We tried to warn Colorado’s Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper that doing anything but allowing convicted Chuck E. Cheese killer Nathan Dunlap’s execution to proceed would not be well-received by Coloradans. Yesterday, Hick granted a “temporary reprieve” for the killer. Today, the Denver Post was kind enough to chronicle just how unpopular this move has been with its readers. With just 12% of the population agreeing with his decision, it must be a dark day for Hick. See image below for results.
Governor Hickenlooper’s cowardly decision yesterday to save mass murderer Nathan Dunlap’s life via executive order has been met with a furious reaction across Colorado. Most furious were the victims’ families, who have been waiting 20 years for justice.
The Denver Post reports on the anger among the victims’ families towards Hickenlooper:
Reactions from the families of those slain during the Chuck E. Cheese’s killings were as intense as they were different after Gov. John Hickenlooper announced he would halt the execution of Nathan Dunlap.
“The knife that’s been in my back … was just twisted by the governor,” said Bob Crowell on Wednesday after a conference call with Hickenlooper.
Crowell’s daughter, Sylvia, was among the four killed by Dunlap in December 1993 after the ex-employee hid in a bathroom until the children’s restaurant closed, then shot the five people working.
Hickenlooper contacted the families before his official announcement of an open-ended reprieve for Dunlap, 39, just three months before his scheduled execution in August.
“I don’t think its right that he sat in jail longer than my son was on Earth,” Sandi Rogers, mother of 17-year-old victim Ben Grant, said in an interview last week. “I’ve always felt if you are truly evil, then you need to not be on this planet.”
CBS4 happened to be interviewing Bob Crowell when Hickenlooper had a conference call with the victims’ families, where family members trashed Hickenlooper as a “coward”:
DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. John Hickenlooper indefinitely delayed the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap on Wednesday and CBS4’s Jennifer Brice was with the parents of one victim when the governor had a private conference call with the families.
Brice was sitting in Bob Crowell’s kitchen with him as he was on phone with the governor. His daughter was killed by Dunlap at a Chuck E. Cheese 20 years ago.
During this conference call Brice could hear the other victims’ families yelling at the governor, saying things like, “Dunlap is an animal,” and “How could you do this?” And, “This is a coward’s way out.”
Watch the full CBS4 segment after the jump:
A cold-blooded killer has his life saved by Governor Hickenlooper.
Yesterday, Coloradans were outraged when Democratic Governor Hickenlooper cast aside the wishes of Nathan Dunlap’s victims’ families and granted him a “temporary reprieve” from his death sentence for slaughtering four innocent people at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese 20 years ago. Given the visceral reaction to the announcement, we have to admit even we were surprised when a reader tipped us off that Governor Hickenlooper had attended one of Denver’s most prestigious dinners last night, and partied with Denver Broncos players past and present.
We can hardly blame Hick for wanting to attend. It is, after all, one of the most anticipated events of the year in Colorado, usually honoring a great contributor to the Colorado community, and exceptionally well attended. Among the nearly 2,000 attendees last night, were the Bronco’s four Hall of Famers and numerous other Broncos alumni. Attendees even had the opportunity to take a photograph with Vince Lombardi trophies. But, this isn’t about the people who were there, or even the event itself.
During yesterday’s press conference, Hick noted that this was a difficult decision for him. He said, “We heard a variety of sides and obviously this has weighed heavily on me for over a year now.”
Perhaps the decision weighed so heavily that he needed a reprieve himself. But, when do the families, some of whom spoke out against Hick’s decision, get a reprieve from their grief over their missing loved ones? Here is what the family of victim Benjamin Grant said to Hickenlooper prior to his announcement: “Sit back, make no decision, allow the one that 12 people made after listening to all the evidence 17 years ago stand.”
With Hickenlooper’s decision ignoring the pleas of the victims’ families, we have to wonder, how did the families spend the night last night? We’re pretty sure it wasn’t toasting Denver’s finest.
Outrage is the only way to describe the reaction of many of Colorado’s leaders today over Governor Hickenlooper’s cowardly decision to issue a reprieve to mass murderer Nathan Dunlap via executive order.
From victims’ families to the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police to the District Attorney charged with convicting the Aurora shooter, many people involved in the Dunlap case were furious with Hickenlooper’s half-assed decision.
Below is a round-up of initial reaction:
Governor Hickenlooper is a coward. Rather than making a decision on whether to grant clemency to Chuck E. Cheese mass murderer Nathan Dunlap, Hickenlooper instead chose to issue an executive order for an “indefinite stay” of his execution.
In typical Hickenlooper fashion, he chose not to choose. But, unfortunately, for the cause of justice it means the cold-blooded killer gets to keep his life, even when he took four others.
Reports The Denver Post:
Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday issued an executive order granting convicted killer Nathan Dunlap a “temporary reprieve” from an execution that had been just three months away.
In an executive order that provides an indefinite stay of execution, Hickenlooper writes that the decision has weighed heavily on him…
“I don’t know why anyone would vote for someone who would want to do away with the death penalty in this case,” [Marj] Crowell said before a planned conference call with Hickenlooper.
Marj Crowell is the mother of one of Dunlap’s victims, Sylvia Crowell. In issuing his cop-out clemency decision today, Hickenlooper is insulting both the victims and the jury who decided to sentence Dunlap to death.
This decision could also affect another key death penalty case — that of Aurora shooter James Holmes. When DA George Brauchler seeks the death penalty against the human scum who committed one of the worst massacres in American history, will the jury wonder whether their decision will be respected by a future governor?
The silver lining to this decision is that if Republicans take back the governor’s mansion in 2014, a new Republican governor could issue their own executive order, allowing justice to take place and Nathan Dunlap to die for his crimes against humanity.
UPDATE: District Attorney George Brauchler responds:
“Not making a decision is an injustice,” Brauchler said.
— Jordan Steffen (@jsteffendp) May 22, 2013
Did Senator Bennet pressure the IRS to target Karl Rove’s 501(c)4 because it invested in advertisements against him in the 2010 election? Early in the IRS investigation scandal, View From a Height blogger Joshua Sharf dusted off a Michael Bennet press release that was issued the same day Bennet co-signed the now-infamous letter to the IRS commissioner requesting investigation of certain 501(c)4 groups. This press release mentioned one, and only one participant in the entire population of 501(c)4 groups, and that was Karl Rove.
Perhaps Bennet’s mention wasn’t simply targeting the largest or most well-known C4 on the block. Rove’s American Crossroads group invested nearly $6 million in advocacy advertising against Bennet during his 2010 campaign against Republican Ken Buck. Given these statistics, it’s clear why Bennet single out Karl Rove in a press release issued the same day that the contacted the IRS Commissioner on the identical topic.
This is an area of great concern, given the chilling effect that real and potential IRS investigations have on free speech, and our nation’s checkered past when it comes to these issues. The parallels between Nixon’s tactics and Bennet’s actions are worth noting. From the Second Article of Impeachment drawn up against President Richard Nixon:
“He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.” (Peak emphasis)
Bennet’s attempts to sweep this under the rug and simply shrug off the consequences of his intimidation are disturbing.
In a sign Governor Hickenlooper has all but abandoned any hope at retaining his moderate political brand, yesterday he announced his support for an impending $1 billion tax hike campaign.
Reports The Durango Herald‘s Joe Hanel at the bottom of a piece about Hickenlooper signing the attached SB213:
Hickenlooper pledged Tuesday to campaign for the tax increase once the sponsors pick a single initiative.
This, folks, is big news. In 2011, Hickenlooper steadfastly refused to take a public position on the Prop 103 tax hike ballot initiative, earning the derisive nickname “Chickenlooper.”
Currently tax hike proponents are deciding between raising taxes through increasing the flat tax rate, or creating a graduated system, with higher incomes being taxed at an even higher rate.
The fact that Hickenlooper has already agreed to back the billion dollar tax increase, without even knowing what form it wil take, is a risky move.
A recent poll that purposely over-sampled Democrats found that voters strongly oppose a tax increase, no matter what form it takes.
From our post on the poll:
Magellan polled 675 respondents from April 24-25 and found an overwhelming opposition to income tax hikes, with 55% of respondents opposed to the idea of raising the state income tax from 4.63% to 5.35% to only 36% supportive of the idea.
When asking about a graduated income tax hike, with those making less than $75,000 seeing their taxes go up 1%, while those making over $75,000 would see a 3% hike, the opposition increased slightly with 56% opposed and 35% in support.
We honestly can’t think of a single ballot initiative in Colorado history that started at 36% support to 55% opposition that succeeded in the end.
In a still fragile economy, voters simply aren’t willing to hand over more cash to the government.
With Hickenlooper’s approval rating already underwater with independents, this certainly can’t help his political standing.
Just when we thought Democratic Sen. Bennet was the clown of the week with his faux outrage over the IRS scandal that he, himself, caused, former Colorado Governor and (we presume) current Democrat Bill Ritter steps in with a trite and totally inaccurate assessment of the current state of affairs here in Colorado. Here is the rubbish that froths from his pen Sunday in the Pueblo Chieftain:
“Here in Colorado, we are ahead of the curve on many public policy issues that other parts of the country call intractable. There’s a pragmatic optimism in Colorado that leads us to find sensible solutions and compromises on tough issues, and move forward when others dig in their heels, putting ideology over progress.”
Initially, we thought he was planning to chastise his own party and we settled in to read the rest of the piece. But, no. Is Ritter living in an entirely different Colorado than the rest of… Colorado? In the “real” Colorado, the Democrats killed bills that would have saved children from pedophiles, worked overtime to strip citizens of Second Amendment rights, penalized small businesses with extra burdens and regulations, and just generally made life miserable for Colorado’s middle class all in the name of liberalism. (Or, perhaps, all in the name of their radical leftist patron saint, Tim Gill, who bought this year’s legislature and it’s bassackwards legislation.)
The ideas he expressed throughout his op-ed aren’t new, nor are they disagreeable – “let’s work together to get things done”. It’s just that he’s so detached from reality. And, it’s not just about the state of Colorado. He even seems to have rose-colored glasses when it comes to his own administration.
He claims he “balanced the budget” – doesn’t every Governor have to do so because of TABOR? That’s kind of like a criminal taking credit for serving his time. And, then there’s the Medicare fee that he passed, which contributed heartily to the national debt. Since he’s so worried about our debt.
By putting such a rosy spin on his and other Democrats’ actions, we can’t help but wonder if the lady doth protest too much.
In a battle of fact vs. fiction, two fracking documentaries are set to air in Boulder tomorrow night.
FrackNation will be airing at the Boulder Marriott at 6:30 p.m. which IMDB describes as:
Journalist Phelim McAleer faces bogus lawsuits, gun threats and intimidation questioning environmentalists and anti-fracking activists in his search for the truth.
At the same time, the Michael Moore-esque Gasland 2 will be screened at CU Boulder.
You can sign up to see FrackNation here.
If you’re more in a fiction mood, you can get tickets to Gasland 2 here.