SHINSEKI FALLOUT ROUNDUP: Where CO Politicians Fall On His Demise

PeakNation™, we’ve already written on what Gen. Eric Shinseki’s resignation means for Rep. Mike Coffman– a man who has been on the VA’s ass for the past year, and one of the first to call for Shinseki to step down.  But, what about the rest of the Colorado’s Congressional delegation?  Where do they fall on this shameful act of negligence to our veterans?  Let’s find out.

The No-Action Caucus: Rep. Diana Degette, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Sen. Michael Bennet

Faced with a mounting pile of evidence of the VA’s incompetence and willful deceitfulness, the majority of Colorado’s Democratic Congressional Caucus felt there was no need to demand a change in leadership.  Apparently, this whole unmitigated disaster was not a failure in leadership.  Then again, with Gov. John Hickenlooper being the head of the Colorado Democrats right now, it’s possible Colorado Dems aren’t quite sure what leadership looks like anymore.

The Trail-Blazers Caucus: Rep. Mike Coffman, Rep. Cory Gardner, Rep. Doug Lamborn, Rep. Scott Tipton

While Coffman arguably led all of Congress in this fight, Gardner and Lamborn were both quick to recognize the grave nature of this issue.  As early as May 8th, Gardner was out front calling on Shinseki to resign for failing our veterans.  At the same time, Lamborn’s position on the Veterans Affairs Committee gave him an opportunity to be one of the first members of Congress to dig deep into this mess.  Tipton used his vote on H.R. 4031 and a Memorial Day press release to attack the VA’s gross mismanagement.

The Oh-S*#@, I’m Running for Reelection Caucus: Sen. Mark Udall

Udall was only stirred to action this past week after robocalls started going out against him and other vulnerable Democrats.  It’s disturbing it took a public shaming campaign for him to finally be spurred to action.  Veterans in Colorado and across our country who have fought for our freedoms were being neglected, and yet, Udall does nothing about it until his political career is threatened.  A man who thinks in such craven, political terms does not deserve to represent Colorado anymore.

 

SHORT MEMORIES: AFP Mistake Honest, Perlmutter Caught Brazenly Politicizing Aurora Theater Shooting

Yesterday was a bad day for Americans for Prosperity.  The group released a tough ad against liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall and were rightfully slammed for unintentionally using a photo from the Aurora Theater shooting press conference.  AFP apologized, as they should have.  The media recounted the times that using an inappropriate photo has happened to others.  Conspicuously absent from the criticism is the unabashed politicizing of the Aurora Theater shooting by Congressman Ed Perlmutter during an online townhall.

We agree that AFP shouldn’t have used that photo, but it was an honest mistake.  Perlmutter intentionally used the horrific events in 2012 in an attempt to bolster support for Obamacare.  That’s despicable.  Here’s the video:

The transcript from the Revealing Politics video:

The Affordable Care Act is in place.  The Supreme Court approved its terms…a couple, three weeks ago.  And, it will do some things that, in my opinion, needed to be done.  It will stop the discrimination against people with prior illnesses or injuries.  Or say, some of the folks who were shot in the theater.  They would be uninsurable now that they’ve had that wound.  But, under the Affordable Care Act, they can’t be discriminated against starting in 2014. [the Peak emphasis]

Perlmutter later apologized, as he also should have, but let’s be crystal clear here – the left has absolutely no moral high ground here.  At least AFP’s mistake was honest – Perlmutter’s use was just an ugly attempt to leverage this horrific event to increase support for controversial public policy.

 

JOLLY GOOD: What Florida’s Special Election Win Means For Colorado

David Jolly, Florida’s newest Congressman

We often don’t bother with other states, because frankly we live in Colorado, so who gives a damn about the rest.  But, let’s take a quick trip to Florida where Republican David Jolly shouldn’t have won in Florida’s 13th Congressional District special election last night.

The Congressional district has gone for Obama in the past two elections.  The Democratic candidate won the district in her failed gubernatorial bid. The Democratic candidate had at one point raised $1.43 million dollars compared to the Republican candidate who had raised around only $100k, oh, and let’s not forget, the Republican candidate was also a D.C. lobbyist.  Simply put, Democrats should have won.

As Stuart Rothenberg, a well-respected campaign handicapper, wrote for Roll Call back in January: continue…

 

DROWNING IN DEBT: Only Colorado Republicans Care about Fiscal Responsibility at Federal Level

When President Obama was sworn in, the debt ceiling was $11.315 trillion dollars.  As it passes in the Senate with the help of Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennett, the debt ceiling will be raised to $17.3 trillion dollars plus whatever the U.S. Treasury has to pay out over the next year.  With Obama having presided over five of the six largest deficits in U.S. history (with four of those over a trillion dollars), it’s easy to expect that $17.3 trillion to be quite larger next year.

In a state that believes strongly that government needs to live within its means, it is unconscionable that any representative, let alone the entire Democratic Congressional Caucus from Colorado should vote to increase it, while doing nothing to attack the fundamental problems that caused it.

We understand the debt ceiling is merely agreeing to pay the debt we already incurred, and to not do so is to create havoc for financial markets around the world.  Yet, dating back to the 1970s, it is because of these very immediate real-world consequences, that significant legislation has often been attached to any raising of the debt ceiling, as our Federal government seems to fail to take action unless there is a crisis. continue…

 

GAME ON: Don Ytterberg Announces Campaign for 7th CD

Photo courtesy of the Ytterberg for Congress campaign

Surrounded by family and supporters at the candidate’s Arvada manufacturing plant, successful businessman and former Jefferson County Republican Chairman Don Ytterberg announced his run for the suburban Denver Congressional seat that has been held by Ed Perlmutter since 2007.  Sticking to a positive message on how he would improve upon Perlmutter’s failed policies in the areas of jobs, healthcare, and the economy, Ytterberg set the stage for what will be a close race, given the unpopularity of Congress, Barack Obama, and the Democrats’ disastrous healthcare legislation.

Introducing Ytterberg was his own state representative, Assistant Minority Leader Libby Szabo (R-Arvada).  Also there to lend support were Republican State Chairman Ryan Call and an assortment of longtime supporters who have worked with Ytterberg. continue…

 

MISSED THE STORY: Colorado Drops Five Slots in Small Business and Entrepreneurship Annual Survey

The Denver Business Journal cheered that Colorado made the top 15 in this year’s Small Business Policy Index, which rates the small businesses climates across all fifty states.  Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter pointed to the ranking on his Facebook page.  Colorado’s #14 ranking is well and good, but they all missed the real story – Colorado dropped five slots from last year’s survey.

Perhaps Rep. Perlmutter and the DBJ didn’t have time to check out last year’s report issued by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, that pegged Colorado at #9 in the nation.

The very first paragraph of the 2012 report summed pretty much summed up Colorado’s problem, and why we can expect to slip further in the rankings if next year plays out in much the same way that 2013 did:  “It’s a straightforward fact of economic life. That is, tax, regulatory, spending and other assorted policies created and instituted by elected officials affect the economy…”

While Governor Hickenlooper and his allies in the legislature talk a big game when it comes to supporting business, their actions entail one impediment to business after another.  The very first measure in the SBE survey looks at the state personal income tax, as high personal income tax “increases the costs of working, saving, investing, and risk taking.”  It does not get much simpler than that. If Hickenlooper had his way, Amendment 66 would have dropped the state from a respectable 17th place in this category to 28th.  Another 1.1 percent higher would have put us in the highest quartile of top marginal state income tax rates in the country.

Under Governor Hickenlooper and his anti-business enablers in the state legislature, Colorado has created a regulatory environment that is hostile to our oil and gas industry, an industry that is positioned unlike any other to drive growth in job creation, investment, and profits in our state. continue…

 

DO NOTHINGS: Some Had a Productive Government Shutdown, Others Not So Much

The Denver Post‘s Allison Sherry recently highlighted the accomplishments of Colorado’s U.S. Representatives and Senators during the government shutdown.  While some boasted legitimate accomplishments, others seemed to freak out about Sherry’s query and list some random thing that happened during the shutdown in which they kind of participated.  In the latter category is our esteemed Democratic Senator Mark Udall and Representative Ed Perlmutter.

While his colleagues in the Colorado delegation were introducing pieces of legislation, such as Rep. Scott Tipton’s legislation that would prevent federal water grabs, Udall is proud of his decision to allow the nomination of Stephen Preston, would-be Department of Defense chief counsel, to move forward.  Here is what Sherry wrote about the “accomplishment”:

“Sen. Mark Udall lifted his hold on on the nomination of Stephen Preston to be the Department of Defense chief counsel, which led to his confirmation. Udall initially had concerns about Preston after he did not sufficiently acknowledge flaws in the country’s detention and interrogation program. Udall’s office said he decided to support Preston only after clarifications that Preston would take Congressional oversight seriously.”

Really?  So, Udall didn’t do anything as much as he stopped doing something.

And, then, there was Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter, whose big accomplishment was helping a woman sign up for death benefits, which was nice, but really?

“Rep. Ed Perlmutter tells the story of a woman from his district who had a problem with her Social Security widow benefits. Every year, the woman has to provide the government proof of her Public Employee Retirement Association benefits to get her Social Security money. There was a glitch this year, but because of the shutdown she couldn’t get anyone on the phone to help her. Perlmutter’s office called the Social Security Administration directly and had an “essential” staffer” meet her in the lobby so she could get the glitch resolved.”

We get it, Ed, you’re a man of the people.  You meet them in grocery stores, you call the social security office for them, you send interns to meet constituents in lobbies.  That was awfully nice of you, but one phone call in 16 days was your big accomplishment, really?  And, remind PeakNation™, you didn’t forgo your $174,ooo salary during this time, correct?

 

HEROES BE DAMNED: Degette and Perlmutter Vote Against Veterans Benefits

UPDATE: In a strange turn of events, most of the Colorado delegation has either asked that their pay be withheld during the government shutdown or plans to donate their salary to charity.  Most, except for DeGette and Perlmutter.  What is it with these two?  They vote against a continuance of veterans benefits and then refuse to give up their own salary when they’re part of the reason for the government shutdown.  Sheesh.

It used to be that veterans benefits were a given.  The men and women who sacrificed so much for our country were a revered class of citizen.  Their benefits just weren’t something legislators messed with.  No more.  Two of Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Representatives had the gall to vote against continuing funding of veterans benefits – Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Diana DeGette.

On October 1, the U.S. House voted on the “Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act” to continue veterans’ benefits despite the government shutdown.  Just Perlmutter and DeGette voted no.  Here is an excerpt of the House Joint Resolution they voted on:

“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following sums are hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and out of applicable corporate or other revenues, receipts, and funds, for veterans benefits for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes, namely:

Sec. 101. (a) Amounts are provided for entitlements and other mandatory payments whose budget authority was provided in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (division E of Public Law 113-6), to continue activities at the rate to maintain program levels under current law, under the authority and conditions provided in the applicable appropriations Act for fiscal year 2013, to be continued through the date specified in section 103(3).”

Even Democratic Rep. Jared Polis voted yes.  Rumor has it that DeGette is not well-liked among her peers in the U.S. House because she’s such an ideologue.  Like always.  Everyone else is commiserating and she’s pontificating.  Don’t worry, DeGette and Perlmutter are in great company.  Others who voted no include the divisive “genius” Sheila Jackson Lee and the fact-challenged, friend of frizz Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Kudos Reps. Perlmutter and DeGette.  You’ve stood your ground – by harming men and women who sacrificed greatly so you could vote against them.

 

HOPES DASHED: CO Dems Vote to Keep Pacemaker Tax

These three care more about partisan politics than Colorado jobs.

When the U.S. House voted to repeal the job-killing medical device tax over the weekend, 17 Democrats voted to repeal.  We hoped three of the 17 were the fair Democratic representatives from Colorado, Reps. Degette, Polis, and Perlmutter.  Alas, these three have disappointed Colorado.  Again.  Reps. Degette, Polis, and Perlmutter all voted to keep the punitive tax.

The medical device tax, a 2.3% federal tax on the price of medical devices, is another crippling tax born from Obamacare.

What’s the big deal about medical devices?  It’s one of Colorado’s fastest growing industries.  As a quick reminder, here are a few stats about the medical device industry in Colorado, as given to us from the Colorado Bioscience Association.

  • The region’s medical device sector, a subsection of the bioscience industry, is the sixth-largest in the nation
  • Employment in the industry grew 8.1% from 2005-2010
  • Colorado employs 20,000 people in the bioscience industry, creating 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, translating into $7 billion in payroll, at an average salary of $74,000
  • For every job created in Colorado’s bioscience industry, four direct and indirect jobs are created

We guess these three care more about ideology than they do about jobs in Colorado.  Noted for 2014.

 

DOUBLING DOWN: Perlmutter Continues to Prop Up Obamacare

Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter isn’t letting Obamacare’s overwhelming unpopularity in Colorado or the revelation that it is causing premiums to skyrocket derail his unflagging support of the misguided program.  Of course, that’s to say nothing of everyone who is losing their health care coverage.  Here is his Facebook post from earlier this week:

Perhaps Congressman Perlmutter is living in a different universe than the rest of Colorado.  The fact of the matter is that it’s really unclear who is getting “affordable access” when premiums for young people in Colorado have increased 140% under Obamacare’s dark shadow.  And, that’s just in Colorado.  Across the country, reports of triple digit growth in insurance premiums are popping up everywhere.

Here’s an overall analysis by a Forbes contributor:

“Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.”

Maybe Perlmutter has already mentally moved to North Colorado, a mythical place where Obamacare causes premiums to decrease.

 
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