WONDER NO MORE: Udall Says Nyet to Keystone XL

There has been much speculation swirling about whether liberal Sen. Mark Udall will support the building of the Keystone pipeline, which would provide energy security by bringing 800,000 barrels of oil to the United States each day as well as thousands of jobs.  Wonder no more.  Udall’s legislative aide, Carly Robinson, has put the kibosh on any hope of Udall supporting the Keystone Pipeline, according to a member of Vets4Energy, Tom McAdam, who visited with Robinson in early April.  Sen. Udall was not available to meet with McAdam.  Here’s his notes from the meeting, exclusively obtained by the Peak:

“Senator Mark Udall. Met with the Senator’s Energy LA Carly Robinson. Meeting was not very productive as Ms. Robinson stated that the Senator was an environmentalist and his views were incongruent with support of the Keystone XL. Ms. Robinson said that she was aware of the Heitkamp letter but would most likely not inform the Senator.”

While Udall’s meetings with uber-environmentalist Tom Steyer have indicated that he is not inclined to support Keystone – afterall, he needs the cash from Steyer for his uphill re-election campaign – he has never truly been candid with Coloradans in this fashion. But, what’s truly interesting is that Robinson would not pass on information to a Senator from one of his constituents.

Former chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party, Floyd Ciruli,summed up the broad support for the Keystone pipeline in The Denver Post last month:

Even before its recent environmental clearance, the pipeline has enjoyed national support during the last five years that it has been under debate. Pew Research and other credible national polls show broad support at or above 60 percent, including a majority of Democrats, based on a lack of evidence of a greenhouse gas effect, the desire for energy independence, and the project’s potential to boost the economy. Most recently, former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed it, along with a host of Senate Democrats vulnerable in re-election.

But, not Sen. Udall.  He’s siding with Steyer over Colorado.  It was suspected before, but determined by Udall’s LA and her unwillingness to even listen to his constituent.

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SEARCHING FOR AN EXIT?: Tancredo Departure from the Governor’s Race Not True

A KDVR report this morning outlined the lay of land in Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial primary.  Here’s who’s left: Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler, Mike Kopp, and Tom Tancredo.  Relax, it’s in alphabetical order.  While we’re waiting to see if Beauprez makes the ballot and Kopp can transform the wind at his back into cash, a most interesting rumor popped up – KDVR is reporting that Tom Tancredo is considering a position as the Superintendent of Jeffco Schools.

This might be wishful thinking for some, but is Tancredo actually considering it?  PeakNation™, you may not know this, but Tancredo actually was a high school civics teacher for some time before launching his political career, so it’s not as random as one might think.  Here’s what unidentified Republicans that KDVR interviewed for the story think about the possibility:

“This would be a controversial hire, and I don’t know that it helps them accomplish what they want out there,” another Republican said. “Douglas County is the model for reforming schools and that board did it by picking its fights wisely and not courting unnecessary controversy.

“The Douglas County reformers never really gave their opponents anything extraneous to latch onto. For better or worse, ‘the Tanc’ has made a career of extraneous controversy….”

“…Tancredo is looking for a way out,” one said. “It isn’t just the party that would like him to get out; I have heard he needs a job and doesn’t relish going through a four-way primary.”

We’ve asked Tancredo to comment on the rumors.  Here’s what he said:

“Absolutely false. Joked that running the state of CO would be easier than running Jeffco schools. My guess this is someone (party insiders) wants to slow my momentum.”

So, there you have it PeakNation™, from the horse’s mouth.  Rumor is false.


SALT MEET WOUND: Individual Mandate Tax Will Begin to Hit Americans Today

We guess that Tax Day wasn’t enough of an f-you to the American people because today Obamacare’s teeth get even sharper.  Americans have already begun to feel the sting of Obamacare as they’ve watched their healthcare premiums increase – or worse, their plans get cancelled.  Now, millions of Americans are about to see their taxes go up under the individual mandate. 

It is the last day for individuals to sign up for health insurance coverage.  That means if you haven’t signed up for coverage by the end of today then you’re going to owe $95 or 1 percent of your income, whichever is greater, on next year’s tax bill. According to a recent study in the Wall Street Journal, the penalty is almost always more than $95, for example:

In a more common case — a married couple with two kids making $50,000 a year on the adjusted basis — the penalty for not having insurance could run about $300 a year. The same couple making $100,000 a year on this basis could be subject to a fine of about $800.

Those penalties will grow significantly larger in 2016, and young adults between 18 and 34 are going to get hit hard.   Colorado is no exception.  The Denver Post has well documented the problems facing young adults in Colorado trying to shop for affordable coverage.  Those reluctant to sign up for Obamacare over cost concerns are being forced to choose between insurance they can’t afford and a tax penalty that actually might be less money out of pocket.

So happy Tax Day Peak Nation™!  AND happy individual mandate day!  Anybody else want a shot?


ONE MORE THING: Dems Killed No-Brainer Amendment to Equal Pay Resolution

We wanted to take a quick moment to close the loop on the equal pay resolution in the state Senate last week.  When we left off on Thursday, Minority Leader Bill Cadman was attempting to tack on an amendment to the resolution that included Sen. Mark Udall and President Obama, both of whom pay their female staffers less than their male staffers.  Democrats laid the bill over until Friday hoping the frenzy of state assemblies would distract everyone from the fact that it had turned into an embarrassing episode for them.

Cadman’s amendment was ultimately killed, and it’s no wonder why.  At the end of the day, Democrats in the state legislature have more fealty to their party leadership than their own principles.  Udall was put on his heels when the media began questioning why he was advocating for a policy he didn’t personally adhere to when it came to his own staff.   The Senate’s resolution and Cadman’s amendment only served to further highlight Udall’s misogyny.

Heck, it wouldn’t surprise us if Udall’s staff made one of their infamous “hostile” phone calls to Majority Leader Morgan Carroll in an effort to persuade her to brush Cadman’s amendment under the rug.


JUDGE BY ACTIONS NOT WORDS: Udall’s Own Words Doom his Campaign

When your opponents can bury you with your own words, your political career is not long for this world.  Liberal Senator Mark Udall’s campaign team thought it’d be smart to tweet out a link to an old story on how much Udall is such a mountain climber (new drinking game: drink every time Udall mentions mountain climbing or Hickenlooper mentions beer or geology… just kidding – alcohol poisoning sucks!).  The problem with the story?  When Udall utters this line we bet he’d now wished he didn’t:

Udall said. “I’m much more inclined to look at what people do, as opposed to what they say.” [the Peak emphasis]

Oh, the irony.  Just this week Udall started a tour of Colorado, ironically called True to Colorado (from the man caught in “The Lie of the Year”?) where he hopes people pay attention to only his words and not his extremely liberal record of the past six years.  From the heights of hypocrisy, Udall has repeatedly tried these past few days to make this his motto:

“At the heart of freedom is the freedom to be left alone.”

First from his speech to the Democratic Assembly, to a campaign video, and finally in a tweet, Udall has been using this line.  Pretty words Udall, but like you said yourself, let’s examine your actions.  You’ve voted 99% of the time with Obama.  You want to pass more regulation on equal pay, when you yourself pay your female staff 84 cents to every male staff dollar.  You said yourself you were proud to cast the deciding vote on a bill that stripped 337,000 Coloradans of health insurance plans they liked, while making a drastic overhaul to an industry that is 1/6th of the entire United States economy:

“I look forward to casting that last vote.”

If you believe the heart of freedom is the freedom to be left alone, why were you proud to be the deciding vote on such an intrusive bill into the most private matters of Coloradans?

You took our health plans, you took our doctors, and you took our freedom to choose.  The only freedom you’ve left us is the freedom to be free of you.  Come November we’ll finally free ourselves to be left alone from you.


HICK OFF THE HOOK: Hey IEC, Your Liberal Biases Are Showing

Today, the Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) dismissed Compass Colorado’s ethics complaint against liberal Governor John Hickenlooper.  The complaint alleged that Hickenlooper used state staff to plan a Democratic Governors Association (DGA) fundraiser and for accepting gifts in excess of the amount allowed by Colorado’s Amendment 41.

The vote to dismiss was four to one.  Former Republican state Rep. Matt Smith was the lone voice of dissent.  Shocking.  Or not – because the commission is comprised of Democratic-loving folks.  First, we have two former Democratic state legislators – former Rep. Rosemary Marshall and Sen. Bob Bacon.  Each has given money to Governor Hickenlooper.  Then, we have Bill Leone who also gave money to Hick and also was appointed to this position by Hick. Coincidence?  TBD.

With all of these sticky conflicts of interest, one would think that the conflicted members of the commission would recuse themselves.  But, they had the opportunity to do so and did not.  Compass Colorado filed a change of venue request to move the hearings from the IEC to an administrative law judge.  The IEC denied the request.

The dismissal is the latest in a string of questionable ethics in this fairness theater that the IEC has tried to perpetuate.  Earlier this month, it was revealed that the IEC investigator had released a draft of the investigators’ report to the Hickenlooper administration before anyone else had the opportunity to see it.

There is no word yet on whether Compass Colorado will appeal the ruling.


GAME OF METAPHORS: Statesman Depicts Hickenlooper as Game of Thrones’ Joffrey

This past weekend at the state assemblies The Colorado Statesmen put out it’s usual double issue.  This year’s edition featured a clever cover based off the popular TV series “Game of Thrones”.  Now, either the illustrator doesn’t have a good grasp of the show, or he or she just really despises liberal Governor John Hickenlooper.   Why else would you dare have Hickenlooper dressed up as one of the most despised villains in recent memory?

Now PeakNation™ put your spoiler-alert and geek hats on as we’re about to get a little nerdy.  George R.R. Martin, the author behind the books that became “Game of Thrones” has received many accolades for creating a plot this is unpredictable, and a boy-king (Joffrey) who is universally reviled.  Joffrey is a toxic mixture of a coward who over-compensates to hide his weaknesses, a petulant child who believes he can do no wrong, and a ruthless craven who takes any dissension towards his decrees as open rebellion instead of wise counsel.  But, we’re sure any semblance between King Joffrey and Hickenlooper is purely coincidental.

Yet, [SPOILER ALERT!] this past weekend did not end well for Joffrey, and could be the beginning of the end for Hickenlooper.   In a show known for pulling no punches, in just the second episode of the season, “Game of Thrones” didn’t bat an eye in killing off one of its greatest villains.  As Joffrey sat among his “loyal” subjects during his wedding feast, one had the audacity to poison him.  And as Hickenlooper stood before his “loyal” Democrats, fractivists could not resist standing up and shouting their protests before Hick was even a minute into his speech.  Both are men who would like to believe they are above the game they play, but refusal (or the appearance of refusing) is just another tactic to be deployed.

While Joffrey believed he was invincible because of his family’s wealth and power, Hickenlooper believes his shi poo doesn’t stink because he opened a bar before he came into politics; each man’s condescension to those who disagree with them is palpable.  The former lost his life this past weekend for refusing to play the game; will the latter lose his election in November for much the same?

As for us here at The Peak, we’ll continue to listen to what our little birds have to say, knowing the political game is only the result of five million Coloradans figuring out how to live together.  This means no one is above the game.  Not even boy-kings and boy-governors who’d like to believe otherwise.


PETULANT CHILD: Hickenlooper’s So-Called Transparency Hides Darker Plots

We knew liberal Governor John Hickenlooper didn’t know how to lead, but when did he turn into such a whiny child?

Fighting an ethics complaint against him, that receiving over $13,000 in hotel rooms and waived fees from the Democratic Governors Association does not qualify as a “gift”— which, in light of the DGA raising over more than $5.5 million in donations from event attendees makes us concur with Hick on this point; it’s not a gift, more of a commission—Hickenlooper resorts to the ol’ legal concept of, “but Mom, other people are doing it!”

In an interview with 850KOA-AM (as reported by The Colorado Observer) Hick says all the other governor’s did it, so why can’t he:

“My gosh—I mean, Gov. [Bill] Owens did this for the Republican Governors Association, Gov. [Bill] Ritter did it for the Democratic Governors Association…”

My gosh indeed!  The first issue here is that Gov. Owens wasn’t governor under Amendment 41.  But, really, the clear rebuttal here comes from the infamous court case Little Billy v. No Dessert Until You Eat Your Vegetables:

“And if everyone else was jumping off a cliff, would you also?”

At which point Hick stomped his feet really hard on the steps as he was sent to his room for a timeout.

Hissy fit aside, it’s becoming clearer day by day Hickenlooper and his posse are not what they seem.  For a man who wants to portray himself as Colorado’s version of Mr. Smith goes to Denver, the fact that he’s given max donors politically-appointed jobs that make over $200K a year, or that his right-hand man is plotting with the EPA on how to hurt rural Coloradans (while trying to hide any Hick involvement in it), to his chief-of-staff not even receiving or sending a single email over a few day period, has got to have everyone wondering: what the hell is Hickenlooper hiding behind all those kegs?

For a man who has nothing to hide, Hick and his people sure aren’t very transparent.


OFFICIAL SCOREBOARD: Results from the Weekend of Assemblies

With all the buzz around the GOP State Assembly this weekend, we’ll be posting the results for key races here as they happen, so stay tuned.

CD4 (Final): State Senator Scott Renfroe wins CD4 with 54% compared to Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who received 46%. Both men will be on the Republican primary ballot.

Colorado Governor: Former Congressman Tom Tancredo has already made the ballot by being the first candidate to have his signatures validated.  Former Congressman Bob Beauprez also submitted 21,000 signatures for consideration on the ballot, but no word yet on validation.  Those going through the assembly process include Greg Brophy, Scott Gessler, Mike Kopp, Steve House, and Roni Bell. 

UPDATE: Kopp and Gessler have advanced to the ballot.  In perhaps the surprise of the convention, Kopp narrowly beat out Gessler for the top spot on the ballot with 33.6% of the vote, compared to Gessler’s 33.1%.  Unfortunately, Brophy, House, and Roni Bell didn’t secure the necessary 30% to make the ballot.  We’ll miss Brophy’s creative ads and spirited campaign. Still no word on the Beauprez campaign’s signature validation.

Colorado Attorney General: Mark Waller will square off against Cynthia Coffman. 

UPDATE: Cynthia Coffman secured 69.3% and Waller eeked out a spot on the ballot with 30.7% of the vote.

Our unofficial correspondent (meaning, we’re reading her twitter feed), to the Republican assemblies, Lynn Bartels, tweeted this out earlier today:

Keep it up PeakNation™, we have a long slog ahead.


BLOOMBERG, AGAIN: Colorado’s Least Favorite Former Mayor Meddles in Billion Dollar CO Industry

Photo: U.S. Geological Survey

It should come as no surprise to hear that former Nanny State New York City Mayor is meddling in a Colorado industry. Again.  What is it with this guy and Colorado? We love Colorado, too, but he seems a little obsessed.  This time, Bloomberg and his environmentalist elites are vilifying the coal industry, which has been targeted by President Obama since before he was elected.  Here’s a choice snippet from Bloomberg’s talk at his energy summit as reported by The Daily Caller:

Bloomberg, who is an environmental activist, said while he gives “a lot of money to the Sierra Club” to shut down coal-fired power plants and to promote green energy projects, society needs to “have some compassion to do it gently.”

Bloomberg’s charitable group has given the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign $50 millionto aid in the group’s mission of shutting down one-third of the country’s 500 coal plants by 2020. To date, the group claims to have helped in the closing of at least 55 coal-fired power plants in the last three years and blocked the building of 180 coal plants in the last decade.

According to the Colorado Mining Association, Colorado coal producers mined 29 million tons of coal valued at $1.1 billion in 2012. Colorado ranks 9th among the states in coal production. In some parts of the state, mining activities represent a large chunk of employment opportunity. We’re not sure there’s any compassionate way to tell someone that their main source of income is disappearing because several nanny statists would prefer a different form of energy.
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