Let’s take a time-out from our all-out partisan warfare and celebrate just another reason why America is the greatest nation ever. Opening Day. In honor of Opening Day PeakNation™, we’d like to share the greatest sitcom bit ever written about it.
While the county assemblies over the weekend on the Republican side were largely uneventful, liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s appearance at the Denver Democrats’ assembly caused a stir. No, it’s not because he actually showed up (shocking). It’s because he backtracked. According to The Denver Post:
In an interview with The Denver Post, Udall on Saturday was asked about a statement he made to 850 KOA that implied he didn’t vote for the Affordable Care Act, when he did.
“I think, look, if I were there, I would say, ‘Here are some things that we should have done differently, here are some things that make more sense,’ ” he told KOA. Udall said he meant to say “If I were there again.” In hindsight, he said, he should have pushed back in 2010 for “better implementation and a clearer provision that you could keep your insurance policy if you like.”
If Udall thinks by saying on 850KOA that “if he was there” would distance himself from his disastrous vote and subsequent “Lie of the Year”, he’s delusional. Kudos to The Denver Post‘s Referee of Rhetoric, Lynn Bartels, for forcing him to clarify his statement. Udall was there. In fact, he was one of the deciding votes on Obamacare in the U.S. Senate.
But, that’s not why he received the “Lie of the Year” award. It’s because he told Coloradans that if they liked their plan, they could keep it. Not true. Given the backlash from that tall tale, you’d think he’d shy away from making promises. But, no. He’s made another promise. Quick, Sen. Bennet and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, take away his microphone.
…Udall said. “You can now keep your plan going forward.”
Of course, that’s now that over 350,000 Coloradans have lost their plans that they liked. So, now that you’re stuck in an over-priced plan that you hate, you can definitely keep it. We won’t hold our breath for the applause and gratitude.
Governor John Hickenlooper is probably having a bad case of the Mondays right about now as he faces an onslaught of legal questions about his policy decisions and personal conduct.
The Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) is holding a formal hearing this morning over a complaint that Hickenlooper violated the state’s ethics law by allowing the Democratic Governors Association to pay for a conference he attended in Aspen. Also happening today are opening arguments in a lawsuit brought by Colorado sheriffs over legislation Hickenlooper signed that greatly restricts the 2nd Amendment rights of Colorado citizens.
Simply put, this is not the kind of attention that a vulnerable Governor running for re-election needs right about now. Hickenlooper’s press team is no doubt trying to brainstorm some quirky antics in an attempt to “change the conversation.” As such, here are the top 3 stunts we predict you’re most likely to see from Hickenlooper in the coming days:
- Jumping out of a plane in an effort to get more people to sign up for Obamacare.
- Showering with his clothes on in order to start a conversation about bullying.
- Instead of his usual suit without a tie look, Hickenlooper will begin donning goofy Christmas sweaters in the middle of spring, and the liberal media will go wild.
What say you PeakNation™: which aw-shucks tactic will Hickenlooper resort to in his attempt to win back the love of the voters after a day of bruising headlines?
If the facts don’t back you up, just make them up. Or so goes the fracktivist motto. Their claims of tainted water and air from fracking don’t have the proof behind them and haven’t had the proof behind them for the past 60 years (since we began fracking). Now, a new story by The Washington Free Beacon disproves a much more recent event fractivists seized upon to push their extremist agenda.
Last September, as many Coloradans experienced the destruction and devastation of the biblical floods that struck Colorado, fractivists only had one focus on their agenda: using the floods – however possible – to attack fracking. As The Beacon writes:
Environmental activists ginned up false fears about flood-induced contamination from hydraulic fracturing operations in Colorado shortly before voters in the state weighed in on moratoria on the practice, a new report from state regulators shows.
… Concerns about water contamination during the 2013 floods “were the direct result of reckless claims from environmental activists who were running campaigns to ban oil and gas development in several cities along Colorado’s Northern Front Range,” [the Peak emphasis]
At a time when many Coloradans’ lives had been upended, whether through a beloved house becoming inhospitable, or living in a town that had become completely cut off from the rest of the world, fractivists thought the best use of their time would be in finding ways to use the floods to attack fracking. Never you mind that the devastation in Colorado was caused by wholesome, 100% natural (probably organic too!) rainwater. Then again, fractivists were never known to be class acts.
To boot, fractivists decided the best use of a helicopter at this point wasn’t helping people or delivering much needed supplies, but rather, flying around and taking pictures to gin up oil and gas contamination fears where no contamination actually existed:
A group called EcoFlight organized helicopter flyovers of flooded areas with activists from Frack-Free Colorado and Fractivist and reporters from CNN, CBS, and Reuters to document supposed water contamination.
“We pushed dozens of photos through blogs and social media sites to get the mainstream media’s attention to the unfolding environmental disaster in the gas fields,” EcoFlight said. “Congratulations—we succeeded.” [the Peak emphasis]
Like we said, classy. Unfortunately for them that “oil contamination” they found wasn’t oil spills at all, but rather, sewage from flooded towns.
A number of news outlets covered the supposed water contamination, including the Denver Post. That newspaper ran a photo on its front page with a caption that claimed crude oil was leaking from a damaged tank.
The Post later issued a correction, noting that the substance in the picture was not crude oil but “standing water left behind after floodwaters receded.” [the Peak emphasis]
Watch yourself Colorado, if fractivists start attacking the real contaminators of our water they’ll want to pass initiatives that make it illegal to go to the bathroom.
Earlier this week, Sen. Ted Harvey proposed an amendment to a bill that would have protected the identity of Colorado voters who vote in small districts whose identity could be compromised by virtue of the fact that they’re one of just a few voters. Because Democrats say no to every initiative that Republicans put forth, it wasn’t surprising that Harvey’s amendment got some pushback from Democratic Sen. Jesse Ulibarri. What was surprising was that Ulibarri actually took a citizen to task on the Senate floor. That’s unheard of. See the video below.
Unfortunately for Ulibarri, his inappropriateness only underscores the necessity for Harvey’s amendment. Why should ballots be anonymous? So state Senators can’t single out political opponents on the Senate floor.
This past week, the Colorado Senate Democrats voted down a proposal that would allow the state legislature to audit Connect for Health Colorado. KDVR ran a story about people who had signed up for Obamacare in Colorado and are still unsure if they have insurance or not because of mishandling by Connect for Health Colorado.
Yep, sounds exactly like a group who doesn’t need oversight by the Colorado Legislature:
The seriousness of this situation is illustrated by this Nevada man who only found out after he suffered a heart attack that the health care he signed up for via Obamacare was never completed. Despite signing up and paying the first premium, no one is willing to take him, leaving him with more than $407,000 in medical bills to worry about. #thanksObamacare
For liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall and the other Democrats weighing whether to stand with Boulder Congressman Jared Polis or the Colorado business community in the emerging war over hydraulic fracturing, this infographic should help give a nudge…or should we say, a shove.
Frack bans kill jobs.
When the political press posse moves past around the clock coverage of the personhood initiative, we expect they will ask Udall whether he is with Polis or Colorado business. If Polis gets his way, there will be a lot of person hoods without jobs.
After nine hours of debate last night over the state budget, the takeaway was easy – Democrats’ amendments to the budget passed, Republicans’ amendments did not. The lack of bipartisan spirit was bad enough, but here’s the punch to the gut: Democrats refused to give up any of their pet projects in order to fund education, yet just a few months ago, they asked Colorado families to cough up another one billion dollars in tax revenue via Amendment 66 to fund teachers unions.
Republicans, lead by Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, battled for greater education funding by offering many amendments dedicated to filling the negative factor in public education. The “negative factor” (surely the word of the night) is the band-aid that the state implemented during the recession due to untenable funding mandates resulting from Amendment 23, which requires an increase in education funding each year.
Instead of seizing the opportunity to help school districts across the state, Democrats gave every excuse in the book. The most prevalent (and obnoxious) being that Joint Budget Committee Chair Crisanta Duran wasn’t made aware of the requests in the process she had outlined. Of course, Duran’s process had nothing to do with the process required by the legislature, prompting some to say she required legislators to kiss her ring.
Either way, it’s pathetic when Democrats put special interests and process over the education and well-being of children. Some of the line items in the budget that were funded instead of children’s education included the following:
- $7 million more (above the already funded $46 million) for the Vocational Rehab Program, a program so rife with “pervasive problems” that a November 2013 performance audit found issues with 98 percent of the program’s cases reviewed
- $5 million more for film subsidies through the Governor’s Office of Film
- $6.8 million for the Waste Tire Program, which tracks tires from the time they’re removed from a car or truck until they are appropriately disposed of
While the budget bill passed second reading last night, the budget must be passed on third reading, scheduled for today. Stay tuned PeakNation™ for more news on the budget.
Liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s campaign has made much hay about Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck’s decision to abandon his race for U.S. Senator in favor of U.S. Rep Cory Gardner. The campaign has even adorably dubbed the decision the “Centennial State Swap”, but as The Denver Post‘s Lynn Bartels writes, Udall may have firsthand experience with stepping down in a race when a better candidate is in the picture:
But Udall knows a little something about stepping aside in a U.S. Senate race.
Ten years ago this month, Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell unexpectedly dropped his re-election bid for the U.S. Senate.
On the night of March 9, then-Congressman Udall dialed reporters. “I’m in,” the mountain climber said. “I’m packing my sleeping bag and racking my ropes, and I’ll have more to say about it tomorrow.”
But think-tank founder Rutt Bridges already was in the race, and Attorney General Ken Salazar had decided to run. The next morning, they ate breakfast at a Westminster restaurant and talked about what to do. Udall and Salazar both still wanted to run.
That afternoon, Udall climbed the steps of the state Capitol and stood by Salazar’s side as Salazar announced he would seek the Democratic nomination. Salazar won that November.
What kind of a deal had been reached in those few hours?
There wasn’t one, Udall’s then- chief of staff, Alan Salazar, said at the time. After breakfast, Udall and his wife and friends huddled together talking about how important it was that a Democrat reclaim the Senate seat.
“Wouldn’t it be really bold,” Udall finally asked, ” if a politician could put aside his ambition and put the party first?”
Yesterday, Senator Mark Udall said he’d have no problem voting for Obamacare again. Today, we learn from an interview he had with Politico he’s looking forward to campaigning with President Obama:
But even though Gardner plans to tie Udall to Obama’s agenda on taxes, health care and gun control, the Democrat says he’s prepared to campaign alongside the president.
“I’m hoping that we get two or three of the following four people to come campaign: President Obama, Vice President Biden, former President Clinton and future President Clinton,” Udall said, referring to Bill and Hillary. [the Peak emphasis]
Whoa – that’s not what he told CNN in January, when he side-stepped the question of whether he would campaign with Obama four times.
Now, we know earlier this week Nancy Pelosi said that Obamacare was “a winner” for Democrats to run on in 2014, but given the track record the House Democrats have had for winning races these last few cycles, we can imagine few would actually take her campaign advice seriously.
More likely this just confirms rumblings we hear from people who are familiar with the inner-workings of the Udall campaign. Despite an all-out assault by them and the left echo-chamber on Cory Gardner since he’s entered the race, they have been unable to get anything to stick. The feeling is starting to set in over there that if this is a race to the middle, they will lose.
This best explains Udall’s actions over the past two days. Re-embracing Obamacare when it is hated by all but the Democratic base, saying now he is looking forward to campaigning with Obama when just over a month ago he couldn’t run away from Obama fast enough, could be a strategic change for the campaign. But, Udall may just be flailing under the mountain of negative press over the the past few weeks.
The unenviable job of painting Gardner – nowhere near an extremist – as an extremist will now fall to mostly surrogates as Udall himself focuses on firing up the base and getting them to turn out in large numbers this fall. And, from anyone on the outside, this was clearly their only play all along. Udall’s record of voting with Obama 99% of the time, along with his refusal to embrace more moderate proposals like the Keystone XL pipeline, made any attempt by Udall to moderate seem preposterous. Really, the only question is – why did it take so long for themselves to see this?
Perhaps between Steyer’s money and the fracking ban, the Democratic base will come out in large numbers this November. But in a deeply purple state like Colorado, it’s a risky bet. But, such is the race Udall is forced to run after six years of painting himself into this corner.