The Washington Post conducted an interview with The Denver Post‘s Kurtis Lee that asked the question: “Will Mark Udall be an Obamacare victim?” While the most recent Quinnipiac poll certainly shows that this could be the case, Kurtis (who we think is fun) took the opportunity to apologize on behalf of Udall by saying that Udall has been trying to fix Obamacare, which is laughable. Udall’s moves have been nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic in a flailing effort to avoid blame for steering the ship into the iceberg in the first place.
UPDATE: A reader writes in suggesting a reason for some of the shenanigans — a member of the Canvassing Board that certified the results while there were concerns about its validity is a leader in one of the fractivist groups. Joan Murahata, Vice Chair of the Broomfield Democratic Party, is a member of the anti-fracking group “Our Broomfield” while also serving on the Canvassing Board.
The canvassing official who helped preside over an election laced full of irregularity is also the point person for the group trying to ban fracking in the first place?
Well isn’t that convenient.
Wondering why the results turned? Boulder ballots, nursing home shenanigans, and a fractivist as referee.
Only in Boulder, we mean Broomfield.
The Denver press has been too busy covering Darryl Hannah’s view of energy extraction to pay much attention to a simmering controversy in Broomfield.
Significant voter irregularities plagued the Broomfield election, which included a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing.
BROOMFIELD – The second ballot recount of the controversial five-year fracking ban was scheduled Wednesday but now is postponed because of complaints that the Broomfield Canvass Board had not given the required 24-hour advance public notice – and that the Broomfield Clerk and Recorder improperly issued ballots to individuals who were not eligible to vote on the issue…
Broomfield County Clerk and Recorder Jim Candelarie reportedly ignored the residency requirements. His office doled out ballots to new voters – and didn’t think to check their residency duration to confirm their eligibility to vote on the Broomfield fracking ban until weeks later.
Candelarie mailed “Self-Affirmation of Elector” documents to hundreds of voters, asking them to state how long they had lived in Broomfield and to sign the affidavit. And his staffer delivered those documents on Election Day to seniors in a nursing home.
Unknown is how many “Self-Affirmation” documents were returned – at least 55 were but their ballots had reportedly been misplaced and not counted in the election.
At least 22 of those documents delivered to the nursing home were filled out by one staff member from Candelarie’s office – all handwritten and dated, “11/5/2013” – and several noted that the individuals were too sick to sign them.
One “Self-Affirmation” document executed by Candelarie’s staffer stated that the voter had cast her ballot in October, and then died two days later. Though she had stated residency in excess of 30 days, a member of the clerk and recorder’s office said it was highly unlikely that her vote would count because she died before Nov. 5.
Local Republicans are also saying that a bundle of Broomfield ballots mailed in a single envelope from Boulder were part of the ballots being considered on the night the vote flipped from a frack ban defeat to a narrow frack ban lead.
Today a new piece of information was just unearthed by The Colorado Observer – an email with a Broomfield official acknowledging serious errors that could have tipped the scales in the election, as the fracking ban only passed by 17 votes:
DENVER — Amid growing evidence of systematic irregularities that could potentially render an entire election invalid, officials in Broomfield may be fessing up. In a damage control tactic normally reserved for political scandals, the city and county appeared to concede this week that a number of legitimate voters may have been disenfranchised, while others not entitled to vote may have cast ballots.
An email obtained by TCO sent by City and County Manager Charles Ozaki on November 22 to members of the council cites a recent analysis by the Secretary of State’s office which found that “27 votes that were excluded from the certified count could have been included; and that three votes that were counted should have been excluded.”
Watch this one closely. It is going to get more interesting before it is over.
Today, the Denver Post‘s Lynn Bartels covered a story in which ProgressNow executive director, Amy Runyon-Harms, claimed that ProgressNow had never been affiliated with Work for Progress. We find that difficult to believe.
The Post story reported that a Work for Progress employee, who has been in jail in Fairplay since August on parole violations, recently was charged with “procuring false registration”, a misdemeanor resulting from a voter fraud investigation conducted by the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office. Here’s a piece of the Denver Post article that conveyed what Runyon-Harms said:
“ProgressNow’s executive director, Amy Runyon-Harms, says her organization has never been affiliated or worked with Work for Progress.”
The Post noted that Work for Progress and ProgressNow both are housed in the same building in Denver at 1536 Wynkoop. Perhaps a coincidence? Not exactly as 1536 Wynkoop houses an army of progressive causes. Here is a partial list:
- Common Cause
- Colorado Conservation Voters
- Colorado Environmental Coalition
- Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado
- Sierra Club
- Association for the Advancement of Sustainability
- Center for Native Eco-Systems
- WildEarth Guardians
- Rocky Mountain Clean Air Alliance
- Western Conservation Foundation
- Trout Unlimited
- Audubon Society
- Progressive Future Inc.
Work for Progress Colorado lists as a client U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), which is the parent group of CO PIRG. According to TRACER, CO PIRG donated staff time to Coloradans Get Big Money Out of Politics (aka Amendment 65), which lists as coalition members some of the groups above as well as ProgressNow. And, that’s just one example.
Additionally, Work for Progress lists the Fund for Public Interest (formerly known as the Fund for Public Interest Research, Inc.) as a client. ProgressNow and the Fund for Public Interest share board member Doug Phelps, chairman of the Public Interest Network, which runs the state PIRGs. From Phelps’ bio:
“Mr. Phelps is President and Executive Director of the Public Interest Network, a foundry for change organizations. Mr. Phelps is also Chairman of the Board of U.S. PIRG, the national federation of State PIRGs and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Fund for the Public Interest, a national nonprofit that runs grassroots campaigns to raise money, sign up members, educate the public and build political support for the nation’s leading progressive non-profits, such as Environment America, U.S. PIRG and the Human Rights Campaign.”
So, while it’s true that we don’t have concrete evidence that ProgressNow and Work for Progress have ever been “affiliated” (depending on your definition) or have worked together, it’s awfully difficult to believe that they’re not working off the same sheet of music. There are just too many commonalities to ignore.
Today, Arapahoe District Attorney George Brauchler charged four people with misdemeanors after an investigation uncovered that they violated Colorado’s voting laws. According to the Denver Post report:
“Two of the people charged are immigrants — one from Africa who has donated to Democratic causes, the other from Poland — who have been deemed ineligible to vote in Colorado. The other two are Coloradans who worked for a liberal non-profit organization that registered people to vote.”
“There was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they had illegally registered, and in some cases, had been misled as to their right to vote or did not understand the process and therefore did not possess criminal intent to commit a crime.”
If these numbers seem inconsequential, just look to Broomfield’s fight over the anti-fracking ban, which has passed by 17 votes or failed by 13 votes, depending on the day.
CIVIL WAR: Hudak Agrees To Resign If Recall Goes Forward, Allegedly Demands Johnston Get Blacklisted In Return
Democratic State Senator Evie Hudak is facing a second round of recall after voting for Mayor Bloomberg’s gun control bills, but sources tell us she has agreed to resign if the organizers seeking her recall get enough signatures.
The scuttlebutt around the Capitol is that Hudak has agreed to resign her seat if enough signatures get verified to force a recall election, but we’ve been told a secret agreement allegedly made with Senate President Morgan Carroll comes with a few strings attached.
If Hudak lost her recall election, it would hand power of the State Senate to Republicans. To stop that from happening, Hudak would resign in the case of a recall election, allowing Democrats to appoint a successor.
But Hudak, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the teachers union, wants a say in her successor on the Senate Education Committee we hear. In exchange for her resigning, Senate President Morgan Carroll has allegedly promised to appoint another union goon to head the committee over Senator Michael Johnston (D-Denver), a leading education reform supporter. Our sources say Hudak would prefer Senator Andy Kerr.
The second stipulation of the resignation agreement, sources say, is that Senate Democrats put out a full court press to stop the recall from taking place. That has clearly been taking place, with liberal organizations and even Senate President Morgan Carroll herself showing up at recall petition signature gathering locations to harass the recall organizers.
At this point, this secret resignation agreement is simply scuttlebutt. It’s nothing more than rumor, but an enterprising political reporter may want to ask Hudak and Carroll on the record about it.
The death of an American leader is shocking and devastating. Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jr. by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas. It’s not just the loss of a man that we, as a nation, feel. When something this terrible happens, it reminds us of our vulnerability as a nation and as humans.
Some may remember where they were when they heard that JFK had been assassinated, but many of us weren’t born yet. For those who didn’t experience the tragedy, below is the video of news anchor Walter Cronkite announcing that the JFK had been assassinated.
Last week, the Colorado Public Employee Retirement Association voted 8-7 to lower the expected return rate on the retirement fund’s investments from 8% per year to 7.5% per year. It was a long-overdue move, and one that Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton had long championed. According to the Denver Business Journal:
“Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton said in June 2012, when the 2011 return was announced, that PERA’s 8 percent expected rate of return ‘masks the depth of what the system owes to future retirees, but lacks the funds to pay.’”
After the expected rate adjustment, the unfunded liability (i.e., money the pension owes to current and future retirees over the next 30 years, but does not currently have) jumps from $23 billion to $29 billion, Stapleton told The Denver Post. Stapleton also noted that the pension shortfall would be supplemented through increased payments from school districts, cities, and the state budget.
Amendment 66 proponents suggested that none of the nearly one billion dollar tax increase would have been routed to fill the cavernous PERA funding gap. Governor Hickenlooper later admitted at a fundraiser for the failed effort that the funds, once sent to the school districts, could actually be used to backfill PERA. How would the chatter around this horribly bad idea changed had we known that the school districts could have had another $6 billion to cough up?
We suppose it doesn’t matter. We doubt the ass kicking that Amendment 66 received could have been worse.
UPDATE: Lynn Bartels, the doyenne of Colorado politics, maintains that is not what Hickenlooper said. Here is an excerpt from her Denver Post article:
“Critics of Sharf’s blog said the governor was answering a question about a 2010 PERA reform measure, which requires employees and their employers to increase their contributions to help reduce pension liabilities. State workers pay the additional contribution amount required, but most school districts — thus the taxpayers — have borne the costs that were to be shared with their employees.
‘They have not split it; they’ve just swallowed it,’ Hickenlooper said, during the exchange with Sharf.
‘Right, that’s what I mean, is that they’ve basically just swallowed it,’ Sharf said.
‘Well, if you want to fix that, if that’s what’s happening, then we can’t legislate that,” Hickenlooper replied, in part. “There’s a certain amount of money that goes into the districts, and that is the way our education system is structured.’”
Yesterday, Republican strategist Kelly Maher took on
Democratic strategist Obama apologist Laura Chapin with Kurtis Lee on The Denver Post‘s “The Spot”. Watch the video below.
In the middle of this video, Chapin, who is probably getting paid for something by someone to prop up Obamacare and Connect for Health Colorado (did you notice her attempts to say the get the exchange’s web address in there?), claims that she was able to get a great plan from the exchange. Apparently, she’s the only one whose gotten a deal here. But, hey, we don’t expect Chapin to have a firm grasp on this complex stuff – this is the same woman who planned a whole rally at the 2012 Republican National Convention against a Colorado Congressman who wasn’t planning to attend.
The Wall Street Journal identified Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Udall as one of 12 in the Senate who cast the deciding vote on Obamacare. So, the fact that he won’t explicitly apologize for taking President Obama’s “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” messaging on the road is maddening enough after 250,000 Coloradans’ health plans have been canceled. But, now, he’s trying to distract Coloradans from the mess he created by bringing in…actor and environmentalist Robert Redford? From a fundraising email sent out yesterday:
“Robert Redford is coming to Colorado next month. Do you want to meet him?
Give $5 today, and you’ll be automatically entered to join Robert Redford and me in Denver.
Bob and I both share a Western background and passion for protecting our country’s clean air and water. We believe that our generation didn’t inherit our planet from our parents — we’re borrowing it from our children.
But you don’t need to take my word for it. You and a guest have the chance to meet Robert Redford in person.”
Translation: “Hey Colorado, I know y’all just lost your healthcare, but don’t stress, you can meet
Robert Bob Redford.”
Seriously? Could he be any more callous to the life and death decisions that Coloradans are now having to make because he decided to carry the water for Obama instead of appropriately representing Coloradans? Let us be clear – he was one of 12 Senators whose vote stripped Coloradans of their health insurance.
Or maybe this is meant to be the translation: “Don’t worry, Colorado, I know I haven’t accomplished anything meaningful in the U.S. Senate, but I’m bringing Bob Redford out here (you could win an appearance with him!). That’s gotta count for something, right?”
On election night a ballot measure that would implement a five-year ban on fracking in Broomfield appeared to have failed by 13 votes, but the outcome was different on Thursday when military and overseas ballots were counted. According to The Broomfield Enterprise, the measure, then, passed by 17 votes and will go to mandatory recount. The recount has now been “delayed indefinitely” due to questions over voter eligibility, according to the Daily Camera. This is just the latest in a series of shenanigans in the recount.
The entire ballot initiative recently has drawn scrutiny for voting irregularities in Broomfield. Here are two examples from our report last week:
“One trusted source reported that a well-known fracktivist, Cliff Willmeng tried to escort an elderly woman in to get a ballot to vote just yesterday….
…Today things are getting even weirder, with reports of magically appearing ballots and an email from one trusted source reporting that the Clerk and Recorder is actively considering counting a FedEx package full of votes mailed from Boulder and received after the election date.”
Then, we reported that the media edited out the national ties of fractivist groups pushing fracking bans throughout Colorado.
While the ballots were certified on Friday, the ultra-slim margin by which the fracking ban passed has triggered an automatic recount. With the hijinks already present in this ballot initiative, we can’t wait for the next development.