DENVER—In response to reports that President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Department of the Interior, the Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:The Western Values Project also issued a statement, saying:
“This week, President-elect Trump told America he wants to follow in Teddy Roosevelt’s footsteps by conserving America’s parks and public lands. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, unfortunately, has shown little interest in the issues she would encounter on a daily basis as Secretary of the Interior.
“Before the Senate considers her nomination, the American people deserve to know where McMorris Rodgers stands on the issues facing our public lands today, particularly at a time when members of her party are encouraging the President-elect to take the unprecedented step of erasing national monuments from the map and selling off public lands.
“If Cathy McMorris Rodgers is confirmed, we hope she takes her new boss’s words seriously and follows in the conservation tradition of Teddy Roosevelt, not the robber barons who would have drilled, mined, and clear-cut their way across the West a century ago.”
In 2011, Cathy McMorris Rodgers was a co-sponsor of HR 1126, which would have sold off more than 3 million acres of public lands to private interests. This year, McMorris Rodgers voted against an amendment that would have prevented efforts to dispose of public lands outside of the established planning process. These positions should raise a red flag for anyone who values keeping our public lands public.
President-elect Trump this week promised to honor “the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, believe it or not, one of our great environmentalists.” When asked by a reporter earlier this year about proposals to “transfer” American public lands to states, Trump said, “I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do. I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold. We have to be great stewards of this land.”
President-elect Trump’s statements are contradicted by the crusade by some members of Congress to dispose of public lands into state and private hands.
President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, who has pushed for the sell off of public lands owned by all Americans, is drawing a stark contrast with his previously stated desire to honor “the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt” — the iconic President that led a massive expansion of America’s Parks System.But not everyone is critical of the selection of McMorris Rodgers. The Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association says this in a release:
A longtime member of the political establishment in Washington, D.C., Congresswoman McMorris-Rogers has frequently opposed the expansion of national public lands, while taking a lifetime total of $357,340 from oil and gas companies. That record is a clear sign the next Department of Interior will prioritize resource extraction over the protection of important Western landscapes that drive the outdoor economy.
Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project, issued the following statement in response to the nomination:
“Rep. McMorris-Rodgers traded Washington state’s conservation values for Washington, D.C.'s pay-to-play traditions a long time ago. During her long career in Congress she cozied up to special interests while openly leading the charge to privatize our nation’s public lands. If personnel is policy, then it’s fair to say the incoming administration is setting itself up to erase Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy of expanding and protecting our most valuable landscapes.
“The vast majority of Westerners believe that no one set of special interests should dominate the way our lands are managed. Far from draining the swamp, this pick is a clear sign that the incoming leadership is willing to rig the public lands system in favor of the extraction industry, and at the expense of access to public lands. If that’s the direction this administration goes, Westerners will hold them accountable for turning their backs on a core part of our heritage.
“The incoming administration has plenty of tools at its disposal if it wants to avoid the public lands problems of the past, and we'd be happy to be proved wrong about Congresswomen McMorris Rodgers’ commitment to making public lands work for everyone.”
1995 HEADLINE: “McMorris Seeks Halt to State Land Buys” As far back as 1995, then state representative McMorris Rodgers sponsored a bill to block a state Recreation Agency “from giving grants to buy land for parks, trails and other recreational lands.” She said at the time that “too much land is going off tax rolls and into public ownership.” [Bruce Rushton, “Legislature ’95: GOP Sends ‘Message’ With Bill on Park Lands,” The News Tribune, 02/06/95]
“McMorris said the state owns enough land, and instead of buying more land the state should manage what it owns more carefully.” She also said, “‘At a time when there's not enough funding for vital state services, the money saved should be used to fund prison and school construction.’” McMorris also “said when public lands are removed from a county tax base it is much more difficult for counties to maintain needed services.” [Staff, “McMorris Seeks Halt to State Land Buys,” The Wenatchee World, 02/12/95]
McMorris also said, “‘The government owns enough land in Washington state’.” [Michael Paulson, “Wildlife Program Threatened: GOP Wants to Curb State Land Purchases,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 02/23/95]
At a hearing on the proposal in March of 1995, McMorris “said ‘more public lands are not needed.’” [Michael Paulson, “Lobbying for State Land Buys Conservations Don’t Want a Bank,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 03/04/95]
“Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said changes are needed to limit funding for federal land acquisitions.” According to the Spokesman Review, “Federal land acquisitions are often poorly managed and inaccessible to the public, McMorris Rodgers said recently in a statement. If changes are made, it’s likely the fund could be back soon, she added. ‘As we look to reauthorization, we must bring the LWCF into the 21st Century,’ the Spokane Republican said. ‘I want to look at ways to strengthen our state and local parks and limit the practice of bureaucrats in (Division of Conservation Services) buying up large swaths of farmland and rangeland.’” [Kevin Graeler, “Republicans seek land funding change,” The Spokesman-Review, 10/04/15]
2012: McMorris opposes “removing lands from private ownership” in speech to logging industry At her 2012 keynote speech at the Society of American Foresters National Convention, McMorris Rodgers said “It is no coincidence that many of the counties with the highest unemployment rates in the country are those which are surrounded by federal forests.” McMorris’s speech advocated for return of national forests to local, private ownership saying “By removing lands from private ownership – and thus, from the local municipal tax rolls – the government stifles locally-driven development and makes rural communities more dependent on Washington, DC.”
2011: Cathy McMorris Rodgers co-sponsored “The Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act” The bill would compel the Secretary of the Interior to sell federal lands throughout the West “previously identified as suitable for disposal.” [H.R. 1126, the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2011]
Since 2004, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has raked in $357,340 from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics - Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers Industries, accessed 12/08/16]
It is being reported that Donald Trump will nominate Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican representative for Washington State’s 5th Congressional District and Chair of the House Republican Caucus, to be the next Secretary of the Interior.
“As the outdoor industry well knows, the U.S. Department of the Interior is one of the most important cabinet offices for our issues,” said OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts. “We believe we will have a productive and collaborative relationship with Representative McMorris Rodgers like the ones we enjoyed with Secretaries Jewell, Salazar, and Kempthorne before her.”
McMorris Rodgers currently represents several outdoor industry businesses in her district, understands that public lands and waters are the foundation of the massive $646 billion outdoor recreation economy, and was an original cosponsor of the Outdoor REC Act that was just signed into law.
When discussing the outdoor recreation economy, McMorris Rodgers said: “Here in the Northwest, spending time outdoors in nature is a way of life. For many, it’s a big part of the reason we choose to live here, and it also is an economic driver. In the West, there are 640 million acres of federal land. This land belongs to the people, and I believe it should be open to many types of activities — providing enjoyment and economic opportunity for local communities.”
OIA has an excellent relationship with McMorris Rodgers and her staff, and we would look forward to working with her to continue the investment in and protection of outdoor recreation on America's public lands.
The marijuana legalization movement forged decisively ahead this election, though under a new shadow of doubt cast by Donald Trump’s victory.
See next week’s CannaBiz for more on what changes at the federal level could mean for the legal cannabis industry. (Spoiler: we really don’t know yet.) Today, however, find solace in the news that our neighbors to the south rejected efforts to roll back retail marijuana sales in both the city and county of Pueblo.
Election Day dragged into the next day, thanks to an overloaded server that caused long lines at polling places and long delays in reporting the results. While the results aren't final, over 70,000 people appear to have cast their votes on Proposition 200 — the Pueblo County measure that would’ve shut down over 160 retail marijuana businesses — according to unofficial results posted on the county clerk’s website. Of those, 57 percent voted "no" — a larger margin than initially passed retail marijuana it four years ago.
Voters also rejected Proposition 300, the city’s equivalent of Prop 200.
The results further validate arguments made by opponents of the measure during campaign season that Pueblo voters have already demonstrated they’re cool with recreational marijuana, despite insistence on the other side that they’re having second thoughts. Spokesman for the pro-pot campaign, Growing Pueblo’s Future, and owner of Mesa Organics, Jim Parco called the vote a clear message.
“[Citizens] have seen the positive impacts that the regulated, retail marijuana industry has had in Pueblo County,” he said of the results. “We were the first [state] to legalize, regulate and tax adult-use retail marijuana, and now, the first [county] to decisively defeat prohibitionists in a do-over vote.”
In celebrating the victory, Parco also announced plans to create the first ever National Marijuana Museum in Pueblo. Owner of Legacy Homes in Pueblo Branson Haney will chair the community-based steering committee.
“With now more than 30 states having legalized marijuana, we have entered a new era where society is finally acknowledging that the benefits of legalized cannabis far outweigh the costs,” he said on election night. “With Pueblo County as the leader in the national legalization effort, it is now time to lead the effort on improving education and knowledge of marijuana’s rich history — scientifically, socially and culturally. And we’re going to do it right here in Pueblo, Colorado.”
To stay up-to-the-minute with the museum’s progress, follow their Facebook page for updates.
PRESIDENT OBAMA ENDORSES TONY EXUM FOR COLORADO HD-17Support Underscores Crucial Nature of This RaceWASHINGTON —Today President Barack Obama endorsed Tony Exum in his race for Colorado’s State House of Representatives. Exum is among a select group of state legislative candidates from around the country to be endorsed by the President. HD-17 encompasses the southeast end of Colorado Springs.
This contest has caught national attention due to Exum’s lifetime of public service as a firefighter, and the successes of his previous term in office, such as providing breakfast for low-income schoolchildren and providing tax credits for childcare expenses.
“We are thrilled that President Obama is endorsing our candidates in some of the most competitive races across the country,” said Jessica Post, Executive Director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. “His endorsement highlights how crucial state legislative elections are to building on the progress the President has achieved and to continuing to move our nation forward.”
“I was honored today to receive an endorsement from President Obama in support of my candidacy here in Colorado Springs,” Exum said. The candidate, who has a wide base of support in the district where he has lived for 59 years, continued: “I am humbled, hopeful, and extremely thankful that the President of the United States believes that my contribution will be meaningful to our state and local government, and that he sincerely cares about what is going on with the citizens of Colorado Springs.”
Exum has also received the endorsements of Senator Michael Bennet and Representative Dianna Degette, in addition to every major labor union in the state.
The judicial appointment and retention process in Colorado is one of the best merit based systems in the country, and it has been around for 50 years. Many states have direct elections of judges, opening the judicial system to all the corruption and influence of big money in politics we see in legislative, congressional and presidential elections. In these states judicial decisions can essentially be bought and sold.To access those reports, go to the link provided above.
Colorado county, district and appellate judges are appointed by the Governor based on bi-partisan nominating commissions, which use a merit based process to recommend three names for each open judgeship, from which the Governor makes an appointment. Periodically, judges are required to stand for retention elections. Voters decide whether each judge should stay on the bench or be removed.
To help Colorado voters make informed decisions, the state Judicial Performance Commission and local JPCs in every judicial district, conduct a thorough evaluation process of judges facing retention elections. This evaluation involves extensive surveying of attorneys, jurors, court staff, other judges, civil litigants and others who can provide direct input on a judge's performance; court room observations; review of authored opinions; an interview by the JPC of each judge and other input from the public about a judge’s performance.
A report is then generated for each retention judge and provided to voters online by the Colorado Judicial Performance Commission and the Colorado Legislative Council's "Blue Book" which is mailed to voters and available online. This report identifies each judge's strengths and weaknesses and makes a recommendation to voters to either retain (keep a judge on the bench) or not retain that judge so Colorado voters have direct, informed decision making authority on our judges.
Today, State Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) took the initiative to file a lawsuit against an outdated regulation that makes taking a picture of your ballot and sharing it on social media illegal in Colorado.
The law has drawn increasing statewide attention this election cycle, especially on social media networks where new and young voters in particular are sharing who they voted for and encouraging their friends to do the same.
Hill has witnessed a myriad of Colorado voters, friends, and constituents alike excitedly sharing their choice of candidates and initiatives on social media.
“And while exercising free speech, they now have to be worried about being prosecuted for participating in the political process or for encouraging discussion on the important civic choices facing our State,” Hill said. “We need to stand alongside all Colorado voters by fighting for this reform.”
“My generation, millennials, are sometimes known as the ‘selfie generation.’ That last thing we need is a law on the books that discourages voter participation and makes people afraid to share in political discourse in Colorado,” Hill pointed out.
Hill believes the lawsuit is an important step to protect voters’ free speech rights while still continuing to safeguard privacy and other necessary voter protections. There is also an opportunity to address this issue in the upcoming 2017 legislative session.
Michael Fransisco of MRD Law, the attorney who filed the documents this morning, is confident the case is both needed and straightforward:
“Everyone in Colorado should have the right to speak about their voting decisions, including the ubiquitous use of cell phone pictures to express a point,” Fransisco noted. “The First Amendment protects this valuable form of political discourse.”
“Courts across the country are recognizing that broad laws prohibiting ballot pictures are unconstitutional and we look forward to adding Colorado to the list of states where free speech about a voted ballot can be shared without fear of criminal prosecution,” Fransisco concluded.
The lawsuit explains that: “Speech about how one votes in an election rests at the core of political speech protected by the First Amendment. One particularly vivid way to speak about a decision to vote or not vote is to later share a picture of a marked ballot that has been turned in. Taking a picture of a voted ballot is increasingly popular.”
Unfortunately, Colorado has an outmoded statute making it a crime to “show” a ballot to “any person” in such a way “as to reveal its contents.”
“In a classic case of an overbroad law that restricts vast swaths of legal, protected speech in the name of preventing discrete bad acts, Colorado has chilled the Plaintiffs and countless other voters from being permitted to engage in the simple act of posting a photo of a ballot as a political expression,” the filing argues.
Senator Hill is joined by another plaintiff, Scott Romano, on the lawsuit. Romano is an 18-year-old University of Denver student who is voting for the first time in this election - he is also a registered Democrat.
“I believe this is a key way for common sense to prevail in Colorado politics. This isn’t a partisan issue - it’s about upholding our constitutional rights and advocating for the full participation of every registered Colorado voter,” Romano said.
“I’m grateful for Senator Hill’s lead on this important issue and I’m happy to join him as a co-plaintiff in the case.”
Kanda,Calef, a party activist, says she won't resign, because the party is run by "a bunch of hypocrites" who themselves have violated the endorsement rule. Besides Hays and others openly endorsing Tom Tancredo who switched to the American Constitution Party to run for governor in 2010.
Although as a private citizen you may obviously express your opinion as you wish, as a precinct leader there are restrictions within our bylaws, Article VIII, paragraph G.4, that expressly forbid your endorsing non-Republican candidates in an election where there is a Republican candidate running.
Your Facebook post and included press release endorsing Lily Tang Williams for US Senate clearly stated that you were a precinct leader and a member of our executive committee, so it appears you have violated that section of our county bylaws.
I hope you will publicly reconsider your position; if not, I hope you will please submit a letter of resignation as precinct leader in lieu of going through the process of being removed described in the subsequent section of the bylaws.
Sincerely and respectfully,
Chairman, El Paso County Republican Central Committee
A longtime Republican, committed to cleaning up the corruption inside the Republican Party, I have become another target of the establishment of the Republican Party. After endorsing Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Lily Tang Williams due to Darryl Glenn’s hypocrisy of expecting Republicans to vote for him, while he stated that he would not support the Republican Presidential candidate, I have been sent the email below from the El Paso County Chair, Jeff Hays, threatening to kick me out as a Republican precinct leader. Darryl Glenn is also a precinct leader, so I will be interested to find out if he is also being asked to resign his position, since his non-support of Trump is an implied endorsement for a candidate who is not Republican.Glenn has since reversed gears and says he's supporting Trump. Calef, too, says she supports Trump.
I have my doubts that they will do anything to Glenn, since the rules for the elites in the Republican Party are not the same as the rules for the average citizen who chooses to participate in the political process.
It should be noted that when Tom Tancredo ran for Governor as an American Constitutional Party candidate in 2010, a huge number of Republican elected officials, executive committee members, and precinct leaders endorsed him against the Republican candidate, Dan Maes. To my knowledge, nobody was asked to give up their positions and my understanding was that the bylaws were the same in 2010 regarding this situation as they are now. To my recollection, Jeff Hays, the current El Paso County Chairman who is requesting my resignation, was a sitting precinct leader and Executive Committee Member who was openly a Tom Tancredo supporter. Selective prosecution seems to be the standard.
While Darryl Glenn has followed the path of the other establishment Republicans like John McCain and Paul Ryan and rejected the Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, he is still being promoted by the El Paso County Republican Party and the other elites from around the state. Yet, when a low-level precinct leader, like me, takes a stand against the hypocrisy of the establishment, I am threatened. Like the special treatment given to Hillary Clinton when she broke the law, it appears that the requirements for the nobility are not the same as those for the serfs.
The Chairman of the El Paso County GOP should spend more time helping to make sure Colorado’s electoral college votes do not go to Hillary Clinton and not waste his time fighting one of Colorado’s most outspoken conservatives.
“Everyone has underestimated Darryl Glenn this election, but these numbers— which show him outraising a sitting U.S. Senator— prove he’s not one to back down from a challenge. Darryl’s supporters are investing in a bold, conservative outsider who will bring reform and accountability to D.C., rather than a Washington insider like Michael Bennet, who’s content with the status quo," said Katey Price on behalf of the campaign.As of 4:15 p.m. Friday, Bennet had not filed his new report, but his campaign reported $6 million cash on hand in the last report, filed in July.
Congressman Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, is on campus next month as part of the Sondermann Presidential Symposium. Tickets are free but required, and will be available beginning Friday, Oct. 14, at 8 a.m. at the Worner Desk in the Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis for the event which will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Kathryn Mohrman Theatre. One ticket per person please.
It is good that Mr. Trump has apologized for his 2005 remarks. He must now take every opportunity he has to show our nation that this sort of behavior is in the past and that he is dedicated to treating people with respect and dignity. Despite his flaws, Donald Trump remains a far superior candidate than Hillary Clinton.As first reported by the Washington Post on Oct. 7, some of the comments Trump made.
Here are some of the choicer quotes from a man who has said that he “would be the best for women”:Meantime, Darryl Glenn is calling for Trump step aside and allow vice presidential nominee Mike Pence be the Republican torch bearer in the presidential election.
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.”
“I did try and fuck her. She was married.”
“Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
"As a father, as a Christian, and as a Republican, I believe that we simply cannot tolerate a nominee who speaks this way about women.This comes after Glenn supported Trump vigorously, and even embraced some of Trump's platforms, including the ban on Muslim immigrants.
This is the most important election of our lifetime. Hillary Clinton is a threat to the rule of law, and to our safety and security. But Donald Trump is simply disqualified from being Commander in Chief—America cannot have a man who speaks this way about women be the face of our country to the Free World.
I am therefore calling on Donald Trump to do the honorable, selfless thing—voluntarily step aside and let Mike Pence be our party's nominee so that we can defeat Hillary Clinton, keep control of the Senate, and put our nation back on a path of safety and security.
If Trump is truly committed to making America great again, then this is the only way forward."
As recently as last night Darryl Glenn refused to back down from his steadfast support for Donald Trump, and Glenn’s eleventh-hour act of political self-preservation rings about as hollow as Donald Trump’s apology to voters. Darryl Glenn praised Donald Trump as a ‘patriot’ even as Trump insulted immigrants as ‘rapists’ and ‘criminals,’ mocked people with disabilities, praised dictators like Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Un, and denigrated a Gold Star family. Voters will remember that up until this day, Glenn has been Trump’s highest-profile supporter in Colorado, and unfortunately for him, the time to take a principled stand has already passed.