Colorado is a mess. Have voters had enough?

Not long ago, Colorado was one of the safest, most prosperous states in the nation.

Today, Colorado is a mess.  Crime is soaring. The economy is faltering.  Energy prices are rising.  Schools are struggling.

Many of today’s problems are the predictable result of “progressive” policies adopted during the four-year reign of Gov. Jared Polis and large Democrat majorities in the legislature.

In the next few months, Colorado voters will decide if they’ve had enough.

Democrats pursued legislation that was tough on law enforcement and soft on criminals.  They passed bills to make it easier to sue police officers but harder to keep violent criminals behind bars.

Not surprisingly, Colorado suffered the fourth-highest crime increase in the country.  From 2018 to 2021, murders soared by 75% from 237 to 414.  More homicides were committed in Colorado in 2021 than during the infamous “summer of violence” in 1993, both in raw numbers and per capita.

In those same three years, motor vehicle theft nearly doubled to 41,719 – more than 100 per day – in 2021.

“Colorado, historically, has been a remarkably safe state, well below the national averages . . . We can’t say that any more,” Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen told Colorado Public Radio.  He dismissed assertions that the COVID pandemic was responsible for the crime wave.

In a bipartisan report, former district attorneys Mitch Morrisey, a Democrat from Denver, and George Brauchler, a Republican from Douglas County, described an “undeniable and blistering increase in crime.”

That report from Common Sense Institute connects the increase in crime to “social justice” legislation passed during the last four years, leading to:

  • Declining prison population (down 23% since 2008).
  • Increasing use of personal recognizance bonds even in violent crime cases.
  • Decriminalizing possession of four grams or less of Schedule II controlled substances, such as fentanyl, from a felony to a misdemeanor.

An investigation by Denver’s CBS4 found repeat felons and others charged with violent felonies received cash-free bonds or probation.

Simultaneously, Democrats’ war on affordable energy are making it more expensive to cool and heat our homes and to drive our vehicles.  Meanwhile, they drive energy-producing jobs out of state.

“Coloradans face steep increases in energy bills this winter, with some (paying) as much as 50% more compared to last winter,” reported Colorado Politics which specifically noted “actions by state regulators and policymakers” driving up energy bills.

After Colorado voters said “no” to draconian restrictions on oil and gas production, Polis and Democrat lawmakers defied voters by passing Senate Bill 181 which brought drastic reductions in drilling permits and a major employment contraction in the energy industry.

Prior to SB 181, Colorado issued 30 or more location drilling permits every month which allowed energy producers to develop long-term plans.  However, just five permits were issued in all of 2021 and only 22 so far this year.  Colorado has lost 3,400 energy sector jobs since 2020.

While Polis uses deceptive taxpayer refund checks in a shameful scheme to buy votes, gas prices could soon jump by another 51 cents a gallon because Polis asked the federal EPA to enact more severe ozone standards in Colorado.

Just this week, election-year Polis began to backpedal.  Voters should remember than in his last election, he also claimed to oppose draconian oil and gas regulations but imposed them anyway after the election.

Likewise, the Governor and legislature show little regard for agriculture, Colorado’s second-largest industry which is responsible for producing safe, clean meat, grains, fruits and vegetables to feed the state’s growing population.

“It’s as if the governor pays lip service to agriculture one day and then slaps it in the face the next,” editorialized the Sterling Journal-Advocate.

The problem with progressive lawmakers is that they “know” so much based on so little real-world experience.  The current crop of progressive legislators is remarkably young and sorely lacking in experience outside government or politics.

So, Colorado voters now must choose.  Continue to elect progressive Democrats and expect more of the same or give Republicans a chance to show whether they can return sanity to our state.

American equality is truly revolutionary

Equality of all citizens is a uniquely American concept.

Historian G.K. Chesterton said, “America is the only nation in the world that was founded on a creed.”  That creed comes from the Declaration of Independence:

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.

This declaration came at a point when slavery was nearly universal.  Native Americans made slaves of conquered tribes and of blacks.  In Africa, blacks and Muslims sold slaves to other continents.

Yet, influential Americans some 250 years ago recognized that making slaves of their fellow human beings was immoral.  They also knew that they were being ruled unjustly by England.  The founders knew that their 13 free and independent states needed an alliance to ensure their survival. (more…)

Will Republican voters be suckered again by Democrats’ scheme?

Sometimes it seems Democrat strategists know the minds of Republicans better than Republicans know themselves.

Consider the current scheme by Democrats to spend millions to influence the Republican primary.

Organizations funded by Democrats are running ads to promote U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks and governor candidate Greg Lopez.  One of their favorite messages is that Hanks or Lopez is “too conservative for Colorado.”

Remember, they are intentionally sending this message to Republican voters.

I’ve heard or read Republicans respond:

  • “They may have intended these ads to be negative, but these ads gave me the information I needed to know that they ARE who I want to vote FOR!”
  • “I hear Republican positions that I agree with followed by ‘too conservative for Colorado.’ That makes me more likely to vote FOR them.”

That’s no surprise to Democrats.  In fact, it’s precisely what they want Republicans to do. (more…)

Re-election is Democrats’ true priority

God saw fit to stop at ten commandments, but politicians can’t leave well enough alone, so a series of “Eleventh Commandments” apply to them.  One of those admonishes:  Thou shall not make the voters more cynical.

This year, Democrats at our State Capitol are breaking that commandment, too.

With polls showing that Colorado voters may finally be ready to end their four years of unrestrained power, Democrats are discarding their professed priorities like a sinner headed for confession – hoping voters will forgive and (especially) forget.

So, let’s take a little walk down memory lane and remember this journey through Election Day.

Last week, Gov. Jared Polis and legislative Democrats tossed aside 30 years of fierce opposition to Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) which they’ve blamed for everything from crumbling roads to failing schools.  Instead, they held a press conference to tout “their” plan to send every taxpayer a $400 check barely one month before voters receive their general election ballots.

There’s just one problem: that money already belongs to taxpayers. (more…)

Indian mascot commission seeks to re-write dictionary

The state commission charged with adjudicating which Colorado schools must expunge their “American Indian mascots” devolved further into a kangaroo court last week.  Chaired by Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs was required to “identify each public school in the state that is using an American Indian mascot” by July 28 of last year.

More than eight months later, the commission is now considering whether to add seven new schools as potential violators for using “Thunderbird” as their mascot.  At an April 6 meeting, CCIA began discussing whether these mascots violate the law which prohibits “names, symbols or images that depict or refer to an American Indian tribe, individual, custom or tradition.”

Ironically, when the commission released its initial list of schools with affected mascots last July, it did include one with a Thunderbird mascot – Johnson Elementary in Montrose which fields no teams and merely displays a Thunderbird logo.

So, how did CCIA find little Johnson Elementary but fail to notice at least seven other schools, including Aurora’s Hinkley High School and Cherry Creek’s Thunder Ridge Middle School, that use the same mascot? (more…)

Yes, it does matter who Republicans nominate!

After reading polls showing Joe Biden’s popularity at Jimmy Carter levels, Republicans are giddy with optimism about a potential resurgence in November.  I’ve even heard some Colorado Republicans boast, “It doesn’t matter who we nominate.”

Correction: it definitely matters who we nominate.

Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t remember the election of 2010.

In Barack Obama’s second year in office, his approval numbers crashed due to massive government spending, a progressive push to nationalize health care, and the rise of the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party movement.  By Election Day, Republicans were plus-11 on the generic congressional ballot.

On election night, Republicans picked up six U.S. Senate seats, including some of the most unlikely places, like Illinois (Obama’s home state) and Wisconsin (the first Republican elected in 24 years).  In Congress, Republicans gained a staggering 63 seats – the largest shift by either party since 1948.

But the Red Wave washed out here in Colorado – partly because Republicans made a catastrophically poor choice in the race for Governor by nominating Dan Maes, who could be described most charitably as an “unknown newcomer.”

(more…)

Abortion bill illustrates growing polarization of Colorado politics

Democrats at the state legislature made a remarkable choice in recent weeks to burnish their “reproductive rights” bona fides by passing a bill that stakes out perhaps the most extreme position possible on abortion by explicitly depriving an unborn child of any legal rights whatsoever until the moment after birth.

A premature over-reaction to fears that the U.S. Supreme Court may strike down Roe v. Wade, the bill strangely ignores Colorado’s history as one of the most permissive in the nation on abortion.  In 1967 – six years before Roe – Colorado became the first state to union to make abortion legal.  If Roe falls, abortion won’t become illegal.  Instead, Colorado law will govern here.

Even without House Bill 1279, which Governor Polis will sign, Colorado is one of only a few states that puts no restrictions on when a woman may have an abortion.  Since 2000, Colorado voters have rejected multiple pro-life ballot measures ranging from restrictions on late-term abortions to giving full legal rights to an unborn child. (more…)

History backs Lincoln’s role as pioneer for racial equality

Nearly 160 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, his place in history as “The Great Emancipator” of black slaves is firmly established.  Nevertheless, a defense of Lincoln is a required response to the fallacy-ridden 1619 Project in which the New York Times seeks to rewrite American history through a racist lens.

In 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project, Peter W. Wood performs documented research that 1619 neglected by citing no sources and providing no footnotes or bibliography.  Readers of 1619, including school children who find its “curriculum” woven into their classrooms, are expected to accept this wholly-biased account on faith.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, lead author of 1619, claims Lincoln was a racist.  She arrives here, Wood writes, not through intense scholarly research, but because in high school she became enamored with the writing of Lerone Bennett Jr., an editor at Ebony magazine who wrote an article titled, “Was Abe Lincoln a White Supremacist?”

Her evidence is Lincoln’s August 1862 meeting with five black leaders in which he discussed shipping freed slaves out of the country. (more…)

Let’s be honest about our elections – and fix them

Confidence in elections is paramount to our system of self-government.  Those we elect have an obligation to work together to build security and transparency in those elections.

Today, both parties are largely failing that test.

After the 2020 election, President Trump’s falsehoods about a “stolen election” set the stage for him to agitate a crowd that gathered on Jan. 6 to “fight like hell” or “you’re not going to have a country anymore.”  At least several hundred demonstrators took those words seriously and broke into the U.S. Capitol intent on disrupting certification of electoral votes.

Remarkably, after justly criticizing Trump’s rhetoric, Democrats are now copying his playbook.  They claim future elections won’t be legitimate unless Democrats pass radical legislation to usurp state control of elections and concentrate still more power in Washington – epicenter of dysfunctional government.

As their public support collapses, President Biden, Sen. Chuck Schumer and other Democrats proclaim that if Republicans win in 2022, “it could be the last election.” (more…)