bipartisan immigration plan being debated in the Senate and calls his opponents "soft."…
…The longer the problem of illegal immigration lingers, the easier it will be for Tancredo to serve as a GOP spoiler as his hard-line stance attracts voters feeling overwhelmed by their changing social landscape, said University of Iowa political science professor Peverill Squire.
"Here in Iowa, things have changed dramatically in the last two decades and it's probably caught a lot of Iowans by surprise," Squire said.
"Tancredo talking in a way to suggest that some of these changes can be slowed down or even reversed, for some people, may be comforting," he added.
A recent University of Iowa poll indicated that 96 percent of Republicans in the state consider a candidate's stance on immigration to be "very important" or "somewhat important" in their vote, with 57 percent saying they support allowing illegal immigrants to "earn" U.S. citizenship if they paid back taxes and learned English.
With Republicans split over immigration policy, top tier GOP candidates such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney recently have hardened their views.
Touring through Iowa, Tancredo takes credit for the shift, relishing his underdog status with jokes about not being invited to the White House. His outsider's role has enabled Tancredo to speak more bluntly than some of his rivals.
That approach worked at the GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines, where McCain, Giuliani and eight other candidates addressed about 1,000 of the party's faithful. Tancredo grabbed the loudest applause of the night after a lectern-thumping speech that cast his campaign as a fight to preserve American values and Western civilization itself.
Somehow I find it hard to imagine Thomas Jefferson celebrating the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights by depositing a bag of dog poop at the doorstep of his political rival, Alexander Hamilton. When our Founding Fathers crafted the First Amendment, I believe they had a loftier notion of the kind of free speech they sought to protect.
It's a measure of the decline of public taste and discourse that a University of Northern Colorado retired professor of French literature, Kathleen Ensz, would adopt this tactic as the way to express her opposition to the views of a duly elected member of Congress, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave.
Perverse Halloween pranksters have been known to fill a paper bag with doggie doo, set it afire outside someone's door, ring the bell, and watch the poor victim stamp it out. This is the kind of malicious, stupid thing that immature kids do. Ensz is a 64-year-old adult who was a college professor. For shame.
Appropriately, Ensz was charged with criminal use of a noxious substance. This turns out to have been a mistake by Weld County prosecutors. Conviction, under this state statute, requires "intent to interfere with another's use or enjoyment" of property. At her trial, Ensz's lawyers didn't dispute the fact that she delivered a mailer stuffed with dog feces to Musgrave's office. And Ensz's German shepherd didn't deny that it was the source of the smoking gun.
Her defense (Ensz's, that is, not Fido's) was that the intent was political protest - she didn't like receiving Musgrave's constituent mailers - and this was an exercise of free speech with no intent to interfere with Musgrave's enjoyment of her property. Personally, I tend to enjoy property less when it reeks of dog poop, but that's just me.
In any event, the jury followed the letter of the law and Ensz beat the rap. Had prosecutors charged her with something like malicious mischief, they might have gotten a conviction.
That's the approach the authorities are taking in Austin, Minn., where a 22-year-old man has been charged with disorderly conduct for protesting a parking ticket by including dog feces in the envelope containing his payment. This led to the illness and hospitalization of a clerk who came in contact with it when she opened the envelope. Ensz's irresponsible act could have caused similar injury.
Putting aside Ensz's lack of class, what does this say about the mentality of those who regard this as legitimate political protest?
Listen, I get mailers from Denver's left-wing congresswoman Diana DeGette, with whom I rarely agree, but it would never occur to me to do something remotely like this. Civilized people voice their opposition with words, not vile behavior.
When American patriots dumped all that tea into Boston harbor, they were protesting taxation without representation. Today, we live in a constitutional republic with democratic institutions, representative government and free elections. Ensz might not like Musgrave, but she was outvoted by citizens who do.
Free speech is one thing, but no one has the right to physically abuse others with expressions that involve dog feces, pies in the face or spilling blood on someone's fur coat. This is the conceit of smug, self-righteous radicals who reserve, only for themselves, the right to impose their will on others.
Ensz's arrogant, anti-social behavior might seem petty, but mentalities like hers are ultimately dangerous to a civil society. Her actions were only different in degree from eco-terrorists, abortion-clinic bombers and sociopaths like Eric Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh.
Suppose a thousand people who disagree with Ensz, each acting as an individual, expressed their disapproval by leaving bags of dog poop on her front porch. I wonder if liberals who've defended Ensz's act would think that was cute, too.
Mike Rosen's radio show airs daily from 9 a.m. to noon on 850 KOA. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.