Felony DUI Bill a 2015 Colorado Commonsense Success Story?

Felony DUI Bill a 2015 Colorado Commonsense Success Story?

With a partisan split in the state legislature, Colorado won't see as many laws passed this year. For the most part, I count that as a positive occurrence. An important exception is House Bill 1043, brought forward by second-term Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone). HB 1043 would make it substantially easier for district attorneys to prosecute repeat DUI offenders with a felony offense. Earlier this month, the bill unanimously passed through the House Judiciary Committee. It must make a stop in the House Finance Committee before getting its first full floor hearing. As you can see in the graphic below, Colorado has one of the highest rates of DUI arrests per 10,000 residents. Would making the law somewhat tougher help? Fewer fatalities, one … [Read more...]

How to Train Your Politician: Conservative Ed Hanks Urges Intentional Voting

How to Train Your Politician: Conservative Ed Hanks Urges Intentional Voting

On December 20, 2014, I chatted by phone with Ed Hanks about his new book How to Train Your Politician: Intentional Voting as a Path to Tea Party and Constitutional Victory. Hanks, an acquaintance and Jefferson County conservative activist who has been one of Colorado's leading voices for Personhood, graciously shared a Kindle copy of his book for me to read prior our conversation. We talked in the wake of the lame-duck Congress passing the corporatists' dream bill, known as Cromnibus, fueling the fires of populist conservative discontent (including yours truly). A mounting frustration definitely brings a growing interest in the strategy Hanks endorses. Yet what I find most appealing about the book and its author is his historical … [Read more...]

Election Day Is Nearly 3 Weeks Away… Must Mean It’s Time to Vote!

Election Day Is Nearly 3 Weeks Away… Must Mean It’s Time to Vote!

The mail-in ballot arrived at the humble homestead yesterday. My 2014 personal guide to the Colorado ballot is posted. Check it out. Remember... While you want to cast the most informed and thoughtful ballot you can, it's also vital to vote sooner rather than later. Electioneering communications quickly will stop, and campaigns can conserve scarce resources. … [Read more...]

Colorado Union of Taxpayers Sees Slight Gains for Legislature

Colorado Union of Taxpayers Sees Slight Gains for Legislature

The state’s leading citizen taxpayer advocacy group touts a slight improvement in the Colorado legislature’s 2014 record, while the governor repeated his dismal showing on key fiscal issues. Founded in 1976, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers publishes an annual newsletter rating all 100 members of the state legislature and the governor on key votes related to its fiscally conservative mission. The latest release rated lawmakers favorably for opposing 28 bills and supporting two others introduced during the 2014 legislative session. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

Time Running Out for Teachers to Ask Money Back from Union

Time Running Out for Teachers to Ask Money Back from Union

A national commemoration includes a special roadside message for Pueblo educators who carry an extra burden as part of their job. The reminder to many teachers that they have to ask every year to get hundreds of dollars of their own money back also makes the case that union leaders simply should ask first. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

Adams 12 School Board Election Ruling Raises Red Flags

Adams 12 School Board Election Ruling Raises Red Flags

If a Broomfield judge’s ruling stands, the eligible candidate with the most votes may no longer necessarily win an election. A July 11 decision in Figueroa v Speers not only effectively nullifies the results of an Adams County school board race. The plaintiffs who lost this legal round also believe the reasoning in Judge Chris Melonakis‘ ruling changes the standard to declare winners for elected political office. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

June 21: Week in Review

June 21: Week in Review

As I type this, the season officially changes with the day's longest stretch of sunlight for 2014. It's officially summertime: What better way to kick it off then with a two-day garage sale? Lots of hassle. Net profit? $50. Glad I got that out of my system for quite awhile. From the Ed Is Watching blog Study Gives Another Jeffco Anti-Charter Myth a Serious Blow Title I Funds Closer to Following Colorado Kids after State Board Vote CER Completes Trifecta of Helpful Scholarship Tax Credit Studies Top Facebook Links of the Week Lamest Phony Political Apology Ever?: Governor Hickenlooper Reignites Mayor Bloomberg Controversy (Complete Colorado) School Board Takes Opportunity to Step Up: DPS Could Teach Jeffco a Lesson on … [Read more...]

Mile High City Prepares to Welcome Embattled Teachers Union

Mile High City Prepares to Welcome Embattled Teachers Union

Denver is preparing to welcome the annual meeting of the nation’s largest teachers union, while the union and key state and local affiliates face challenging setbacks. The National Education Association’s Representative Assembly is slated to arrive in the Mile High City in the wake of two well-publicized judicial rebukes and a local contract dispute that strongly question the union’s defense of ineffective teachers. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

June 7: Week in Review

June 7: Week in Review

In a couple of major ways, and some minor ones, this week certainly didn't go according to my plans. But I've already had the chance to see clearly how one of those unwanted developments probably worked out for a better purpose. Despite the challenges and setbacks, this week also included my first gubernatorial bill signing (as pictured above -- House Bill 1382, K-12 Online Education) and National Donut Day. So there's no need to complain too much, right? All that and my latest Complete Colorado column led to a Thursday morning appearance on the Mandy Connell Show (630 KHOW). From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Orsch Private School Tests Education Ideas (Podcast) New ACE Study Opens Mind on Comparing Public, Private … [Read more...]

Judicial Reform Measure Survives Challenge, Still Seeks Signatures

Judicial Reform Measure Survives Challenge, Still Seeks Signatures

Even as one of two key Colorado judicial reform proposals clear an important legal hurdle to reach the ballot, the man behind the initiatives says the process demonstrates why the measures are needed. Last Thursday the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the ballot title for Initiative 94, “Duties of the Independent Ethics Commission,” overruling objections raised by Denver trial attorney Stacy Carpenter. The measure would change the state constitution, declaring that judges could not oversee their own system of professional discipline but giving the Independent Ethics Commission oversight instead. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]