TACKY: Obama Wants Your Wedding Gifts, Too

Obama for America campaign caused quite a stir on Twitter and Facebook on Friday when the campaign launched its latest fundraising gimmick – asking that those getting married “let [their] friends know how important this election is to you” by registering with Obama 2012, and asking for a donation in lieu of a gift.

Is the campaign serious? Now? At a time when young people are disproportionately affected by Obama economics?

As of 2011, the median age at a first marriage in the United States was 26.5 years, according to a Pew study on marriage. As of 2009, Colorado’s median age at first marriage was 25.7, according to the Population Reference Bureau, which is pretty close to average for the United States.    

In fact a press release by Generation Opportunity, claims that the unemployment among 18-29 year olds is over 12% for the month of May. A different study by Pew showed that just 54 percent of American ages 18 to 24 currently have jobs. According to a Huffington Post article:  

“That's the lowest employment rate for this age group since the government began keeping track in 1948. And it's a sharp drop from the 62 percent who had jobs in 2007 — suggesting the recession is crippling career prospects for a broad swath of young people who were still in high school or college when the downturn began.”  

While Obama has requested that the nation’s hardest hit forego the wedding gifts that often equip newlyweds with the tools needed to start a household, his friend and staffer Valerie Jarrett’s daughter, Laura, was married last weekend, a wedding Obama attended personally. Her registries were available via AmazingRegistry.com, a site that aggregates a couple’s registries into one location. The funny thing…Obama for America was not listed on her registry. 

In fact, the bride and groom registered for some lovely items from Crate and Barrel as well as Williams-Sonoma – including, not a gravy boat, as was referenced by the Obama campaign, but a four-cup gravy separator.

We’re not begrudging the new Mr. and Mrs. Balkissoon the fun and excitement of a wedding registry. It just seems that Obama expects sacrifices from Americans that he and his staff are not willing to make themselves. And, that, friends, is the height of poor taste.


TOUGH WEEK: Unions Handed A Heavy Load Of Defeat, Again

It's been another tough week for unions, especially coming only two weeks after their epic loss to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. This week their losses come in the form of a Supreme Court smackdown and a Denver Post editorial slam.

On the Supreme Court smackdown, per the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that unions must give nonmembers an immediate chance to object to unexpected fee increases or special assessments that all workers are required to pay in closed-shop situations.  

The court ruled for Dianne Knox and other nonmembers of the Service Employees International Union's Local 1000, who wanted to object and opt out of a $12 million special assessment the union required from its California public sector members for political campaigning. Knox and others said the union did not give them a legally required notice that the increase was coming.

Translated: No, SEIU, you cannot strong-arm funds from nonmember public sector employees to fund your corrupt election practices.  

The Supreme Court took the case after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Liberal Pandering, or rather, Appeals ruled the annual notice was enough. The Supreme Court disagreed – and it wasn’t even close – in a 7-2 judgment. Ouch – not only shut down, but with the consent of Justices Sotomayor and Bader Ginsberg. Sotomayor’s opinion was particularly well-written:  

“When a public-sector union imposes a special assessment intended to fund solely political lobbying efforts, the First Amendment requires that the union provide non-members an opportunity to opt out of the contribution of funds.”

This ruling comes on the heels of a Denver Post editorial slam of the Douglas County Federation of Teachers (DCFT) who have gone crying to the labor department because they finally have to deal with a school board whose members' campaigns weren't bankrolled by union interests.

The Post editorial said having the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) intervene in the contract negotiation between the teachers union and the school board "would be a mistake" because "the state simply has no compelling reason to enter the fray and substitute its judgment for that of a locally elected school board."


Noting that the Executive Director of CDLE, Ellen Golombek, is a former labor official (AFL-CIO and SEIU), the Post hints at the conflict of interest there. 

What they didn't mention is Ellen Golombek has already shown her willingness to act corruptly in the name of her friends in labor unions. A 9News investigation found that Golombek helped line up a $142,000 CDLE contract for a friend who she worked with at AFL-CIO and SEIU. While people waited for hours on hold for answers to their unemployment insurance questions, Golombek was helping her friend pull in six figures of taxpayer money for a job she showed up to the office for only two days in her first month. 

No wonder DCFT is asking Golombek to intervene. 

It's clear the education reform rockstars on the Douglas County School Board will hold the line, demanding the union stops using taxpayer resources to pay for their staff and help collect their campaign cash. So we guess we're looking at even more tough weeks ahead for unions in Colorado…


JUNTOS CON ROMNEY: Meet The 4 Members Of Mitt Romney’s Colorado Hispanic Leadership Team

Today, Mitt Romney announced his “Juntos Con Romney” leadership teams in 15 states, including Coloradans Sal Gomez, Christine Mastin, Jerry Natividad and Lilly Nunez. With Hispanic unemployment rising from 10.3% to 11% in May, the Hispanic community certainly can't be pleased with Obama's leadership. Here are the four folks who will help lead Romney's effort at reaching out to the fastest growing community in Colorado:

Sal Gomez is the owner of Source One Management. He also founded the National Business Information Clearinghouse (NBIC) in 2005 and was a co-founder of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Gomez served on staff at the Reagan White House, as well as the Reagan-Bush Transition Team. He also served on the staffs of former Kansas Governors Bob Bennett and John Carlin.


Jerry Natividad is the founder and CEO of American Facility Services Group, and has served on the boards of Colorado Republican Hispanic Assembly, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. A graduate of the University of Denver, Mr. Natividad also serves on Mitt Romney's National Hispanic Steering Committee. 

Lilly Nuñez has worked for Sen. Bill Armstrong, as well as a Special Assistant to the Regional Administrator and the Acting Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Nunez also has served as the Republican National Committeewoman from Colorado, Secretary of the Colorado Republican Party, and the State Chairman of the National Hispanic Assembly, among other roles.

Christine Mastin is the founding partner of law firm Mastin, Hoffman & Crews PC. She was the Republican candidate for State House District 3 in 2010 and currently serves as the Treasurer of the Colorado Republican Party. She was named one of Denver’s “40 under 40” by the Denver Business Journal, and a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers (in 5280 Magazine).  

Mastin, whose mother and grandmother immigrated to the United States from Chile, described the disappointment the Hispanic community has with President Obama’s lack of leadership on immigration reform:

“We had high hopes for President Obama, but he did not meet his campaign promises on immigration reform. We need long-term solutions that will reunite Hispanic families; the last thing we need is last-minute, politically-motivated, and temporary measures from a President who has not delivered for our community."

Obama’s challenges with (and resulting pandering to) the Hispanic community have been widely-publicized. With the importance the Hispanic community places on business ownership and the way Obama has paralyzed the small business community, Mitt Romney has a chance at making some serious inroads. 

(Photo Credits: Jerry Natividad/WellsFargo; Sal Gomez/HispanicMPR.com; Lily Nunez/Colorado Statesman; Christine Mastin/Mastinlaw.com)


HICK OPPOSES METRO STATE MOVE: Colorado Public Radio Picks Up Governor’s Tuition Opposition

Governor Hickenlooper has popped his head out of his hidey hole to take a position on the move by Metro State to provide discounted tuition for illegal immigrants, opposing the unilateral move by the college, yet saying he understood the need for it.

Per Colorado Public Radio:

Reporter: In a carefully worded statement, Governor John Hickenlooper said he appreciates the motive behind Metro’s decision, but that he also respects the Attorney General’s opinion. He said it would be better not to proceed institution by institution, but to pass legislation at the state and federal level. [Peak emphasis]

Is anyone out there? Did other members of the press get this "carefully worded statement"? The Governor has now waded into the issue on the side of Republicans and Attorney General Suthers, opposing Metro State's move.

It's a controversial issue, which makes it all the more notable that Governor Hickenlooper stood up and said no. When Democrats and liberals inevitably call Republicans racists for opposing Metro State's move, just remember, our Democrat Governor also stood in opposition.


UNAMBIGUOUSLY AWFUL OPPONENTS: Top 4 Examples Of Gessler’s Political Enemies Self-Imploding

Secretary of State Scott Gessler is a lucky man. It seems every time his opponents attack him for one issue or another they end up self-imploding along the way. In that spirit, here are four examples of Gessler's opponents making fools of themselves in their attempts to attack him… 

1. Rick Palacio's "Recall": In a move that The Denver Post editorial board said threatened to "erode [Democrats'] credibility" Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio announced a campaign to recall Scott Gessler from office. Then Palacio proceeded to doing basically nothing, only further embarrassing himself. The "Remove Scott Gessler From Office" Facebook page currently has 53 likes, up two from April. Considering Palacio would need about 500,000 signatures to get the recall, it's safe to say it's not going to happen.


2. Debra Johnson's "Inactive Memory": Denver's Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson should actually get two spots on this list. One for grandstanding over mailing inactive voters in 2011, only to have Complete Colorado find she didn't even bother trying to mail inactive voters in Aurora in 2007. The second for her embarrassing backpedal yesterday, where she accused Scott Gessler of "voter suppression, plain and simple" only to quietly delete that allegation from her statement online. 


3. Gilbert Ortiz's "Leon Lett" Moment: Pueblo's Clerk and Recorder tried to get his moment in the MSNBC sun after watching Johnson get some TV time with Rachel Maddow over the inactive voter issue in 2011. Colorado Pols proclaimed Ortiz "lionized" by the left-wing channel, which probably went to Ortiz's head. He apparently was so giddy to get some attention again that he blasted out a press release claiming 4,870 inactive voters had returned ballots in 2011. The real number was 1,791. Then during the 2012 primary Ortiz was found to have double mailed some ballots. What's that saying about not counting your chickens before they hatch? Doesn't it imply someone knows how to count?


4. Matt Inzeo's "Delayed Registration": Media Trackers Colorado found that Colorado Democratic Party Communications Director didn't register to vote until working for the state party for a year. He registered so late in fact he wasn't eligible to vote for Barack Obama in the March 7 precinct caucuses, nor could he legally sign the Gessler recall petition when state party announced their campaign on March 28. We wonder if Inzeo had a straight face when blasting Gessler over voter registration issues when he wasn't even registered to vote himself



BACKPEDAL: Denver Clerk Cries Voter Suppression…Then Quietly Removes Allegation From Statement

Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson is back in the news again; making a fool of herself, again. The Denver Post's Sara Burnett reports on Johnson's empty allegations of voter suppression by Secretary of State Scott Gessler, which she quietly retracted later by editing her statement online.


Denver County Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson ripped Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler on Wednesday, saying he is “trying for an end run around the court” with a proposed rule governing when clerks may mail ballots to inactive voters.

But Johnson later backed away from more serious charges of “voter suppression.”

“This rule, if enacted, oversteps the Secretary’s authority to interpret existing laws and may create new barriers for voters instead of eliminating them,” Johnson said in a statement sent out by her office and posted online. “It’s voter suppression, plain and simple.”

But after Gessler’s office defended the new rule, Johnson’s office altered its online statement to remove the quote about voter suppression.

Johnson's original allegation surrounded a rule by Secretary Gessler that said County Clerks could not mail ballots to inactive voters, outside primaries when everyone affiliated with a political party gets one, as that would violate the uniformity of the election. If inactive voters in Denver were mailed a ballot, but inactive voters in Colorado Springs weren’t that would unethically advantage one county's inactive voters over another's. 

Inactive voters can still vote by, you know, going to the polls. Like most voters in this country. But when they turnout in the low single digits, it's not worth the cost to cash-strapped counties to mail out thousands of ballots that won't get returned. 

The issue of mailing inactive voters has been one where Johnson has hypocritically tried to grandstand before. In 2011 she decided to fight Gessler and mail inactive voters, claiming it was an issue of fairness. But, as a Complete Colorado investigation found, when Johnson was the Clerk and Recorder for Aurora in 2007, she didn't even try to mail ballots to inactive voters. 

Johnson, and her fellow grandstanding liberal clerk Gilbert Ortiz (who struggles with counting), have been imperfect messengers for Common Cause's liberal attack on Scott Gessler. So has Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio and his Communications Director Matt Inzeo.

In fact, Gessler may be the luckiest pol in recent Colorado history. It seems every liberal who steps into the ring with Gessler ends up spending more time punching themselves in the face than landing blows on the Honey Badger himself. 


HIDING JOBLESS CLAIMS: Obama Admin Revises Numbers, AP Misses Discrepancy

The weekly jobless numbers came out this morning, and the Obama administration’s bean counters are, again, playing a shell game with the numbers. According to a Department of Labor press release issued today, “in the week ending June 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 387,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 389,000.”  

Huh? We remember that jobs number differently. According to the DOL’s press release issued one week ago today, the DOL had quoted the jobless claims at 386,000. Wouldn’t that mean that jobless claims actually increased?  

Apparently not in Obama’s world. Sometime within the past week, the Department of Labor has miraculously found 3,000 additional job claims that they forgot in its initial announcement last week. That’s incredibly convenient. Even more so – the Department of Labor never notified anyone that it was revising the number, so gullible press like the AP ran with the news that jobless claims had fallen.  

But, don’t worry, Secretary Hilda Solis and her messaging team had time to write 15 other press releases about esoteric topics like aid for unemployed Native American fishermen in Washington State.    

We’re just puzzled that the Department of Labor found the time to issue a release on program that affects a subset of a subset of a subset of the population, but not the revising of a national figure upon which millions of people nationwide depend as a barometer for the economy?  

The question then becomes: Why didn't the Department of Labor send out a press release noting the jobless claims were revised to 389,000? Why did they wait to use that new number until claims had fallen to 387,000? The AP missed the discrepancy, but the Obama administration was the one trying to pull the wool over their eyes. We'd hope the AP asks for some answers.  


CPAC COMES TO COLORADO: American Conservative Union Announces October Conservative Confab In Denver

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is coming to Colorado. This morning, the American Conservative Union (ACU) announced that they are bringing their popular conservative confab to Denver on October 4, 2012, only a day after the first Presidential debate is scheduled to be held at the University of Denver.

From their press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Al Cardenas today announced that the legendary Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is going back on the road this fall, hosting the second in a series of 2012 regional CPACs in Denver, Colorado. Scheduled for Thursday, October 4, 2012, at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport, CPAC Colorado will energize and mobilize Mountain West conservatives, giving them the tools needed to defeat the liberal agenda in 2012, while also highlighting rising conservative stars and issues in the region. Online registration is now available at conservative.org.

“CPAC Colorado takes the fight for the future of America directly to a critical battleground state, the site of innumerable broken promises made to the American people in Denver the night President Obama accepted his party’s nomination in 2008. Denver will also host the first Presidential debate, where—the night before CPAC Colorado—President Obama’s failed record will be on full display,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “At a time when the future of America is hanging in the balance, it is critical to unite and mobilize conservatives for the fight of 2012 and beyond.”  

The ACU has hosted national CPAC since 1973, and it now stands as the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the nation. For CPAC Colorado, ACU will bring national and regional leaders together with local grassroots activists for a day of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities—all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional values.  

CPAC Colorado’s invited speakers include: U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, U.S. Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ), U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), U.S. Representative Raúl Labrador (R-ID), U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO), New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Former Governor Mitt Romney, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.

This will come at a pivotal time in the race, firing up the conservative grassroots just as the campaign hits its final push.

It is also likely to draw large quantities of conservatives from across the nation and region to Denver just in time to rally outside the first debate, surely welcome news to Romney campaign organizers. 


BIG GREEN BOONDOGGLE: Congressional Testimony Reveals Green Energy Stimulus Spent $1.2M Per Job

In a Congressional hearing yesterday, Congressman Cory Gardner questioned a staffer from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) about green job creation through the so-called 1603 grant program and got an interesting reply. Turns out as of November 10, 2011 the government had shelled out $9.7 billion and created only 8,042 jobs, most only temporary, at an eye-popping cost of $1.2 million each.

Congressman Gardner has built a bit of a reputation for his ability to get what you might call "inconvenient truths" out of government officials regarding energy policy when they are testifying in front of Congressional committees. 

Check out the latest:

Regular readers of Peak might remember Gardner’s infamous thrashing of an EPA bureaucrat a little over a year ago, where he got the bureaucrat to admit the EPA doesn’t factor in the employment impact when they analyze the effect of their regulations.

Funny thing…apparently job creation wasn’t a part of the 1603 program either.

The US Treasury Department told the Congressional subcommittee holding the hearing that “job creation is not one of the statutory requirements for eligibility and thus it is not a factor in the consideration process.”

Which reminds us of another YouTube video…

This one is Obama in 2008 promising 5 million new green jobs if he was elected president. How’s that working out?


ETHICS LESSON: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Under Investigation, To Keynote Democratic Unity Dinner

The Denver Democratic Party has scored one of the most prominent members of the U.S. Congress, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), for its House District 7 “unity” dinner this Saturday.  Unfortunately, she’s better known for her ethical missteps and verbal diarrhea than Congressional leadership.  

In fact, earlier this month, U.S. House leadership announced that the ethical investigation against Rep. Waters would resume after a year-long hiatus caused by Waters’ stalling tactics.  According to The New York Times, ethics investigators are accusing her of “improperly trying to facilitate federal bailout financing and do special favors for a Boston-based bank, OneUnited, at a time when her husband had stock in the company worth about $200,000.”  

Following Waters’ accusations that the House Ethics Committee had violated rules in its inquiry, the committee brought in outside counsel, Billy Martin, a former Justice Department prosecutor, to handle the inquiry.  

The Denver Post’s Vince Carroll noted this morning that Waters is an odd choice – we agree.  Not only is Waters an odd choice period with her ethical foibles, but she’s an odd choice for a Colorado political party with this state’s focus on oil and gas development. In case you’ve forgotten, four years ago, she goofed and admitted that her goal was to socialize the oil and gas industry.  

So, she’s not coming to talk about ethics…she’s not coming to talk about her support of job creation in the natural resources sector…what could she be here to discuss?  

According to Denver Post doyenne Lynn Bartels, Waters is here to talk about the so-called GOP “attack on women” while she campaigns for President Obama here.  

Just because conservatives call Rep. Waters out for her outrageous statements, ridiculous behavior, and unethical dealmaking – and she happens to be a woman – doesn’t mean they’re waging a war on women. As state Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver) noted, “we believe actions speak louder than words” and her actions are just plain crazy.

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