Friday, August 19, 2016

Green Party presidential hopeful comes to Colorado

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 12:01 PM

Stein during an appearance on CNN.
  • Stein during an appearance on CNN.
Looking for an alternative in the presidential race?

Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, is stopping in Colorado Springs next weekend, and will make other stops in Colorado as well. There are 911 people registered with the Green Party in El Paso County, according to the Secretary of State's Office. Statewide, 8,612 people are Green Party registrants.

Hard to imagine why she's coming here, considering El Paso County is dominated by Republicans and the county GOP has enthusiastically endorsed Donald Trump, who is trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton in key battleground states, including Colorado, according to polls being reported by national media.

Here's her appearances:

Saturday, August 27
Acacia Park, 115 E Platte Ave, Colorado Springs
12 noon
Contact; Karyna Lemus, 719-360-9609

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church
730 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs
Time: 1:30 pm
Contact; Karyna Lemus, 719-360-9609

Saturday, August 27
Avogadro’s Number, 605 S Mason St, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Time: 6:30 pm
Contact: Dave Bell, 480-332-0299

Sunday, August 28
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St, Denver, CO 80205
Time: 1 pm
Amanda Trujillo, 503-501-8729

Sunday, August 28
Glen Miller Ballroom, CU Boulder Campus
Time: 7 pm
Lauren Brillante, 303-586-1577

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CO voters will decide on at least four initiatives

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 2:35 PM

  • Theresa Thompson

This November, voters will be deciding on more than Hillary or Trump. They'll be changing Colorado law.

Four citizen-driven initiatives have been approved for the Colorado ballot thus far. Here's a quick round up of what you'll be voting on:

Amendment 69/ColoradoCare - ColoradoCare would amend the state Constitution to bring a tax-funded health insurance system to Colorado. Everyone not already covered under federal insurance like Medicare would be eligible for coverage, which would include copays for certain services but no deductibles. ColoradoCare would replace private insurance for Coloradans, though those who still want to purchase private insurance (while also paying the tax), would be free to do so.

An independent analysis by Colorado Health Institute estimates that ColoradoCare would bring in $36 billion in its first year and cover 4.4 million people. It would be run by a board of directors and would likely go into effect in 2019, after a preliminary period where it would charge a tax of .09 percent. When running, it would be funded mainly by a 10 percent income tax, two-thirds of which would be paid by employers, and one-third of which would be paid by employees. The self-employed would pay the full 10 percent tax.

Additionally, ColoradoCare would seek waivers to gain access to federal and state funds that currently flow into the health care system, including Medicaid dollars.

Minimum wage — This Constitutional amendment would raise the minimum wage from $8.31 an hour to $12 by 2020.

The campaign behind the ballot question, Colorado Families for a Fair Wage, claims that the change would effect nearly half a million workers, 86 percent of whom are over the age of 20. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy, which supports the ballot question, says that giving low-earning Coloradans a raise would not only better their personal lives, but the economy by putting “more money in the pockets of workers to spend in the state and helping communities thrive.”

Of course, not everyone is happy about the prospect of a higher minimum wage. The Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity Colorado released a statement claiming that raising the minimum wage won’t reduce poverty and will reduce the number of jobs in the state by tens of thousands.

Medical aid in dying — As the title suggests, this change to the Colorado Revised Statutes would allow a terminally ill, mentally-competent adult to obtain a prescription to end their life. The patient would need to be within six months of death, and would self-administer the lethal dose. There are protections written into the law to ensure the patient is mentally sound, and that they are choosing to terminate their life of their own free will.

Amending the Constitution — Interestingly, this Constitutional amendment aims to make it harder to amend the Constitution in the future. First, it would require more signatures to place a measure on the ballot, setting that figure at "at least two percent of the registered electors who reside in each state senate district for the amendment to be placed on the ballot."  
Once on the ballot, the amendment would need to be approved by 55 percent of the votes cast rather than a simple majority. 
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Clinton taps Salazar to chair transition

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 10:53 AM

Former U.S. Sen. and Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar has been tapped by the Hillary 
Salazar tapped to segue to a Clinton administration. - U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Salazar tapped to segue to a Clinton administration.
Clinton presidential campaign to chair her transition team, The Denver Post reported. Salazar is former Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

From that story:
“Once Hillary Clinton makes history by being elected as the nation’s first woman President, we want to have a turnkey operation in place so she can hit the ground running right away,” Salazar said in a statement released Tuesday by the Clinton campaign.
Republican nominee Donald Trump has chosen New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to head his transition team.

In related news, The Post also reported that Trump added to his campaign team in Colorado, which includes Dylan Sparks in El Paso County. Sparks reportedly just finished high school and is starting his first semester this fall at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. His Facebook page says he worked on campaigns for Colorado lawmakers Larry Liston and Lois Landgraf and also was part of John Suthers "campaign staff" when he ran and was elected Colorado Springs mayor.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New details about Trump's elevator escapade

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 10:40 AM

  • a katz / Shutterstock.com
Much has been made of Donald Trump's visit to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs last month. Now, Denver7 news has dug deeper and found some interesting backstory on the stuck elevator issue, as well as Trump's blaming the Springs fire marshal for not letting more people into his rally.
Fire Marshal Brett Lacey - COURTESY CSFD
  • Courtesy CSFD
  • Fire Marshal Brett Lacey
Read the story here.

Meantime, we asked U.S. Senate candidate El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn what he thinks of the latest statement by Trump regarding 2nd Amendment supporters at a rally yesterday. Referring to Hillary Clinton's nomination of Supreme Court justices should she be elected, he said, "Nothing you can do folks, although the 2nd Amendment folks, maybe there is...I don't know."

The comment has been interpreted by some as a call to violence against the Democratic nominee. Others have argued Trump's opponents are spinning the statement wrongly.

The state Democratic Party had this to say in a news release:
“What does Donald Trump have to say or do to lose Darryl Glenn’s support?” said Chris Meagher, spokesman for the Colorado Democratic Party. “It wasn’t enough to make fun of a disabled reporter. It wasn’t enough to suggest that Mexicans were criminals and rapists. It wasn’t enough to say he would close off our country to entire religions. And it wasn’t enough to insult a Gold Star family. Now he has suggested that perhaps gun violence against his opponent would be an appropriate response to losing this election.

“Donald Trump is running for President. His latest comments are inappropriate and show once again is unfit to lead our country. The response by Darryl Glenn, who refuses to stand up to Trump’s dangerous rhetoric any more than the occasional slap on the wrist, is just as appalling. It's time for Darryl Glenn to show leadership and stand up against this hateful, dangerous rhetoric.”
We sent the Glenn campaign an email yesterday seeking a comment and haven't heard back. We'll update if and when we hear something.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Trump event at UCCS stirs controversy

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 2:14 PM

click image GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Gage Skidmore
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will speak at 2 p.m. Friday at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' Gallogly Event Center.

Not everyone is happy about it.

In a letter released to the public, Chancellor Pam Shockley- Zalaback noted that, "Many faculty, staff, and students have expressed disappointment and anger at Mr. Trump's appearance on our campus." 

 It should be noted that UCCS, as a public university, cannot refuse to host a political event on the basis of preference for (or distaste for) a candidate. But many faculty at the university have signed on to a protest letter in advance of Trump's event. Both the faculty protest letter and a letter from the Chancellor explaining the decision to host the event are posted below after the jump:

Continue reading »

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Darryl Glenn regains memory of assault charge, sort of

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 10:53 AM

Darryl Glenn, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, issued a statement Wednesday night, two weeks after the Independent reported he had been charged with assault when he was 18 and a senior at Doherty High School, and nearly two months after he first denied to the Indy in a June 1 email that he knew nothing about the charge and, in fact, was never charged.
Ernest Glenn's photo from his grave stone. His son, Darryl, now describes him as an abuser, though he's capitalized on his father's military service as part of his Senate campaign. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Ernest Glenn's photo from his grave stone. His son, Darryl, now describes him as an abuser, though he's capitalized on his father's military service as part of his Senate campaign.

Before issuing the statement, Glenn denied the charge, insisting he'd never had that type of contact with police. After the Indy and the Denver Post posted stories Tuesday containing details from court records, Glenn changed his tune. Find the Indy's story here, including reference to court records about his father, Ernest Glenn. That report is the only one so far to outline the charges against his dad that arose from the same incident that gave rise to the charge against the Senate candidate.

Now, Glenn says his mother, Juanita Phillips, helped him recall the incident.

The Glenn campaign has repeatedly noted Ernest Glenn was a career Air Force member, as the candidate himself is.

Pick up the Indy next week, Aug. 3, for more information about Glenn's past. 

His prepared statement:
I​ have been asked to respond to allegations about a misdemeanor charge from over 32 years ago.

I am going to say a lot here, but I want to say a few things up front:

I told the truth when I said I have never been arrested. I have never been handcuffed or fingerprinted. I have never appeared in court as a defendant.
I do not remember much about the night of Nov. 20, 1983. I understand that my dad made a complaint against me, but it was dropped nearly immediately—which is why I never knew about it.
Like a lot of Colorado families, we had to deal with domestic violence growing up.
Glenn: Says he suffered family violence growing up. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Glenn: Says he suffered family violence growing up.
Family Context:

I understand why some people might say, “How can he not remember something like this?”
​​I want to do my best to explain that: the painful truth is that my parents’ marriage was violent. This was not the first night my father attacked my mother, and maybe more sadly, this wasn’t the worst time it happened—not even close.

When you grow up in a violent home, the fights, the screaming, the pain all blur together. To survive, you block as much of it out of your head as you can in the moment. You try to forget it going forward. What happened that night was one in a long series of incidents between my parents. In that sense, it was not really memorable.

November 20, 1983

Here's what I do know now about that night: My father hit my mother, and I got between them to try and protect her. The police were called. He claimed to the police that I hit him. I do not believe I ever hit him. My mother swears I did not hit him either, but it wouldn't have been beyond him at the time to claim I did. I do not remember ever talking to a police officer. I certainly do not remember signing anything for the police.

Trying all these years later to piece together what we learned this week, I think it’s likely that the police showed up and took everyone’s information. I think my dad initially wanted to press charges that night and a report was filed. I know that a few weeks later my mother and I were called into a meeting in a Judge’s chambers. He asked us a few questions and then sent us home. That’s the last thing we definitively know.

I only have these details now because of what my mother told me this past week. In fact, this was the very first time we’d spoken about that evening in the 32 years since it happened. It’s probably hard to understand this unless you grew up in the kind of environment that I did.

This was a very hard period for my dad and I. We barely spoke in the years that followed. With that said, I am deeply grateful that towards the end of his life we were able to reconcile.

Years later, when a reporter asked me if I had ever been arrested, I said no because I honestly did not remember this event. When I expressed a belief that I had never been arrested, I was being honest.


I did not plan to talk about the violence I grew up with in this campaign. I did not want to put my mother through reliving the agony of this period in our lives, and honestly, I did not want to have to relive it myself. I do not like thinking about this time in our lives. I do not like talking about it.

Over the last day or so, Mom and I both have shed a lot of tears talking about that night, trying to make sense of what happened. I wish I had done more to protect her. She wishes she had done more to protect me.

I want to use this moment to remind people that our family’s story is not unique. In Colorado, more than 17,000 people are victims of domestic violence every year.

We have to do so much better. We have to stop the cycle of violence affecting so many of our communities. We have to love each other.

These are painful memories for me, but I am blessed. I got free of the violence. My dad and I were able to rebuild our relationship before he passed away.

As a kid, there was not much I could do to stop the violence in our home. When I got older, as a father, I did everything I could to raise my children with a father that loved them, protected them and made them feel safe.

In our family, we’ve stopped the cycle of violence. I pray the same for other Colorado families confronting abuse in the home. They need to know they are not alone, that they do not need to be ashamed, and that there is help for them.
Glenn, an El Paso County commissioner, is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Great speeches trump discord at DNC

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 9:26 AM

  • Courtesy Mike Maday

With shouts of "Bernie or Bust" in the background, Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke to 1,500 of his delegates to the Democratic National Convention on Monday morning, laying out his argument for the election of Hillary Clinton as an alternative to Donald Trump.

Bernie continued that theme in his address to the convention Monday evening on national TV. He pointed to the huge impact his supporters had on the Democratic Party platform and party rules, including the creation of a party Unity Reform Commission to improve the caucus and primary system.
  • Courtesy Mike Maday

This is my third DNC in a row and has had the most raucous debates on the floor of any I have attended. Supporters for both candidates interrupted proceedings with chants for their candidate, and a faction of Sanders supporters continually interrupted speakers they didn’t agree with, including Bernie himself.
Recent problems with the Democratic National Committee have only added fuel to this fire.

Despite our differences, by in large, supporters for both candidates are most alarmed about the possibility of a President Trump, and my discussions with delegates on both sides indicate Democrats will come together this fall.

The disagreements we are having are based more on issues and party process than the hate speech and personal attacks shown by the Republicans is Cleveland. One Bernie delegate described the DNC, using the old street demonstrators' chant, “This is what Democracy looks like.”

Later in the night, First Lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Cory Booker and Bernie himself brought the convention to its feet with their speeches, and most of the disruption turned to applause.
  • Courtesy Mike Maday
Tuesday morning, the Colorado delegation met and I cast my vote for the third time for the Democratic nominee for president. After a very emotional speech by state Rep. Joe Salazar, a leader of the Colorado Sanders delegation urging us to do so, I was proud to cast my vote for Bernie for president and look forward to supporting Hillary as the convention concludes and we move into the fall.
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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Heading for the DNC in Philadelphia

Posted By on Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 4:45 PM

Mike Maday
  • Mike Maday
What does a delegate to the Democratic National Convention read on the journey there, as I ride coach with Gov. John Hickenlooper? I’m reading The Summer of 1787 by David O. Stewart, which chronicles the Constitutional Convention 229 years ago, when delegates sweltered for four months in the Philadelphia summer of 1787.

That convention, marred by controversy and mired in conflict, brought forth one of most revolutionary results in the history of human government.

The 2016 DNC will be four sweltering days in length, but so far it appears to be taking on the tenor of the Convention of 1787. The divisions then were over the power of the large states and the small states, checks and balances that formed the foundation of our republic and the existence of slavery in a country founded on the principle of freedom.

As in 1787, Democrats meet now as a divided body. We will be grappling with issues about how to structure the Democratic Party moving forward, the planks of our platform and, of course, nominating the Democratic candidate for president of the United States.

Speculation, intrigue and threats of a walkout were rampant in 1787, and Democrats this year will be dealing with Wikileaks, media talking heads and threats of a walkout.

As in 1787, there will be many opportunities for socializing with our fellow delegates, beginning Sunday night at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and continuing with breakfasts, luncheons and parties throughout the week.

There are some differences. In 1787, delegates suffered without air conditioning or cheesesteaks, although the madeira was outstanding and without GMOs.

Business starts at 8 a.m. Eastern time Monday with a breakfast address to the Colorado delegation by Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota and an afternoon meeting for us Sanders delegates with Bernie. Gavel down on the main event is 4 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. Colorado time).

I’m just hoping we come out of Philly with a result that honors the convention that preceded us and brings our country together.
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Friday, July 22, 2016

Local DNC (and Sanders) delegate speaks out before his journey

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 10:45 AM

  • Mike Maday
Mike Maday, a Colorado Springs resident and prominent activist in the Democratic party, has agreed to provide the Independent with some reports next week as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

But after watching the Republicans this week, capped by Donald Trump's acceptance speech Thursday night, Maday felt compelled to file his first thoughts before making the weekend trip to Philly. His observations:

Now that the Republican National Convention dumpster fire has burned out, I’m looking forward to representing Colorado Springs as a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week. The RNC in Cleveland was a crazy mixture of anger, hate, bigotry, disorganization and no new ideas.

Good speeches articulating a conservative vision that, by the way, I disagree with, but were clear statements of conservative principles, were ignored or booed.

In my geeky prep for the RNC, I listened to Tricky Dick Nixon’s acceptance speech from 1968 in Miami Beach and it sounded like he had the same speech writer as Trump: “I am the law and order candidate!”

Democrats get together next week to articulate a very different philosophy that supports individual freedom but also honors the importance of our obligations to each other and the fact that we are always stronger together.

Democrats have a had a very spirited nomination process. I’m looking forward to voting for Bernie Sanders at the DNC and supporting Hillary Clinton to beat Trump in the fall. While Bernie and Hillary disagreed on some issues, Democrats overwhelmingly see eye to eye on nearly all the important ones.

This is my third DNC in a row. The DNC is a lot more diverse, star-studded, intellectually stimulating and uplifting than the RNC. But the main reason those of us elected as delegates are going to Philly is to launch the effort to stop Trump and his hatred. I’m looking forward to helping with this effort, adding to my button collection and to blogging about what I see from the floor of the convention and the streets of Philly next week.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Noam Chomsky endorses ColoradoCare

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:44 PM

  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/culturaargentina
  • Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky, famous political activist, author, and linguistics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has endorsed ColoradoCare.

Voters will decide this November whether to approve ColoradoCare, which would act like near-universal Medicaid in Colorado. The proposal hasn't received a lot of support from business organizations, but many activists for health care support it. To learn more, check out our list of answers to common questions about ColoradoCare  or read my cover story to learn more about why Colorado has become the test market for universal health care this November

Here is the ColoradoCare press release on Chomsky's endorsement:

World Renowned Noam Chomsky Gives Enthusiastic Endorsement of ColoradoCare
Influential Author, Speaker, Political and Social Activist Joins Supporters of Amendment 69

DENVER — Noam Chomsky, widely considered one of the great minds of our time and a man the New York Times called "the most important intellectual alive today," came out as a strong supporter of ColoradoCare Monday, calling Colorado's "Medicare-for-All" type health care plan "a great idea, which should be extended to the whole country."

Chomsky is one of the most influential figures of the past half century, inspiring generations of people around the world to emulate his political and social activism. He has a long record of standing up for universal health care, and the need for a solution to America's health care crisis is familiar territory for Chomsky.

"The US health care system has about twice the per capita spending of other developed societies and relatively poor outcomes," Chomsky said in endorsing Amendment 69 Monday. "There is ample evidence that this unfortunate state of affairs is related to the fact that the US is alone among these societies in lacking some form of universal health care."

Citing years of national polling that have shown Americans "favor a universal health care system of the kind found elsewhere," Chomsky gave a hearty endorsement of Colorado's trailblazing efforts to establish universal health care.

"Quite often, significant progress has been initiated at the state level, then extending beyond," Chomsky noted. "For such reasons the ColoradoCare initiative is very much to be welcomed. It will not only be of great benefit to the people of Colorado, but may also be an opening wedge to substantial progress for the country as a whole."

Chomsky joins an impressive roster of thousands of endorsers of ColoradoCare, including small business owners, the self-employed, physicians, nurses, and organizations ranging from The League of Women Voters of Colorado to Together Colorado, from the Public Health Nurse Association of Colorado to being supported by name in the party platform of the Colorado Democratic Party.

"We couldn't be prouder to have Noam Chomsky's ringing endorsement of ColoradoCare," said Owen Perkins, Director of Communications for the ColoradoCareYES campaign. "If anyone can recognize a good idea, it is Professor Chomsky, and we couldn't ask for a more meaningful stamp of approval than his."

Chomsky has been on the faculty at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, and is now Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT. He distinguished himself as a game-changer in the field of linguistics and cognitive science early in his career, and he rose to widespread prominence through his opposition to the Vietnam War. He is the author of over 100 books, reflecting his groundbreaking work in linguistics, politics, media, analytic philosophy, and cognitive science. His most recent work includes the 2016 book Who Rules the World? and the 2015 documentary Requiem for the American Dream. He continues to actively publish articles on politics, the 2016 presidential campaigns, nuclear weapons, climate change, class warfare, the refugee crisis, and much more.

ColoradoCare, Amendment 69 on the November ballot, covers every Colorado resident — picking up hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who are not covered under the current corporate insurance system — with enhanced benefits and reduced costs, saving Colorado families and firms over $4.5 billion a year. There are no insurance premiums, no deductibles, and no co-pays on primary and preventive care. The system is primarily paid for through a 3.33% payroll deduction for employees and 6.67% of payroll for employers, representing savings of thousands of dollars annually for over 80% of Colorado residents.

For more information on Amendment 69, please visit www.ColoradoCare.org.

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Waller is new District 2 county commissioner

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Mark Waller was sworn in this morning. - EL PASO COUNTY
  • El Paso County
  • Mark Waller was sworn in this morning.

The fight is over for Mark Waller.

The District 2 El Paso County Commissioner candidate won the primary for his seat in June, and didn't face an opponent in the November election. Then, this morning, he was sworn into the position early after being selected by a Republican vacancy committee to fill the seat that Amy Lathen exited early. Lathen is now leading Colorado Springs Forward. 

Waller, an attorney, previously served as a state representative in House District 15 from 2009-2014. He served as both Assistant House Majority Leader and House Minority Leader during his tenure. 
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

5 things you might not know about Darryl Glenn

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Glenn was well liked in high school where he served on the student council. - PHOTOS FROM DOHERTY HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOKS
  • Photos from Doherty High School yearbooks
  • Glenn was well liked in high school where he served on the student council.
This week, we feature Darryl Glenn, the whiz-bang candidate for U.S. Senate who seemingly came out of nowhere to win the Republican nomination on June 28.

Soon, he'll find himself speaking to the Republican National Convention. More about that later.

Here are some things about the El Paso County commissioner you might not know:

• He was active in student council in high school, serving as junior president and senior president and laying the groundwork for a political career following his service in the military.

• He was a running back his sophomore and junior year, helping the Doherty Spartans junior varsity team have a "stunning" year as a sophomore.

Glenn wore No. 33 on the gridiron at Doherty.
  • Glenn wore No. 33 on the gridiron at Doherty.
• He lost his first election, in 2003, when he ran for an at-large seat on the Colorado Springs City Council. He ran fifth. But he was later appointed to replace Charles Wingate, who resigned amid allegations of misusing city funds and equipment.

• He has a rap sheet that contains an assault charge filed when he was 18, but denies he was ever charged with anything and doesn't know why court and police records show him being charged.

• He touts that he graduated from the Air Force Academy (in a class that saw nearly a third wash out before graduation), but he doesn't belong to the Air Force Academy Association of Graduates.

Glenn's viewpoints over the years can be found at this link.

Glenn faces Democrat incumbent Michael Bennet in the November election.

And as for his appearance at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, this just in from the Glenn campaign:
Today, the Republican National Convention announced that U.S. Senate Candidate Darryl Glenn (R-CO) will address the delegates and attendees.

“During my campaign, I’ve focused on the need for decisive leadership and unifying as a country, and now I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take my message to Cleveland and address the Republican National Convention.”

“For the past year, I’ve been traveling the State of Colorado, hearing firsthand from Coloradans about the issues they face. These issues: national security, jobs, economy will be on the table at the RNC, and I look forward to meeting with other Republican leaders in Cleveland to discuss how Colorado can lead in so many of these critical areas.”
Glenn knocked delegates' socks off at the state convention in April with a raucous rant that sounded like it came straight out of a revival meeting. We assume he'll be delivering a similarly animated pep talk in Cleveland.
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Who soared and who failed on an eco scorecard

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 1:24 PM

Protecting nature didn't fair well with many lawmakers from the Pikes Peak region, according to a new scorecard. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Protecting nature didn't fair well with many lawmakers from the Pikes Peak region, according to a new scorecard.
When it comes to the environment, state legislators from El Paso County aren't very supportive, according to a scorecard put together by Conservation Colorado based on analysis involving other environmental groups.

Sen. Kent Lambert was among those with the lowest scores in the Senate, while Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt brought up the rear in the House.

But several other lawmakers, including Terri Carver, Lois Landgraf, Bill Cadman and Owen Hill, scored badly. All of the above are Republicans.

On the other hand, the region's two Democratic lawmakers, Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Michael Merrifield, were at the top in looking out for our natural resources.

Here's the release. Click on the link to find complete results.
Conservation Colorado today released its “2016 Colorado Legislative Conservation Scorecard,” an annual look at how every legislator voted on key environmental and energy bills in the state legislative session. The Scorecard includes an interactive map and other digital tools to help Coloradans hold their legislators accountable for their votes on issues involving Colorado’s land, air, water, and people.

“Despite a divided legislature, we had some great wins on conservation this year, from legalizing rain barrels to establishing the nation’s first holiday to celebrate our public lands,” said Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith. “But, not only did we have to fight too hard to pass these commonsense measures, we also faced a series of foolish attacks on our environment that would have put communities and public health in jeopardy.”

Here are top-line results from the Scorecard:

The average score was 57 percent.
11 senators had a score of 100 percent.
The lowest scores were Senators Kevin Grantham, Kent Lambert, and Vicki Marble at 9 percent each.
Senators of color had an average score of 84 percent.
The average score was 63 percent.
31 representatives had a score of 100 percent.
The lowest scores were Representatives Justin Everett, Gordon Klingenschmitt, Clarice Navarro, and James Wilson at 11 percent each.
Representatives of color scored an average of 83 percent.

Maysmith continued: “Our victories this year, as well as overwhelming grassroots support across the state, show that Coloradans are passionate about the environment. Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the leadership of the Colorado Senate, which this year gutted funding for clean air protections, tried to roll back our state’s progress in addressing climate change, and attempted to pave the way to sell off America's public lands. That's why Conservation Colorado, our partners, and members will work tirelessly to install pro-conservation leaders in the Senate who will help us advance environmental legislation in 2017.”

In addition to Conservation Colorado, members of the 2016 Colorado Legislative Conservation Scorecard Committee were: Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, American Alpine Club, Environment Colorado, Peak Government Affairs, Rocky Mountain Wild, Sierra Club, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Western Colorado Congress, and The Wilderness Society.

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UPDATE: Anschutz in bed with anti-LGBT forces

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 1:19 PM

The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is one of many holdings of Phllip Anschutz, who reportedly donates money to anti-LGBT rights groups. - CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
  • The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is one of many holdings of Phllip Anschutz, who reportedly donates money to anti-LGBT rights groups.
We received this a couple of hours ago from the Anschutz Foundation:

The Anschutz Foundation is not a member of Jonathan Capehart's alleged "vast right wing conspiracy." The Anschutz Foundation donates to hundreds of worthy organizations each year, and it does not attempt to dictate to those organizations how to spend their monies. Moreover, those donations are made in accordance with our process and guidelines, and neither process or guidelines identify or reference in any way sexual orientation or gender issues.

Mr. Anschutz, and the Anschutz companies, invest in many businesses employing tens of thousands of people. In all instances, personal lifestyles are neither a requirement or limitation to employment.

Mr. Capehart's attempt to smear individuals with unfounded allegations is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. It is unworthy of him and of the publication by which he is employed.

This is no reason to comment further on his unfounded statements or on the individuals quoted in his article.

—-ORIGINAL POST 1:19 PM JULY 7, 2016—-

Two groups supportive of LGBT issues are calling out the owner of The Broadmoor and the Gazette as a funder of anti-LGBT efforts after The Washington Post reported who's behind legislation to overturn LGBT rights.

Philip Anschutz, the billionaire entertainment and energy mogul whom we profiled here in regard to the city's land swap with The Broadmoor, has given money to organizations that oppose LGBT rights. Here's what the Post reported about him:
Phil Anschutz is one of the richest people in America, with an estimated fortune of over $10 billion, and is listed at #42 on Forbes' U.S. Billionaires list as of May 17, 2016.

His entertainment company, AEG, is the world’s largest owner of sports teams and venues, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, the Staples Center, and O2 Arena. In addition, Anschutz owns The Weekly Standard, the Washington Examiner, and Regal Cinemas. He’s also one of the largest landowners in the country.

Anschutz Foundation gave $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom between 2011 and 2013.

Anschutz Foundation gave $50,000 to National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013.

Anschutz Foundation gave $30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013
James Dobson, founder of Springs-based Focus on the Family, known for its opposition to LGBT people and its focus on conversion therapy over the years, also is named on the list of donors to various anti-LGBT rights organizations. Tom Minnery, also with Focus, is listed, along with the king of LGBT hatred, Gordon Klingenschmitt, who holds a Colorado House seat but was defeated in the June 28 Republican primary race for a state Senate seat.

Here's the One Colorado news release:
DENVER – One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, and ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, released the following statement in response to a report in the Washington Post showing that Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz has funded anti-LGBTQ groups.

“Today the Washington Post revealed that while making a fortune off hardworking Coloradans – including LGBTQ Coloradans – billionaire Phil Anschutz has been giving money to organizations that have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center,” said Dave Montez, Executive Director of One Colorado.

“Instead of investing in individuals and groups that spread misinformation and advocate violence, Phil Anschutz could invest in improving the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans and their families. LGBTQ students still face bullying and harassment in our schools, transgender Coloradans are denied access to the health care, identity documents, and basic rights they deserve, and it is still legal for to subject young people to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.”

"Phil Anschutz's extensive influence in Colorado politics has been known for years, but the degree of his support for anti-LGBTQ groups that fund extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s ‘Pray in Jesus Name’ is shocking," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. "At a time in American history when discrimination and violence against LGBTQ citizens is on the rise, support for pro-discrimination groups puts Anschutz on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history."

"The Anschutz name is emblazoned on public institutions across our state," said Silverii. "Now that it has been revealed that his charity is also going to organizations that support political figures who call for gays and lesbians to be killed, it's time to ask Anschutz to take a good look at where his money is being spent. The Alliance Defending Freedom props up the same politicians who have introduced hundreds of rights-destroying bills in legislatures across the country – including right here in Colorado. Today, we’re asking Mr. Anschutz to cancel his checks to the ADF, and instead invest in Colorado-based organizations that help improve the lives of LGBTQ friends and neighbors, not try and strip their rights away."
Anschutz has been known to use his publications to showcase his investments, which was reported by Corey Hutchins for the Columbia Journalism Review, titled, "The Oklahoman runs a puff piece on its billionaire owner’s new resort property." 

So one might ask, what agenda on Anschutz's behalf is being carried out by the Gazette? We've sent an email to Gazette publisher Dan Steever about this and will report back if and when we hear from him. The newspaper's newsroom is overseen by newly hired editor Vince Bzdek, a former editor at The Washington Post.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

New role for Cole with GOP

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Cole: Moving on but sticking around. - COURTESY DANIEL COLE
  • Courtesy Daniel Cole
  • Cole: Moving on but sticking around.
Daniel Cole, formerly executive director of the El Paso County Republican Party, has left that post only to pick up where he left off. Cole served as director since July 2013 and raised the central office's profile by making himself available to local media for interviews and commentary regarding local politics.

The party has decided to, as of today, contract with Cole's new company, Cole Communications, for services similar to those provided by Cole as director.

Cole tells the Independent that the GOP isn't his only client, but demurred when asked to name others.

He posted this on  his Facebook page today:
Yesterday was my last day as Executive Director of the El Paso County Republican Party. I would get sappy and sentimental, but today is the first day of a contract between the El Paso County Republican Party and my new company, Cole Communications, to provide many of the services I provided as an employee. The more things change, the more they stay the same; but they are changing.

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