The EPA may have been trying to hide the identity of the contracting company responsible for causing a major wastewater spill in southern Colorado, but the Wall Street Journal has revealed the company’s identity.
Environmental Restoration (ER) LLC, a Missouri-based firm, was the “contractor whose work caused a mine spill in Colorado that released an estimated 3 million gallons of toxic sludge into a major river system,” the WSJ was told by a source familiar with the matter. The paper also found government documents to corroborate what their source told them.
So far, the EPA has refused to publicly name the contracting company used to plug abandoned mines in southern Colorado, despite numerous attempts by The Daily Caller News Foundation and other media outlets to obtain the information. It’s unclear why the agency chose not to reveal the contractor’s name.
What is clear, however, is that ER has gotten $381 million in government contracts since October 2007, according to a WSJ review of data from USAspending.gov. About $364 million of that funding came from the EPA, but only $37 million was given to ER for work they had done in Colorado.
When contacted by phone, TheDCNF had been informed ER’s offices had closed for the day. The EPA did not return a request for comment on the WSJ’s story revealing the identity of the agency’s contractor.
ER contractors reportedly caused a massive wastewater spill from the Gold King Mine in southern Colorado last week. EPA-supervised workers breached a debris dam while using heavy equipment and unleashed 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into Cement Creek. The toxic plume eventually reached the Animas River where it’s been able to spread even further, forcing Colorado and New Mexico to declare a state of emergency.
The EPA has taken responsibility for the spill and has officials on the ground working with local officials to remedy the situation. Still, local officials and Native Americans are furious with the EPA over the spill, and have not ruled out legal action to make sure the agency remains accountable.
“No agency could be more upset about the incident happening, and more dedicated in doing our job to get this right,” EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a press conference in Durango, Colorado Wednesday. “We couldn’t be more sorry. Our mission is to protect human health and the environment. We will hold ourselves to a higher standard than anyone else.”
You probably heard about the toxic waste spill that polluted the Animas River in Colorado earlier this week. And you likely thought that some evil mining company or heartless corporation was responsible for this environmental disaster. As it turns out, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were the ones behind this catastrophe. Yeah, the same EPA that Obama uses to kill energy jobs with unrealistic ineffective regulations.
A huge spill of hazardous mine waste has contaminated the Animas River, which runs through Durango.
The Environmental Protection Agency says the spill was triggered by EPA employees at the Gold King Mine above Silverton while they were investigating contamination at the mine. They estimate a million gallons of waste spilled from the mine.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of detail behind this reporting. There are so many unanswered questions like: how in the f*ck does the EPA trigger a million gallon toxic waste spill by investigating?
I did so more research and found this at The Denver Post:
The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it triggered the spill while using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine, north of Silverton.
The spill was triggered at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the mine on the upper portions of Cement Creek, about 55 miles north of Durango. The fluid was being held behind unconsolidated debris near an abandoned mine portal, the EPA says. The agency called the release “unexpected.”
As far as I can tell, there was a tailings pond at this particular mine that was full of toxic sludge and heavy metals. The EPA, using heavy machinery, knocked over an earthen retaining wall and all of that nasty crap flowed out of the pond and into the Animas River. If this was unexpected, as the EPA claims, then clearly the agency doesn’t understand the basic laws of physics.
In addition to not getting that liquid flows downhill, the EPA also doesn’t appear to understand what their mission is. Allegedly their job is to protect the environment. That’s two of the three parts of the name of the agency.
Because of this toxic spill there is expected to be a massive fish and wildlife kill. In addition farmers, ranchers, and citizens down river may not draw water until the spill washes away. Whenever that is.
These are the same geniuses that President Obama thinks are going to clean up the environment and make us safe from climate change. I don’t actually believe in the man-made global warming myth, but I do think the sheer incompetence of the EPA could actually trigger such a thing.
If this toxic spill was caused by a company or individual, the EPA would fine the hell out of them. Someone responsible for something like this would be looking at million of dollars in fines and maybe even jail time. Do we think the EPA will fine itself or put their agents in jail over this? Highly unlikely.
Over 22,000 Coloradoans have had their health insurance canceled by Obamacare in the past month – and 200,000 are slated to be shut down in 2015, the state insurance department announced Friday.
The Colorado Division of Insurance wrote to state Senate Republicans Friday, notifying them that five more insurance carriers have ended plans for 18,783 more Coloradoans in just the last month. By far, the most canceled plans will come from Humana Insurance Company and Humana Health Plan.
That brings the state’s Obamacare total to almost 340,000 canceled plans, according to Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s in a tight race for Senate with incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall.
“Coloradoans continue to pay the price for Senator Udall’s broken promise,” Gardner said in a statement Friday. “It’s unfortunate that Senator Udall has been so eager to please President Obama that he has forgotten thousands of Coloradoans across our state.”
Widespread Obamacare cancellations have been a political loser for Obamacare-supporters across the country, but the issue is especially fraught in Colorado.
Udall, who voted for Obamacare and made the same debunked promises as President Obama that Americans could keep their health insurance plans, took heat earlier this year when emails suggested that his office tried to interfere with a state analysis of the number of plans cancelled by Obamacare. He was cleared of wrongdoing by a panel that refused to document its hearing.
But while over 18,000 people will be losing their coverage this month, that’s nothing compared to next year.
The Obama administration said it would allow states to extend health care plans that aren’t compliant with Obamacare through the end of 2016 and pushed the political responsibility for deciding when the plans should be canceled onto state officials. Colorado decided to extend plans through Dec. 31, 2015 – the remaining 192,942 Coloradoans that still purchase non-complaint health plans will have those canceled next November.
Far from being an unknown glitch in the health-care law, the Affordable Care Act provision that outlaws certain insurance plans was in part intended to help drive healthier, previously-insured customers to Obamacare exchanges so that insurers’ pools of customers were less populated by people with a pent-up need for health care.
The Obama administration’s several administrative fixes, which allowed states to decide whether they’d allow insurers to keep offering the plans for up to three years, make it more difficult for insurers to be profitable in Obamacare exchanges. The changes were likely part of the administration’s reasoning in its decision to open the door to using taxpayer funding to bail out companies on the exchange who suffer losses on Obamacare exchanges.
Udall’s campaign said that the Senator had pushed for Colorado to extend canceled plans for another year.
“There’s nobody more upset about the bungled roll out of the health care law than Mark,” Udall spokesman James Owens said. “That’s why he pushed the governor to use the authority to allow folks to keep their plans.”
Under the Obama administration’s current policy, all noncompliant plans will be canceled by Dec. 2016.
The following story is from the NRA-ILA.
Last Friday, June 13, Governor John Hickenlooper (D) spoke to a gathering of Colorado sheriffs in Aspen during the bi-annual County Sheriffs of Colorado Conference.
During this conference, Hickenlooper admitted that he and his office failed to meet with the sheriffs when they showed up en masse at the state Capitol in Denver and also admitted that he and his office failed to do their homework on the impact and importance of background check legislation that now unnecessarily affects hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens across the Centennial State.
So, he is admitting he IGNORED, deliberately, anyone that disagreed with this idiotic bill. He also admits that he and his team on what was in the bill he signed? Basically, he just admitted that he is unfit for high office.
Hickenlooper stated that “[t]here were a thousand things going on and other issues we were dealing with, I guess I didn’t get it.” Hickenlooper went on to say that by the time he was aware of the criticism against the background check legislation, he had already signed it.
This seems not only unfortunate but also highly unlikely. Thousands of freedom-loving supporters of the Second Amendment showed up to express opposition to this bill and others like it. Individuals across the state made their presence and opposition known on a daily basis throughout the 2013 legislative session.
Oh but it gets better, as the governor proves how arrogant and disconnected he really is.
When pressed with further questions by the sheriffs, Hickenlooper interrupted the audience by saying “What more apology do you want? What the f—? I apologize!”
In other words, how dare you peasants bother me just because I signed a terrible bill that violates the Constitution against the will of the people I am supposed to serve. Please Coloradans throw this pathetic hack out of office.
Rather than work to fix Obama’s healthcare bill like other Democrats, Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) pressured a state agency to change the way its estimated healthcare cancellations because of Obamacare. Udall wanted the state Department of Insurance to downgrade its estimate of Obamacare-related insurance cancellations from 250,000 to just 73,000, because while the plans they liked were cancelled some Colorado residents were offered replacement plans.
Udall is broad brushing and assuming that because Anthem and Kaiser offered early renewals, the people who received that option after receiving a cancellation notice should not be counted. Commissioner Salazar would like to tell Sen. Udall that 250,000 people were in fact affected by cancellation notices,” insurance department director of external affairs Jo Donlin wrote in November, according the emails.
Emails originally obtained by CompleteColorado.com in January created controversy for the Senator and his vote for President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In one of those emails, Donlin said Udall’s office was trying to “trash” the cancellation numbers as tallied by the DOI. In another email, Donlin complained that she received a “very hostile” call from Udall’s deputy chief of staff after she had informed the Senator’s office that the DOI was unlikely to change or modify their calculation of 250,000 policy cancellations in 2013.
Udall’s office did eventually issue their own press release, which netted them a significant story in the Denver Post. In another email, Donlin sent a link of the online Denver Post story to her colleagues, pointing out that the story quoted “Sen. Udall staff,” which seems to highlight that the story did not name an individual directly. Furthermore, Donlin said the online comments were “interesting.” Many of those online comments were critical of both Udall and the Post‘s story. For example, commenter dwschulze said, “So a Democrat who supported Obamacare says that most of the cancelled policies aren’t really cancelled. And you support that with a statement from another Obamacare supporter. You need to provide some independent verification of Udall’s statement for it to be anything but another dubious statement about Obamacare.
Can’t really blame Senator Udall, like other Democrats who worked to pass Obamacare, he is desperately trying to to put lipstick on the failed pig of the President’s signature program.
The director of Colorado’s health exchange has been placed on administrative leave after the state discovered she had been indicted for stealing from a non-profit, the Denver Post reports:
[Christa Ann] McClure, 51, pleaded not guilty Feb. 6 in federal District Court in Montana to eight counts of theft and fraud from a nonprofit housing agency in Billings.
She was indicted Jan. 16 and notified her current Denver employer, the state-sponsored health exchange, on Monday, a few days after the story broke in Montana media, Connect for Health spokesman Ben Davis said in a telephone interview.
Connect for Health performed a criminal background check and checked references before hiring McClure in March, Davis said.
“She was completely clean,” he said. Her position as executive director of Housing Montana of Billings, he said, made her well-qualified for her post as Connect for Health’s director of partner engagement – she was liaison with state and federal partners, such as Medicaid officials. The job pays $130,000 a year.
…McClure, who has not been convicted of any charges, should have informed Connect for Health much earlier of the accusations she was facing, Davis said.
McClure was released pending trial, now scheduled for June. Each of the counts in the indictment against her carry potential penalties of five, 10 or 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The 12-page indictment alleges that, while serving as executive director of the federally funded Housing Montana, McClure, between 2008 and 2010, paid herself “significant sums” for consulting services, although she was already on the payroll as a full-time employee.
She also made payments to her family and used federal money for personal travel, to pay family bills and to buy consulting services, the indictment alleges.
She also is accused of charging homeowners for a $750 warranty that did not exist, converting a laptop for personal use, inflating the hours she was to be compensated and writing herself a $21,000 check to which she was not entitled.
The indictment did not specify the total amount she allegedly embezzled.
Magpul Industries threatened to leave Colorado after the legislature passed a measure banning weapons magazines with more than 15 rounds.
And now that is official.
The Erie-based ammunition magazine manufacturer said Thursday it is relocating its operations to Cheyenne and Texas.
Most of the 200-plus employees will be moving to Wyoming, where manufacturing and distribution will take place, said spokesman Duane Liptak.
“Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” CEO Richard Fitzpatrick said in a news release. “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”
The move is expected to happen within the next 12 to 16 months, the company said, and it hopes to relocate at least 92 percent of its workforce outside of Colorado in that time. It hasn’t been decided whether every single employee will be moved out of the state.
Employees were notified Thursday about the move, and most are not expected to make the move and will be out of a job, Liptak said.
Paula Mehle, economic development coordinator for the town of Erie, said there is some hope that a small number of employees will remain in Colorado. But, she said, new tenants would be sought for the buildings Magpul vacates.
“It’s a political issue at the state level that the town doesn’t have any control over,” Mehle said.
God bless them! Stephen Green as some thoughts on this you should read at the link
I have said before I have no real issue with Gay marriage, it should be left to the states. But, I recognize that many of those pushing for Gay marriage do not want “equality”. They want to force their lifestyle, and more specifically complete acceptance of that lifestyle down everyone else’s throats. That includes bullying businesses that choose not to provide services to Gay weddings or receptions.
A Colorado judge says a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs, a ruling that a civil rights group hailed as a victory for gay rights.
Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled Friday that Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, will face fines if he continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy wedding cakes.
“The undisputed facts show that Respondents (Phillips) discriminated against Complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage,” Spencer wrote.
Last year, David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited the Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The couple had planned to marry in Massachusetts and hold a reception in Colorado.
Phillips told the men that he could not bake their cake because of his religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. He offered to make them any other baked item, but not a wedding cake. The couple immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
“Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration,” Mullins said in a statement. “No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado hailed the ruling and said it serves as a warning.
“While we all agree that religious freedom is important, no one’s religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers,” ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in a statement. “No one is asking Masterpiece’s owners to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple.”
The very notion that a business cannot deny service to “prospective” costumers is asinine. This is the problem with so-called civil rights laws many times. The intention is noble, but Leftist activists and Statists use these laws to trample the rights of business owners.
Evie Hudak is resigning, before she is booted from office by the people of Colorado! Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak has resigned her seat to forestall a recall effort launched by constituents who sought to oust her from office for her support of gun-control laws passed by lawmakers last spring.
The senator made the announcement in a letter to Democratic leadership Wednesday. She did not attend a news conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Arvada Library, where some constituents offered words of support.
“By resigning I am protecting these important new laws for the good of Colorado and ensuring that we can continue looking forward,” Hudak wrote in her resignation letter in regard to her gun votes.
Hudak’s move ends the recall process, as now a Democratic vacancy committee can appoint someone to fill her seat until 2014.
Coward! She should have had the guts to face the recall. Of course, she should have never backed such foolish, meaningless gun control laws, but what else do you expect from a Democrat with no clue?
Even as Obamacare is redefining dismal Democrats are exploring new ways to screw America up
Senate Democrats have begun a renewable energy blitz, with two bills mandating an increase in renewable use through 2025.
Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Mark Udall of Colorado introduced a bill last week that would require that 25 percent of the country’s power come from renewable energy sources by 2025.
Another bill introduced by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey would require the country to get 25 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025. Like the Udall bill, the Markey legislation would allow companies to purchase renewable energy credits to comply with the mandate. Companies that don’t comply would be forced to pay a fine.
Here they go again. They simply never learn. They cannot make something happen by legislating it so. IF renewable energy becomes affordable, and practical, and reliable enough, then yes, people will buy it. That is how the market works. But legislation cannot FORCE reliability, or affordability or practicality. A law cannot force people to abandon energy sources in favor of others. Renewable energy will have to earn increased business, Democrats need to come to grips with this reality.
This woman redefines the word idiot. Video at A Nod to the Gods who lays out the case against Giron having any functioning brain cells
How can a politician at that level not realize the Navy Yard was a gun free zone? I know we have uniformed voters aplenty, but uniformed Senators? Holy shit, you couldn’t have made a better argument for conservatives when the left starts going off about gun control.
“[The NRA is trying to say that] more guns equals safety. And in this case in particular, we can look at, it was a Navy Yard. You couldn’t have any more armed people than in that case right there.” – Angela Giron 9/19/2013
Now the video
A bobble head doll has more sense.
Here is video to remind you. Check out that shocked face when Brooke Baldwin shuts her down
Ah yes, Angela Giron, screaming “voter suppression”, a sadly typical claim from Democrats. And, in Giron’s case a VERY odd claim. As HotAir reports, Ms. Giron was pretty eager to stamp out opposition when it suited her.
If Giron’s eager to blame the results on something other than support for gun rights, though, she could always blame it on a backlash to her and John Morse’s personal jackassery:
As it turns out, Morse and Giron sealed their fates on March 4, the day that the anti-gun bills were heard in Senate committees. At Morse’s instruction, only 90 minutes of testimony per side were allowed on each of the gun bills. As a result, hundreds of Colorado citizens were prevented from testifying even briefly. Many of them had driven hours to come to the Capitol, traveling from all over the state.
That same day, 30 Sheriffs came to testify. They too were shut out, with only a single Sheriff allowed to testify on any given bill. So while one Sheriff testified, others stood up with him in support…
When Morse shut that down, and Chairperson Giron went along, they crossed the double-red line of Colorado government. Had the seven gun control bills (one of which I testified in favor) been heard on March 4-6, instead of being rammed through committees on March 4, the recall might never have happened. It’s one thing to lose; it’s another to thing to lose when you didn’t even have the opportunity to present your reasoning. While the gun control bills were before the Senate in March, President Morse urged his caucus to stop reading emails, to stop reading letters from constituents, to stop listening to voicemails, to vote for the gun bills and ignore the constituents. Giron, presciently following this strategy, had allowed citizens to raise Second Amendment concerns at a single town hall meeting, and thereafter refused to discuss the issue at public fora.
Oh, so Giron wanted to shut people up and ram through legislation she favored. Gee I guess she never thought that she is supposed to LISTEN to her constituents. Allahpundit sums it up
They did their best to deny their opponents a voice — let’s call that “voter suppression” — so their opponents spoke on Tuesday night. Game over.
I could not think of more worthy miscreant to be booted from office! Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Hats off to Brooke Baldwin for challenging recalled Colorado senator Angela Giron on her claims of “voter suppression” She also tried to play the “voter confusion” card as well. Poor baby cannot admit she lost because she went against the people of Colorado.
Is it me or does Baldwin seem to be mocking this idiot the whole time they are talking? She just has that” can you believe this buffoon” look on her face the whole time. At times Baldwin looks as if she is trying not to laugh. And Giron? Seriously, is she saying her supporters were just too stupid to figure out ow to vote? Sounds like it to me. I especially like the end where she is babbling about people in wheelchairs not being able to vote. She just does not want to admit the truth. The people were not willing to accept the radical laws Giron supported! Liberals like Giron forget where the power lies, with the PEOPLE!
And, I would be remiss if I forgot to include some pics of the lovely Baldwin, one of my 100 Hottest Women of My Lifetime list over at The DaleyGators DaleyBabes
Colorado residents on Tuesday voted to recall both Democratic Senate President John Morse and state Sen. Angela Giron over a number of gun control laws they helped pushed through the Legislature.
With 100 percent of the results in, 50.9 percent of Colorado residents voted to recall Morse in the historic election, the Denver Post reports. Morse delivered his concession speech late Tuesday night.
“We as the Democratic party will continue to fight,” Morse told supporters in Colorado Springs as he conceded the race.
Republican Bernie Herpin, a former Colorado Springs city councilman, will replace him.
Meanwhile, Giron, challenged over her support for stricter gun laws after last year’s mass shootings, was also rebuked in a race seen as a measure of popular support for gun legislation.
Though hesitant to concede at first, Giron realized she too had been fired by Colorado voters. With 100 percent of the projected results in, 56 percent of voters favored the recall, according to the Denver Post.
Angered by new limits on ammunition magazines and expanded background checks, gun-rights activists filed enough voter signatures for the recall elections – the first for state legislators since Colorado adopted the procedure in 1912.
The recalls were seen as the latest chapter in the national debate over gun rights – and, for some, a warning to lawmakers in swing states who might contemplate gun restrictions in the future. But gun rights activists’ efforts to force recall elections for two other Colorado Democrats failed this year.
As The Blaze previously reported, the recall election was apparently triggered by six “regular guys” who were fed-up with lawmakers ramming gun control laws down the throats of voters and ignoring the Second Amendment. It proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a small group of people, or even just one person, can truly make a difference if they take a stand.
It will be illegal to purchase, manufacture or sell magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition in the state of Colorado come Monday. Recently-passed gun control measures have Second Amendment supporters angry while several gun manufacturers are fleeing the state.
One of the companies getting out of Colorado is Magpul Industries – but not before one final, symbolic act of defiance.
Magpul plans to give away 1,500 30-round ammunition magazines in Colorado on Saturday, just a couple days before the ban goes into effect. The magazines will be given away at a “Freedom Festival” on a first-come first-served basis. The event will be held at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo., from 4-8 p.m., Magpul announced on its official Facebook page.
A number of gun control measures will go into effect July 1, including the magazine ban and expansive universal background checks. However, the law is not retroactive and allows gun owners to keep soon-to-be illegal high-capacity magazines if they were purchased legally before July 1.
In other words, every gun owner who gets a free 30-round magazine from Magpul is covered.
“Just to clarify, it seems many of the local news outlets are billing us as an ‘ammunition’ company, and saying that we will be giving out free ammo. This is incorrect… as you all know, we build magazines and accessories, and it is empty, 20 and 30 round magazines that will be for sale and also given away for the first 1500,” Magpul said in a statement.
Magpul, which claims it contributes roughly $85 million to Colorado’s economy and employs 200 people, is leaving Colorado over the new gun control measured signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper in response to the Sandy Hook shooting.
The company reaffirmed its plan to leave Colorado on its Facebook page on Thursday, though Magpul hasn’t announced where it plans to relocate.
Representatives of 10 rural Colorado counties met Monday in the sleepy plains town of Akron, about a half an hour from the Kansas border, to advance a plan that has been both hailed and ridiculed in recent weeks: A bid to split from Colorado and form the country’s 51st state.
Eye-rolling critics have dubbed the state-to-be “Weldistan,” after the county leading the charge and alluding to the heavily conservative values of the northeast region considering secession.
Proponents have called it an inevitable result of what they say is a loss of representation in Denver, where Democrats have controlled state government and, in the minds of many rural Coloradans, ignored them in favor of liberal, urban interests.
Questions about how to proceed with such a rare initiative as starting a new state covered a wide spectrum at Monday’s meeting. They ranged from whether to include like-minded counties in Nebraska and Kansas to how to ensure, if the effort is successful, that urban areas in the newly formed state wouldn’t also begin to ignore less-populated areas and become yet another out-of-touch capital.
But for all the uncertainty, there was one common thread: barely veiled anger at how rural counties perceive they’ve been treated by the Democrat-controlled state legislature this year.
Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway called it “a nightmare session.”
“This was the worse legislative session I’ve ever seen,” he said, “how they treated people, how they called bills up on the same day without giving people a chance to testify.”
Colorado has made national headlines this year in having passed a full slate of progressive laws, including tough new gun-control laws, new rights for illegal immigrants, regulations for legal marijuana, and many other controversial pieces of legislation.
Several commissioners said the back-breaker was Senate Bill 252, a new measure that requires rural electrical cooperatives to double the amount of renewable energy they offer to customers by 2020. Gov. John Hickenlooper recently signed it into law, despite heavy lobbying to veto it. The bill’s opponents say it will increase rural customers’ electricity bills by mandating what they say are unrealistic – and expensive – goals.
Many of the more than two dozen county commissioners attending the meeting noted that SB 252 was their final straw.
“[Senate Bill] 252 is a perfect example of where they rammed it down our throat,” said Yuma County Commissioner Trent Bushner. “They turned a blind eye to satisfy [Hickenlooper’s] buddies in the environmental groups.”
“I’m excited about what we can learn from this and where we can take it,” he said, “but quite honestly, I want this to be a shot across the bow for them to start listening to us.”
Like some others, Bushner wasn’t convinced that a statehood bid would be successful, even though Weld County Attorney Bruce Barker said that it was a fairly straightforward process – at least from a legal perspective.
The first step, he said, was for each county’s citizens to vote to officially exclude their county from the state of Colorado. Once those votes were conducted, counties that passed the secession measure – assuming they all shared a border – would ask voters from all of Colorado to amend the Colorado Constitution to remove their combined area from the state, and require that the state legislature submit a formal request that Congress recognize its 51st member.
If that statewide measure passes, and Congress agrees to enter it into the union, “North Colorado” – or whatever official name is eventually chosen – will be created.
Not all the commissioners were sold, with many expressing concern that there hasn’t been a groundswell of organized citizen support for the idea, even though many have told them to “go for it.”
“Do I think this has a snowball’s chance in hell of passing?” Bushner asked. “Not really.”
But others weren’t so pessimistic.
“I’ve heard the phrase ‘snowball’s chance in hell,’” said Weld County Commissioner Douglas Rademacher. “I’m looking forward to the day hell freezes over.”
“North Colorado” has a lot going for it, according to Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, noting that the 10 counties in the consortium account for 10 percent of Colorado’s assessed value, in terms of its agricultural and oil and gas production.
The area, she said, accounts for 40 percent of the assessed value of the state’s oil and gas.
Overall, she said the counties looking to secede give to the state’s treasury more than they get in return.
Regardless of the many yet-to-be-answered questions, the group will move forward, agreeing to invite to the next meeting representatives of other counties – both inside and outside Colorado – who have shown interest in forming a new state.
Conway said the next steps include hiring a professor from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to do an in-depth economic assessment of the counties in question, and to work on developing ballot language to take to voters in November.
To make the next election, commissioners have to move fast: The deadline to submit ballot measures is in early August.
Rights, as defined by our Founders came from our Creator, or were natural rights, that is rights that are inherent to us all. Those rights included the right to property, freedom of speech, association, the freedom to practice your own religion, or to practice no religion at all, and the right to keep and bear arms among others. You might have noted that among the rights I listed, a right to not be offended was not present. Nor was a right to force a business to sell a product to you. The Left, it seems, is intent on creating such God-given rights. Such rights cannot exist in a nation that honors liberty. A “right” not to have your feelings hurt infringes upon the right of everyone else to freely express their opinions. Likewise any effort to create a “right” that forces a business to sell or provide a service to anyone would naturally place an undue burden upon that business owner.
Should bakers and other vendors be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians, specifically when it comes to marital ceremonies? “No,” argues one gay couple who have filed a discrimination complaint against a Colorado baker who refused to provide them with a wedding cake.
Masterpiece Cakeshop, owned by Jack Phillips and based near Denver, Colorado, is at the center of the dispute after David Mullins and Charlie Craig attempted to order the baked good from the business last summer.
Phillips, declining to provide service after learning of the couple’s sexuality, cited his Christian beliefs. But Mullins and Craig aren’t accepting Biblical arguments as a viable basis for the refusal.
“We were all very upset, but I was angry and I felt dehumanized and mortified,” Mullins said in an interview with the Associated Press.
What was then posted by the couple on Facebook, as Gawker notes, spread like wildfire and is now making national headlines. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is also involved, having found two other couples were Phillips declined to make cakes for in the past as well. The legal group is not researching next steps in the contentious case.
Last week, the Colorado Attorney General’s office also filed a formal complaint. If the baker loses and continues to refuse service to gays and lesbians, he could be fined $500 per instance — and given up to a year in jail, his attorney claims. Phillips will stand in front of the state’s Civil Rights Commission in September.
As a person who has worked in the restaurant business for over 20 years, I am well aware that every restaurant reserves a right to refuse service to anyone. Over the years I have refused service to a small number of people who were too drunk, or disturbing other patrons. That is, and should be the right of every business owner. I have never refused anyone because of their sexuality, nor would I, frankly. And, if I ran a bakery, or a catering business, or a restaurant that hosted wedding receptions, I would not hesitate to do business with a Lesbian or Gay couple. And, to be honest, I think this bakery owner is being a bit hateful, but, that is his right.
I cannot grasp why a Gay couple would want to do business with that bakery. My attitude would be to say “screw you, I will get a cake somewhere else”. I also do not understand where these two men get the notion that it is OK to force something upon the bakery owner. But, somewhere along the way, this Gay couple have convinced themselves that they have a right not to have their feelings hurt. They, feel they were discriminated against, and that sucks, but guess what, people on both sides of the business costumer relationship discriminate every day. That is just reality. Using the force of courts or government to force businesses to serve costumers they do not wish to serve is something we ought not to encourage. Call me crazy, but I prefer liberty.
Several conservative-leaning counties in Northern Colorado are considering seceding from the Centennial state because of the liberal policies being passed by the state’s government.
The proposed state, which would be called North Colorado, would consist of Weld, Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma and Kit Carson Counties, all of which are in the rural, energy-rich northeastern part of the state.
“This is not the same state that I grew up in,” Weld County Commissioner Douglas Rademacher told Red Alert Politics. “In the last 10-15 years, the pendulum has swung so far to the left as far as anti-energy, anti-ag” policies go in the Democrat-controlled state capital of Denver.
“We were pushed into a corner, and frankly when you keep pushing into a corner you’re gonna come back out, and you’re gonna come back out with fire and that’s exactly what we did” he added, noting that ten other counties have contacted them about joining the movement.
According to Rademacher, the idea for secession actually came from residents at one of the county’s regular board meetings who are fed up with the strict gun laws and restrictions on national gas drilling the government has passed over the past few years. Just this past Wednesday Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed into law a bill that forces electrical cooperatives in rural areas to double the amount of renewable energy they produce by the year 2020. The state also created several new gun control laws that have adversely affected residents of these eight rural counties earlier this year.
“The constituents were frustrated over some of the legislation proposed out of Denver in which they were just basically jamming it through the legislature without any kind of feedback or really any willingness to compromise,” he told RAP. “The citizens were just upset and they just basically asked the question ‘What can we do?’ ‘Is there anything we can do as a county to stop this madness?’.”
He added that any movement toward succession would be “resident-driven,” and if the popular support for the secession is there, the commissioners in the eight counties hope to have the area’s approximately 400,000 residents vote on the issue in November.
Forming a new state within an old one is not an easy task. According to the U.S. Constitution, the process requires the approval of the existing state’s legislature and Congress. Rademacher believes the most difficult task will be winning over the state legislature, as Weld County and its neighbors provide so much profit to the state.
“We pay the bills,” he quipped.
He added that there is also the chance that North Colorado – should it succeed in its quest to break away from Colorado – could either annex other counties in neighboring Kansas and Nebraska that have expressed interest in the movement, or even completely take in a neighboring state like Wyoming.
Although it’s successfully happened five times in history, the last time a state officially broke away from another one was West Virginia in 1863. Since then there have been several failed movements to create new states within the continental 48, including the state of Delmarva, which would encompass all of Delaware and the counties along the eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia, and the “State of Superior” which would consist of the upper peninsula of Michigan.
In January, more than 125,000 Americans signed a White House petition asking the federal government to allow the state of Texas to secede (again) from the union.